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Give Meaning to Your Brand

One of the questions I ask delegates early in a typical training seminar is the simple question - “What do estate agents DO?” The response I invariably get from the audience is “We sell houses”.

Whilst this is not a surprising response, it does indicate what I believe to be a fundamental lack of awareness of the opportunity to deliver amazing customer service and its associated revenue streams.

Before addressing what the answer should perhaps be, let’s look at a couple of examples of broad thinking that have made a real difference in other industries. Firstly, both Ilford and Kodak have been making photographic paper and film for over 100 years. Yet Ilford went bust recently, whilst Kodak had a record year. Why should this be? They both apparently do the same thing in the same market. Yet had you asked Ilford “What do you do” they would have said “We make photographic paper and film”, whilst Kodak would have said “We specialise in imaging!” Wow! See the difference? Only one of these two firms was well positioned to take advantage of the digital age purely because of their own perception of what they do. The other hung themselves by their own small-mindedness.

In another example, Coca Cola and Pepsi, like Ilford and Kodak, have been fighting for market domination for over a century, yet both are losing out to a recently introduced competitor that sells its product for up to a hundred percent more money, for thirty percent less liquid! The product? Red Bull – whose UK garage forecourt turnover now amounts to over 50% of Pepsi’s! Impossible surely for such a similar stimulant, sweet, fizzy, fashion drink? Not when the brand has MEANING behind it – something that Coca Cola and Pepsi apparently forgot. “Red Bull gives you wings!” is a great demonstration of a clear brand with meaning.

So coming back to the question “What do estate agents do?”. Well, if you now answer this in a way that gives meaning to your own brand, in a way that is a reflection of who you are as much as it is of what you actually do, you might just say “We help people move”. Think about it in the context of Ilford and Kodak. If your mission is now to help people move, then how much easier it is to hang real customer service, and higher fees, on the back of it, and just imagine how many new opportunities are created for you. Give me a buzz if you need some suggestions!