Mar 23, 2018 by - Mike Cuevas

Personal Branding: Why It’s Crucial For Referral Generation

Is your branding important or should you use your brokers? Is it worth investing money to create your own brand identity? 

In this post I’m going to explain why you should prioritize building your personal brand over your brokers. 

Ninety-six percent of consumers last year chose the agent over the brand they were affiliated with. This means only 4 percent of consumers chose their agent because of the brokerage they hung their license with. What does this mean? 

You’re The Brand, Not Your Brokerage!

Does marketing your broker’s brand bring you business? I can’t recount a single time in my career where I received a client because of the company I was affiliated with. 

Why Marketing Your Own Personal Brand Matters

What people see visually is more impactful than anything said verbally because our brains process images 60,000 faster than text. In other words, imagery is more memorable than anything verbal. It’s just the way we are wired. 

The ancient Egyptians used to tell stories using hieroglyphics, right? That’s because images are nothing more than visual stories. Throughout history we have seen stories told through pictorial images from the roots of Christianity to the caveman days.  

Your visual branding is your story and it should reflect who you are as a person and as an agent. Once you begin visually branding your business, you will be subconsciously sharing your story with your audience consistently all while not necessarily having to talk about real estate. I encourage agents to take their branding wherever they are. It should be in your videos, flyers, email signature and social media headers. It should go everywhere you go and it should be the first thing people see. 

Visual Branding is Marketing

In a referral-dominated business, top of mind brand awareness is everything as your branding is a simple visual reminder you exist. Your brand is your reputation or what others think about you, but your visual branding is how they remember and relate to you! The more you splash it around, the more people who will know what you do. The more you do it consistently, the more people who will remember what you do. 

Have you ever logged onto Facebook and saw one of your past clients, friends, or good acquaintances holding up keys to their new house? It’s every agent’s worst nightmare come true! At first, you’re probably angry wondering how anyone could sink that low. But then you get emotional, maybe shed a tear or two, and start wondering what you did wrong. 

Chances are you did nothing wrong, but you should be asking yourself WHY it happened? Didn’t they know you are in real estate? I mean everyone should know by now, right? 


We’re not that cool. As much as we’d like to think everyone remembers what we do for a living, they don’t. It’s your job to remind your database what you do for a living. It’s not their job to think about us 24/7. When you are out of sight, you are out of mind.  

The Numbers

Over 60 percent of business each and every year comes from referrals, past clients, or people you already knew according to NAR. Real estate, in relationship to generating referrals, is a popularity contest. I’m not sure about you, but one of my priorities is making sure every single person I have a relationship with knows what I do for a living. I make it a point to touch my entire database over 60 times a year with a combination of social media, video email, and direct mail touches. I’m not looking for a lead when I communicate with my database. I’m only looking to make an impression. If I get a lead too, even better. 

Lab Coat Agents, Nick Baldwin, Tristan Ahumada,, Real Estate, Mike Cuevas, Referrals

“The vast majority of business comes from the people you know, not strangers.

The reason I market my database through multiple channels is because of the following:  

  • 10-15 percent of the population is moving each and every year. 
  • 100 percent of the people you know this year have the ability to refer you to at least one person this year because everyone knows someone who is moving. 

This means that, if you have an e-mail list of 300 relationships, roughly 30-45 of them are moving this year. At the same time, all 300 of them will come across at least one person they can refer you to. 

This also means that if you have a direct mail list of 150 people, roughly 15-22.5 of them are moving this year. At the same time, all 150 of them will come across a referral opportunity for you this year. 

This also means the same is true for your entire social network! 

Your branding serves as a subliminal advertisement for your services without having to always talk about real estate. It serves as a constant reminder that you are a Realtor without having to say it. Branding is not about generating leads, it’s about nurturing, maintaining, and developing relationships with consistent communication.  When this is accomplished with consistency, more of your database will be reminded of what you do for a living, which typically results in more referrals and repeat business. 

Why does this work? 

Because people do business with agents they know, like, and trust. The goal of any brand is to ultimately create top of mind brand awareness within their niche. It’s no different in real estate. 


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