Special offer

Sellers and Buyers Do not Confuse Reputation with Brand

Real Estate Agent with Dirt Road Real Estate SA676002000

Seth Godin provides this definition of brand that being:

“A set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

I agree yet there is something else that needs to be addressed.

Vacant land or home sellers along with real estate home buyers may select a franchise real estate brokerage because of the marketing of its expectations, memories, stories, etc., but that does not necessarily equate to the real estate agent's reputation within that or any brokerage.

People buy from people they know and trust.

The “brand” that being “REALTOR® or some franchise brokerage may open the door to making that decision to know and then select a particular brokerage. However, only through personal interactions will trust develop between the two parties. The development of that trust is directly connected to the reputation of the real estate agent.

In real estate the brand for many agents is “REALTOR®.” These are licensed real estate agents who are due paying members of local and state real estate associations along with the National Association of REALTORS®.  Being a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, creates a brand for each agent, but not necessarily reveals that real estate agent’s reputation.

Currently the NAR brand is under scrutiny due to the plethora of copycat lawsuits. Due to this scrutiny, real estate agents must now further demonstrate to their potential clients, customers, their reputation, their character, their willingness to go the extra mile.

Additionally, the brand for some agents may be the franchise real estate brokerage when compared to a local "boutique" independent brokerage. 

When sellers or buyers are seeking an agent to handle a real estate transaction, word of mouth often is the main driver of that selection. Again, people buy from people they know and trust. Sellers and buyers will “buy” the referral of family members and friends who have worked with a particular real estate agent in lieu of one that they have not worked with.

Yes, there are professional real estate agents out there whose word is their bond, who will go the extra mile to ensure a successful real estate transaction to the satisfaction of all parties. And yes, it may take time to discover that real estate agent with a solid reputation, but that effort is well worth the investment of your time.

Feature Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Any reproduction of Leanne M Smith’s blog for use by any AI or GAI, distribution or reproduction including but not limited to electronic newsletters e.g. PDF’s Internet sites or physical products e.g. newspapers, CDs without prior written permission and consent by me, Leanne M. Smith (Leanne Hoagland-Smith) is strictly prohibited.


Posted by

Leanne M. Smith, MS, GRI, rCRMS

2018 KGVAR Rookie Realtor of the Year-55+
219.508.2859 MST
Life Begins Where the Pavement Ends
Connect with me on LinkedIn:

Comments (8)

Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Leanne. The franchise brand may make an introduction, but searching for the reputation of the agent is the key to success or failure. Enjoy your day.

Feb 23, 2024 05:35 AM
Leanne Smith

That is so true and the key is to search for the most professional real estate agent. May you also enjoy your day.

Feb 23, 2024 06:07 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Leanne,

It is so important to research agents and often a personal referral will find you the most professional agent. When friends, family and colleagues have used the same agent numerous times there is probably a good reason why and good reason to interview them.

Feb 23, 2024 06:20 AM
Leanne Smith

Personal referrals are the best both positive and negative. Agree all real estate agents should be interviewed as should all potential clients should be interviewed. Not everyone is a good fit.

Feb 24, 2024 07:17 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

There are many successful agents who are actually terrible Realtors. They simply do not do a good job. But, because they are successful, they get business. Consumers fall for the branding, rather than digging to discover that small agent who will go the extra mile for them.

Feb 23, 2024 06:28 AM
Leanne Smith

Isn't that the truth?  I believe their success is often fairly easy sales or they have people behind them who make the transaction successful.

Feb 24, 2024 07:17 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The one advantage of a brand is for people that are going into an area they don't know and feel they can do better for themselves with a brand they recognize. That is guaranteed success only 50% of the time.

Feb 23, 2024 06:37 AM
Leanne Smith

Very true about the brand being recognizable. And yes I believe your percentage is accurate. It is a throw of the dice.

Feb 24, 2024 07:16 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello,  I left a brand name company in 2015 and it did not hurt me at all,  I get lots of referrals from past clients and other agents in other states.


Feb 23, 2024 08:34 AM
Leanne Smith

Good morning Will Hamm and a business built on referrals will last for years.

Feb 24, 2024 07:15 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Reputations are earned over years and can be ruined overnight.  Something we must be aware of on a daily basis.  M

Feb 23, 2024 01:23 PM
Leanne Smith

So true, such as one negative review must have at least 5 to 10 positive reviews to reverse the negative perception

Feb 24, 2024 07:15 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Leanne, I worked for a boutique firm in Boston, MA,, then when we came to Los Angeles, I worked for another boutique firm who sold to a National Brand, which I left after less than quality Manager took over.... and now I have been here with my current brand for about 12 plus years or more.... No One ever asks me what Brokerage I work for. They come to me because of my reputation Endre

Feb 23, 2024 10:26 PM
Leanne Smith

Exactly and that is how it should be. Thank you and good morning.

Feb 24, 2024 07:14 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Reputation seems to be much more important than brand and I want to always have a good reputation, couldn't care less about my brand, haha.  So many brands used to have a good reputation, but now their reputation is one filled with evil, for example, Disney, haha.

Feb 24, 2024 04:23 AM
Leanne Smith

Yes brand can change. There is always Dr. Seuss whose brand is still very good. I agree with you reputation is far more important than brand.

Feb 24, 2024 07:14 AM