What does your branding say about you?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Brick Road Visuals: marketing, virtual tours, photography

Everyone talks about the importance of building your brand. Some companies achieve this with their logo, can you say Coca-Cola - red, silver, swirly letters and you know who it is without even reading what it says. Or their spokesman - you see the young face of the Mac guy (the 7-Up guy or the Dell guy from a few years back) and you know what's coming before he even says anything.


Branding is not only designed to let people know who you are, but also who you want to deal with. Let's face it, the Mac guy doesn't say "We want to deal with price conscious shoppers" - no, he says "We want to deal with those who are modern and cool - no geeks here - who don't feel need to do what everyone else does.'' Wal-Mart's branding does not say "We want to deal with elites who must be perceived as having the best of everything", it says "We want to deal with those who are only concerned with price".

There are markets for both, so both are fine. But the point is - what does your branding say about you?

If your business identity tells potential clients "We want customers who only care about price" that's what you are going to get, so be ready to give it to them. If it says "We want quality conscious clients" that's what you are going to get, so be ready. If it tells potential clients "We want clients who are modern and elite" that's what you are going to get, so again, be ready.

Many of my clients use professional photography and 360° virtual tour services, not only because it helps sell the homes faster, but because of what it says to potential clients.  My clients' branding says "I want customers who are looking for an innovative, high quality, and far reaching representation when selling my home".

And I've had some tell me flat out that they did not want that kind of expectation. That's not the kind of clients they were looking for, they wanted clients who wanted traditional good ol' boy representation.

It's OK either way. I just want them to know who they are trying to speak to, and to make sure their branding is speaking to those people. It's when our branding says one thing, and we say we're looking for another that we run into trouble. If you seek clients who desire the very best in customer service, but your branding looks cheap and always mentions "lowest price" or "sale", you are going to clients who are only concerned with price, and quite frankly, you won't have the means to serve them the way you want to. If you want price shoppers your branding can't look expensive - it will scare them off and they won't trust you. If you want clients who are excited and passionate about the services they are looking for, your branding can't says "mundane, and boring".

I'm not saying that any types of clientele are bad, after they all need to be served. But if your branding is bringing you a different crowd than you are looking for, you are only going to have headaches. And the improper branding will be what drives your business in the direction it goes.






Sandy Jagmin

Brick Road Visuals

Professional Virtual Tours in Northwest Arkansas



Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mark Rienzie 03/12/2010 05:36 AM
  2. Jamelah Jackson-Alam 03/16/2010 06:40 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
The Art Of Marketing You
Arkansas Real Estate
NWA Realtors Forum
Real Estate In SW MO
Razorbacks in Real Estate
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Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Morning Matt,  Effective branding is important and probably not well understood by most agents.  Your photography is outstanding.

Mar 12, 2010 02:59 AM #20
Michele Rose
Rose-Colored Staging - Mount Holly Township, NJ
Burlington County Home Staging & Redesign

Great post!  I think there are a lot of agents out there that don't really think about what kind of branding they have.  We are always sending messages in everything we do-- but what are clients getting from those messages?   

Mar 12, 2010 03:23 AM #21
Matthew and Sandy Jagmin
Brick Road Visuals: marketing, virtual tours, photography - Bentonville, AR
Marketing, Virtual Tours, Photography

Ron and Alexandra - I completely agree that it has to be genuine.  People can spot a fake a mile away.  But that doesn't mean we can't be in control of or deliberate about our message or the things that represent us. 


I'll never forget the flyers I received in the newspaper for Black Friday a few years back.  I got 3 from Walmart.  1 flyer had gift items under $20, one had gift items over $250, and one had products priced in the middle.  The thing that struck me was that the under $20 flyer was printed on cheap thin newsprint, while the over $250 flyer was printed on heavy, glossy almost card stock paper - and of course the mid priced items were printed on mid-grade paper.  I can't help but think the reason is that people who are looking for "cheap" are going to pass over the heavy glossy paper without even looking at it because it feels expensive.  While the "luxury" shoppers would pass on the thin paper, again without even looking at it, based only on the feel of it. 

That, to me, seemed very deliberate.  And probably a good move.

Mar 12, 2010 03:54 AM #22
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Intereseting perspective.  I agree with a lot of what you have to say.

Mar 12, 2010 03:57 AM #23
Eugene Adan
Adan Properties, Carlsbad, CA (760) 720-9710 - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate

Sandy and Matt,

I'm not sure what our branding is doing for me at this point.  I need to sit down and really get clear on this.  Thanks for the insights.

Mar 12, 2010 05:22 AM #24
Fred Sweezer Sr.
Hud Certified 203K Consultant - Long Beach, CA
Certified Home Inspector

I appreciate your insights, Thanks

Mar 12, 2010 05:59 AM #25
Dana Smithers
PRES Staging Resource Centre - Vancouver, BC
PRES Staging Training, Redesign Training & Busines

Whether you spend thousands of dollars on branding or not - you are your brand so like it or not, every single thing about you gives a message to your prospective clients. As a stager our 2 primary client groups are home sellers and realtors, and they start to know about our 'BRAND' from the very first contact we have with them. This includes all of our marketing materials such as our website, business cards, banners, email signatures, our phone message, etc  - our clothing, our car and on it goes.


Do you like what you are saying about yourself? If not, invest in finding a professional to help you brand so you are:

  • Consistent
  • Clear on your message based on your values
  • Authentic
Mar 12, 2010 06:22 AM #26

http://www.RoyalRealtyTrust.com      .....just   me  .

Mar 12, 2010 07:10 AM #27
Alexsandra Stewart
Remax equity group - Portland, OR
Broker - Portland Oregon Real Estate

Nice post -- am thinking or rethinking branding right now as I am part of a team now, and have had an individual brand for ages. One of my dilemmas is how to incorporate or retain a bit of me in that new look.  Thanks for all the thoughts.  COmments were useful too.

Mar 12, 2010 07:40 AM #28
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Our blogging does the same thing... what you blog about will attract those who seek the same content.  From now on I'm only blogging about very expensive properties with no flaws, and cash buyers who are easy to get along with!  lol

Mar 12, 2010 09:20 AM #29
Ginger Moore
Wilkinson & Associates Realty - Gastonia, NC

yes, very true, nice post. congrats on feature!

Mar 12, 2010 10:39 AM #30
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Hi Sandy and Matt,

I appreciate your take on branding but I feel professional photography is absolutely essential for every listing no matter who you're trying or not trying to market to.


Mar 12, 2010 05:05 PM #31
Jody Moore
Blue Shirt Photography | SendOutCards - Lexington, KY
Good post. I'm working hard on my branding. I want people to see my logo and know who they are dealing with. This is not easy when you are starting from square one.
Mar 12, 2010 09:49 PM #32
Matthew and Sandy Jagmin
Brick Road Visuals: marketing, virtual tours, photography - Bentonville, AR
Marketing, Virtual Tours, Photography

thanks for your comments, guys.  A lot of comments have mentioned logos, and it is important to have a distinct one, but branding is so much more than that.  Everything we do in business, every message we send is branding.  From our advertisments, to our blogs, to the events we attend, to our appearance, to the materials we hand out, to the technology we use, to the people we hang out with...

I feel like a logo is a very small part of that. 


Susan, while I'd love to see that happen, my point really was more that it markets to a certain type of person whether you intend it to or not.  When you do (use a photographer) it's branding and speaks to a certain group of people, and when you don't it's also branding and speaks to a different group of people.   For example, home buyers who are not "price only" buyers are looking for something to fall in love with, they want to see professional photography because it helps them fall in love with the home many times before even visiting it.  While the only home buyers I've seen that did not appreciate and respond to professional photography were price shoppers who wanted bad photography so that no one else would be interested in the property and they could get it for a steal.   I know which buyer I'd rather market to.



Mar 13, 2010 01:54 AM #33
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

I agree with Dana, and others, every single thing we do is branding. When people 'see' us their perception of us has begun to form. Whether they see us in person, virtual, online, through our listings, our words.

Mar 13, 2010 02:24 AM #34
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Very well put Sandy.  Thanks for the input.  I will definitely have to think about what my branding is saying about me.

Mar 13, 2010 07:42 AM #35
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Not sure how I found your post, but we are in the process of creating a brand and you have made some great points here about branding, as well as the commenters. Thanks to all of you. I'm going to check out elance.com - they might be able to help us.


Mar 13, 2010 02:54 PM #36
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Great post!  I need to go back yet again and take another look at whay I am attracting...

Mar 15, 2010 02:52 AM #37
Debra V. Edwards
edwards builders and realty, inc. - Cashiers, NC
Realtor/Builder, Cashiers, NC., Highlands, NC., Glenville

Our company logo is one that my husband drew...it is a carricature of a big footed horse pulling a wagon with a bumble bee around his face with a curious stare....when my husband said "why do you want to use this as your logo?"  I said it spells all over it, that we are fun, animal lovers and just pure T genuine....that was 30 years ago, before branding was such a popular word.

I have never regretted that branding in our logo...without saying a word.  debra edwards


Mar 17, 2010 09:55 AM #38
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

True branding is outside of the scope of most small business marketing plans.  Marketing geniuses Jay Conrad Levinson and Dan Kennedy both teach small business to focus on low-cost, direct response Guerilla marketing, and if branding happens by accident, so be it.  But if you try to spend your diminutive budgets on branding as a small biz it will leave you broke and looking for work.

Jul 25, 2010 05:15 AM #39
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