Does it really matter what companys name is on the for sale sign?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

 

 

Does it really matter what company/brokerages name is on the for sale sign?

Do buyers even care who the listing office is?

Is it the listing office name/logo that actually gets the property sold?

 

I am constantly hearing these questions asked and the answer is always the same,

"No, the company name/logo does not matter".

There are many agents in the world that believe to this day that their company name and logo is what sells the property. Are they wrong? I guess it really depends on who you ask. Just for kicks, I decided to personally ask 20 random agents from various brokerages as well 20 random people who were not in the real estate industry. Obviously my little study did not take much effort to conduct, but the responses I received were just as I suspected. 100% of the responses said that they did not think the name or logo of the company mattered. The knowledge, marketing, integrity and customer service of the individual AGENT is what gets the property sold!

As a Realtor, of course I am going to support the image of my brokerage, but to actually think that the Keller Williams name and logo alone will sell my listings is completely ascenine. I believe this is the same for any brokerage in existance. Sure, you will have agents here and there that will tell sellers otherwise, but some agents will do anything to get the listing these days. It will take a VERY uneducated home owner to actually believe such a statement, but it is what it is. As Real Estate professionals, it is our duty to not only service our clients, but to educate them without being misleading.

Again, it depends who you ask because there are still people that believe otherwise. Realistically, there are sellers who will favor a specific company/logo because of local familiarity, personal preference in color/name/sign design, etc. These are the same people that will buy a car simply because of the name and not care how bad the reputation is or the fact that it only gets 7 miles to the gallon. It is a sad truth which is why I am posting this blog. If you are ever out and about and you hear somebody ask these questions, please be that knowledgeable voice that politely cuts into the conversation :-)

 

THE KNOWLEDGE & SERVICE OF THE INDIVIDUAL "AGENT" SELLS THE HOUSE, NOT THE COMPANY NAME OR LOGO!

 

 

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Rainer
3,020
Hunter West
KW Commercial - Wickenburg, AZ

Ahh the power of branding!! I personally dont care what brokerage brand has a property listed, just as long as the property suits my buyers. Though I have lost listings due to the fact that we are not a "national name."

Jul 21, 2008 11:24 AM #1
Rainmaker
238,510
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

You hit it one the nail, it is the reputation of the Realtor that gets the deals done.

Jul 21, 2008 11:24 AM #2
Rainmaker
44,589
Stanley Barsch
Realty Executives Premier - Silver Spring, MD
Realtor, GRI - 240.882.8512

Peter - The name Keller Williams is a great broker to get your listings sold.  I say that the name of the company does matter, and in big ways.  Here in Montgomery County, Long & Foster reportedly is making 2/3's of the sales.....and overall in the entire DC Area has about 30% of the market share (area agents chime in if my numbers are way off).  So for that alone, I think yes the name does matter.  Just my personal opinion.

Stan Barsch

Jul 21, 2008 11:26 AM #3
Ambassador
704,802
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Hold on Peter - I'm not so sure I agree with you.  I'm one that's proud and sure that Prudential Carolinas Realty is a very definite deciding factor for both sellers and buyers here in the Triangle. 

Prudential Carolinas Realty is a name with solid name recognition.  A buyer driving by a Rock Solid in Real Estatelocal unknown real estate company's sign may not even realize it's a home for sale.  Some of these signs look like they could be anything from landscapers, tree cutters, to painters!  And driving by them at 35 mph you don't have time to read the small print. 

On another side clients moving into an area such as the Raleigh - Cary real estate market will gravitate towards a firm they know and trust.  So I'll have to be one that votes for a strong company name. 

Raleigh Realtor - Pamela St. Peter

Your Raleigh Connection!

Jul 21, 2008 11:27 AM #4
Rainmaker
310,262
Marilyn Katz
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - Westport, CT
ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com

Peter- Certainly,buyers who see a house, they like, don't care whose name is on the sign.  A homeowner, on the other hand, is often more comfortable going with a known entity. The specific agent they choose is of prime importance but they'll choose that person from a known firm.  Branding does matter.

If I'm choosing a mobile phone provider, I'm more likely to go with AT&T or Verizon than Ding-A-Ling Phone Service.  My computer choice is more likely Dell or IBM than Short Circuit PC.

My local stats, back this up.  Of the year-to-date sales, in Westport, 67% were listed with one of four, well known brokerages.  The other 33% of unit sales was divided among 13 other firms.

Jul 21, 2008 12:28 PM #5
Rainmaker
81,392
Rick Fifer
Vintage Homes Realty - Tampa, FL
Broker/Owner, Vintage Homes Realty

Peter-

I agree. As much as people would like to believe a big name counts, it has a small impact.  Most folks have come to realize the brand is not nearly as important as the agent. I started with an independent brokerage and quickly surpassed most of the heavy hitters in my market. Switched to another larger independent, still doing just as well.  I must be doing something right when I had CB broker's daughter come to me to buy her home with her parent's help.

With a good personal reputation you can make it regardless of the name on the sign, only the older sellers seem to think the brand will sell their home.

check my site www.athomeintheheights.com  I've been at this for 3 years most of which has been during the worst market in 60 years!

Jul 21, 2008 12:49 PM #6
Rainer
15,629
Peter Mann
Keller Williams Realty - Bellevue, WA
Peter Mann Seattle-Bellevue Real Estate Agent

Thank you all for you quick responses to my blog! Since I am a very opinionated individual, I ALWAYS welcome the opinions of others so long as they have one :-)

As I stated in my posting, "it depends on who you ask". Obviously this topic can be argued by both sides and my personal opinion is clear, but it is good to hear that more people disagree with me then I would have originally thought. This is good stuff! I love Active Rain! 

After hearing a few responses, it is clear that branding is much more important in specific markets across the country. I figured it might be, but here in Bellevue (across the lake from Seattle) as well as the surrounding areas it does not seem to matter much. Sellers will obviously list with an agent and company they are most comfortable with, but the company name and logo itself is not what sells the proeprty. As agents, we pride ourselves on our customer service, our knowledge and our ability to sell property. If an all star agent leaves the biggest and most respected brokerage in the area and signs on with a hole in the wall brokerage, does that eliminate the agents top performing reputation and ability? Of course not! They will most likely be able to provide a better service than a mediocre agent from that same respected brokerage. John L Scott, Windermere, Coldwell Banker and Remax seem to be the most commonly recognized signs from what buyers and sellers tell me, but buyers continuously say they do not care whos name is on the sign. They are not going to set up tours for only John L Scott listings just because of their name and logo. They are not going to make offers exclusively on Windermere listings just because of the name and logo. If they like the house, they like the house regardless of the listing office name and logo on the sign.  Again, homeowners need to be educated on this topic and that was the purpose of the posting. If branding is the sole reason that homes sell in your market, please disregard this posting because it does not apply to you :-)

If all you needed was a sign in your yard to sell your home, there would be no such thing as real estate agents. I would personally like to see a national study performed of 1 million random home owners. The one question that should be asked is "did you buy your home because of the company name and logo on the sign?" I would be very curious to see how many people say yes. Think about it... as Real Estate agents ourselves, most of us have purchased a home to live in. Now ask yourself... did you buy that house solely because of the name and logo on the yard sign? Did you buy that house solely because it was listed with a brokerage that you like? Of course you didn't! You bought it because you fell in love with the location, the giant master suite, the view, the gourmet kitchen, the 3 car garage, the boat house on the dock in the back yard, etc.

Marilyn in Westport made a good point when she said that "sellers"will feel more comfortable with a known entity and I agree, but the question at hand was not "does the listing office name and logo make the seller more comfortable?" Obviously sellers are going to list with who they are more comfortable with, but the point I was trying to make is that we need to educate any home owner that may have his/her blinders on. I feel that every home owner should know the truth and not be led to believe that the company name and logo on the yard sign alone is what is going to sell their home. As Stan in Montgomery County mentioned, Long & Foster has about 30% of the market share. Does that mean that the remaining 70% fails to sell simply because they did not list with Long & Foster? If that was the case, EVERY home owner in D.C. would list with Long & Foster and there would be no such thing as competing brokerages. Obviously there are excellent agents in the D.C. area that are getting houses sold and do not work for Long & Foster. For a Long & Foster Agent to tell a seller that Long & Foster signs alone will get your house sold and not the agent you hire is balogna (that was not intended to offend any Long & Foster agents, that was simply an example) :-) I can use myself for the same example. If I were to tell a Seattle home owner that Keller Williams signs and logos alone will sell their home, I would be lying. Even if I worked at John L Scott or Windermere, I would be misleading the home owner if I told them that my company name and logo alone is what is going to sell their house.

I could ramble on about this topic forever and I am sure many will disagree with me until we all turn blue in the face. That is the beauty of Active Rain and I am loving it already! What a great way for agents all over the country to come together and debate various topics from each of our markets. The shared ideas and opinions are not only appreciated, but very helpful!

THANKS AGAIN TO ALL WHO REPLIED!

 

Jul 21, 2008 04:58 PM #7
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Rainer
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Peter Mann

Peter Mann Seattle-Bellevue Real Estate Agent
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