February is New Agent Month at Inman. Follow along as we go deeper on the tools, tech and tips you’ll need to survive and thrive in 2024. For curated content crafted just for first-year agents, be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Basics.

In the digital age, your online presence is your handshake, your business card and your first impression all rolled into one. As a new real estate agent, building a professional online brand is crucial for attracting clients, building trus and standing out from the crowd.

Build a professional online brand

Let’s dive into the key elements you need to get started:

Claim your corner of the online world

The foundation of your online brand starts with your domain name. Think of it as your unique address on the internet, the web address your clients will type to find you.


What you don’t want to do is build your business on someone else’s (your broker’s) brand. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average time a real estate agent spends at a brokerage is four years.

Instead of using your broker’s email and website address, build a brand you can take with you when you move to a new brokerage. 

Choosing the right domain name is crucial, so let’s navigate this key step:

  • Keep it short, sweet and memorable: Aim for a name that’s easy to spell, pronounce and remember. Imagine clients saying it over the phone; can they easily recall it later?
  • Brand alignment is key: Choose a name that reflects your brand identity and target audience. Consider a domain that carries your name or your personal business name (yourfirstname@yourname.com or yourname@yourbusinessname.com).
  • Top level domain terrain: While “.com” remains popular, explore other extensions like “.realtor” or “.realestate” for a more targeted approach.

Ditch the Gmail, embrace the pro

You’ve purchased your domain name; now, add email to it. Your email address reflects your professionalism. Opting for a generic email address ending in Gmail or Outlook might be the easy route, but it doesn’t spell “professional.” This small step can make a big leap in how potential clients perceive your seriousness about your business.

Build your brand palette (or buy one)

Imagine walking into a beautifully decorated house. Everything flows seamlessly, colors complement each other, and a distinct style shines through. That’s the power of a well-designed brand palette; it sets the tone, evokes emotions and makes your online presence instantly recognizable. 

Your brand palette goes beyond aesthetics. It’s a strategic tool that:

  • Creates cohesion: Consistent use of colors across your website, social media and marketing materials builds a unified brand identity and makes you appear professional and trustworthy.
  • Evokes emotions: Different colors trigger different emotions. Choose a palette that aligns with your brand personality (calming blues for trust, energetic oranges for innovation).
  • Improves recognition: A unique color combination helps people instantly recognize your brand, even in a crowded market.

Feeling overwhelmed? Fear not. Here’s how to approach it:

  • Start with inspiration: Do you have favorite brands or colors? Look for color palettes you admire, and identify what resonates with you. 
  • Choose your base: Pick a primary color that reflects your brand personality. This will be your most dominant color.
  • Build harmony: Use a color palette tool such as Coolors to find complementary or analogous colors that work well with your primary choice. Aim for three to five colors in total.
  • Consider neutrals: Include at least one neutral color (black, white, beige, gray) for backgrounds and text for better readability and versatility.

I love having a fun font pairing to use with my brand. This guide from Wix makes it easy to pick a font pairing you like. All the included fonts are common and readily available.

If you prefer not to build out your own color and font palette, you can easily buy one. Go to Etsy, and search for “brand palettes.” There are hundreds to choose from, most under $10. Or have a custom palette created just for you by hiring someone on Fiverr

Understand your audience: Dive deeper than ‘homebuyers’

In a competitive real estate market, broad messaging gets lost in the noise. You’re competing with millions of other real estate agents. Instead, laser focus on specific audiences to truly resonate and stand out. That’s where client personas come in. They’re your secret weapon.

Start with these  three distinct personas:

  1. First-time homebuyers in [your city]: Young, tech-savvy, budget-conscious, seeking guidance and reassurance.
  2. Move up homebuyers/sellers in [your city]: Upsizing families, career climbers, focused on specific neighborhoods and amenities.
  3. Empty nest homebuyers/sellers in [your city]: Downsizing retirees, motivated by quick sales and top dollar.

By understanding the unique desires and motivations of these client personas, you can tailor your message, content and overall approach to truly connect with them. This laser focus will attract the right clients, build trust and set you apart from the competition.  

The next step is to do a bit of research on each persona:

  • What are their goals and motivations?
  • What are their pain points and challenges?
  • How can you help them with their specific challenges?
  • Which marketing and communication channels are best to use for this audience?

Lastly, you’ll want to create a list of at least six pieces of valuable content you could create for each persona. I’ve made this part easy by creating the personas for you, including six content ideas for each persona that you can leverage.

Personas for first-time homebuyers, move-up buyers, luxury buyers, and empty-nest buyers are completely filled out and ready for you to use. You can access the files here.

Note: Remember, when you’re creating content for one of your personas, always include your city/local market. Make sure to add your city/local market name to the title of the content, and mention it in the content as well. This is super important for SEO.

Build and nurture an email list

Real estate agents thrive on strategic marketing, where maximizing budget impact is key. Email marketing has emerged as a champion, boasting a $42 ROI for every $1 spent. This impressive return frees up resources for crucial elements like staging, professional photography and immersive virtual tours — essential tools for attracting buyers in today’s market.

By understanding email’s cost-effectiveness, real estate professionals can optimize their strategy and achieve success even with limited budgets. I recommend Mailchimp for new agents. It’s free for the first 500 email subscribers, and it’s got an incredibly high deliverability rate (something your CRM does not have).

Tailoring your message

Effective email marketing starts with understanding your audience. Leverage your client personas, and create unique messaging for each. Young professionals seeking urban condos have vastly different needs than families searching for suburban homes. Craft content each persona will appreciate and value.

The lead magnet lure

Grow your list with targeted lead magnets. Offer valuable resources aligned with your persona’s needs, such as market reports, buying and selling guides, free valuations, exclusive neighborhood insights or relevant classes. Use the content ideas included with your personas.

7 features of a winning lead magnet

  1. Tackles a genuine need: Address a pressing issue your audience faces
  2. Gives instant gratification: Provide immediate and satisfying solutions
  3. Packs a valuable punch: Offer content rich in value and utility
  4. Hones in on details: Target a specific area with precision
  5. Is ready at a click: Ensure instant download for easy access
  6. Gives bite-sized brilliance: Craft it for quick and effortless consumption
  7. Showcases your expertise: Establish yourself as a thought leader

Landing page options

  1. Host your lead magnet on your website as a blog post. Be sure to add a call to action (CTA) like: “For more great content like this, join my email list.”
  2. Use a dedicated landing page built with tools such as Unbounce or Leadpages. On a dedicated landing page, the user will need to “exchange” their email address to view or download the content. These work great with Facebook and Instagram ads as well. For more information on landing pages, including how to build one, Leadpages has a wonderful training guide: The Ultimate Guide to Landing Pages

Website integration

Optimize your website for email sign-ups. Use strategically placed forms, compelling CTAs (calls to action), and well-timed pop-ups without being intrusive.

Social media synergy

Leverage platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to share snippets of your newsletter or exclusive content available only to subscribers. Then ask for users to sign up for more great content. 

Remember: Consistent, targeted email marketing combined with valuable content builds trust and engagement, ultimately leading to successful real estate connections.

Become a content marketing machine

Imagine captivating potential clients with informative and engaging content, establishing yourself as a trusted adviser, and fostering meaningful connections: That’s the power of content marketing in real estate.

It’s about strategically creating and sharing valuable content, including blog posts, videos, infographics and social media updates, tailored to your target audience’s interests and needs.

Forget pushy sales tactics; instead, provide genuine value through insightful market updates, DIY home improvement tips, neighborhood guides and even entertaining local event recommendations.

Think of Century 21’s blog brimming with life hacks or Zillow’s YouTube channel packed with homebuyer tutorials — content that resonates and builds trust, ultimately nurturing leads and driving transactions.

Remember, it’s not just about selling properties; it’s about connecting with people on their homeownership journey, and content marketing is your key to unlocking those connections.

Now that you grasp the essence of content marketing, let’s explore specific ideas to ignite your strategy:

Blog posts

  1. Neighborhood guides: Spotlight hidden gems, local events, and unique features of specific neighborhoods you serve.
  2. Market updates: Analyze trends, share data-driven insights, and offer expert commentary on your local market.
  3. Homeownership tips: Demystify the buying or selling process with informative guides, checklists, and FAQs.
  4. DIY projects: Inspire clients with budget-friendly, achievable home improvement ideas to boost their property’s appeal.
  5. Lifestyle content: Showcase your local community by highlighting farmers’ markets, restaurants, or cultural events.


  1. Virtual tours: Immerse viewers in properties with high-quality, engaging virtual tours.
  2. Market snapshots: Capture the essence of local neighborhoods through short, visually captivating videos.
  3. Client testimonials: Share genuine client experiences to build trust and credibility.
  4. Expert Q&A sessions: Address common concerns, and answer questions in an informative and interactive format.
  5. Behind-the-scenes glimpses: Offer a peek into your day-to-day work, connecting with clients on a personal level.

Social media

  1. Share eye-catching property photos and videos.
  2. Post engaging questions and polls to spark interaction.
  3. Run contests and giveaways to generate excitement.
  4. Share relevant articles and news updates.
  5. Go live to answer questions and connect directly with viewers.

Additional formats

  1. Infographics: Visually represent complex data such as market trends or homeownership costs.
  2. Ebooks: Offer in-depth guides on specific topics like buying in a competitive market or preparing your home for sale.
  3. Email newsletters: Regularly deliver valuable content, market updates, and exclusive offers directly to your audience.
  4. Podcasts: Share your expertise and insights in an engaging audio format, perfect for on-the-go listeners.

It’s important to remember the following:

  • Authenticity is key: Be genuine and transparent in your content to build trust with your audience.
  • Consistency matters: Publish content regularly to stay top-of-mind and nurture leads.
  • Target your persona: Tailor your content to the specific needs and interests of your ideal personas.
  • Measure and adapt: Track your results and adjust your strategy based on what resonates most with your audience.

By implementing these ideas and tailoring them to your unique brand, you can build a thriving content marketing strategy that attracts qualified leads, fosters trust and positions you as a go-to expert in your local real estate market.

Remember, building a successful real estate career takes time, dedication and strategic action. Start implementing these tips today to establish yourself as a knowledgeable and trusted adviser, attract qualified clients, and ultimately achieve your real estate goals.

Marci James is the founder of Be Inspired Digital. Connect with Marci on Linkedin and Instagram.

This post was originally published on this site