Branding is everything for a business, and real estate agencies are no exception. When embarking on a rebrand, it’s important to realise that you’re looking at way more than a name and a logo.
As Agency HQ chief executive Mark Morrison recounted recently, branding gets to the very core of your operation.
“Successful businesses spend the time developing everything from company culture, to image and personality,” he explained of the branding journey.
Agency HQ, which allows its members to operate under the company’s existing identity or keep or develop their own, regularly guides principals and their teams through this process.
A key piece of advice it gives is to involve everyone in the process.
“They say change is as good as a holiday, and a business rebrand is an exciting period in the history of your business – so why not bring your team in on the rebranding exercise?” Mr Morrison suggested.
“Because rebranding often involves a shake up on everything from your KPIs to your website design, it’s a mammoth task. Getting your team involved in the exercise is a great way to promote inclusivity, to benefit from each individual’s perspectives and professional ideas and to recruit your staff as ambassadors to promote the new changes in the business,” he added.
Not only does this give your staff the opportunity to lend insight, but it also fosters a greater sense of ownership and investment in the finished product, and it allows them to be across the company expectations of sticking to the new ethos and direction.
Once you have the formational building blocks, the next step is making sure you’ll stand out. You’re almost at the stage of deciding on visuals, but not yet.
“Before you go ahead and organise logos or think about changing your business name, look at domain names, social media pages and local competitors to ensure that you aren’t investing in design work, signage and other branding materials only to discover the domain name is taken or the business name is too similar to a competitor,” Mr Morrison advised.
And though designing the visuals of your business might come later in the process than you might expect, it’s absolutely integral to the whole exercise.
“Your logo forms a huge part of your brand identity, including your colour palette for marketing materials and signage,” Mr Morrison said.
To ensure that everyone involved in your agency is proud to bear your company branding and understands how to stick to the script in their individual marketing materials, it’s important to create a style guide so that you have an easy reference for details like fonts, colours and the correct use of logos.
“Are there other visual elements or symbols that make up your brand identity? What do they mean? How do they represent your business and when are they acceptable to be used?” Answers to all of these questions should be found in your style guide, according to Mr Morrison.
Finally, after all that hard work, it’s time to go public.
“Once you are ready to reveal your new logo, it’s time to celebrate the new chapter in your business by sharing the news. You can go as big or small as you want, but it’s important to use the moment to get the positive aspects of your rebrand out there for people to digest,” he said.
Enjoy the moment, while realising that maintaining a strong brand presence requires ongoing work.
“Launch your new look website and social media accounts, integrate your brand into the local community with support from your local news outlets, look for community sponsorship opportunities from grass roots sports to local schools and start building your new identity within the local area,” he said.