Do you know your brand?
We see branding around us every day, yet we don’t always acknowledge or appreciate it. Big and small businesses are constantly using branding tactics and principles in an effort to capture our hearts and minds. But if branding can be right in front of our faces without us even realizing, then what is its purpose?
Branding has a huge effect on how we perceive a company, even if we don’t exactly recognize how it made its mark. According to Bill Baker of Total Destination Marketing, branding is “the totality of thoughts, feelings, and expectations that form a distinctive and compelling promise, and enables people to decisively choose one product, place or service over another.” Simply put, branding is like a company’s personality, and sometimes, it’s the x-factor that wins a customer over.
This definition doesn’t only apply to companies that sell commercial products. Branding is also crucial to any real estate business, especially if you want to make a distinctive impression and stand out from the competition. A strong, consistent brand will give customers a clear understanding of your business, which often leads to them becoming loyal patrons.
The benefits of good branding
Using effective real estate branding strategies can give an enormous boost to your company or project, from piquing clients’ interest when they first hear about you to recommending you to everyone in their social circles.
Getting broad and favorable exposure is only half of the battle of being memorable. The other half is good branding. A visually pleasing logo, a catchy tagline, or a combination of both will ensure that your company is always top of mind to people who might be in the market for real estate. Having your brand capture positive mindshare among potential clients means that when they’re ready to buy or sell, you’ll be up for consideration even before they learn about the incredible services that you have to offer.
A COMPETITIVE EDGE
Michael Panagako, Vice President and Senior Strategist at KHJ brand activation believes that “effective branding adds value to properties and increases return on investment.” That’s why he recommends investing in branding that isn’t just creative but showcases the popular demands of customers - as well as something your business competitors don’t have. The very best branding goes beyond simple “marketing noise” and actually puts your business ahead of the curve.
YOU CAN TARGET THE RIGHT TENANTS
Before all of the brainstorming and designing and testing of a brand takes place, thorough market research is crucial. This will act as a guide for your branding process, because the research results will enable effective strategies by providing clarity about your market and target clients. When your branding is tailored to the customers you want to attract, closing a sale will be a piece of cake. It’s cost-effective and will put you on the right track to reaching your monthly, quarterly, or even annual goals.
We all want to work with and buy from companies that we trust. Building this trust entails a combination of branding and your own hard work. When you stay true to your word and follow through on your commitments, even for little things like follow-up calls and remembering your clients’ concerns, you’re showing them that they can trust you to take care of them. This is particularly important when it’s your first time dealing with client referrals from friends and family. Showing that you can be relied on gives your customers reassurance, and in return, it reassures you of their loyalty.
What makes up a brand?
Aside from understanding why branding is important, you should also practice “internal” branding, and how it can make a positive impact on your real estate business. “Branding” is a pretty big umbrella, but here are some general elements to get you started on your company’s brand.
The values that you want people to associate with your company should be consistent with those you expect your staff to practice. Think about the key messages that you want to send to potential customers about who you are as a company. This will help create a strong sense of purpose and commitment in the workplace.
Create a logo or work with a designer to make one, and then slap it everywhere. Your logo will often be the basis of people’s first impression of your business, make sure it reflects who you are and what you offer. It should be visible on all materials related to your business, from business cards up to your website.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just one color, but you can if you want to. However, a color palette will give you some flexibility in design; just make sure that you’re consistent about using those exact shades on everything. Choose wisely! Colors send different messages. For example, the color blue suggests trust and security, which is why it’s used for the branding of many banks. Purple, on the other hand, suggests exclusivity and royalty, hence it is a popular color for luxury brands.
Like your color scheme, the fonts you use should be uniform across all promotional materials. When choosing your fonts, think about how you want to come across: modern or vintage, romantic or tough, and find the typeface that best represents that image of your business. Of course, it should also be legible and easy to read, whether in fine print or spread across a billboard.
TONE AND VOICE
Tone and voice refer to how you “talk” to your potential buyers, be it in official communications and announcements, over social media, or anything in between. Depending on your brand, it could be casual and friendly, or formal and authoritative. Consider how your brand would look and sound if your company was a person. How would you like to be addressed by that person? That’s the tone you want to use in your brand.
TAGLINE OR SLOGAN
Your slogan should be short, sweet, and straight to the point. Make it a meaningful statement that shows the heart of your brand. Ideally, it should also be catchy and easy for your clients to remember. However, you don’t necessarily want to go for something gimmicky like a rhyme or a suggestive slogan just for the sake of it. The message you put across is still the most important thing at the end of the day.
Branding in real estate makes a difference
Creating the right brand identity is vital because it affects the two parties that your business can’t live without: your team and your customers. Great branding makes it easier to get everyone in your company on the same page, understanding who you are and what you do. At the same time, it tells your customers what to expect, and more importantly, why they should trust you. A real estate business with impeccable branding is able to effortlessly show off its strengths and distinctive advantages that make it unique among the competition.