For many real estate agents it’s their name, while others may have an actual trademarked name – either way works.
For SEO purposes it’s important to integrate a keyword into your brand name, such as “John Doe Phoenix Real Estate Agent” – which would be better than “John Doe” because John would be competing with a lot of other people in the world with the same name. If someone is searching for you online it’s likely because they’ve heard your name elsewhere. That “elsewhere” could be a friendly referral, seeing your name in the newspaper, or maybe they ran across it somewhere online.
While you might be tempted to make your brand something like “John Doe CRS” it’s not a good idea because it’s unlikely consumers actually know what CRS stands for, nor are actively searching that phrase. It’s similar to a dentist who might brand herself online as “Jane Doe DDS” – Jane is indeed a DDS, but most people aren’t going to search for that off the top of their heads, instead they will search for the more common term like “dentist.” The same rule applies for real estate agents.
If you want to give yourself a better chance at ranking for a high traffic keyword like “real estate agent in Phoenix” it only helps your cause to have both the “real estate agent” and “Phoenix” keyword in your brand name. Including keywords like “real estate agent” and “Phoenix” in your brand name is a good idea because it will lead to more qualified, higher-converting traffic from the search engines. Even if you could rank for the name “John Doe” most of the traffic received from it would be irrelevant. Additionally, you are less likely to incur any competition for your brand, or the competition will be easy to beat.
Social media users tend to be anti-ads and anti-self promotion, but sometimes the only way people are going to know what you do for a living is for you to tell them. But doing so among the social media realm will often result in not making connections with the other users or being outright banned. What easier way to remind people of what you do then in a very non-intrusive way, with your screen name.
Be very careful how you use nicknames. If you’re branding your personal name, make sure it always shows up the same way, i.e. consistency. So John Doe wouldn’t call himself Johnny Doe in one place, and John “The Hot Seller” Doe in another. Instead he would always keep it consistently John Doe Phoenix Real Estate Agent.