BROOMFIELD, CO—Ever wonder what self-marketing strategies will work or how to make your presence, skills and achievements know, both within your firm and in the industry? Panelists at the recent GlobeSt.ELITE Women of Influence conference here in Broomfield, CO, focused on that topic and discussed how to take charge of your career development, build your own business within your real estate firm and overall strategies for advocating not only for yourself but for your team as well.
Stacy Stemen, VP of corporate marketing at Passco, said that all of her prior years of different experience is what gave her a strong network. She said that for her, she has evolved herself over the years to do more than just marketing.
For Stemen, building a brand is not about just putting your name on anything. “You have to make sure your brand is really what you want it to be,” she said. Her niche? “I found it in elevator networking, dog park networking and airplane networking. I have brought clients in from different places that I go and have justified my worth in the company by people that I have brought to them.”
She also notes that you should really get to know who is in your building, and on every floor. “It is about developing that niche … Networking is just about a simple conversation.”
Panelist Jodi Meade, principal and national director of the automotive properties group at Avison Young, says that her brand is still evolving. “Your brand is this living thing. Once you identify what you think your brand is, it will change over time. I liken it to a shark in that it has to always be moving.”
Meade explained that when she started at CBRE in the mid-1990, at the time, the company had a concerted effort that no other company could catch them, and she took that same approach to her branding.
“It took a while for me and I didn’t take marketing in school,” she said. “My mom created a brand and I don’t even think she knew she did…you define yourself and find your passion and then focus on it. If you do that, everyone else around you becomes passionate about you passion.” She adds that if you do all that, people will remember it.
But having focus is the key, panelists agree. “Pick something you are known for, and then focus on it and think about how you can rise above the noise. What skill sets can you deliver that are different than a colleague?”
For Meade, she narrowed her focus in on retail, but it wasn’t melting her butter, as she put it. But when she made the decision and launched the automation group for CBRE, she got the focus she was looking for. She focused initially on buying and selling and leasing car dealerships across the US. “When it was special purpose real estate, people started coming to me asking about RV parks, collision centers etc. If it’s got wheels, I can do it, but I stop at bicycles. As I focused, I became known for something. As long as you link it back to your passion and remain focused, it will work.”
Moderator Beth Zafonte, director of economic development services at Akerman, explained that you really have to separate yourself, be an expert and qualify your niche. Identifying skill sets is also critical,” she said. “It is important to reach out to other people and get feedback and hear what they are saying. When they think of you and who you are and what you do, see if it is aligned with who you are and who you want to me and use that to make personal changes in your brand.”
Meade added that in order to fine tune your brand, you must be willing to fail. “If we don’t get in the fear mode, we don’t find the success.”