Many associate branding and real estate branding with creating logos, different designs, business cards, and more.
But without a brand, there is no branding to be done.
So what is real estate branding in the first place?
Your brand is a customer’s emotion when thinking about your product.
Thus real estate branding is the strategy you use to create first value (your product/service) for your customers, which causes positive emotions about your real estate business over time.
But let me bring this point home with a short story.
It happened on a nice and friendly spring day in April 2017. Dr. David Daos had to take a flight with United from Chicago O’Hare airport to be at his hospital the next day to do what doctors do.
Before his flight that day, he’d never imagined how fast this flight would end for him.
Everything went smoothly with the airline and its slogan, “Fly the friendly skies,” until it wasn’t so friendly anymore.
The poor health professional was removed not so healthy but in a rather forceful way from the flight.
The reason: United needed four seats to accommodate four crew members flying out the following day and several passengers.
Of course, the passengers who had to leave the flight were picked randomly because no one wanted to give up their seats.
Did United have an excellent logo? Yes.
Did United have a great slogan? Absolutely.
Did United have excellent marketing materials in print and web? Sure.
Did they have a consistent color scheme in all their marketing? Yes, that too.
So, they must have had a good brand with great branding, right? Not at all.
Many websites you can find on branding for small businesses refer to creating logos, and/or doing an overall rebrand.
But do you create a great brand just by creating new branding?
What Is Real Estate Branding?
According to a highly recommended article from INC, your brand is a customer’s emotion when thinking about your product.
That’s interesting because that also means you must create the right emotions for your product or service to create a brand.
Should you come across a nice-looking real estate website with a nice logo and design, you might get a comfortable feeling about the company at first.
But then you get to know the people behind the business and find out they don’t know their stuff and can’t help you.
The initial good feeling gets strongly framed with an overall bad feeling when getting closer to experiencing their product or service.
When this happens, any effort on your behalf to apply a real estate branding strategy to fix a crappy customer experience with your product or service won’t solve the problem.
On the other hand, suppose a customer really likes how you handle complex real estate deals for duplex investment properties.
Suppose you know that this is the case.
In that case, you can use the branding toolbox to amplify this experience with different ways of communicating through logos, taglines, websites, colors, etc.
Does Having a Branding Strategy for Real Estate Make Sense at All?
You need to know your target group or customers’ feelings when they think about your product or service.
Hence you need first-hand knowledge about your customer’s experience with your product or service.
Suppose you base your branding efforts on assumptions and not real knowledge about your target group.
In that case, it might be only wishful thinking, and you’ll send contradictory messages when customers experience your product or service.
Take my website, for example.
It’s still quite a new website. I have an idea of you, the reader, because of my experience with the real estate industry.
But the site’s name might still tank, and so could the tagline.
The “Practical Real Estate Marketing Strategies That Give You An Edge” slogan is my “why” of this website.
With time, regular visitors to this website might attach an emotion to that tagline or the logo and name when thinking about it.
Then they might connect this emotion to the name and logo for “Hacking Real Estate Marketing.”
This might happen or might not.
I don’t know anything about emotions yet.
It would be too premature if I wanted to focus on branding efforts, thinking about other logo versions, colors, font styles, etc.
Besides that, it almost certainly would be a waste of money and time because I would base all this work only on assumptions that may or may not be valid.
What does that mean for you?
This means that you don’t need to focus on a real estate branding strategy or branding efforts too early because you don’t know what your target group feels when thinking about your product or service.
A better idea might be to focus on conversion and a great customer experience, as you can read below.
This comes with time and consistently providing a great product or service.
That’s also why large brands like Coca-Cola didn’t start with a massive branding project too early.
They had a long history of providing a consistently excellent product to their customers, most of the time.
Let’s Check Some Underlying Assumptions for a Second
There is one central assumption many small businesses make, in our case, real estate businesses.
It is fueled by the feeling they must work on their real estate branding strategy or many articles about branding (often coming from agencies).
It’s most likely that the proper branding will build trust with new customers and present ones, which will help grow their business.
What does growing a business mean?
It means either converting more leads into paying customers at the same price points or converting the same amount of leads into paying customers at higher price points and at a higher profit rate.
The curious thing is that you can create a brand even with bad branding and a reasonable conversion rate.
But a great customer experience with your products or services is required.
Just for the sake of offering you something complete, I thought about the three elements, branding (logo, tagline, design, etc.), conversion rate (based on copywriting and/or sales), and brand (based on customer experience).
These are the possible combinations. You can have…
- Bad branding, a good CR, and a bad brand (not too likely)
- Bad branding, a bad CR, and a good brand (also not too likely, I guess)
- Bad branding, a bad CR, and bad brand (don’t be this)
- Bad branding, a good CR, and a good brand (probably the most economical one)
- Good branding, a good CR, and a good brand (probably because you were the one before this point)
- Good branding, a bad CR, and a bad brand (this means you wasted money on branding)
- Good branding, a good CR, and bad brand (here, something in your customer experience with your product/service should be fixed)
- Good branding, a bad CR, and a good brand (likely because of copywriting and/or sales issues)
With number 4, you can see that you can have a crappy website with a bad logo and design but a reasonable conversion rate.
This requires good copywriting and/or sales, a good customer experience with your product/ service, and a good brand.
By the way, here are five examples of ugly designs that convert pretty well.
I don’t know whether they are good brands either because I don’t know about the customer experience with the products.
So maybe after reading this article, you’ll want to take a closer look at your real estate branding strategy.
You may want to go for it if you already have several years of excellent customer experience history.
Everyone else might want to focus on creating a good customer experience and on great conversion rates.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.