It’s an interesting, if highly contentious subject, but one that was grasped with both hands in our most recent Talking Local Podcast with Simon Leadbetter and Jonathan Handford.
In our lively 30-minute podcast we discussed successful brand implementation & activation in the #estateagency sector, with a focus on what part brand plays amongst the challenges of buying and selling something as complex and emotionally charged as a home.
We wrestled with the subject of #people versus #brand. After all, were you drawn to an agent because of the brand or the individuals who worked there? Contentious I know, but a subject that resonates in very many other sectors too.
As Simon said “a given city might have perhaps 40 agencies operating with it. There will be dominant brands with more a visible presence which may give them an advantage, but when you meet them, you may make your decision based purely on whether you like them or not as people.”
Does this subjectivity when choosing suggest that the sector is too reliant on its people and that the brands don’t have the power that they should have?
It led to my question “How do Estate Agency brands actually differentiate themselves, other than their people, and the properties they have on their books?”
Simon agreed “It is very dangerous. I mean, there is very little loyalty amongst consumers within the sector. You know, there's some fascinating stats out there about people not using the agency they bought their house from to sell, but those stats are not true with all brands.
I think when there's real brands there's real brand value, Fine & Country being one of them. But Knight Frank, Savills, Hamptons are a bunch of prime ones where people absolutely buy into the brand.
And then there's love for the local independent because they're at the local cricket club or the rugby club. They are sponsoring local stuff that matters, placing themselves at the heart of the community and they are the agents that have the most boards up. I think people will choose those businesses of local relevance. But yeah, it's a horribly disloyal market.”
We Are Acuity say there’s no denying the importance of your local partners, whatever sector you are in, but a strong brand goes hand in hand with a great team and when applied properly significantly reduces the risk of inconsistent customer experiences.
As Simon says we don’t move house very often, probably every 7 to 13 years, so most people's experience of estate agency is (not so positive) stories that they might see in the press, or for (savvy) estate agency brands their national and more importantly local #marketingandadvertising .
If you are in marketing in estate agency or #realestate here's the links to listen to our latest podcast all about your sector. Let us know what you think?
Your local partners, whether branches, retailers, dealers, franchisees, or affiliates they need your support and you need theirs, get in touch with We Are Acuity today for a FREE marketing audit by clicking HERE.
Or if you'd like to read more about Local Marketing have a look at our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog