Real estate branding is the best way to stand out. In a competitive market, flashy ads, dazzling flyers, or snazzy websites aren’t enough alone. If you don’t have a brand that unites each component, you’ll be left with a scattershot smattering of ideas. Without unity, even your best ideas will become forgettable.
Branding can often feel abstract and amorphous. Depending on who you ask, branding can be everything (your website! your voice! your smile!) or nothing.
In this article, we’ll break down real estate branding in a way that makes it tangible and actionable. Consider this your starting point. We’ll explain a framework for approaching your real estate branding strategy via three methods that make it all work. Once you have this foundation, your real estate branding can evolve with your business and your creativity.
1. Consistency is central to your real estate branding strategy.
Consistency is what separates a professional branding effort from an amateurish one.
You might have a bunch of genuinely great ideas, but if your flyers don’t look like your business cards, and your business cards bear no resemblance to your website, and your website doesn’t feel like you, then your potential customers are only going to be confused.
Look at Brown Harris Stevens, for instance, a real estate company in New York City. You can see at a glance that they thought carefully about their fonts, color, and logos.
More importantly, they’ve threaded those decisions throughout every branding instance the company produces. When you see a Brown Harris Stevens ad, you can tell it’s one of theirs from only a glance.
Even in person, their branding communicates their presence. It’s identifiable and stands out, and they’re careful to make the branding consistent without being repetitive.
As a real estate agent, there are a ton of materials you use every day to build leads and get the word out. If you’re committed to succeeding with your real estate branding, you need to make sure that whatever brand you’ve settled on appears across your flyers, website, ads, and promotional materials.
Effective branding encompasses the first flyer a customer sees to the last conversation they have before closing. Even your emails, helped by real estate email templates, should align with your overall brand.
If you don’t have the money to invest in a marketing agency, you can achieve this consistency fairly simply. Find a color or font that stands out (and remains legible), and use it across your materials. Consistent branding could be as easy as being the only agent in your area who uses a particular shade of orange. If you carry it (tastefully) throughout all of your marketing efforts, your brand will quickly become associated with that color.
Consistency is the foundation on which you start building your brand identity.
2. Craft a brand identity that stands out.
Building an identity is a precondition for building customer relationships.
As many skills as you might have and as much value as your company might offer, customers will always have a hard time recognizing your brand if it doesn’t stand for something specific.
Take a look at The Geeky Girls, a real estate agency in North Carolina. Their commitment to a logo and color scheme carries through their website, their logo, and their (popular) T-shirts. This visual identity isn’t only consistent — it means something.
The Geeky Girls brand communicates something specific about who their customers will be working for and what that experience will be like.
It’s easy to assume an identity with this level of specificity is risky. What about geeky men? What about non-geeks?
The secret behind building a brand identity is that your number one goal is standing out. That seems obvious at first glance, but it’s all too easy to market yourself into blandness.
It seems logical to make your brand appealing to everyone. But something that everyone likes means it’s something no one loves. Your brand identity is your reminder that your goal isn’t to appeal to everyone (you can’t). Your goal is to appeal to your customers.
3. Invest in video.
You probably have doubts about getting out the camera: Video seems expensive, difficult, and easy to get wrong. How many awkward commercials have we all seen, laughed at, and shared? Text and pictures seem safer.
But that difficulty is what makes video worth the investment. It’s unlikely that your competitors will have the time, energy, or creativity to make videos work. If you do, you’ll stand out.
Take a look at The Boutique Real Estate Group. They take the time to create beautiful videos, collected in the “film” section of their site.
These professional videos make their company and their listings stand out in a sea of forgettable ads and pictures.
There are a few ways to make video production less intimidating. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer native video functions that make it easy to upload, edit, and share videos. You can also use tools like Vyond to make high-quality animated videos.
If the videos you make are successful enough, you can even consider video blogging. Video blogging isn’t just for YouTubers—companies are using video series to make their work more tangible and their employees more approachable. As the millennial generation ages into home-buying, video blogs might be a great way to make the home-buying process appear more accessible.
Video is an under-appreciated way to make the rest of your branding efforts come alive in a vivid way.
Real estate branding pays off
Unlike other marketing and sales efforts, real estate branding won’t have an immediate, obvious return on investment. After putting together an expensive video, making all of your imagery consistent, and deciding on an identity, your profit line won’t immediately leap higher.
Real estate branding is part of a longer-term strategy to make your business sustainable. It takes time to solidify: People will have to see your brand a few times to build an association, and the rest of the business will have to operate successfully to follow through on the identity you communicate.
Once your brand takes hold in your customers’ minds, it’ll be easier to build an audience and make each subsequent marketing effort more effective. When other companies try to compete with you, your brand will help keep your customers loyal. With the right investment of money, strategy, and patience, real estate branding will pay off.