- Most real estate companies choose to rebrand because of business evolution, the desire to expand their clientele, or to simply re-align with their maturing vision.
- In order to rebrand your company, you’ll need to re-establish your vision, conduct new research on your market, redefine your brand identity and messaging, and finally, launch your new brand with promotional materials or events.
- Keep on building your brand by welcoming feedback and using it to improve your process, visuals, and how you run the overall company.
Why do real estate businesses rebrand?
Like any other business, real estate businesses need to keep things fresh to thrive. As much as clients appreciate consistency and familiarity, sometimes there’s also a need to reassess your brand and strategically catapult it to a new direction.
The decision to rebrand could come from a change in management or a merger with another company. It could also be because you want to expand your business by reaching a demographic that you haven’t previously tried selling to. Alternatively, your overarching vision may have changed over time, and you want your brand to reflect that transformation.
Whatever the reason behind it, rebranding is a tricky job. You want to reintroduce your business, but not alienate your loyal customers while doing so. Your company already has an identity. Rebranding doesn’t mean losing this identity completely. It’s about taking a look at your values, your goals, and the service you’re offering, and redefining them to align with your new vision.
The rebranding process
Rebranding doesn’t happen overnight. While the superficial aspects of rebranding like your logo and color motif can be changed quite quickly, doing an overhaul on your company’s identity takes careful thought, time, and effort.
1. KNOW YOUR VISION
Before you even begin making moves to rebrand, you need to have a clear, specific vision of your endgame. The most efficient possible plan that you can make and execute is one where every step leads up to making your vision a reality.
Ask yourself: As a company, who are you? What do you do for your customers? Amid all of your competition in the field of real estate, what do you want to be known for? It can also be helpful to think about why you want or need to rebrand right now, rather than a week, a month, or a year.
Finally, try to assess whether this rebranding is something you can undertake internally on your own, or if you’ll have to seek outside help. An external consultant or marketing firm can take some of the load off of your shoulders and offer professional insight on your rebranding plan.
2. RESEARCH YOUR FIRM AND TARGET CLIENTS
Understanding your firm and your clients will empower you to make the most significant impact on them. It’s as simple as knowing what they’ll respond to and giving it to them. Start with doing some research on how your company is perceived as it is, then move to learning more about your target market. These two factors will give you some direction in your rebranding plan.
But why do you need to do research? After all, shouldn’t you know your company and your clients better than anyone else, since you have firsthand experience with them? Although this is true, conducting research offers an objective picture of your company. Since you are so “close” to your own work, you may not realize that you have certain biases and assumptions about it. Objective research removes those biases and assumptions and leaves you with information that might have before been in your blind spots.
3. RECAPTURE YOUR POSITIONING AND MESSAGING AS A BRAND
You can find your market positioning at the crossroads of who you are as a company and who you aspire to become. You may be the innovative leader, breaking down barriers or you may be a low-cost provider that’s accessible to everyone. Whatever your positioning is, you need to support it with your rebranding strategy.
At the same time, you need to establish your messaging architecture. Come up with messages to each of your stakeholders, and make sure they’re consistent with your overall brand, vision, and mission. This messaging architecture will eventually become the foundation upon which all of your marketing materials are built.
4. BUILD YOUR BRAND IDENTITY
Your company’s name, logo, tagline, color scheme, and all the design that goes into your visuals make up your brand identity. Through these elements, clients will be able to quickly and easily identify when a product, service, or message comes from you. Once you’ve settled on a style, it’s vital that you use it on all marketing materials that you release, or at least stay as close as possible to that style. When customers can instantly pinpoint a message from you even without seeing your name or logo on it (Though every message should have your name and logo at least once), you know that you’re doing it right.
5. LAUNCH THE BRAND AND SOLIDIFY YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
You’ve done your research. You’ve decided on a message. You’ve even nailed down all of the visual elements that will represent your business. Now, your brand is ready for take-off.
A launch doesn’t necessarily have to be a literal event. You can also communicate the launch through promotional materials. Tap into the power of the internet and let your rebranding be known through blogs and social media posts. Revamp your website to reflect your rebranding, and maybe even add new content. Create content about new trends in home design and construction, popular locations, and the real estate buzz in your area.
This is a great time to exhaust all the media at your disposal. Don’t stop at written content. Just like you would do if you were selling a home, entice potential customers with photos, videos, and virtual tours. Use eye-catching visuals to pull them in and pique their interest in your services.
In the age of social media, being strategic about your marketing is made much easier by targeted paid advertisements. Increase your visibility in a specific city or region by harnessing the power of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and their kin. Having more eyes on your business in the same general area can quickly turn leads into sales and sales into happy customers - and happy customers will want to refer their family and friends to you.
Keep the process going
Even if you complete the five steps above with flying colors, your rebranding journey isn’t over just yet. It’s an ongoing thing that will continue long after you put out your last wave of fresh new content. Getting feedback on your new brand is important, especially when the feedback comes from members of your target audience. Hearing out their comments can give you fantastic ideas for little adjustments and additions you can make to your plan. It’s also helpful to look into how your business performs post-rebranding to see how great of an impact it has on your bottom line.
Rebranding is no small feat. It will be challenging and at times frustrating, but don’t feel down about the bumps you hit along the way. Instead, think of it as an exciting new chapter in the life of your real estate business. It’s an opportunity to engage with your clients, bring in new clients, and keep on attracting leads as your company continues to prosper.