David Ogilvy called a brand “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” More than just your name, logo, messaging and color scheme, your brokerage’s brand is how people feel when they walk into your office, interact with your employees or respond to your materials. The sum of your brokerage’s attributes—every single interaction people have with your company—speaks volumes about the services you provide. Your brand is a promise to your clients as well as your team.
But why should you care about your brokerage’s brand? The point, after all, of everything your brokerage does is to provide excellent service to your clients by closing deals efficiently and effectively.
What does a “brand” really do that old-fashioned relationship building can’t?
A well-defined brand is not just a “nice to have.” According to research from Millward Brown, 30 percent of the stock-market value of companies in the S&P 500 index is attributed to branding. This means that the development of a solid, recognizable brand can drive significant ROI for your brokerage.
Beyond the monetary value of strong branding, brands are also necessary for brokers to be successful in their work. A consistent brand makes a broker’s job easier from a marketing perspective, as it provides them with a foundation to leverage when building relationships and working to close deals. And brokers are keenly aware of the value of selling under a reputable brokerage’s name. In fact, when considering the value of a strong brand, according to consultancy group Reputations Corporation, 80 percent of employees say they would work for less pay for a company with an excellent reputation.
From a client’s perspective, a clear brand is more attractive than an inconsistent one. The more professional and reputable your brokerage’s brand, the more trustworthy you’ll be in the eyes of potential clients and investors. And how you present yourself reflects how you’ll present a client’s properties.
Just like brokers prefer to work with reputable brokerages, clients prefer reputable brokerages to manage their properties.
The proof is in the numbers: 72 percent of consumers say reputation influences their buying decisions and a whopping 89 percent say reputation is a tiebreaker between equal products. That type of reputation can only be built through consistency.
Understanding why your brokerage’s brand should be consistent is only the first step. Next, you actually have to set the wheels in motion to achieve that consistency.
Consistency starts with standards. Take time to set your brand standards and create a style guide for everyone in your brokerage to follow. This will include the obvious: fonts, color scheme, logo usage guidelines and messaging. Additionally, list each of your stakeholders’ touchpoints with your brokerage and ensure that there’s cohesion in brand presentation across every platform. This list should include everything from your collateral, website, elevator pitch, how employees of your brokerage answer the phones, all the way to your overall culture.
Once you’ve established your brokerage’s brand standards, continuously reevaluate everything your brokerage does to ensure that it’s on target with the image you want to put out to your stakeholders. To do this, you can revisit your style guide annually, biannually or every quarter, compare it with the materials you’re putting out and make adjustments accordingly. You can also conduct client and broker surveys to gauge brand perception in comparison to your brand goals.
Your brand presentation also extends to how you promote your clients. And as your brokerage grows, you’ll need a tool to help maintain that consistency. Take it from one of our clients, Rhonda S. Butler, a marketer with Lightle Beckner Robison, Inc.: “Buildout has been the answer to our marketing dilemma: ‘now that our company has grown our listings, how can we ever market them all professionally?’ With Buildout, we can.”
Buildout works with your brokerage’s team to establish your brand and develop dynamic blueprints for quickly and easily creating brand-consistent materials. So, once you nail down your brokerage’s brand with the consultation of our designers, you’ll have the necessary tools in place to take your brokerage to the next level.