The Importance of Real Estate Branding
Your brand is, in essence, your reputation, or how the public perceives you based on direct or indirect experience. It establishes your credibility and authority, inspires trust among customers and prospective talent, and attracts new real estate agents to join your brokerage.
“I partnered with Sotheby’s International Realty, which is one of the biggest premium brands on a global scale. It carries a lot of cachet,” says Dave Dubbin, senior vice president of sales at Sotheby’s International Realty in Toronto.
“But even when partnering with an industry leader, you still need to raise individual brand awareness. Clients don’t see the brokerage you’re associated with; all they know is, ‘I work with Dave and he’s my guy.’ So you have to let people know what you do and that you’re good at it – whether that’s through old school door-knocking and buying billboards, or leveraging social media and building your sphere through social and athletic clubs.”
While strong branding is based on much more than a snazzy logo or colour scheme, aesthetics still play an important role in grabbing – and holding – a potential client’s attention. “Nowadays everything is done online, so your brand has to be visually appealing,” says Josh Gibson, a Winnipeg-based realtor with Goodfellow Realty whose brokerage recently underwent a rebrand. “It enhances your professionalism and polish. It looks good for recruiting and it looks good for clients too.”
A visually appealing brand that captures the ethos of your company should extend from your logo and your website to your business cards, yard signs, and billboards.
“We have a very prominent brand in the marketplace, which has taken over 17 years to build. We market ourselves all over the internet with 10 websites, a significant radio and TV presence and billboards across the city. As a result, our brand is top-of mind for consumers and agents alike.”
– Justin Havre, Justin Havre & Associates of RE/MAX First
Five tips to build brand awareness for your real estate business
Building brand awareness is a powerful tool to not just let people know you exist but to also entice them to do business with you. Here are five essential real estate branding tips that will set you apart from your competition.
1. Refine your brand
Look for ways to keep your brand relevant to the changing times and the demographic you serve and/or wish to attract. MoveSnap, for example, allows brokers to personalize the platform with their headshots, logo and other branding, so that clients recognize MoveSnap as an extension of your brand.
It could also entail updating your colour scheme, getting brand new team headshots or even launching a podcast. You may wish to identify a niche and then position the company as an expert on the subject through publishing blog posts or giving media interviews.
The key is to not just continually work on improving your brand but also to make sure that your efforts are being communicated to your talent so they can represent it consistently, as well as to your existing and prospective clients.
2. Share your values and company culture on your website
Create a page on your website that is dedicated to communicating your values and company culture to prospective new employees. Using specific key words or posting a call to action to follow your brand on social media can allow your business to become more visible on search engines like Google. The more links that lead to your site, the higher your ranking will be in online searches.
3. Engage in storytelling through video and social media
Harness the power of well-produced videos and social media platforms to highlight your company culture, profile members of your team, and communicate your successes to wider audiences.
Whether it’s a video embedded on your homepage or a sleek Instagram Reel, videos entice your audience to stick around longer, promote engagement and are a proven game-changer for lead generation. In addition to providing a better visual and interactive experience, social media enables instant communication with potential realtors through the message function. This reduces any barriers to initial contact.
4. Make your employees your brand ambassadors
Get to know your realtors, their long-term goals and what gets them up in the morning to go to work. Taking the time to plan team events and opportunities to connect shows your authenticity and willingness to listen, which in turn can motivate them to share their enthusiasm for your brand online.
Throwing your support behind causes and charities that are meaningful to them can also turn your brokers into brand ambassadors. “We’re the leading team in North America for donations to the Children’s Miracle Network for the Alberta Children’s Hospital,” says Justin Havre of Havre & Associates of Re/Max First in Calgary. For every transaction and sale, the brokerage makes four community donations – two by the agent to the Children’s Miracle Network and Legacy Place, and two by Havre himself.
5. Enable your brokers with the tools and expertise they need
Provide your realtors with the tools and expertise they need to see themselves as part of, and aligned with, your brand. Show that you are invested in them and their success by giving them access to the latest software (offering MoveSnap to your team is a great place to start, hint hint!) and ongoing learning opportunities to improve their social media mastery and other skills.
Sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter that summarizes the company’s wins, goals and other highlights keeps everyone in the loop while making it easy for them to share on social media. Consider creating an easily accessible digital folder with shareable content and photos that your real estate team can tap into any time.
A strong organizational brand will foster pride in those who work for you already and make them more likely to communicate it to potential new talent who will take notice.
Read more in our series on Attracting and Retaining Top Talent in Canadian Real Estate Brokerages
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgement of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ventures Inc. or its affiliates.