Regardless of what is going on in the economy, some people will always want a new home. The arrival of a new baby necessitates an extra bedroom. Kids leave home for school, so ‘empty nesters’ will want to downsize and move closer to downtown. Students move to a new area to be close to a university. Retired couples move to a beach home they’ve always wanted. Employers transfer employees to new jobs in new cities.
These people need to make a buying decision. And they often need to make it pretty quickly. It’s my job as principal of a real estate branding firm to help them make the right one – through the creation of a distinct real estate project brand for condos or townhomes we can help them find a new place that meets their needs.
Good branding versus bad branding
From a homebuyer’s perspective, I think branding is often misjudged. But not all branding is equal. There is good and bad.
Bad branding attempts to hide the facts. Good branding revels in them. (At B/A, we call it Selling the Truth.) We go to great lengths to ensure that the people who come to our websites and sales centres are fully aware of what the product can do for them. So, we walk the streets and talk to locals. We discover the festivals and celebrations that take place nearby. We learn about the history of the neighbourhood, and of the site. We read municipal documents. We review memorandums. We collect and collate as much information as possible about the project—so potential homebuyers don’t have to.
Consumer brands began over a century ago as “makers of quality”. You came to trust a brand that delivered consistent quality.
Today’s more sophisticated audience is now asking even more from a brand. They’re looking for brands that help them make smart and informed decisions. The best real estate brands deliver quality. But they also assist in informed decision making.
A brand that promises a peaceful and contemplative vacation retreat but turns out to be a spring break party palace clearly lacks quality because it hasn’t been honest about the facts.
Quality real estate brands have thought about, and done their research on, what kinds of key stories and themes are unique to their project. They don’t simply ask: Who are we talking to? They ask: What kind of personality should this project have in order to ensure we’re presenting the right product to the right audience? What kinds of people will find our stories interesting or attractive? What do they think about life? What are their hot buttons? What tone would they appreciate? What attitude?
Markets work because of competition—and branding is a highly efficient way for consumers to make decisions about what products are worthy of their precious time. Are you spending enough time developing your real estate project’s brand?