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Rebranding through a Recession – How to Profit during the Hard Times

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By John Voket

RISMEDIA, December 16, 2009—Rebranding in the midst of today’s market uncertainties may be an adventure that many real estate professionals are not willing to take. But Greg Rand, Managing Partner, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty took the opportunity when he announced Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty in May 2009, right in the middle of a recession. Here, read how Rand rebranded his company during one of the most difficult times our economy has seen and how he lived to talk about it.

Rand_GregGreg Rand
Managing Partner
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty
White Plains, New York

Years in real estate: 19
Number of offices: 23
Number of agents: 750
Region served: Westchester and the Hudson Valley in New York
Best tip for dealing with difficult customers: Earn respect and then demand it.
Most creative ad you’ve ever run: Our launch ad when we announced Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty in May 2009, right in the middle of this recession. Camilla Sullivan (SVP, marketing) and team at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC, designed it. The copy read: “Ahead. A Great Future.” The image was of a blossoming flower. The message we sent was that we had faith that a housing market revival was at hand, and that we felt optimistic—not afraid. My brother, Matt, designed and executed an all-out campaign with that message, and I know the world got it.
Can’t live without tech tool: BlackBerry
Biggest myth about the current economy: The term “housing meltdown.” The real estate market today was a predictable correction. The “meltdown” was on Wall Street in mortgage-backed securities and on Main Street in consumer confidence.

What are some of your best practices to ensure client retention?
We try every day to be an exciting company. Exciting to work in and exciting to watch in the marketplace. That translates into increased competence in our everyday jobs, the rapid development of new technology, marketing and efficiency tools, and, hopefully, an outstanding overall experience for our clients and agents. If we are growing—and we are—then we know its working. An example of this is my brother, Joe Rand’s, agent training philosophy: “The World’s Best Real Estate Agent.” You can imagine the things you can accomplish with an aspiration like that.

Why did your company decide to change its brand in the midst of today’s economic/market uncertainties?
Every time we had a good month during the boom, my mother (broker/owner Marsha Rand) would wag her finger and say, “

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