As a real estate professional, your plate is heaping with to-do’s. Take care of current clients, keep up with past ones and scour for new ones—all while managing your daily tasks. When it comes to branding, it’s easy to see why some agents may fall behind.
Stewart Title knows all about branding…and rebranding. They’ve been around for over 120 years, after all. This month, they roll out a refreshed, simplified brand structure, fully decked out with a new mobile website that includes new navigation and a modern look and feel. To accompany their new site, they began running new ad campaigns, introduced a new tagline, and their offices started using new marketing materials, including brochures, flyers, email blasts, business cards and letterhead. For a company that’s been successful for over a century, why was it important for them to revamp? As they say, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. However, when it comes to branding, this motto doesn’t apply.
According to Stewart Title’s Chief Marketing Officer John Arcidiacono, the company has been through organizational changes and has seen many shifts in the real estate industry. “There was an opportunity for us to more clearly define what we stand for and what makes Stewart unique, as well as simplify who Stewart is to our customers,” Arcidiacono explains.
As a company, you know who you are and what you stand for. But do your clients? This is the heartbeat of branding: clearly defining who you are to your customers.
“For agents, their personal brand is just as important, if not more so, than a company’s because they get more business based on who they are and what they stand for,” says Arcidiacono. “An agent with a strong brand can leverage that to build better relationships with customers, which, in turn, helps them get more business.”
“The proper way to look at branding is the relationship between you and your customer, and the way that relationship works in their minds,” explains Joshua Bishop, Stewart’s Creative Director. “If you want to fine-tune your branding, it’s imperative you understand your customer/company relationship, which goes far beyond fancy billboards or imprinting your face on a bus stop bench. This is one of the largest branding misconceptions.”
“A lot of people think branding is mainly about what you see,” says Arcidiacono. Ads, flyers, business cards. This is not what truly makes a brand. “It’s really about what that company stands for in the mind of the customer, and that’s made up of many different things, from the way employees treat customers to what people say about your company. Ultimately, a brand is made of many different elements that come together to create a value customers put on a business.”
So how can you determine where you stand in the eyes of your clients? Ask them.
“As we began working on the branding project, we realized early on that one of the most valuable things we could do was talk with our customers to understand how they felt about Stewart,” says Arcidiacono. The company did an extensive, qualitative research project with their main customer segments to better understand what factors drive their decision when it comes to choosing a real estate services company. “What we learned was that in many areas of our business, we are like a partner because we provide a unique service to our customers; we just need to explain how we work with them and what we do to help them with their business.”
Branding for the successful real estate agent is all about offering value to your client, so it’s no surprise that aside from having their own stand-out brand, Stewart helps bolster the brands of their real estate clients. “For most agents, customer service is a key factor that makes up their brand because that’s what’s most important to their home buyer and home seller customers,” Arcidiacono notes. “Therefore, if an agent selects a title company that provides an exceptional service for home buyers and sellers, the agent looks better. Stewart’s brand is built on the fact that we partner with our agent customers to help them with their business and ensure we provide a high level of service to their customer.”
Stewart Title’s new tagline is “Real Partners. Real Possibilities.” The firm intends to bring both to the future of real estate services.
For more information, visit www.stewart.com.