Real Estate Guide: Branding

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A Realtor should think of himself as a business and treat his work as such, complete with branding and marketing initiatives that will set himself apart from the competition.

Why Brand Yourself?
Branding is a method of gaining name recognition and boosting reputation through the use of recognizable images and language. By building a brand for your real estate business, you’re establishing a professional presence that’s memorable and makes a killer first impression.

When you look more professional on paper, in the media, on your website, or on a billboard, you create a perception of quality service in the minds of your potential clients – so you’ll be at the top of their list when it’s time for signing on with an agent. For these reasons, Realtors with robust brand awareness also typically get more business.

Defining Your Coverage Area and Specialties
Many Realtors achieve a greater level of success by branding themselves as specialists in a specific geographic area or property type. Some Realtors, for instance, specialize in luxury condos or high-end properties. Others focus on a region or even a few neighborhoods within a larger metropolitan area. This tactic establishes you as a credible authority on properties fitting your specialty, earning you a bigger piece of the market share when it comes to buyers and sellers relevant to your niche.

Even if you’re taking a broader approach, defining your coverage area and areas of expertise is important.

Outline your services, including:
– The areas you serve (cities, neighborhoods, metro areas)
– Your specialized expertise (luxury condos, managing rental properties, short sales and foreclosures)
– Your target audience (income and education level, new buyers or existing home owners, budget, financing types)

When you convey your specialties in your brand messaging, you’ll attract buyers by creating an immediate connection between their needs and your expertise.


Creating Your Logo
Your real estate logo design doesn’t have to be fancy and sophisticated, but it must be noticeable. Creating a logo is a process you should take seriously, carefully considering how incorporating different colors, shapes, images, and taglines impact your audience.

A logo becomes an integral component of your brand image. It should be memorable and compatible with both web and print. Create a logo that’s capable of withstanding the test of time – incorporating current trends that are likely to disappear means you’ll be back to the drawing board for a redesign. When you change your brand images, you’re taking a step backwards in terms of brand recognition. So weigh your options carefully and select elements that have staying power as well as those that you can live with long-term.

Colors are Key for Memorable Logos
Color is one of the most important factors in a logo because they create subconscious perceptions in the minds of your prospects. Think about walking through a department store. Notice how different bright colors are used for attracting shoppers’ attention and indicating certain price levels. Red, for example, is often used for clearance items, while a bright, vibrant yellow might indicate a temporary price-cut or limited-time discount.

The same holds true for traffic signs – red means stop, green means go, yellow grabs your attention. The color associations you make in your environment have a subconscious effect on how any logo, image, or advertisement makes you feel.

That said, most Realtors opt for evoking feelings of trust and reliability in their brand imaging rather than anxiety or disarray. Research shows that colors can be as much as 85 percent of the underlying reasons people choose your business over another, and colors can increase brand recognition by as much as 80 percent.

Shape and Symmetry Round Out Logo Effectiveness
Colors aren’t the only element of a logo that makes it or breaks it. Also consider shapes and symmetry. Like colors, shapes play a role in the emotions conveyed by your logo. Images that are symmetrical are, as a rule, more aesthetically pleasing.

Asymmetrical images, including logos, can put off a sense of disorder or disorganization – and that’s not an impression you want to make.


Advertising Methodologies
Now that you’ve created a logo as the foundation of your brand image, you can use it in all your marketing communications and visual advertising. Realtors benefit from using a combination of different advertising tactics.

Offline Advertising Methods
Traditional advertising methods still have a valuable place in a Realtor’s branding campaign. The list below includes the most commonly used offline advertising tactics along with the percentage of Realtors who use each method, at least occasionally.

– Newspaper – 28%
– Home books or magazines – 18%
– Television – 5%
– Yard signs – 52%
– Open houses – 44%

Many Realtors use these tactics for promoting their listings, so the competition is fierce. A single exposure to an ad isn’t very effective, so consistency is key.

The frequency with which you should use each advertising strategy depends heavily on the local market conditions, habits of your target audience, and the conditions surrounding each listed property.

Plan your marketing campaigns with these variables in mind. The average home search takes about 12 weeks – so ensure that your advertising messages are frequent enough for reaching the same buyers multiple times throughout their search.

Online Advertising Methods
Sticking to only traditional real estate advertising is a good way to miss out on a huge portion of your target audience, as more consumers are turning to social media and the web at large for evaluating brands, companies and services. In fact, 90 percent of home buyers use an online search at least once during the home buying process.

There are several online advertising tactics Realtors take advantage of, and many of them are free or low-cost and easy to implement:

– A company website
– Local business listings
– Social media marketing
– Review websites, such as Yelp
– Pay-per-click advertising

A company website includes costs for a domain name and hosting, as well as the cost of hiring a web designer or purchasing a professional real estate template. Fortunately, Ubertor provides you with beautiful and functional templates allowing Realtors with minimal technical skills to easily maintain their own websites.

Pay-per-click advertising, or purchasing ads that appear in the search engine results pages based on the searchers’ queries, are sometimes an expensive advertising tactic. This is especially true if you work in a populated metropolitan area where the competition is high for commonly used search terms like “Vancouver real estate,” “Toronto condominiums,” and similar geographic-targeted terms. Still, pay-per-click advertising can be a highly effective marketing strategy for attracting targeted prospects to your business website.

The other marketing tactics mentioned above are free, requiring an investment of only your time. Setting up company pages and local business listings across major social media networks helps your business get discovered by avid social networkers who rely on their connections for recommendations. With Facebook incorporating a more robust search system, having a Facebook Business Page is valuable for more visibility. Likewise, Google+ is now more important for search engine visibility, so creating a Google+ business page is a recommended tactic.

Branding is a must for successful Realtors. The most-established and sought-after Realtors in many areas are typically those who treat their careers as a business and actively manage and promote their brands using a variety of online and offline tactics. With some careful planning and strategizing, your brand image can make a lasting impression and drive targeted clients to your door.

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