A short while ago, an interesting discussion took place through Twitter and the blogosphere. The conversation was started off by @darrinfrie and quickly turned into a debate with @david_marine and @corcoran_group, with a post by @TeriConrad recapping some of the discussion.
In a nutshell, the question raised was about how much a company’s brand means to a real estate agent. There was some debate about metrics and data, but the brand relationship with an agent is what sparked my interest.
To me, a brand is meant to support an agent in the growth of the individual business. Agents are individual contractors and can easily choose where to hang a license. All brands should focus on this, or why even be in real estate? How this can be accomplished is where the “differentiators” (watch out kids, that’s marketing speak!) come into play.
Today’s real estate landscape requires a wide variety of tools and systems. You need online lead generators, a lead management system, contact management and customer relationship management systems, strong local web presence, transaction management and support, relocation services, research and development, consumer awareness…you see where this is going. That’s a big budget every year, and a lot of time spent finding, developing, learning and utilizing it all. It’s tough out there without a lot of resources behind you, both financial and human resources. A brand should supply all those tools and more, so that the agent can focus on the business of servicing clients. To really round out my title analogy, the tools and systems are the brand’s way of helping to talk up the agent to the date (the client).
What do you expect (and get) from your brand?