In real estate, every brand delivers the same ultimate net result – the purchasing or sale of a home. So, if every brokerage basically delivers the same service, how do you attract consumers to your brand over others? How do you differentiate your messaging when every “product” does basically the same thing? Also, how do you ensure that the customer experience with your brand will be consistent when the experience is delivered by independently minded real estate agents? These are three very important questions to pay attention to if you are interested in scaling your business.
Real estate is not alone in this challenge. Think of the laundry detergent section in your grocery store; every detergent gets your clothes clean, yet there are TONS of them on the shelf? Why? Each one of them has carved out a unique niche to convince the grocery store chain they are worthy of placement on their shelves. Real estate brokerages need to identify a meaningful, customer-centric benefit they can deliver that is true to their brand and yet meaningfully different than competitors. Not an easy task, but it can be done. We have helped tons of brokerages, tech companies and even MLSs figure out how to differentiate themselves from others.
Let’s discuss how to get started down a path toward brand differentiation.
What makes your Brand Different?
The first question you need to ask yourself is, what makes my company different? When you think about the culture and service philosophy of your company, what makes yours unique? What are you most proud of? What do you think your agents say about your brand when they are talking to prospects? These are important questions to ask yourself before you can build a brand messaging plan or customer experience plan.
What do Consumers Say About Your Brand?
It is very important to understand how the real estate consumer perceives your brand. You must differentiate those that chose to work with you – versus those that chose to work with another brand. Ask those who are considering a purchase in the next 12 months; renters are a critical group for feeding your future sales opportunities as well. With consumer research you can uncover your key brand perceptions, as well as compare strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. WAV Group is the largest independent consumer research company in real estate today. If you need help, reach out and we are happy to help you put together a research plan.
What do your competitors say about their brand?
While branding is a lot more than a slogan, the tagline that each brand chooses gives you a look into what they prioritize in their communications.
Here are some examples of the phrases/mantras in real estate today as a starting place. Do the same exercises in your local market to identify what your strong, local competitors are claiming as well.
Sampling of National Brokerage Brands
Compass: Find Your Place
Keller Williams: Find Your Dream Home
Coldwell Banker: Search for Homes in your Neighborhood
eXp: Find Your Home, All the help you need for your home buying journey
Zillow: Change Starts Here
Redfin: Find Homes First. Tour Homes Fast.
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services: Our network knows great homes
Century 21: Don’t Settle for Average
Why does your Brand and Messaging Matter?
Some brokerages we talk to are not interested in doing the hard work to carve out a unique position in the marketplace; they are worried that they will somehow limit their agent’s opportunities through focusing on their message. They say that consumers buy from agents, not brands So, why does my brand matter? With an ever-increasing amount of competition and business models entering the real estate space, that attitude is very myopic and dangerous. Think about your own behavior – does brand matter when you buy a car? Do you appreciate the consistent experience when you travel from one Marriott Hotel to another? Are you excited when your favorite Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream flavor delivers every time? That’s what brand consistency can do for you, too.
How We Can Help?
WAV Group can help you identify and clarify what you deliver to produce raving fan experiences. The evidence we gather is likely to be what you already know, which may or may not be the experience you really want to deliver. This information forms the foundation of your Brand Messaging and the ultimate service experience you are striving for.
If you are interested, give us a call and we can help you take your brand and your growth opportunities to a whole new level.