A strong brand identity is one of the most important building blocks for any real estate business. Think of it as your company’s foundation. In essence, your branding should help your clients see you as the solution to their problem. Likewise, companies such as Nike, Coca-Cola and Microsoft use names, logos, terms, designs and symbols to differentiate themselves from other businesses.
Strong brands do the following:
- Create a connection with a target market.
- Build customer loyalty.
- Substantiate credibility.
Before you run out and spend money on advertising or implement a marketing campaign, it is essential that you establish your personal real estate branding. Without a substantial brand, you may not see a return on your investment.
How to Identify Your Branding
A brand is like a personality. What type of person would be interested in your company’s traits or services? According to real estate agent Mukul Lalchandani, “A real estate company has to understand who their core market is. Is it based on certain demographics, or based on the properties they are promoting?
For example, some agencies specialize on loft properties, so their branding is centered around this ideology, while others focus on luxury properties, so their brand tends to be more sophisticated and clean cut. Once a core market is discovered, then the agency should understand how to communicate to the target audience by using sensory tactics such as visual communications, smells, [and] sounds that promote the same message to their audience. It’s all about having one voice that connects properties to people.”
To identify your target market, pinpoint the specific type of client employing your services, the market your competitors are targeting, and who needs your services. Chances are that not everyone needs your services. What type of client would get the most out of your company? While it’s beneficial to start your real estate business with a strong brand, not everyone has the luxury of starting with a blank slate.
When is it Time to Rebrand?
It’s never too late to rebrand. According to Greg Maka, managing director of 24-7 Marketing LLC, “Rebranding is required when a company is not meeting its sales goals or does not see any growth. They are probably perceived as “like all the other real estate agencies.” When you determine what your brand (unique selling proposition) will be, you must promote everywhere.”
Altering your established brand is no small feat. Nonetheless, all real estate companies must be flexible enough to adjust with the times. “Creating a new brand identity keeps you fresh and relevant in the ever-changing marketplace. With the onset of technology and information, consumers want to connect with those that are up-to-date and understand the new way of doing business,” says Lalchandani. Look at rebranding as a chance to focus on your company’s vision and recreate yourself in a new light.
How to Promote Your Branding
Your brand identity must be at the very heart of every marketing campaign you implement. Every newsletter, email, Facebook post, “tweet,” blog and brochure must support your branding. Even the way you answer your phone should give customers a sense of what your company is about. Promoting your brand doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. “My promotion does not have to be wide scale or expensive, it is more about direct marketing, and only hits the people that I want to inform. I use online methods such as email newsletters, website and blogging. Offline methods include some direct mail pieces [and] promotions specific to certain buildings in Manhattan,” says Lalchandani.
To effectively promote your branding, you must write a creative brief that outlines the direction that you are taking your real estate business, the target market that you are pursuing, and your competitive positioning (how your real estate business differs from the competition). Keep your creative brief on hand. It will be one of the primary resources you use for all of your marketing.
Measuring Your Brand’s Success
Like everything in marketing, you should have a way of measuring success. “In today’s world, successful branding really is the result of continuous promotion of the same “unique” theme or selling proposition, utilizing as many tools as you can afford,” says Maka. Because you are running a company and not a free service, it comes down to your bottom line. However, other factors such as the quality of your customer base and listings help you determine how successful your branding is in the market place. If your customers and peers respect your brand, you are building a strong brand identity.