5 branding secrets every real estate pro should know
Big companies have massive budgets to fuel their brands. Why would major corporations be spending money on branding – doesn’t everyone already know who they are? They advertise because they know that effective branding is the key to their success. In a 2019 study from Interbrand, Apple, Google and Amazon were named the three best global brands. These three companies alone spend more than $8 BILLION each year to make sure each of us will consider their products when we’re on the hunt for an answer, a new laptop, or literally anything you could ever want to buy, from a Nintendo Switch to tonight’s dinner.
The truth is, you probably encounter these brands every. single. day. Sometimes it happens without even recognizing it. Amazon knows they need to be the first thing you think about when you’re ready to make a purchase. Google has dominated online search so completely that “googling” something has a permanent spot in the lexicon. And Apple? They’ve turned their brand into a status symbol, something consumers crave.
Sure, with a massive budget at their fingertips, big brands have access to data and sophisticated advertising techniques that may seem out of reach to the average real estate agent. However, as we’ll discover in this post, anyone can achieve similar results on a localized scale in a very affordable way.
Want to run with the big dogs when it comes to your branding? Well you’re in luck! Here we reveal the five key secrets to successful brand advertising.
1. Target the right audience
This advice may sound totally obvious, but it’s overlooked more often than you’d think. You have to know your audience and target them in the areas they frequent. This means if you are selling cars, you want to show ads to people interested in buying a car. Simple, right? The same concept applies for real estate. As an agent, you want to target people who are interested in buying or selling homes in your local area. You probably know your market by zip codes. Stick to these areas, because showing your ads to anyone else would be a waste of money.
In this Hubspot post, marketing expert Anum Hussain explains that two ways another industry giant Coca-Cola achieves success in branding efforts is by first knowing, then reaching their target audience. “Coke may have a large audience, but it’s not about size of the audience; it’s about having the right audience,” Hussain says. “Personalizing your marketing can help you reach a quality audience.” When you can provide relevant content at the right time, that’s when the magic happens.
2. Be everywhere they go
Once you identify who needs to see your ads, you will want to make sure they see them everywhere they go. With digital ads, it’s much easier to accomplish.
“Google succeeds because its search results are relevant to its customers, who use those results to make decisions about what to buy, read, investigate and so on,” says marketing guru Patrick Murphy in How Would Google Market Your Company. He also explains “the best time to market to people is when they are in the mood to buy.” If people are already searching for a house, and your ad shows up with the information to purchase a home in their area, that’s when they start paying attention.
3. Remind them every chance you get
The tricky thing is, it’s not enough to just appear to customers once. According to marketing research, it takes 7-10 times of seeing an ad before the viewer will remember it. Your ad is also competing with over 300 other marketing messages a person sees in a day. It’s important that they continue to see your message until it sticks in their mind.
“Brand associations are stored in our long-term memory,” Brand Strategiest Tjaco Walvis reports in this article from Google. “But as memories decay if not regularly reactivated, marketers must continually reiterate both a brand’s promise and the proof that it delivers. Advertising is, of course, one of the best ways to refresh brand memories, especially among light users. As a result, advertising generates sales even when the brand’s sales volume remains flat or, worse, when volume is decreasing.”
It’s important to advertise constantly and not just for repetition’s sake, but also because you won’t have to guess when it’s the best time to advertise to prospective buyers. It will also ensure that you will be at the top of a buyer’s mind when they go to make decisions. A person isn’t likely to remember you from a single advertising push like a mailing, but they will be if you have repetitive ads that follow them where they frequent online.
In this past blog post, real estate agent Bill Gassett says that a common mistake many real estate agents make is in thinking someone will call them after one marketing touch.
4. Advertise with the buyer in mind
Forbes writer Panos Mourdoukoutas states that the biggest branding lesson that can be taken from Apple is that “branding begins on the demand side of the market.” Branding needs to begin with the prospective buyer, including their “needs, wants and desires and quest for a better life.” A brand needs to offer the buyer with advantages over the competitor. So as a real estate agent, this means you need to offer prospective clients with easier ways to reach you and more opportunities to interact directly.
Advertising is a great way to get someone’s attention, but that attention can often be fleeting. While a print ad may supply a phone number, the prospective buyer must take the time and effort to pick up the phone and call to learn more about you. By advertising online, you can turn a simple click into a new customer by linking to your website, offering immediate ways to start a conversation and gaining an advantage over other real estate agents who may not even have a strong online presence, or any at all. One easy way to do this is through our ad services. You can even reach people in their living rooms by running an ad on streaming TV!
5. Offer something compelling
This is the easy part that you’ve probably already mastered. Keep providing high-quality service and great listings. Though Apple, Amazon and Google all incorporate branding efforts that extend beyond the product, remember that at the end of the day they still rely on their products to make sales. If you weren’t selling houses, you wouldn’t have buyers in the first place. If you know your market, maintain great customer service, and sell quality homes, you’ll find the right buyers and sellers to grow your business.
Still Not Convinced?
Research by the National Association of Realtors said that almost 70% of buyers and sellers only interview one agent. This means that your brand needs to be top-of-mind for buyers and sellers, because you want to be the first agent they go to. As we mentioned before, Adwerx provides a simple, easy-to-use platform that can help you start advertising your brand in minutes, and will be one of the smallest marketing expenses in your budget. An ad campaign is an integral part of your branding that will take it to the next level, and get you killer results. If it doesn’t, one of our Marketing Experts would be happy to walk through your current strategy and offer some helpful tips and tricks.
Maybe you won’t rival Apple or Google, but if you use the right online ad technology, you can be the one agent your market thinks of when they’re ready to buy or sell.
Got a hot tip for maximizing your brand? Share it with everyone in the comments below.
Originally published Oct 30, 2013, updated August 28, 2020