Basics of Real Estate Branding

The branding basics applicable to the real estate business are no different from branding in any other sector. The principles, of real estate branding, are the same, even if the applications are more specific and following the special dynamics of the business.

In fast growing markets for the real estate segment, like India, most companies would focus first on the operational and commercial side of the business; in other words how to build good projects, sell, deliver on time, and build new ones. With the development of the market, a small number of companies have started putting more focus on branding after they have discovered the economic power of a strong brand. At the same time, some other companies are still dealing with this sector in a commoditized mindset. Build, build, build; then sell, sell, sell. A basic corporate identity and few millions in communication would make them feel happy.

Starting by the basic concept of branding, it all boils down to that relationship at a human level between the brand and customers. It is about that trust, connection and affinity that the brand can establish and grow among customers and the general public in a certain markets. How to establish this connection, grow it and sustain it through time and geographies is all about the rules of good branding strategies.

The principle of “value creation” for customers and consumers is widely understood in the business and branding arena; however, the applications of this basic principle in a category like real-estate are quite complex.

Creating value starts with adding value to people’s life whether by offering them a better home, a better community, better facilities, a better investment, or simply a better business opportunity. When this value is created, delivered and perceived well by hundreds and thousands of customers, it will be transformed into an economic value linked directly to the brand equity or “good will” that this brand can create. In real estate, this notion of “value creation” is practically linking the cumulative positive performance of a company to the creation of a certain brand equity that will have immediate influence on the business and its success with future projects or joint-ventures.

Real estate brands that have managed to create value through a number of successful and sometimes iconic projects would benefit from a good reputation, equity and image in the market. This positive value is subject to growth and even to “transfer” to new projects that the brand is developing or even new markets where the brand is expanding.  The positive experience that people have had with the brand in the past could be expected from new projects provided that a good marketing and communication job is supporting the brand and its activities.

Marketing and communication role is very important in this process, especially in highlighting the endorsement role that the main brand is bringing to new projects. The core brand promise, values and personality should be clearly pronounced in all these projects. The immediate results of “value transfer” will be noticed when the new projects from this same brand will start reaping substantial acceptance and “good will” in a relatively very short time. The successes and credentials of the main brand will start traveling around the market and offer new experiences to new customers and different target groups.

Since the brand value is cumulated by the success of its projects and decreased by project failures and customers dissatisfaction; it is better on the long run to only concentrate on well planned and executed projects to optimize the chances of success and avoid the negative experiences that can drain the brand value.  Moreover, a brand that manages to transfer value from one project to another is a brand that can make substantial savings on marketing investments.

Branding and commodities goes in two opposite directions. As long as real estate companies are thinking in terms of “projects” and “developments” the real estate branding process cannot reach its full potential in terms of value creation. Therefore, when companies realize that they are not only building apartments, villas, houses, offices, malls and recreational centers but “communities” and “lifestyle” in general, the shift in thinking and in business will start happening. An idea like “community concept” will give a bigger role to the relationship between the brand and customers. This will project the brand role and relationship through time and make the creation and transfer of value a lifetime process. Real estate companies that are selling houses and apartments are selling bricks and mortar, while those who are marketing lifestyle are actually building connection and value.

If we look at what “Real Estate” companies are offering and try to find that core thing that customers of all types are looking for among all these offerings of “community life”, “all-in-one place”, “waterfront living”, “themed communities”, “good investment”, “branded developments”, the tallest, the biggest, the first, the everything…

All these claims and unique propositions will help real estate projects and companies and eventually appeal to customers with different needs and mindsets. But behind all these propositions we can find one Core Promise that real estate brands should be offering, it is the promise of a “better life”If you want to build a brand in real estate, never break that promise.


How to write an effective copy for Real Estate Ads

Print ad by Circle One for Reflections@Keppel Bay, Singapore

Writing clear copy in real estate ads is more important than ever. Often the first contact the real estate developer has with a potential home buyer comes through the advertisement. With the speed at which shoppers are able to jump from one listing to the next, especially online, it’s essential that your ads are written clearly and are engaging. And since the first contact you’ll likely have with a potential home buyer will come through this ad, the copy is your first chance to build a reputation and a relationship.

1. Write clear, catchy headlines
Describe the house factually, but add a sense of urgency so the property appears to be highly sought-after and desired. Nearly everyone will read your headline, while relatively few visitors will read the rest of the copy … unless you can capture their attention immediately, that is. A good rule of thumb is to spend half your time working on the headline.

2. Use the best visuals and renderings
The advertisement is the first impression tool for your potential customers. You need to include photos and 3D architectural renderings of the best possible quality to highlight your property. Use low quality photos or bad renderings will not only put your potential buyer off, but will also create a poor image in his mind of your company.

3. Cater to the local market
The more specific you can be about school districts, local parks and businesses, and cultural attractions, the more effective your copy will be. The specifics paint a clear picture of the house while at the same time showing your expertise and familiarity with the local market.

4. Proofread and avoid typos
Nothing can ruin a great headline like a typo in the body of the listing. If you have time, set the listing aside and work on another project so you can proofread with a fresh set of eyes. Even better, read the listing out loud. Not only will you catch typos, but your ear could help you identify a better word or phrase.

5. Highlight your contact information
One of the main goals of an ads is, after all, to schedule a showing. Make sure your phone number and email address are easy to find in the advertisement.

6. Include a call to action
When listing your phone number, don’t simply include the number, but add a call-to-action to entice visitors to take action, for example, To schedule an in-person showing this week, call Robert at 123-4567.

7. Make a sale with copy
If you can write ads that sell, your showings will be much more effective, since your new clients will be in love with the house before they even arrive to take their first walk-through. Ads that sell often include unique details about the house, a list of owner benefits, and something surprising enough to warrant a second look.

8. Be as creative as possible without being too clever
In a crowded market you need to stand out. This doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind, and deal in metaphors or inane comparisons. Show off the personality of the home and not your creative abilities. Most real estate developers, in the effort to stand out, resort to copy that ends up confusing the buyer. The buyer needs information and this information needs to be creative and straight to the point!!

9. Present a picture of living in the house
Many ads present facts about a physical house. If you can differentiate your ad by selling a lifestyle, you’ll be at a distinct advantage. Instead of saying a house has three bedrooms, mention that it has three bedrooms, perfect for children, office space or a workout room. Help people visualize themselves living in the house.

10. Make sure the photos match
It’s important that the ad doesn’t over promise or under promise on the house. Remember, this is the first contact you’re having with potential clients. You don’t want them to feel the copy is less than truthful. Instead, take this opportunity to show the house as honestly as possible, and point out the positives.

11. Be consistent with your copy
The tone of a listing, from headline to body copy, should be positive, engaging and professional. Further, if all your ads display that same level of professionalism and expertise, you’re likely to develop a good reputation among shoppers.

How to increase your real estate sales with 3D renderings

Your real estate company can benefit a lot if it uses 3d rendering services to create digital visualizations of properties you are selling. You can increase your sales by using 3d renderings, and they aren’t costly compared to what they offer. They give your customers a chance to check the floor plans as well as the exterior elevations of your building on a realistic and effective way.

Visiting a property customers may be interested on is part of the sale process, you have to give them detailed information about it, details on the location, and other building information. You can save a lot on this by making a 3d rendered visit of the apartment which can be seen either online or on site with the help of an agent.

You could save a lot of time and your customers could visit locations which are further to reach from their current locations from home, ask all questions needed and do everything remotely.

3d computer visualizations are used in the design of most properties today, getting them from architects can be a good opportunity, and using them can help speed up the house or building selling process. Many times builders utilize the best architectural renderings during City meetings to get the needed permits for constructions. These visualizations can be used for promotional purposes afterwards and they can be combined with colored floor plans showing all the interior of the apartments or homes.

Score new sales records and make your customers know their choices before even making a visit to properties they may not end buying. Utilize this new age technology that architecture rendering services can provide to your advantage, you won’t regret doing it.

The Starbucks Counter brand

Prior to the creation of their “Uncola” counter-brand in 1967, 7-Up had survived for 38 years as a lemon-lime soft drink with the slogan, “You Like It. It Likes You.”

As in Judo, the secret of counter-branding is to use the weight and momentum of your opponent to your own advantage. In other words, hook your trailer to their truck and let them pull you along in their wake.

The steps in counter-branding are these:

1. List the attributes of the master brand. In the case of 7-Up, the master brand was “Cola: sweet, rich, brown.” Everything else was either a fruit flavor or root beer and all of those put together were relatively insignificant. “Cola” overwhelming dominated the mental category “soft drinks.”
2. Create a brand with precisely the opposite attributes. To accomplish this, 7-Up lost their lemon-lime description and became “The Uncola: tart, crisp, clear.”
3. Without using the brand name of your competitor, refer to yourself as the direct opposite of the master brand. 7-Up didn’t become UnCoke or UnPepsi as that would have been illegal. But when you’re up against an overwhelming competitor, you don’t need to name them. Everyone knows who they are.

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