We all know that brand consistency, from marketing campaigns, logos, colors, styles, messaging, or imagery, is a huge challenge for real estate brokerages. Brokers are balancing the power of their brand with hundreds of individual agent brands, making it easy to throw up their hands in defeat. Who really cares about brand consistency when keeping agents happy is so important?
I agree that keeping agents happy is vital – no denying that here, but I’m going to share with you how you can keep them thrilled AND maintain the integrity of your brand (in a non-painful way). This will be a two-part series.
First, let’s talk about the three ultimate values that brand consistency brings to a broker’s business. These values will give you evidence to make consistency a continued effort.
1. A consistent brand builds loyalty with consumers.
Consumers, home buyers and sellers, develop awareness and a gut feeling about the company that compels them to choose your brokerage when making a decision.
“It is the consistent, desired experience that builds trust and trust is the foundation for loyalty and promotion.” – William Arruda, Forbes
2. A consistent brand builds loyalty with agents.
Brokerages providing a clear mission and service to their agents creates a sense of belonging – of being a part of something bigger. By giving agents a strong brand to work with, you’re actually increasing their satisfaction with your brokerage.
“It also provides a rallying point for internal buy-in and helps employees understand how they fit within your organization. In contrast, erratic, inconsistent behavior quickly leads to confusion and mistrust.” – Bo Bothe, BrandExtract
3. A consistent brand ensures compliance and ethical adherence.
All licensed real estate agents have local and/or national regulation committees. Brokerages whose agents adopt brand consistency reduce the risks of accidentally – or purposefully – breaking the law.
From the NAR Code of Ethics, Standard of Practice 12-5:
REALTORS® shall not advertise nor permit any person employed by or affiliated with them to advertise real estate services or listed property in any medium (e.g., electronically, print, radio, television, etc.) without disclosing the name of that REALTORS® firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner either in the advertisement or in electronic advertising via a link to a display with all required disclosures. (Adopted 11/86, Amended 1/16)
*Many other state governing real estate committees and coalitions have similar policies for licensed real estate professionals to follow.
Brand consistency throughout the totality of a brokerage’s marketing communications is clearly valuable. As brokers and marketing leaders, this value is clear from our perspective. Now let’s address the most crucial point: how can a broker encourage adoption of the brokerage brand without stifling the uniqueness and diversity of an agent’s own “brand image?” How do you remove the opportunity for a “rogue-marketing” agent?
Solution: Sell your agents on the value and power of “co-branding.” In part two of this series, I’ll share how you can prove to agents (with minimal effort on your side) that co-branding ultimately contributes to their success.
June Laves, Marketing Manager at Imprev, Inc
Before joining the creative minds at Imprev, June worked as the marketing specialist for a top performing independent brokerage helping over 200 agents grow their business.