Branding isn’t just a strategy employed by Fortune 500 companies and Texas cattle ranchers: it’s a key component to small business and real estate investing success. In fact, having an arsenal of tested, proven real estate branding ideas not only allows you to position yourself in a crowded marketplace, but improves your ability to take advantage of financial opportunities when they happen.
But how do you establish your real estate brand identity? How do you avoid many of the personal branding mistakes that plague most small businesses? Perhaps even more importantly, how do you market your brand when you don’t even know what your business might look like?
Here are three real estate branding strategies you can use to boost exposure, increase leads and differentiate yourself in even the most competitive of markets.
Real Estate Branding Ideas That Work
1. Let Folks Know What You Stand For
Many residential redevelopers think personal branding is about the products and services they sell — and shouting from the rooftops how great those products and services are.
However, according to Forbes Magazine, the most effective branding strategies aren’t about screaming the loudest, but instead, focusing on the core principles of your business. As the wildly popular publication put it, business “today doesn’t come down to what you sell or what you do. It’s about who you are and what you stand for.”
That’s because everyone you encounter in your business life — potential clients, future partners, the barista who makes your morning latte — are all looking for something more: the feeling they’re part of something larger than themselves.
By aligning your brand to a set of core values — that are about more than just making a few, quick bucks — you’ll link your current venture to a powerful vision. (Something even more powerful than your triple-shot morning latte.)
Quick Tip: Pull out a piece of paper. At the top, put the words “We are about…” or “I am about…” and brainstorm different ways you can express your core business principles.
2. Forget Jargon, Tell A Story
One of the common pitfalls when developing a real estate branding identity and establishing what you stand for is the temptation to fill your marketing message with buzzwords; those annoying platitudes one picks up at marketing conferences and business blogs along the small business journey.
However, as Antonio Damasio, professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California, has found, a majority of people make decisions based not on reason or objective analysis, but how they “feel” about a decision.
As Psychology Today detailed,“People are capable of rationally processing information about alternative choices; but are unable to make decisions because they lack any sense of how they feel about the options.”
Nothing pulls on the heartstrings like a good, old story. Especially one in which you detail your personal journey and how you got from “there” to “here.”
Quick Tip: Spend less time on synergistic platform integration and spend more time crafting your personal business narrative. Link up core values to your personal experience.
3. Acknowledge The Elephant In The Room
Sometimes the most powerful real estate branding ideas aren’t about establishing who you are, but about establishing who you are not.
No matter what rung of the small-business ladder you happen to be on, you’ll face a situation in which you must try to convince somebody to do business with you — to “convert” them to your way of seeing the world — only to encounter massive resistance and skepticism.
Even if you’re selling your customers something they desperately want — a concept, a new rental property, the hottest new album — there’s a big business elephant in the room messing up your business transaction. That is: Customers are more afraid of being taken advantage of than they are of taking advantage of a great opportunity.
They’re afraid of:
- Unethical business owners
- Huge, uncaring corporations
- Generic (non-customized) solutions
- Product and services that aren’t made for them
The key is to realize that this resistance isn’t personal, and acknowledge the elephant in the room; make it clear you are not that peanut-eatin’ pachyderm they have grown to fear.
Dollar Shave Club did this brilliantly with their successful marketing campaign based not on what they are, but how they are not like those “overpriced shave tech companies” that charge $27 for a pack of three razors. Subway did something similar, with their “Eat Fresh” campaign, when they rebranded as a fast food alternative.
Remember, the point is not to be mean or slanderous, but rather acknowledge, in every sector of business, there are people who don’t go about it the right way; that cut corners and provide overly generalized solutions; that don’t have the vision and dedication to their customers and clients that you do.
Quick Tip: Find the elephant (the unsavory element in your business that creates resistance for your customer ) and let ‘em know that isn’t what you’re about. This will be some version of a competitor who doesn’t have your customer’s best interests in mind.
Good Branding Creates Happy Customers
Branding isn’t just a one-way conversation in which you do all the talking, though many companies approach it that way. It’s about giving your customers clarity, focus and the ability to reduce the amount of options available. (Despite what most people say they want less choice, not more.)
If you’re able to deliver a crystal-clear message about what your business is about (and not about) and stay true to yourself, you’ll have learned the ultimate lesson.
The best real estate branding ideas aren’t about “selling” — they’re about inviting potential customers to a conversation. (And it’s a conversation that can make your business more successful than you can imagine.)