industry insights or roundups from conferences. She also recommends, as Blanca
has done, incorporating public relations.
“A commercial real estate professional
could discuss market trends on a national
news show such as MSNBC or Bloomberg,”
Ruby says. “They may also discuss a hot
item in the news and their unique angle
on it. Effective personal branding would
be leveraging the segment on digital
media including Facebook, Instagram and
LinkedIn to promote the appearance.”
Ultimately, the branding game for com-
mercial real estate is long lead. In other
words, it takes a time to develop a memo-
rable, inspiring personal brand—several
years, in fact—but if you keep pressing it
will eventually snowball.
“To build my brand, I made sure to
put my clients first and connect with own-
ers any way possible,” Matthews says. “I
made a million cold calls, sent postcards,
and notes to my original market area,
regularly, over a long period of time. This
helped identify my own personal brand
with owners so that when I called or met
them for the first time, there was already
a very strong sense of familiarity. I also
attended real estate and business confer-
ences non-stop, consistently networking
and elevating my brand.”
With the end goal in mind, Waldock
drills this truth into her clients’ heads:
first impressions count. Ask yourself:
“What is the first impression I want to
make? What do I want people to think
and remember about me?” She also
reminds that perception is reality. Your
segment of the industry or past brand
affiliations could hold negative percep-
tions you need to overcome.
“Create a unique look—an image. Some
people create a personal brand by having a
specific style. Establish yourself as an
authority in your field. Create a website,
blog, use social media to help your audience be better informed,” Waldock says.
“Keep your audience informed about
your accomplishments, about the industry
and its changes. Attend functions that put
you in front of your target audience. Don’t
be afraid to stand up and make profound
statements, be proactive, be a leader. And
learn the art of verbal marketing—how to
introduce yourself at meetings.”
THE DOWNSIDE OF FAME
Of course, any marketing effort comes with
challenges. If you lack confidence, that perception could present a stumbling block.
Not taking personal brand identity seriously is a big mistake. Perhaps the biggest
challenge is defining a brand that is authentic to you as a commercial real estate leader.
You can’t fake a personal brand.
“One of the greatest challenges, as I’ve
continued to bring on new team members
and grow, has been ensuring that all the
positive attributes clients appreciate about
my personal brand are reflected consis-
tently in my company culture,” Blanca says.
“Fortunately, by always aligning myself with
the industry’s best and brightest talent who
also embrace my values, we have been able
to overcome these challenges quickly.”
There’s a temptation in the world of
personal branding to do what you see oth-
ers doing. You may admire someone in
your field who has 100,000 Facebook fol-
lowers or a growing YouTube presence.
But, again, personal branding is based in
authenticity. That means you need to
brand in a way that’s natural for you rather
than mimicking others. Consolo continu-
ally plays off her name.
“You need to make the effort to create
something unified if you want people to
remember you,” Consolo says. “Coming
up with the tagline ‘To Find the Best Retail
Space You Need Faith’ was a significant
milestone in creating my brand.”
Consolo says building a personal brand
is all about strategic business positioning,
planning and premier visibility. “You have
to set a clear goal of how you want your
brand to be perceived and literally rein-
force this constantly in every medium pos-
sible,” she says. “Do not take shortcuts and
do not settle for what you can do now.
Shoot for the stars. Ask for advice from
people who are where you want to be and
never ever be afraid to ask for help.”
Blanca’s best advice for those starting to
set out: “Be yourself. Never pretend to be
something you’re not. It’s important to be
authentic from the start and hold yourself
to the highest standards of excellence, pro-
fessionalism and integrity.”
Perhaps most important, especially if
you are just embracing the power of
personal branding—or working to
rebrand yourself in the field, is to perse-
vere. If you are an overachiever, you will
expect and want to see instant results. Yet
personal branding is more like painting a
masterpiece than painting by numbers.
“From my experience, it can take a CRE
exec several years before they start to see
the traction they’re looking for with their
personal branding campaign,” Ruby says.
“However, it’s worth it when things finally
to start to pick up. A truly authentic personal brand is not built overnight.” ◆
It can take a commercial real
estate professional several years
before they start to see traction with
their personal branding campaign.
However, it’s worth it when things
finally to start to pick up.
Ruby Media Group
You have to set a clear goal of
how you want your brand to be
perceived and literally reinforce this
constantly, in every medium possible.
Do not take shortcuts and do not settle.
Shoot for the stars.
Faith Hope Consolo
Douglas Elliman, Retail Group