Branding is essential – it’s a tale as old as time. Being in the entrepreneurial and real estate scene, we often hear the word ‘branding’ thrown around so much that it has begun to lose its true meaning. Many people have their own variations and ideation on what branding means to them. But only a few truly understand its purpose, and fewer apply it in their business.
Learning about branding and its impacts (in theory) may take anywhere from a few dedicated hours to a couple of days. However, executing proper branding may pose a challenge to many around the globe. With the advancement of technology we have today, branding has revolutionized along with the presence of the Internet. Traditional marketing is slowly becoming more and more obsolete. Therefore, the sooner you get ahead with online branding, the better it is for you and your business.
The real estate scene is already a highly competitive field. Whether you are a property developer, real estate negotiator, or property professional, branding can be beneficial in your line. It can help you generate high-quality leads, expand your network, and bring in more revenue.
If you wonder how to go about branding for properties, this piece is for you. In this article, we will be exploring what branding is all about, how to form a strong branding strategy and where you can find help for property branding. Let’s dive right in!
Why is property branding important?
Branding is a necessity for a myriad of reasons. The most obvious one is that branding is essential because it helps build awareness. However, before we understand what branding is, it’s vital to define what branding is not. Branding is not just a mere name, logo or motto – or a combination of those. It’s a reputation that is a result of being built over time.
- Raises awareness.
We have heard the phrase, ‘Rome was not built in a day,’ which could not be more suitable for the topic of branding. Building awareness for your brand takes time. It takes much of your energy, money and effort. And, most importantly, it requires consistency and discipline on your behalf as well. When we think of fast food, we think of the large yellow ‘M’ sign. When someone mentions sports, our mind automatically pictures the swoosh sign of Nike. Notice how these products are at the top of the game, yet they still deliver consistent branding packed with a punch?
- Distinguish yourself from fellow competitors.
As a property entrepreneur, you would want your brand to stand tall and tower (quite literally) against other brands, especially those of the same products or services. It would be best if you gave your audience base a compelling reason for them to choose your product over others, regardless of whether your competitors are selling it for a lower price. One way to achieve this is to establish a strong personality for your product or service. Whatever you are selling needs to have a clear purpose and an identity that resonates with people.
- Creates values.
Impactful branding creates a long-lasting impression and value for your product. For instance, we synonymously use the term ‘toothpaste’ and ‘Colgate’ interchangeably. This is also known as a proprietary eponym, the mark of a brand becoming a generic trademark. Colgate has achieved the highest level of brand awareness, and the Colgate-Palmolive company considers marketing strategies and revamping branding to be its pinnacle of success.
One way you can achieve this is to consistently put effort into production and give your customers the excellent quality they deserve. Understandably, if you are a start-up or medium business, you can still achieve the desired effect by improving your products and services within your means. Another way you can kickstart your business’ brand is by ensuring brand compliance from the beginning. When running an estate agency or property development, you may have employees who are keen on branding themselves. It’s imperative that you ensure your staff are on the same page with the company’s vision, values, quality and standards.
- Establishes customer loyalty.
Connecting with everyday people. Use your brand to evoke emotions within your customers. Tell them the story of how your product came to be, the process involved in the earlier stages, etc. Before anything else, you need to earn the trust of your audience base. There will always be barriers. It’s not your client’s first time listening to a property sales pitch or message.
Naturally, people will tend to have their guards up. It’s your job to find out what they are and think of the next move you need to make in order to break those walls down. Tell your clients a genuine, captivating story that is relatable. Leverage your product’s strength and that will be the strongest reason why your customer will keep coming back.
One discouraging mindset some entrepreneurs have is the idea that your product must be in the market for years and years on end before it becomes a home brand. Contrary to popular thought, it is possible to build a brand in a short amount of time – if carefully planned and executed right. Furthermore, even existing brands that have been in the industry need to update their branding strategies from time to time.
So the ultimate question you are probably asking is, how does one go about property branding?
Forming a solid branding strategy
In today’s world, online marketing has cemented itself in our society. Creating an online presence is now more critical than ever. Proper branding is all the more crucial to your business as it gives your audience the first impression about who you are and what your product entails. Take a look below to see the types of branding available:
- Branding and conceptualisation
Regardless if you are already an existing firm or just recently entered the property industry, branding and conceptualisation can revitalise and add “freshness” to your brand. Conceptualisation helps make your brand stand out as the ideal home for potential customers. It gives a unique visual perception of what your brand truly is about and builds a lasting and positive brand association.
- Video Production and 360° Virtual Tour
What is more powerful than a video commercial? As humans, it is undeniable that we are visual creatures and are easily attracted to stunning shots and vibrant colours. Prior research has shown that customers are likely to engage with companies that have video commercials. However, only a small portion of estate agencies actually invest in video production.
Bring storytelling to a whole new level by incorporating music, fun and beautifully crafted visuals in your video commercial. Apart from that, you can choose to include live-action footage, time-lapse images, and voiceovers to give your videos an extra edge.
- 3D Perspective & Rendering
Employing this strategy will help you bring your ideas to life. Your clients might sometimes depend on online presentations to see your property. By having a 3D perspective and rendering of your property, you can bring the showroom or show units to your clients instead. So, your clients can enjoy a virtual reality experience from the comfort of their homes. This allows you to connect not just with locals but with clients from all over the world. As an entrepreneur, digital recreation can indeed be game-changing for you.
A digital artist will illustrate your project with excellent details to deliver stunning visuals for you and your clients. Back in the day, you would bring your clients around to show them properties and verbally explain to them what the space might appear like in the future. Today, that barrier of complexity is removed through digital imagining. For example, you can recreate what a warehouse or a future home may look like and delve into details about customising it as well. So now, your client does not have to just take your word for it – they can see how the project will look like when it is completed for themselves.
- Digital Marketing
Modern advertising is more crucial and significant in today’s world. Given how consumers have increasing screen times on their devices, utilizing, streamlining and optimising digital marketing can help you reach a broader targeted audience base. Companies that do not leverage digital marketing are going to lose out to more tech-savvy businesses.
The ability to effectively create impactful messages at the lowest cost can be your holy grail – this is all the more if you are just starting your branding journey. On top of that, digital marketing is flexible and makes the success of marketing easily measurable. As a result of this, you can track your progress and make the necessary changes as you see fit.
- Property Bloggers & Influencers Network
Do not underestimate the power of social media personalities. Let property bloggers and influencers spread your wings even further. With their claim to fame, you can benefit from increased awareness, traction and credibility. Think of it this way – it’s a modern day version of word of mouth. Suppose your goal is to capitalise on brand recognition and build a more extensive customer base, then networking via these property bloggers at the top of their game can be your ticket to achieving just that.
People tend to conflate successful branding with expensive gimmicks and full-blown marketing. In some cases, entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that branding is a cookie-cutter. However, that cannot be further from the truth. Branding and marketing strategies differ from one to another. A big company, a medium one, a start-up, and a small business would have different branding approaches. With that said, it is also pertinent to highlight that branding does not necessarily mean big expenses.
What happens with bad branding?
There’s effective branding, and there’s simply branding. If you pay close attention, not every company that does branding achieves the same mark. Without the right branding, you and your business are the same as everyone else- nothing sets you apart or above. Just like how effective branding has major impacts on your business, vice versa applies too. Bad branding can make your company seem underwhelming.
It may occur to you to do it yourself and apply several marketing tricks you may find on the Internet. For example, shooting videos yourself or taking commercial photography yourself. There is, of course, nothing inherently wrong with trying to brand by your means but be careful of falling into the trap of looking shoddy. Your media presence can easily fall flat with low-quality home videos.
On the other hand, not doing prior research or attempting to create a genuine emotional connection with your audience can significantly damage your brand. One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make is thinking that branding is one size fits all. Take a look at the common branding catastrophes – and avoid them at all costs:
- Inconsistent messaging
- Bad partnership
- Poor design
- Ineffective marketing
- Low-quality media content
Remember, lousy branding is worse than no branding at all. A negative association with your brand can set your company back. Plus, undoing or reversing the damage may be costly too.
As we can see from above, there are various branding strategies that you can use in your business. With the help of marketing specialists and their expertise, you can start small and choose to work on one strategy or a combination of those, depending on your ultimate goals.
Be informative, straightforward and exciting. You have to give your potential audience a head start. Be proactive and provide the answers to their questions regarding real estate. Keep in mind that to most people, buying a property is probably the biggest purchase they may ever make in their lifetime. It is not enough to simply put out sales pitches after sales pitches. You have to make the first move and put in the extra mile to accommodate your existing client base and potential ones as well.
We understand that branding may seem overwhelming – especially if you do not have prior experience. Our team is here to help you overcome it. With XIDEAS, you can leave your worries at the door. We specialise in providing comprehensive marketing solutions at every stage of business. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your branding in the property industry.