The Power of Estate Agency Branding

25.02.20 09:49 AM Comment(s)
Branding is literally everywhere you look. No matter where you’re reading this, you need only glance up and you will find yourself bombarded by icons, logos, and wordmarks. With so many competing for your attention, it’s no wonder that businesses will spend close to £450 billion on branding this year, and almost 60% of their marketing budgets on their brand. They are willing to spend this because they understand that brands tell a story, and that story is what people actually buy. A good brand...
  • Improves Recognition
  • Creates Trust
  • Supports Advertising
  • Builds Financial Value
  • Inspires Employees
  • Generates New Customers
How does it accomplish all of these things? Because a brand tells a story in miniature about who you are as a business. It makes an emotional connection that resonates with people and causes them to respond favourably to you. Knowing your own story is invaluable to creating a good brand, but it’s also good to know the story your competition is selling.

Branding for estate agents

Brand Marketing
What’s the Story here?

Online estate agencies, for example, have built their story on words like “convenience”. Their adverts tout 24/7 access, flexible scheduling, and more to drive home the point that they are more convenient than the traditional brick and mortar shops. Sure, they also pitch the low cost feature, but they understand that this is not their main selling point, it is merely a detail which supports their story.

The reason they’ve chosen this element as the core of their story is because they’re aware of statistics that have defined a few of the pain points felt by UK home buyers and sellers such as

  • Agents not returning phone calls – 41%
  • Impersonal service – 23%
  • Inflexible working hours – 21%
  • Agents not being conveniently contactable (via text or email) – 14%
  • Showing properties that don’t fit their requirements – 41%

By telling theses potential customers that they are “convenient”, they create a story that resonates.  When Apple computers released their famous “1984” advert, they mounted a direct attack on their competitor’s story. IBM and Microsoft were purveyors of “corporate solutions”, and Apple knew that they could never compete in that arena, so they simply didn’t. Instead, they gave consumers a new choice, “think different.” By doing so, they became the tech company that catered to individuals, not corporate drones.
Defining the Subtext

Traditional brick and mortar estate agencies can learn something from Apple’s strategy. Apple attacked the subtext of their competitor’s story, which was about the in-distinctive nature of the corporate world, and sold something more unique. Subtext, by definition, is not overtly stated, which makes it difficult to pin down, but also easy to alter.

Online estate agencies sell themselves as “convenient”. They make the argument that technology gives them an edge over traditional brick and mortar agencies. This would be a great argument if we lived in a world where businesses had to choose between being one or the other, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

For good or ill, technology has many facets, and each of these facets can be thought of as its subtext. “Convenience” is certainly one of the more positive aspects, but tech is also often considered “cold” and “impersonal.” Online agencies have recently woken up to this reality and now offer “local experts” as part of the services they offer. In other words, they now have to try and mimic what brick and mortar estate agencies have been doing for years.

Whether they realise it or not, those traditional estate agencies have been building their brand over the years and decades they’ve been in business. Much of that branding has been sub-textual in nature. For example, they don’t have to claim to be “local experts” because they’ve been in the community for so long, everyone assumes, rightly so, that they already are local experts. It’s an intrinsic part of their brand.

For years, this was enough. They survived on word of mouth and by cultivating relationships with families and friends, providing them with solid customer service over generations. These days, however, brands can no longer rely on their subtext. They have to tell customers a story and make themselves heard. So how should they approach this challenge?

It’s clear that online agencies have realised that they lack a personal presence and are scrambling to fill that gap. Again, if we lived in a world where businesses had to choose between the technological and the personal, traditional agencies might be in trouble. Luckily we don’t. As online agencies struggle to establish themselves as “local experts”, the true local experts simply need some tech in their corner to put them on an even playing field.
Branding Stationary
How Rezi Boosts your Brand

No one can tell you what your brand is. It’s the core story of who you are as a company and you alone can tell the world what it is. That’s the hard part. The easier part comes after.

Rezi was designed around a principle we call “one version of the truth”. Normally when we use that phrase, it means keeping all of your client’s information on the same page, so to speak. But it also applies to the way that Rezi keeps your branding consistent automatically. Because of its power and flexibility, Rezi can ensure that every email, every brochure, and every document you care to produce looks like it came from the same place.

To do this with traditional software would mean a LOT of copying and pasting across different files, and even then, some programs have different font families that won’t match others, or the colours could be slightly off. Rezi can automatically apply your custom settings to everything it produces for your business, doing a superior job in far less time.

From your website to your printed materials, Rezi ensures the consistency of your brand. This is how good branding creates trust and inspires employees. It makes people feel like part of a team. Think about it this way; your favourite football club doesn’t run out onto the pitch all wearing different colours. They’re a team. They present a unified front. This is why branding experts advise businesses to stay visually consistent.

Rezi can also help your brand sharpen its image. Because traditional estate agencies typically operate within a community, they are able to claim a more personal approach than online agencies. A big part of that claim would be based on providing personalised service and great customer support.

As mentioned above, 41% of UK home buyers and sellers think that agents often show them properties that don’t fit their requirements. Rezi’s sophisticated algorithms are designed to match clients to properties with a much higher degree of accuracy, meaning that they see only the types of properties they want to see. If your business can do that consistently, “personalised service” becomes an intrinsic part of your brand story, one that your clients will tell their friends and family.

The traditional brick and mortar shop is uniquely positioned to tell a story that revolves around personal relationships. Online agencies can never match that value, and they seem to know it. Their only advantage is technology, and Rezi is fully capable of putting that power in your hands.  This leaves your business with more time and energy to focus on providing excellent service that improves your brand and helps reach new customers.