Brand power is something consumers can identify with, sparing agents from having to sell themselves at every presentation, says Century 21 Australasia chairman Charles Tarbey.
Mr Tarbey says brand power gives agents a leg up in the market.
“Often, a consumer will have already bought the brand in their mind, making it easier [for the agent] to offer a compelling value proposition,” he said.
Mr Tarbey said many people start their real estate careers with the wrong team and end up leaving the industry when they could have succeeded with the right group.
“It’s about finding the right fit and finding the right platforms that will support your development as an agent.”
However, Mr Tarbey cautioned against having too high an expectation of how far brand power will carry you.
“Agents who change from group to group may benefit from going independent,” he said.
“Because at the end of the day, every group has an offering and if the agent needs to keep moving around to make it, they may be better off to go out on their own so that they can blame only themselves if it’s not working.”
Mr Tarbey said there is “no question” that technology is one of the biggest influences on the industry.
“Whilst we value technology in making our everyday operations easier and efficient, it also presents a challenge as some real estate practitioners are focusing far too much on what technology can do for them, instead of what they can do for their customers."
He also issued a warning about social media.
“Agents must recognise that whilst social media is an important tool, everyone is using it and they must consider what identifies them as a standout. Otherwise, agents will just end up blending into each other.
“Agents should not forget the importance of face-to-face interaction and may benefit from planning more structured work around people you have done business with, rather than placing excessive focus on trying to reach out to new people via social media.”
Mr Tarbey said Century 21’s focus, unchanged in the last two decades, remains on consumer perception.
“Whilst industry perception is important, it is critical that groups do not place excessive focus on what the industry thinks of your brand at the cost of building your brand in the eyes of consumers,” he said.
“They are the ones bringing you business and, as such, Century 21’s efforts in all facets of the business have been committed to building a highly visible and trusted real estate brand for consumers.
“We would be one of a very small group of companies, and possibly the only one, that has consistently used television, radio and other forms of electronic media every year for the last 21 years of my ownership of Century 21, and continue to do so.
“People in the street know who we are and that we sell real estate.”