Become the local area expert your clients need
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Building a strong real estate brand that effectively appeals to your target market and clearly differentiates you from your competitors, is one of the most important investments for any estate agency. Therefore, whether you are creating a new brand from scratch or redeveloping an existing one, you need to consider a few simple branding ‘do’s and don'ts’.
When designing your company’s logo, choose a graphic design company with extensive experience and a strong portfolio that corresponds with exactly what you want.
It is tempting to select a graphic design company based on the cheapest rate, however do not base your decision on price alone. Instead, base your decision on experience, suitability and capability. The cheapest option, is more often than not, the least professional and skilled. Many companies also make the mistake of doing it themselves with the use of Desktop Publisher software or a template logo services. Avoid these options at all costs as these types of designs look unprofessional and generic, and in a real estate environment where you need to be authentic to stand-out, you need your logo-design to be unique and memorable.
One of the best ways to brand an estate agency is through for sale or to let boards. Considering that these boards help your real estate company to build trust with your target market, boost your local brand awareness and increase your chances of acquiring new clients, they need to stand-out, be visually appealing and unique.
However, a board that is cluttered with too much information, colours and designs will render your board ineffective as it will fail to capture and hold your potential client’s attention. Whilst it is tempting to include as much information as possible, you need to keep it simple to ensure that your brand and its aesthetic appeal isn’t lost in the clutter.
The main purpose of a print ad either in a newspaper, magazine or flyer is to create attention and communicate a single marketing message about your real estate company through clear, concise, informative and enticing advertising. To achieve this, your adverts need to promote a singular and focused message, and most importantly, it needs contain imagery suited to the message. This allows for your ad’s message to be clearly communicated to its intended audience.
Saturating your ad with too much information will result in multiple messages being promoted all at once, and since your ad was meant to promote a singular message, this causes it to lose its purpose amid the clutter of unnecessary words and messages. In the end, this will confuse your audience and they will lose interest in your advert and turn-over the page to something more intriguing.
Car branding (or vehicle graphics) plays an integral role in raising brand awareness through captivating graphics that grabs the attention of other motorists and potential clients. Therefore it is vital that the make and model of car you brand, along with the type of person who drives the car, is an accurate reflection of who you are and what your brand is about.
A reckless or inconsiderate driver, who has your company’s branding on their vehicle, will undoubtedly reflect negatively on your company’s reputation. Since your name is on the car, your brand automatically becomes related to the manner in which the car is being driven. Thus, a bad driver will cause fellow drivers and pedestrians to perceive your real estate company as irresponsible, unreliable and untrustworthy.
The space in which you and your employees work is a significant indication and reflection of your company and its professionalism. It is here that you interact with clients and therefore it needs to be welcoming, clean, presentable and well-designed to ensure that it is an accurate reflection of your company’s brand.
A cluttered and unhygienic office will create revulsion among your clients who will view your inability to take care and pride in your office space as a direct reflection of who you are and the level of service you offer. It is up to all employers and employees to ensure that your office is always neat, clean and presentable.
Your website is a highly visual tool, therefore the images and colours that you use need to appeal to your visitors and entice them to explore the site further. Use images that are licensed, high-quality and coherent with your brand, and colours that are along the same colour palette. Ultimately, your images, colours and tone must tie in to your brand’s message and aesthetic appeal.
If your images are illegally downloaded off the internet or are poor quality and don’t match with your brand identity, your website will lose its visual appeal, and this will result in website visitors choosing to interact with a competitor’s website over yours.
Your email newsletter subscribers want to read short concise summaries of your content, with a clear call to action, good visuals, and links to the full articles. The content needs to be useful, relevant and engaging. Also ensure that your newsletter is mobi responsive so that it can be delivered and read on both desktop and mobile devises.
A long winded email newsletter with pages and pages of scrolling text with little or no images or links will not engage your subscriber base and would therefore be a wasted marketing exercise.
Don’t forget that Facebook is a “social” media platform that provides you with an opportunity to create a persona for your brand and start a conversation with current and potential clients. Therefore, it is vital that you adopt an indirect sales approach on Facebook and keep your posts social and authentic.
Don’t hammer your audience’s News Feed with new listings and direct advertising or else they will consider this spam and quickly ‘un-like’ your Facebook Page. Rather use this social media channel to position your company as the local property expert and offer free community and property news and advice.
Always remember that your real estate brand is reflected in everything you do and say. Therefore, it is vital that all your marketing efforts are consistent, clearly reflect who you are, appeal to your target market, effectively communicate your marketing message and uniquely identifiable as they will have a direct and significant impact on how your staff, clients, shareholders and the public in general perceive your real estate company.