Recently, I was on a real estate podcast talking about the importance of being a brand versus being a commodity in today's era of consumerism. In short, people remember brands.

You need to understand that commodities are interchangeable, widely available, and a mass-produced unspecialized product. This leads to lower profit margins and diminished importance. 

Brands own market share, period, end of story.

First, let's dismiss what LOs THINK is their brand.

Your brand is NOT:

- Your logo

- Your slogan

- Your rates and products

- Your website

Yes, these are elements of brandING, but they are not your brand. So what is your brand?

Your brand IS:

- What your clients say about you to others

- The experience you give your clients

- Your social proof (reputation)

- The emotion your clients feel when your name is said

Everyone knows that in this business that you will be successful if your sphere of prospects and referral partners Know You, Like You, Trust you. Right? How likely is that to happen if you are focusing on what your brand ISN'T as opposed to what it IS?

In an industry where disruption and technology are commoditizing professions, it has never been more important to focus on your branding. A good brand stands out, and that begins with your marketing. So I ask you. Are you leaning on automation tools to keep in touch with your database? Are you using the cookie cutter content of your mortgage CRM to send out to your clients? You're not along, so it most of the industry. Don't get me wrong; automation can be beneficial when used as a supplement and not as your core marketing plan. But, it is hard to stand out when you are doing the same thing as everyone else.

It is paramount to understand that today's consumer relates to PEOPLE and not marketing drips. It is about relationships and not slogans or your sales pitch. This is why social media, video, and authenticity are so important in building a brand that stands out. It puts you, the Loan Officer, in front of the people in a way they want and in a manner that they can relate to.

Whether you like social media or not, it doesn't matter. It is here to stay. Eventually, social media will just be called marketing and there will be no difference. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about how social media and technology are aging everyone down, and he couldn't be more right. As those historical demographic boundaries fall, it gives you a tremendous opportunity to build a brand "for all time zones." Now is the time look at your marketing and how you are connecting to your database. Do an honest assessment and then ask yourself. Are you a commodity or a brand?