Being a recognised brand online isn’t always an easy task! However, if you manage to get everything nailed down correctly, you’ll find that this has the ability to take your estate agency from strength to strength. Consistency is key with online branding so it’s essential that you make sure all of your marketing materials convey the same message. From colours and fonts to imagery and tone of voice, we talk about how your estate agency can be consistent on your social media platforms, email marketing templates and website.
Think of all the big businesses out there, many of them are instantly recognisable. Sometimes all we need to see is a logo or read a slogan and we know straight away what the company is and what they provide. But what makes this happen? This all comes down to how they’ve been marketing themselves in the industry. By being consistent, the more likely it is that someone will recognise your brand. Now that’s not to say that a little online rejuvenation every once in a while can’t be done, but it’s important you stay true to who you are as a business. In fact, you may have recently seen that Property Webmasters are currently in the process of launching a rebrand, but we’ll talk about this more in depth later on. For now, let’s look at ways you can improve brand recognition and how to sell your brand online.
If you’re struggling to sell your properties online, you may need to take a few steps back and first look at how you’re selling yourself. Branding is essential in the digital world, especially if you’re looking for ways to stand out from the competition. The way you present your estate agency online can make or break your business.
If you look up the meaning of the word branding, this is the definition you’re presented with:
“The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products”.
Essentially, branding is anything you do that helps your target audience to recognise who you are as a company. This includes things such as:
The more consistent your estate agency is with these branding components, the more likely your brand is going to be recognised. Company branding is all about who you are right now! It doesn’t matter who you strive to be, branding is how your customers see you as you currently are.
You may be the most honest, reputable and professional estate agent there is out there. However, if people don’t see you this way, then your branding needs to be worked on.
Why should someone purchase a property from you when there’s another estate agency just down the road? People trust companies that they’ve heard of or have been recommended. This is where branding comes in, especially when targeting first-time buyers or those looking to purchase their first home overseas.
These two audiences will never have used your services before, so they want to know they can trust you. If you’re a recognised brand in the real estate world, you have a much better chance of selling your properties as people feel more confident in what you’re offering.
Developing a likable brand for your estate agency will help you to escalate trust and drive authority, as well as build loyalty with your customers. Getting the brand up and running is one thing, but being consistent with it is another. If something you do doesn’t match up with your brand identity, you will be creating a dissonance in the minds of your buyers.
Overall, when done correctly, branding should evoke some sort of emotion in your clients. It can be what convinces someone to buy a house from your estate agency rather than going to a competitor instead.
Still not sure that your brand actually matters that much? Here are some numbers and figures that may get you thinking.
If you think your brand needs to be worked on, don’t worry! There are several things you can do to make improvements. First and foremost, we’d recommend pulling together a list of everything you currently have that represents your brand (logo, strapline, colour scheme, social media etc). Once you’ve gathered everything you use to market your estate agency, simply look at the material you have in front of you. Do they all look consistent? Do they grab your attention? Do they show who you are as a business? If not, then let’s look at the three main areas you should be focussing on: your website, social media and email marketing. To be consistent across these platforms, here’s some advice:
More often than not, your website is going to be one of your biggest sales assets. Your website is there to sell who you are, which also involves attracting new customers. The look and tone of your website can help build a relationship with your customers. They’ll begin to trust your brand and the content on your website, so it’s essential that what you’re doing online is what you want your audience to see.
First impressions leave a lasting imprint, so you should carefully think about how you wish to convey yourself across your entire website. Your brand identity can set you apart from the other estate agencies out there and make what you’re offering feel more unique.
Because social media isn’t always used as a direct tool for selling your properties, it’s a great platform for you to build your brand. First off, you’ll probably want to figure out which networks work for you and which ones don’t. From our experience, Facebook is the main game changer for estate agents, but Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn can also work well when done correctly.
The visual aspect of social media is key. You want to make sure that your imagery is consistent across all of the platforms you use. If your profiles look like they’re being managed by different companies, users can feel slightly disconnected from your brand. You’ll want to avoid using stock photos or pictures that are heavily watermarked. Instead, by creating your own images and keeping this in line with your brand, users are more likely going to recognise who the post is from without even seeing your company name on the profile.
When creating organic posts on social media, the tone of voice used can have a massive impact on engagement. Whatever your social media voice develops into, make sure it’s authentic to your brand as research suggests that users want to see companies being honest.
What’s great about Facebook is that you can create campaigns that are specifically targeted towards raising brand awareness. This not only helps to promote your business in the places where people discover new things but can help get prospective buyers buzzing about your company. Brand awareness ads help you to tell people about your agency and your properties, no matter where they are in the world. They are designed in a way so that your name will be cemented in their memory when they come to look for a property in your area.
Likewise to reflecting brand changes within your company logo, it’s equally as important to ensure email designs are fresh and up to date! This can be done through ensuring brand changes are reflected within your email templates. Email templates are a perfect way to reinforce your brand and build awareness. Failure to act on changes in your company, subscribers can become disengaged as it appears lazy. The last thing you want is a subscriber already knowing what they are going to receive before they open it. Creating different variations of email templates can help keep emails innovative and subscribers engaged.
If you don’t brand your emails in the right way, people may think that your emails are spam and put them straight in the junk folder. To make sure that this isn’t happening when you send out email campaigns, you want to make sure that what you’re creating is eye catching, professional and informative.
If you’re in a shop and there are two products exactly the same but in different packaging, which one are you going to choose? You’re probably going to opt for the one that’s the most aesthetically pleasing. The colours used on product packaging can influence a buyer’s decision, and the same rules apply to your website, logo and social media presence.
Some brands – such as the discount store Target and the chocolate company Cadbury – have gone as far as trademarking a colour so that it is instantly recognised as being connected to that company. Picking the right colours for your estate agency is key to having a professional, convincing and appealing online identity.
It has been proven that memory retention and recall are enhanced by colours, so this just goes to show how important the use of colour is when it comes to marketing and brand awareness.
Colours have the ability to leave a lasting impression on people and can raise a range of emotions, which is why this is such an important part of marketing. We’ll take a look at some colours often used on estate agency websites and what the psychology is behind them.
“Did you know that black and white aren’t actually colours? The light spectrum only includes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, so black and white aren’t actually classed as colours.”
Blue – Regularly used to represent trustworthiness, responsibility, dependability and security. This is a great colour for creating a calm and professional feel to the website.
Yellow – As the most noticeable colour to the human eye, yellow is often used as a way to catch someone’s attention. It also highlights optimism and happiness.
Red – Mainly used by estate agencies to create a sense of urgency. Often used on things such as a call to action or to show that a property’s price has been dropped.
Green – One of the easiest colours for the human eye to process. It’s a peaceful colour that can be associated with nature, the environment and the world outside.
As we mentioned earlier, you may have seen that Property Webmasters are currently in the process of a rebrand. We like to keep everyone up to date with what we’re doing, hence why we thought why we’d go into a bit more detail about the importance of branding.
As a company, we’ve seen a positive global growth in the digital real estate world. Because of our expansion and the changes that are constantly happening to our industry, we wanted to make sure that we’re practising what we preach. Our rebrand has been launched across social media with a brand-new website also in the pipeline as we believed that this was what was best for our business. This may not be the case for your estate agency, but for us, it was something that will help us promote ourselves as a highly regarded brand.
The above images show how Property Webmasters’ logo has evolved over time. By making some tweaks to the styling, colour and fonts, we have been able to modernise our brand while also representing our core values.
Simply put, not necessarily. What a lot of estate agencies get wrong when it comes to branding is thinking they need to completely overhaul their online presence. Unless you’re going for a complete change and are wanting to take your business in a new direction, going all out isn’t always necessary. You can improve your online presence and become more recognisable by sticking with the brand you currently have, but making sure that this is being consistently used across multiple platforms.
If you need help to become more recognisable in the real estate industry, look no further. We’ve helped estate agencies around the world sell their properties online. So, whether you need a complete online transformation or simply want to improve your brand awareness, you can be sure that we’ll be able to help you.