Listing Marketing vs. Brand Marketing

Yesterday, I sat in on a Unique Homes focus group session with a collection of elite real estate brokers and agents who were helping us think about how they would like that brand to expand and innovate.  These were highly successful individuals, with decades of experience in the industry.

The difference between broker and agent marketing focus was stark and clear.  The brokers in the room only wanted to market listing; the agents wanted to market both their listings and themselves. 

The brokers’ laser like focus on listing distribution and lead generation makes sense.  Many of them already had big brands (Coldwell Banker, etc.) with national advertising programs supporting brand development.  As a local Coldwell Banker brokerage, they reaped the benefits of the franchise.  As a broker they wanted innovations regarding efficiency in the advertising process, and efficiency in tracking results.

My favorite quote from an agent with almost forty years in the industry was “My mother told me to be different from everyone else; to stand out.”  I wrote it down because it was so perfect for personal brand development.  Be Yourself and Be Different.  Every one of the agents’ stories was unique.  Their uniqueness was clear when they entered the room.  Each one stood out in their own way with what they were wearing, how they spoke and how they introduced themselves.  Each of the agents fully embodied their individual personalities.  I thumbed through some of their ads and marketing materials and each could not be more different than the other.  

What I took from the day of conversation is clear.  The marketing activities of the brokerages is an important part of the mix but by itself it is not sufficient.  Great agents bring their personalities to work and they seem to embody the personalities of the communities they serve.

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