A sign guy's perspective on real estate agent branding

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Real Estate Services with Jack Pratt Signs

Custom Real Estate Sign Now, I know most people are saying to themselves "What can a guy that makes signs know about real estate?"  Okay, you got me... not much.  I am a simple creature that loves graphic design that strives to keep a sign shop from running me.  Furthermore, I pledge to each and everyone of you not to be an expert in your industry.  However, there is something going on in the real estate industry that is notable and worthy of sharing.

The philosophy of marketing and branding according to Keller Williams Realty.

Stefan Swanepoel's report on "The Most Recognizable Brands for 2009" showed Keller Williams Realty as most recognized brand.  

Why is that?  In my opinion, it's the agents with Keller Williams Realty that have made the company the most recognized brand.  Gary Keller's philosophy in marketing and branding allows the agent more freedom than any other national real estate franchise.  Now, some might think that allowing the agent to use their own logos on their marketing materials could dilute the corporate brand. Remember the NAR survey? It was NAR that concluded that prospects choose to do business with real estate agents - not real estate companies. Gary embraced this concept and now the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.  The irony of this report is that the most recognized brand is a brand that does no advertising, marketing or promotion for itself.  Franchises, brokerages, and offices could learn something from this AND agents should learn something from this also.

A few years ago, there was an article in the Keller Williams Realty publication "OUTFRONT" that I think illustrates the mind of Gary Keller:

...three out of the four ‘for sale’ signs on one particular street were Keller Williams signs.  “Look at those signs - every one of them is different.  You might not even know that they’re Keller Williams unless you really looked at them,” commented Mary Keller.  I appreciated her observation, but said, “Maybe you’re missing the real point:  Our agents have the listings.”  •  Keller Williams® Realty OUTFRONT • Vol. 2  No. 5  Pg. 3

As a graphic designer and an approved vendor for Keller Williams Realty International, it is a wonderful challenge to work with almost 80,000 agents that all want the the same thing, something unique.  A typical request from a Keller Williams agent is "I'm new and I want custom signs, but all I have is my name and photo.  So, play jazz and dazzle me.  Make it different!"  We walk gingerly up to the standards but always keep mindful of what will be well received - both the customer, KWR International and in the community.  Here's a link to our Keller Williams Realty page on our website for some examples of what we have done.

So, what have I concluded?  A personalized, custom yard sign gives prospects the feeling that they are working with someone they know.  Someone they can trust.  The ultimate goal in real estate is to create a continuous stream of new listings.  By embracing Gary's philosophy in marketing and branding, you can strengthen your business and image in the market place and generate the new listing activity for which you aim.  We believe in his philosophy and focus on building the agent name and brand.  The success of Keller Williams Realty proves that Gary's strategy is a win-win and that the public gets it.

The philosophy at Keller Williams is one that we encourage agents in all size companies to embrace; Dare to set yourself apart with one of your most visible marketing tools, your listing signs. The only question is, does your company allow you the flexibility to differentiate yourself?

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Re-Bloggged 9 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Travis Newton 02/11/2010 12:58 PM
  2. Joseph J. Chang 02/18/2010 08:25 AM
  3. Carey Light 02/18/2010 08:52 AM
  4. Jason Killam 02/18/2010 10:48 PM
  5. MARY MITTEN 02/20/2010 08:50 PM
  6. Brett Pehrson 02/24/2010 12:22 PM
  7. Steve Ritchie 02/24/2010 12:29 PM
  8. Vanna Siackhasone 02/24/2010 01:55 PM
  9. Sybil Campbell 03/12/2010 10:29 PM
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Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Keller Williams Active Rain Bloggers
Keller Williams Agents
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marketing and branding
logo development
real estate signs

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Rainmaker
87,477
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs

Great thoughts and comments here!  Keep them coming!  And Jim, you make some points that are spot on!  As this blog is titled, this is merely one humble man's perspective... more than that though - it's an observation of what my company is experiencing.  Some real estate agents like it, some love it - some hate it.  Either way, it's all good for the sign guy.

March 12, 2010 03:14 PM
Rainer
7,152
Deborah Randolph
Pirate Homes and Realty

Since joining Keller Williams in 2003 I've used several different vendors for signs....and Monte is the last...I'll never order a sign from anywhere else. He's good, he's fast, he's reasonably priced and his shipping prices are low ...which is why we love Monte.

March 12, 2010 03:29 PM
Rainer
23,895
Diego Jaramillo
Keller Williams Realty - Houston Real Estate

Good posting.  Thanks for the Facebook sign riders...they're getting attention! :)

 

March 12, 2010 04:54 PM
Rainer
14,028
Lois Kubota
DRE#01865028
Keller Williams, Walnut Creek, California, DRE#01865028

Monte, that's great news about Keller Williams, since I am switching over to them right now.  That's what they say in their message.  I've been saying it's all about the agent forever so I'm glad to hear there's such support for that attitude.

March 12, 2010 05:04 PM
Rainer
117,186
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Where Buying & Selling Works
Keller Williams Suburban Realty

interesting read and insight. thanks for the thoughts and opinions.

March 13, 2010 07:04 PM
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
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Monte Pratt

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