It’ a question that is crucial if you want to grow your business. In an industry that has seen mammoth changes over the last twenty years with economic boom and bust and the advent of new technology, estate agencies have to be constantly striving to improve to avoid being left behind. If you’re not happy being just another estate agency and have ambitions to grow and be the best, it’s time to start acting. And the best place to start? Branding.
Your brand is what people say about your business, so if you can turn your brand into a positive and dynamic one, it can not just revolutionise how you do business, it can give you the opportunity to grow. And it can turn your good estate agency into a great one.
Here are 4 key areas you need to be thinking about:
In a competitive market such as estate agency where often customer confidence can be low, it’s not just making a promise that can differentiate one brand from another, but having a defining purpose. We’re not talking about bland generic statements such as ‘helping customers to sell their property quickly, easily and cost effectively’. What’s important when working out and defining your brand positioning is why do you wake up every morning and go to work? What is it that excites you about your business? You then need to translate this into something that speaks to your customers. A great example is Amazon:
“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
It sums up Amazon really well doesn’t it? You need to do the same for your estate agency.
Consistency is key to branding and taking your estate agency to the next level. There are two key areas you need to keep a close eye on.
Consistency of design – Your company logos, colours and designs need to be 100% consistent across everything you do. So that means interior and exterior signage, logos, letterheads, for sale signs, business cards etc. Anything less significantly detracts your agency’s brand proposition.
Consistency of message – In your marketing, and especially on social media, the key to being consistent is this: Avoid taking about anything that doesn’t relate to or enhance your brand. Your messages need to be consistent and cohesive. No more funny pictures of cats! Instead, engage with issues relevant to your audience.
Along with this consistency however, you need to be flexible too. That means being open to the changes that will inevitably occur at some point in the market. Flexibility can revolutionise a company. If you’re over a certain age, you may remember that Skodas were a car most people wouldn’t be seen dead in. However, following them being taken over with by VW and a change in their marketing and branding strategy, they’re one of the world’s most popular cars as well as being recognised as being well built cars that are great to drive. They’ve even won car of the year!
Employee engagement is allied to consistency of your estate agency brand. Ensure that your employees understand what you want your estate agency to stand for, its values and its beliefs. Involve them at all stages of the process because if they feel included, this will ensure that they’re 100% behind taking your business forward. If your employees are consistent with the brand of your estate agency, it is a powerful weapon in driving your business onwards and upwards.
You may not think that loyalty is as important in estate agency as in some businesses. Houses aren’t something that people buy on a regular basis, so it’s best to concentrate completely on new customers surely? Well you could say the same about cars couldn’t you?
In his book, ‘The Art of Persuasion’, Dr Robert Cialdini tells the story of Joe Girard who has been classed as the world’s greatest car salesman, averaging more than 5 cars sold for every day he worked. Joe understood the importance of his customers liking him, which in turn would lead them to trust him and be loyal to him. As well as offering them a fair price and a person they liked to buy from, he did something that at the time was quite extraordinary. He would regularly send them personalised cards, whether it be birthday cards, Christmas or Easter cards with a little personal message written inside. It’s a human trait to be flattered, and this small, personal gesture was enough to ensure that nearly every one of his customers, the next time they were looking for a car came back to him and him alone. Old fashioned? Maybe. Effective? Definitely. We’re not saying copy this strategy exactly, but what does your company do to attract customer loyalty?
If you’d like advice on branding or design for your estate agency, then don’t hesitate to call us on 0161 908 7695 or email [email protected]
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