Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Brand Touchpoints and Real Estate Agent Marketing - How to Avoid Hidden Dangers

That which is not intentionally branded may be accidentally branded. This can pose dangers in real estate agent marketing. But why? What are some examples?

Last time I drove past a sandwich shop in the local area, I noticed someone standing next to the garbage having a cigarette - namely, the guy who prepares the sandwiches. That is rather unappetizing, and tarnished my impression of the brand.

When your message are inconsistent, your brand equity is damaged, because you let doubt intrude about your ability to live up to your brand, your promise. At my hometown bank, the "k" in their sign hasn't lit up in months. Don't they care? Or perhaps they can't afford to fix it? This reflects more broadly on their business. Will they pay more attention to their ATMs - or my deposits, for that matter? I don't care to find out!

When every contact you have with potential home buyers builds on the previous messages you have imparted, you make the customer experience ever more robust. That is consistency in brand messaging.

This doesn't have to be expensive. I recently met a copywriter with a unique visual style. Her business card is shaped like an exclamation point, her brand symbol, and lists some copywriting tips on the back. I'd expect to see creativity and intentional branding in her office, work for clients, web site, email signature and her presentations.

Here's the branding opportunity for real estate agent marketing:

1. List all your brand touchpoints. Brainstorm for awhile so you don't leave any out.

2. Decide how each touchpoint should communicate your brand promise. For instance, if one of your differentiators is efficiency, you could return calls within three hours, have a value statement about efficiency on your business card, and strive to provide tools through your web site that help home buyers increase their efficiency. Have fun and be creative as you think about this.

3. Begin to implement your ideas. And remember - follow through all the way. Rather than do 60 things halfway, do a few things completely.
4. Enjoy the rewards! Well-branded real estate agents enjoy clients who appreciate them more, pay premium prices, refer their friends and are more
loyal. This will increase your profits and reduce your spending on realtor marketing.

For your brand to be effective, you have to communicate your differentiators until potential home buyers know them in their sleep.

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