- Linda May has been in real estate for 35 years and says building a strong brand is the key to doing good business.
- Working largely in Beverly Hills, she’s amassed over $4 billion in career sales, and says agents should keep three strategies in mind if they want to scale up.
- Putting clients first and establishing a social media presence are two of the major factors May says play a vital role in real estate success.
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Linda May has been in real estate for 35 years, and she knows a thing or two about building a brand.
A San Francisco native, she began her real estate journey in interior design, but quickly pivoted to becoming an agent in Los Angeles, where she’s spent her entire career. Working largely in Beverly Hills, she serves some of LA’s most luxurious neighborhoods, from Holmby Hills to Bel-Air, and has spent more than three decades representing the city’s most prestigious estates, amassing over $4 billion in career sales.
But she’s had to build a brand to get to where she is. As one of the first agents to brand her listings under her own name rather than under the umbrella of a high-recognition brokerage, May told Business Insider that a few things in particular have been key to helping her establish her brand.
She said they’re accessible to newcomers to the industry hoping to do the same.
Establish a personal brand
Establishing your presence in the industry is critical, May said, but your brand has to reflect what you want to sell.
With a background in interior design and the arts, May always had a passion for architecturally significant homes, and she set her sights on representing designer properties early on in her career. Soon, she became known for representing homes crafted by celebrated architects, from Paul Williams to Gordon Kaufmann, and that association became central to her brand as an agent.
And her branding technique stays consistent in her marketing efforts, too. She’s got her stamp on everything, from e-blasts to newsletters to print ads. Everything has to have a certain look, whether it’s a brochure or a simple mailing. Great photography is essential, as is great copywriting. “Just having your look on everything, even if it’s small, builds recognition,” she said.
Develop your social media presence
Social media has transformed real estate, according to May, and it’s further allowed her to build her brand. The industry was very attached to print advertising in years past, she said, but platforms like Instagram have been a game-changer.
“You’re curating your interest to show people your taste and what you think is important,” she said, adding that potential clients get to experience your brand simply by viewing your profile. It’s opened up her business to an entire new audience of younger generations, and before social media they may have had less access to the fine homes that they’re actually passionate about, May said.
Especially since the onset of