3 Ways You Could Be Putting Your Real Estate Brand at Risk During the Busy Season
As the real estate market gets busier in the coming months and the demands of the day are building, there are a few areas that are critical to not neglect. There’s a good chance that you’re making first impressions with future clients every day. Maintaining your brand quality standard is not a seasonal investment; that’s why it’s called the standard. Consistently displaying top notch service throughout your brand experience aids in preserving your position as a top producer throughout the year. Since we know you're already feeling the pressure of the busy season, we've found a few sources to help you avoid three common ways you may be putting your real estate brand at risk as you become increasingly busy. Pay some extra attention to each category and help ensure your reputation remains intact.
Your Brand Starts to Look Sloppy
Presenting your brand the same way across every platform is important. This includes everything from the flyers in the box in front of every home you’re selling to your social media profile and header images. There are many opportunities to show uniformity and allow you to build on the momentum of being a recognizable brand. Aside from the essential practice of including your logo, some other areas you may not consider are color, tone of language, and quality of your collateral. When you're producing more materials as the market heats up such as just listed and just sold postcards, flyers, and others, the increase in marketing material volume also means an increase in spend, which can make it tempting to start scaling back on quality. Here are three things you don't want to let slide.
RIS Media: Branding Consistency: Color is Key
“In the real estate business, color is key when creating customer communications across all platform. Consistent color branding imparts a professional and memorable brand impression that resonates with your prospects. Xerox research reveals that color improves brand recognition by up to 80% and increases comprehension by as much as 73%.”
The language you use as a company is important - both to minimize confusion and to set the standard for your professional tone. Consider the culture of your brokerage and reflect it in the tone of your messages. Then, think about the type of clients you’d like to attract, and communicate with using language that would both attract and make them feel comfortable. Tone should be established early on, and can be essential for social media channels where people are interacting with your brand in casual setting.
Your farming area may receive multiple direct mail pieces if their neighborhood is a hot market. When the time comes for them to select their realtor, there’s a good chance they’ll want their home represented in an impressive way on printed pieces. Some aspects to consider when choosing a printer are image quality, color consistency, paper weight, and possibly size. These details communicate almost as much as the overall message. Since direct mail and flyers are an in-hand peice, look and feel can help the response rate by attracting and standing out among the rest. Your printed materials need to represent the quality of service you bring to the table regardless of the price of the listing - and how busy you are.
You Let Your Marketing Campaigns Fall Apart
Experienced marketers know that it takes time to see results from any campaign. Building awareness and getting an audience to engage takes time. The most effective way to invest in marketing is to do so on a regular basis using multiple channels. If your pipeline is not constantly being built, you could look up after a busy season and find yourself with an unfortunate lull in sales.
Leading Agent: CONSISTENCY Should Be The First Concern With Any Real Estate Marketing
“Every successful business in the universe plans ahead. They may be involved in a certain marketing activity at this particular moment, but I guarantee somebody at that company is already working on the next thing. Our firm for instance is generally working 3-6 months into the future, at any given time. As Realtors®, you wear many hats. Because of this, we suggest that Realtors® always have their marketing plans set up and planned out for a minimum of six (6) months and hopefully twelve (12) months. The reality is that you are very busy and there are only so many hours in the day. Because of this, the most effective use of your time is to work with your marketing team/outside marketing partner and get all this stuff done at once.”
Multi-channel marketing garners results because it reaches an audience in multiple settings, unifying the experience and minimizing the chance they could miss you all together. It also helps to keep your brand top of mind because your audience may see it multiple times in one week. Once the homeowner you’ve been farming is ready to list or buy a home, you will have a better chance of being remembered when they think about realtors they know in the area. Being present on and offline also helps increase your word of mouth referrals. A postcard on a kitchen counter can spark a conversation and a Facebook post could be viewed by a client just before catching up with a friend looking to sell his or her home. Consistently maintaining these channels helps your brand get noticed and utimately remembered.
Your Relationships Suffer
Top agents know that so much of this business is about who you know. As with many sales positions, building strong relationships with a large network of people can source leads as well as bring more opportunities to your attention. Aside from always being professional and respectful, there are additional things to remember when times get busy that help maintain your position in a community.
Market Leader: How Community Involvement Can Help Your Real Estate Business
“There are two types of community involvement that real estate agents typically gravitate toward. First, there are the agencies and individual agents that give money to a cause and consider it “community involvement.” Their websites typically boast that they’ll give “$100 from every home sale to the Breast Cancer Foundation!” or “Fifteen percent of my commission to the local humane society!” That sort of giving is admirable, and a boon to the charity recipient...The type of community involvement that other agents gravitate toward is hands-on volunteerism: the boots-on-the-ground, belly-to-belly, nitty-gritty of community involvement. While neither of these types of giving back to the community is necessarily “better’ in the main, the latter is hands down better for your real estate business. Quite frankly, the type of giving back that puts you face-to-face with groups of people who may turn into clients is good for business...It may start out as a selfless desire to give to others, but side benefits of community involvement include the fact that it’s an awesome way to generate leads, get your name linked to the community, and increase your brand and public persona."
BiggerPockets: Yes, Customer Service DOES Matter in Real Estate: Here’s How to Make Yours Top-Notch
“It can be difficult to see the potential benefits of practicing strong, consistent customer service. But it’s also impossible to ignore the obvious: It’s only a matter of time before the real estate industry gets caught up to similar retail industries. We are living in a world where the customer is more informed than ever before. This access to information is not only growing, it’s accelerating. Make a commitment to running a proactive real estate business that acknowledges the importance of your customers. It’s the responsibility of all of us to lead by example and work to uphold the reputation of our industry.”
So, Set the Standard and Maintain Consistency
Inman: 4 ways to brand yourself to attract more real estate business
“Whether you’re online or offline, the most important thing to keep in mind when building a brand is consistency. You have to be the same across all mediums— be relevant, be true and be genuine to who you are. People can spot a phony from a mile away, which doesn’t bode well when you’re dealing with most people’s largest investment. So, be consistent in who you are, and also in the experience clients can expect. The client experience should be seamless and consistent from search to post-close follow-up. Part of creating and maintaining that consistency is developing a team of people whom you work with regularly, and who are part of your trusted brand. People who are loyal to a brand (you) are more likely to try out other services from that brand (your colleagues). Those colleagues might include mortgage brokers, attorneys or moving companies who can also participate in the seamlessness of the transaction. Developing your brand to include these service providers ensures not only that your client is well taken care of today, but also will be in the future when they decide to return for round two.”