Branding: Subtle Secret to Explosive Marketing

When I hear the word software I think of Microsoft.  The mention of soft drink means Coke or Pepsi to me.  Mention search engine and Google pops into my mind.  So how do you make your name pop into people’s minds when they hear the mention of Real Estate?

It’s Called Branding

Branding is the immediate association of a business name with its product type.  In Canandaigua, New York Cathy McWilliams means a successful Real Estate Experience.  In Springfield, Illinois Kyle Killebrew brings successful Real Estate to mind.  In Lahabra Heights, California it is Jan Fiore.  These Agent brands are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe more.  Can you establish a brand in your market in the same way?  Yes, you can.

Consistency is the key; consistency of your graphics and consistency of the experience of you.

It’s More Than a Name

To Xerox something means to make a copy of it.  You also believe that you can depend on a Xerox machine.  A Kleenex means a facial tissue.  You expect Kleenex to be decent quality.  When you Google (which is now a commonly used verb) you are confident that you will find what you want.  These brands are both recognizable by their name, their logo, and they are associated with dependable quality and service.  All of that, the name, the look, and the quality of service are all part of their brand.  A Real Estate Agent’s goal is to have the people in their market (which in most cases is simply their Spheres of Influence and farm areas) associate the mention of the Agent’s name, or seeing the Agent’s “brand” with a positive and successful Real Estate experience.

It takes more than a name, a slogan, or a logo.  A successful brand is also the promise of something verifiable by the consumer as they work with the Agent.  And to distinguish the Agent, the promise must be above the minimum expectation of quality.  For a Real Estate Agent, that means more than a basic level of service, attentiveness, and expertise.  So, how do you both create a recognizable brand and raise your quality of service above the basic levels?

Brand Graphics

Creating a successful look or visual brand is called Brand Graphics. It is not as intimidating as it sounds. Think of a Coke or Pepsi logo. It is a combination of a design, font, and colors.  And the Brand Graphic does not change for years or even decades. A Real Estate Agent’s Brand Graphics are also a simple combination of design, consistent font, colors, and use of their picture.  (View Agent branding samples.)

Brand Experience

Creating a successful Brand Experience is also easier than it sounds.  Many Agents have already done this and don’t realize it.  Think of your favorite store, restaurant, hair stylist, website, etc.  The way they greet you, speak to you, interact with you or in the case of a website, the navigation; there is consistency that you recognize and depend on.  When you call the Real Estate Agent, Thomas Howe in Lawrence, Kansas, you’ll hear some variation of “And a grand good day to you?” or “Hello and a glorious good morning.”  The way an Agent answers the phone, conducts their listing or Buyer presentation; the speed and frequency of communication, giving of gifts, how they report progress, use video or social media, all contribute to the experience of the Agent.  Consistency of that experience establishes their Brand Experience.

Be careful.  An Agent wants to choose the most positive experiences to construct their Brand Experience.  The way to discover which experiences to make consistent is to ask.  Call your Clients from the past year or two and ask the following questions.

In addition to learning the best experiences to build your brand around; you are making a strong professional impression and you will likely generate some referrals.

Ask, what they had heard about the way you do business? What do they remember most? What did they like and appreciate?

If they were to refer you, what would they say are the best things about the way you do business? Why did they choose to work with you? What do they think would be important for you to keep on doing, do more of, do differently, or stop doing?

Consistency is the Key

There is an important principle in marketing that says, ‘the time when you are getting bored with your brand is about the time when it is just beginning to work.’  Remember how long Coke, Pepsi, Kodak, Godiva, Google, and other extremely successful brands maintain their Brand Graphics and Brand Experience.  It is measured in decades.  Choose your brand characteristics and, unless there is a very compelling reason to change; keep your brand characteristics for at least two more years after you are feeling bored with them.

You Don’t Have to…

Finally, whenever I teach or coach marketing I ask Agents to write this down.  “You don’t have to get it perfect.  Just get it going.  And keep improving it.”  The way you do that is to choose deadlines.  By when will you have your web design chosen?  By when will you have your postcard designed?  By when will you choose the photo you will use?  Then, stick to those deadlines and move on to the next decision.  Keep it moving and you will realize that getting it going and then improving it, is a key to success in your marketing.

Rich Levin is a Real Estate productivity expert. His marketing expertise has transformed many average Agents into top Agents.  Rich conducts a free live 15 minute webinar every weekday morning to help Agents instill successful habits into their business.  Every Wednesday the webinar topic is marketing and branding.  You can register at  For coaching or speaking opportunities contact Rich at 585-244-2700 or

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