One thing I can’t emphasize enough with our agents is that almost everything we do in our real estate role has the potential to affect people’s perceptions of our brand, both as a company and as individual agents.
Getting into a brand management mindset requires first understanding all the different ways in which you interact with key stakeholders at different points in a real estate transaction. I think checklists are a great way to make sure you’re aware of and addressing all the potential ways your brand may be experienced.
Some of the examples below are more relevant to listing brokers and others to brokers working on behalf of buyers, but most real estate professionals will have had some type of experience with all or most of these. The four primary stakeholders or audience for these brand experiences are:
- Real Estate Consumers (Sellers and Buyers)
- Other Real Estate Professionals (Most Importantly the Cooperating Brokers You Encounter on a Regular Basis in Your Market)
- Vendors (The Key Service Providers – Bankers to Plumbers – Who Help Your Clients and In So Doing Enable You to Provide a Positive Brand Experience)
- The General Public (Folks Who May Not Be Actively Engaged Home Buyers or Sellers But Have Some Awareness of Your Brand. These People are Potential Referral Sources or Future Clients)
Where do these four key audiences most often experience your brand? (And where do you have the opportunity to enhance or diminish it)?
Point of Sale
- For Sale signs
- Sign riders...
Once you get past the holidays you may begin considering some long-delayed home improvement projects. Thanks to our friends at ContractorQuotes.US we've got a great infographic to share on which 14 projects may add the most value to your home.
One thing that constantly amazes me is when I hear or read about the leaders of real estate firms downplaying the importance of the company/broker brand. The primary implication being that only the individual agent brand really matters. That branding is best left to the folks in the marketing department or, heaven forbid, that the “brand” is some ineffable concept that has no relationship to creating real business value like driving unit and volume growth.
Keller-Williams, likely the fastest growing brokerage in the world at this moment, seem to embrace this line of thinking. And indeed, most KW “For Sale” signs - the foundation of real estate brand marketing – totally emphasize the agent or team’s identity leaving the company name and logo as an afterthought. Make no mistake: Keller-Williams has built a powerhouse brand among real estate agents. In fact, I would argue that the only real brand value KW has is to agents. The primary value proposition of the KW brand is: “We’re the real estate company that shares profits with agents.” Thus far, it’s been a brilliant strategy in terms of recruiting agents and making some of the KW tribe very wealthy.
However, I think if you asked most people in the real estate business or, more importantly, real estate consumers what the KW brand stands for they would look at you with a blank stare. I mean, I know the Christie’s brand stands for “luxury”. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services has made a big Cabernet and Cream bet that Warren Buffett and the BH brand – characterized by “integrity and financial strength” – can extend to selling a gazillon homes a year (in addition to jewelry, insurance and Blizzards®).
From Inman.com: Nearly everywhere you turn, you hear news of the rebounding housing market. Not only is it bouncing back, but it’s also making a huge comeback with new owners and investors getting into the market. There are several factors that have played a role in this resurgence, each of which will contribute to the way real estate agents market to the public. Here are the top 10 trends you can expect to see in 2016. Read more.
From Marketwatch.com: The federal government requires that as of Oct. 3 loan disclosure documents must combine the information required in the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Under the new rule change, known as the “Know Before You Owe” rule, or the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) regulation, consumers must be given the new combined Loan Estimate (LE) with all the charges, fees and line items three days before the closing, rather than at the closing on the HUD-1 form, which itself will disappear. Read more.