Marketing Plan in 30 Days: Day 5
Commercial real estate brokers and agents love to skip immediately to this step, but without your specialty and target market established, you won’t be able to truly able to brand your business effectively. Instead, get those first steps done and then move on to the fun stuff – BRANDING!!! Whoo!!! Before you order some cool pens, read these tips to ensure your success.
1. Logo. The logo will dictate everything about your company including, colors, fonts, and basic style. I’m a believer in keeping it simple. 3D logos are annoying and using a carnival of colors is distracting. Use a Helvetica or similar font, no more than 3 colors (including black/gray/white). Weird 3D stuff like a globe or shaded text is a NO. Dealing with a logo artist is easy when you send a sample of logos that you like and a few color samples. These are things you can search for on Google. The more examples your artist has, the better they will be at figuring out your sense of style and color.
2. Colors. Seth Godin’s “This is Marketing” has a great point about company colors. Colors should be chosen because the target market likes the colors, not the company’s CEO. IBM chose that blue because research showed their target market liked that blue. Commercial real estate tends to focus on red, gray, and blue, but I think lesser used colors like orange and green may hold a unique and memorable impact. Don’t get too in your head about this, choose a color combination you prefer. We don’t have IBM money to do blind market surveys, we must rely on best judgement.
3. Imagery. If you’re focusing on local market, city, or state – consider using a majority of cityscapes and local photos. However, if your reach is far and wide – consider using stock photos of people doing business. Another option is industry specific photos such as retail, office, or industrial buildings. Whatever your focus, you may want to consider choosing an imagery set. You can even go a little more creative, like me, I use cartoons. Cartoons and infographics are great ways to simplify complex services.
4. Keep it Simple. Don’t overcomplicate your brand. Even if you offer many different services, you can still break it into 3-4 main parts: buy / sell / landlord / tenant. If you offer different kinds of specialties within each category, explain them within a category – don’t try to make a branch for every combination. Keeping things within categories will help when you’re defining work processes.
5. Avoid Vague. There are SO MANY commercial real estate websites out there that have NOTHING about commercial real estate. Seriously. They dance around the terms, “investment” and “portfolio” but there is no indication that they offer any CRE services. Be specific. Outline your process, and state clearly who you are, what you do, and how you can help.
6. Message / Pain Points. In commercial real estate, client pain points don’t vary greatly. (1) Buyers want the best deal in town. (2) Sellers want top dollar. (3) Landlords want 0% vacancy rates and top-notch tenants. (4) Tenants want good deals on profitable locations. It’s your job to outline how you will be fixing each problem. Start thinking about it now, but we’ll go over Pain Points in detail on Day 6.
Agents with Brokerage Branding
7. Do NOT go against the corporate brand. I know it’s not the answer you were hoping for, but hear me out. Brokerages spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on branding standards with the hope that you will be recognized as one of their experts. That’s why you can’t blast your website with bright purple when you’re an NAI agent. NAI wants you to be recognized immediately by the gray and red square motif. It’s about awareness. A GOOD designer can make ANY branding standards look good.
9. My company’s marketing is atrocious. If your company’s marketing team is lacking, try finding a freelancer that can put together print materials for you. Freelancer.com and UpWork.com are my favorites. If the materials are being made within branding standards, your broker shouldn’t complain that you’ve gone rogue.
On to Day 6: Pain Points