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Branding With Your Name in Real Estate? Come On, You Can Do Better

Brand Building

Successful branding let’s your consumer know what you do in a memorable way.

by Bernice Ross
Key Takeaway:  Branding with your name is a blunder because most people won’t remember it. It’s better to let people know what you do.

Effective branding is at the heart of virtually every successful business, yet it is a rarity in the real estate industry. If you’re branding your business with your name, it may be time to take a different tack.

Over my 30-plus years in the industry, I’ve been affiliated with several of the major brands in the business.

The standing joke in Coldwell Banker is that people often think that they’re in the banking business. At Century 21, a common question is “Are you the people who have the great deals on car insurance?”

And by the way, exactly what does Re/Max and ERA stand for? (Real Estate Maximums and Electronic Realty Associates.)

Effective vs. ineffective branding

The challenge in each of these examples is that the branding doesn’t meet the three simple criteria for having an effective brand. An effective brand does each of the following:

  1. It’s memorable
  2. It immediately brings the product being sold to mind.
  3. It identifies a specific target market.

Here are three examples of effective branding from outside of real estate that are easy to recognize:

The ‘Uncola’

7Up’s tagline, the “Uncola,” is easy to remember and specifically targets people who want something other than a Coke or a Pepsi.

‘The ultimate driving machine’

You may not know what the letters BMW stand for, but its branding has stood the test of time. The reason? The tagline tells what its product does — it gives you the “ultimate” driving experience. Referencing what the product does is much more effective than branding with only a name.


This is a superb example of strong branding — one word that says exactly what the product does: provides “flicks” (movies) on the “net.”

In terms of real estate brands, the one that best fits the criteria above is relatively new — NextHome. This brand describes exactly what it does in a single word: find your next home.

The least effective brand in the business: Your name

In contrast, the most common type of branding in the real estate industry is based on people’s names. This is the least effective approach to branding because virtually everyone has difficulty remembering names.

The reason is that every day you are constantly bombarded with names of people you meet, names in the news, plus thousands of product and place names. The reason you have trouble recalling names is due to “interference.”

To illustrate how interference works, you can probably easily remember what you had for dinner last night. On the other hand, it’s highly unlikely that you remember what you had for dinner a year ago.

The reason is you have had 365 dinners since then. The memory of all these other dinners “interferes” with the memory that you are attempting to recall.

Complicating the situation even further, even if the customer remembers your name when they do meet you, memory research shows that we forget 70 percent of what we have learned within the first 24 hours after learning has taken place.

People remember functions, not names

If you were to meet me at a social event, and I introduced myself as Bernice Ross of ABC Realty, chances are you will remember the “blond lady who sells real estate,” but you won’t remember my name.

Furthermore, if you work for a brokerage such as Coldwell Banker or Keller Williams that use two names in their branding, the consumer is more likely to remember the brokerage brand because they see it on every just listed card, for sale sign, business card, newspaper ad and web page that the companies’ agents send out.

How to create a memorable brand

To establish a memorable brand, make sure that you reference “homes,” “real estate” or “properties” as well as niche or a specific geographical area that you serve.

For example:

  • Phoenix Probate Real Estate Specialists
  • Westlake Waterfront Properties
  • Richmond Historical Homes by Sally Agent

Sample URLs could be www.WestlakeWaterfrontProperties.com or RichmondHistoricalHomes.com. If the URL is not available, choose a different brand.

Be sure that the URL you choose references both your geographical location as well as your specific niche.

Branding is the most effective when you use the brand on all of your marketing materials. Consequently, your website, your cards and each advertising piece you send out should contain the same branding.

(Some real estate regulators have started to crack down on the wording that can be used in individual agent and team branding, so check the law in your state before proceeding).

The good news about owning your own brand

If your company is purchased or goes out of business or if you decide to change brokerages, having your own brand allows you continue to market without losing momentum.

In contrast, if you are relying solely on your company’s branding, you would have to start your branding efforts all over — this translates into lost income.

Remember, the key to successful branding is to let your consumer know what you do, where you do it and who you do it with!

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/AgentTraining and www.RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.

via Inman News




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Google Drive: Confessions of a Title Processor

After such a warm response to our February Coffee Corner, March was an extension of what Google has to offer in terms of Gmail accounts. Over the past few years, Google has expanded the applications that are available to its subscribers and most of the services are perfect tools for real estate professionals.

Google DriveMost of the applications are free with your Gmail account and are all synced in Google Drive, a cloud based drive that can be accessed through any device on or offline. Many of the services available parallel software that comes with a laptop or home computer Microsoft Office package, but for free! And, not only can you access all of your files, organize and share them with other users, but you can edit your documents from any device and they will automatically save in your Google Drive folder.

The more involved you are in what Google has to offer, the better your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will be. Use Google’s application to create blogs, websites, presentations, reports, or surveys! And since it’s saved in one central location, you’ll stay organized and save time.

Follow the link below to a mock website that was created for our March Coffee Corner. Feel free to use the documents and try out Google’s products!


Around The Corner:  Tracy Baer, with North Shore Insurance Group, will be speaking at our April Coffee Corner on April 8th at 9:30am. Tracy will be providing information on flood insurance updates during the first quarter and what we should expect from the year to come.

Please RSVP with Christina@titlesecurity.net or call 727-321-7678 x226.

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Optimizing Your Google Calendars: Confessions of a Title Processor

February Coffee Corner Recap

To start off 2014 on the right foot, our office decided to host our first Coffee Corner on technology. Google technology, that is. A Gmail account, Google’s free email platform, has become much more than just an email address and inbox. Google has really amped up their products (most of them for free) and provided an excellent cloud for real estate professionals to organize everything under one account.

With so many online advances happening so quickly and busy work schedules getting in the way, we thought it would benefit our fellow real estate colleagues to hold a series of classes on Google products. Our first was to tackle Google Calendars. Having a well organized calendar is the first step in the road to success for any business and Google has optimized their calendar function to be accessible through practically any device. Their calendar function is available on both Apple and Android devices.

Google Calendars

Our next Coffee Corner will be held on March 4th at 9:30am in our upstairs conference room. We will continue with the Google theme and go over many of the Home and Office applications that you can find attached to your Gmail account. To RSVP for our next Coffee Corner, please email Christina@titlesecurity.net or call (727) 321-7678 x226.

Check out the full presentation on Google Calendars below as well as videos on how to sync your Google Calendars with your iPhone or through the Android Google Calendar App!

Google Calendar Presentation


Sync Your iPhone


Use Your Android Google Calendar App





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Housing News: A Week In Review


Housing ProjectionsHousing Predictions for 2014: Sales Will Surge…




New Market RealityWill Consumers Demand More From Real Estate Professionals in 2014?




Housing DemandDo you think there will be enough housing inventory to satisfy demand in 2014?




Social Media and Your Credit ReportMore lenders are using social-media data to flag problems with prospective borrowers.




We invite you to Like us on Facebook and  Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn



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Housing News: A Week In Review


Happy New Year 2014


Stronger EconomyThe U.S. economy is on a better footing and facing lighter headwinds than any time since 2007, and maybe since 1998.


Buy-n-Rent InvestorsBuy-and-rent investors feel the squeeze…
As foreclosure auction prices rose and rents stagnating, profits for buyers of foreclosed homes have shrunk.   http://cnnmon.ie/JNTmbP

Multi-Gen HousingMulti-Generational Housing Knowledge Will Be Critical for Real Estate Professionals in the Coming Decade.


Mortgage Rates Drop30-year fixed mortgage rate drops for first time in 6 weeks.





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Preparing and Implementing Your Real Estate Business Plan For 2014: Confessions of a Title Processor

Goals For 2014

December is always a hectic month for all of us in the real estate industry. Buyers and sellers want to close before the end of the year, family is flying in and out for the holidays, and you still haven’t bought Christmas presents for your co-workers! Yikes! These reasons, along with a few more, led us to host our December Coffee Corner on Preparing and Implementing Your Real Estate Business Plan in 2014.

With help from one of our underwriters, Old Republic National Title and their Shared Success Program, we held our best Coffee Corner yet this past Tuesday! Bobbi Alonso, an Old Republic Account Representative led the discussion and helped organize professional and personal goals for 2014. While our classes are smaller, they allow for a more intimate setting and foster discussion among attendees.

While the class went over many useful topics to get your plan in gear, here is a small overview of the most important points that were reviewed.

  • A business plan starts out with a purpose. Why are you writing down this plan? What do you want to attain from making this plan? These reasons can be both personal and profession. As a matter of fact, they certainly should cover both. An anonymous author once said, “Taking time to live life will only inspire your work.” Think about that quote when you are forming your business plan.
  • The most helpful portion of the class was reflecting on personal strengths and weaknesses. This spreadsheet, known as the S.W.O.T. Analysis, challenges you to look at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Identifying these will help you guide your plan for success for 2014. The most important category (in my opinion) was weaknesses. If we don’t identify what can potentially hold us back from reaching our goals, we will never accomplish what we set out to achieve.
  • After identifying these factors, you can start listing your goals. These aspirations should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Make sure you can easily keep track of how you are working toward your goals and give yourself a little reward when you do. This goal tracking will help you stay organized and will guide you through your day to day dealings.
  • Whether you want to track your progress virtually or keep a written journal, you should always have something to look over and analyze at least once a month. Also plan on going over your entire business plan once a quarter to see where you stand in comparison to what you originally planned to complete.

2014 GoalsNew Year’s resolutions can be daunting and cliché. Don’t think of your 2014 business plan as a resolution. Think of it as evolution. The real estate industry is in constant flux and to keep ahead of the game you need to be aware of what challenges you may face and learn how to overcome them.

To help you with your new streamlined and well organized business plan, our January Coffee Corner will be covering a few technological advances that will greatly help you stay on target and reach all of your goals that you set in 2014. We will be announcing the details for the class soon so stay tuned!

If you were unable to attend our December Coffee Corner and are interested in the spreadsheets provided by Old Republic, email Christina@titlesecurity.net.

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Confessions of a Title Processor: Office Optimism

Office Morale

Over the past few weeks, I’ve run into quite a few people who are down in the dumps about real estate, especially in Pinellas County. With flood insurance premiums increasing and the government shutdown, there’s a lot of uncertainty about the health of the real estate market at this point.

Keeping your team positive during this time is the key to pushing through the rough waters ahead. Here are a few fun ideas to help boost the morale in your office and continue business as usual (or make it even better!).

1.   Post a fun office contest

Office MoraleA little friendly competition can really get your team members in the mood to increase business and work more diligently. Even a small first place prize is enough to bring out the worker bee in most people.

2.   Organize a canned food-drive

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and although our industry is seeing tough times, putting things into perspective by promoting an office wide canned food-drive can help bring your team closer together and give back to the community.

3.   Have a girls/guys night out

All work and no play makes your office dull! Loosen up and take your team out for dinner and drinks. There are even a few new tap houses and breweries in Downtown St. Petersburg. Why not orchestrate an office pub crawl?

4.   Yoga in the office

Yoga and pilates have become two of the most common exercise and fitness classes that professionals attend. It’s a great way to expel the toxins in your body and reflect on your personal goals. Many of the local yoga and pilate instructors can come into your office for a private class. It might even become a weekly tradition!

5.   Attend a local function as an office

Downtown St. Petersburg offers so many different activities, especially in the fall. Take advantage of the free (and super fun) events that are put on weekly.

6.   Participate in a charitable event

Canned food-drive not enough for your generous office team? Sign up to participate in a charitable walk. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month among other programs. Check the Tampa Bay Times and your neighborhood publications for upcoming events that your office can be a part of.

While this list has just a few suggestions, the possibilities are endless when it comes to team building exercises. Let us know what you plan to do to keep your office motivated!  Please post your office’s fun events and share them with us on our Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/pages/Title-Security or Tweet us on our Twitter page @TitleSecurity.