With high-net-worth clients, perception is key. Right or wrong, they will form an opinion of you within the first 5-minutes of shaking your hand. What you say or do afterwards will be judged according to their immediate impression.

It is therefore critical for any mortgage broker wanting to work with affluent clients, to pay careful attention to their personal brand. Your personal brand is defined as:

“Your Unique design, sign, symbol, words or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies you and differentiates you from your competitors”.

Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind. Thus, a personal brand helps harried consumers in a crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value.

5-years ago I changed my personal brand and decided to work within the luxury space. I made a few simple, yet critical improvements to my personal brand and the results were extraordinary!

Here are 7 ways you can instantly elevate your own personal brand:

1. Define what market you want to work within.

By consciously choosing to target luxury home owners and affluent clients, you will immediately differentiate yourself from other mortgage professionals. Over time, clients and referral partners will recognize that you specialize in dealing with luxury homeowners and they will recommend you to clients because of your quality, your credibility and your professionalism.

2. Develop a Unique Positioning Statement (UPS).

My own UPS is very simple: “Hi my name is Roland Mackintosh and I specialize in working with High-Net-Worth-Clients”. It all starts with how you choose to package and position yourself.  Whether you’re attracting clients through traditional activities such as networking and public speaking, or through online marketing, on your website, social media, email and blogging, your positioning should always be consistent. The perception you want to create in people’s minds is that you are unique and better than anyone else at meeting the mortgage needs of the affluent homeowner. Your UPS is what you can use to build your entire business around. Take some time to craft one to your liking. You’ll use this to differentiate yourself with your marketing materials, branding and positioning.

3. Get a Designation.

Luxury homeowners are very successful business people and many have professional designations. They understand the value of higher education and specialized knowledge. Affluent clients and referral partners will recognize that the person they are dealing with has a higher level of expertise in a particular field than someone who does not. AMP (Accredited Mortgage Professional), CFP (Certified Financial Planner), and my personal favorite, CLHMA (Certified Luxury Home Mortgage Advisor).

4. Don’t skimp on the printing cost!

There’s nothing luxurious about a flimsy business card or marketing materials printed on paper that look and feel cheap. The quality of your marketing materials is a subtle reflection of who you are. This is true for your newsletter, business cards, letterhead, thank-you cards, direct mail and anything else printed that has your name on it.

5. Master your Elevator Pitch.

An elevator pitch is a short, concise summary about who you are and what you do. Whether you’re at a renovation tradeshow, networking event or simply out for a coffee, you should be able to summarize who you are and what you do in 30 seconds or less. Your unique positioning statement will help you with your elevator pitch. Remember, think of yourself as a brand, picture the first impression you want to make and what you want people to remember you for.

6. Dress to Impress.

Before, Robert Herjavec, built & sold his first I.T. company to AT & T for over $100 million dollars and before he built & sold his second I.T. company and sold that to Nokia for $225 million, before all of that – he worked at Harry Rosen as a menswear salesman. Why? Robert had always wanted to be in the film and movie industry and he knew that dressing for success played a subtle, but critical role in the audition process. Of course, he had no idea that a bespoke suit would cost him over $1500! So he took a sales job at Harry Rosen which entitled him to a 70% discount on new suits every six months.

If you want to position yourself as a luxury home mortgage advisor, you can’t show up to a clients’ home or a referral partner meeting dressed in shorts and flip flops. When Robert Herjavec went to any T.V. audition, he dressed sharp. “In his book, Driven, How To Succeed In Business & In Life” he sums up dressing for success “First impressions are subconscious but significant. Dressing in a disorganized fashion communicates a similar impression – whether true or not – about your approach to business”. Make no mistake, every meeting you go to is an audition for the role of their trusted mortgage advisor. Give yourself an edge by dressing smart.

7 .Project Confidence.

Projecting confidence goes hand in hand with dressing for success. When you work with affluent luxury homeowners you will be working with some very wealthy individuals; Do not be intimidated by wealth, you are there to help and advise these clients. Make sure you walk in confidently, have a firm handshake, look them in the eye and deliver on every promise that you make.