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What is real estate branding?
Real estate branding is the manifestation of your brand identity: how your brand looks and sounds. Building a brand for your real estate business involves creating written and visual media (such as logos, taglines, and a website) that communicate who you are to clients, prospects, and the world. A well-designed brand is instantly recognizable, sets you apart from the competition, and builds an emotional connection with your target audience.
Weak branding, on the other hand, contributes to the failures of many real estate businesses. A staggering 87% of agents are out of business within their first five years. If you want your real estate business to thrive, it’s important to learn the art & science of branding.
In this article, we’re sharing the proven process we’ve used to develop brands for 20 of the Wall Street Journal’s Top 100 Real Estate Agents, as well as several case studies and examples you can use as inspiration when developing your own real estate branding strategy.
How to build a real estate branding strategy
Buyers are savvier than ever—we can thank the internet for that. In 2023, real estate businesses that lead with authenticity, social proof, and emotional connection win. The human-first elements of branding have never been more important. If you want to adapt and stay competitive, you need to create a strong real estate branding strategy.
Establish your mission, vision, and values statements
Businesses that make a connection with their customers sell more. This is why the world’s leading brands have clearly defined missions, visions, and values—all of which you want in your real estate branding strategy. Beyond attracting potential clients, these can also guide your decision-making. Your mission is your why. Your vision is your goal. And your values influence your actions.
Study the features of successful real estate brands
For real estate agents with an eye for detail, there’s a lot to be gained from studying a successful real estate branding strategy. Examples that continually earn our admiration are Hilton & Hyland, Rochelle Maize, and The Breitenbach Advisory. For a more comprehensive list, check out this article on the best real estate websites.
Create a bite-sized project timeline
Building a real estate branding strategy can be a long, complicated project if approached incorrectly. Planning ahead, breaking tasks into smaller pieces, and setting a timeline for each stage is the key to success. Start with your mission, vision, and values, and progress toward larger assets such as your website.
While it is possible to build a real estate branding strategy on your own, many agents struggle to achieve strong outcomes without support. That’s precisely why most leading real estate businesses partner with branding and marketing experts. For those seeking fast and meaningful results, it pays to know when to hang up your “DIY gloves.”
Build your real estate branding A-Team
There’s a reason many of the greatest agents in the United States trust Luxury Presence. That’s because our award-winning team of real estate branding experts have made it their mission to transform the careers of the real estate professionals we work with.
Here are two examples of us doing exactly that:
David Hatef, a top lawyer turned real estate influencer, partnered with us to build his brand on Instagram. We designed and implemented a real estate branding strategy that earned him 6,500 new followers with an impressive 4.5% engagement rate in under 12 months.
Prior to partnering with Luxury Presence, Gray St. Onge was an up-and-coming boutique brokerage. By building a world-class website and managing their SEO, we achieved a remarkable 43% and 73% increase in website traffic and sales, respectively.
Real estate branding strategies
Today, agents are spoiled for choice when it comes to branding strategies. But in our experience creating some of the world’s most successful real estate brands, not everything is worth your time.
To help you get ahead, we’ve outlined the best real estate branding strategies to consider.
Build a world-class real estate website
Real estate websites have become the most trusted source of information, with buyers regularly browsing them before contacting agents. As a result, having a real estate website that looks luxurious, builds trust, and positions you as an expert is one of the best branding strategies available. And markets like we’re experiencing today make working with a world-class design team all the more important.
Harness the power of content marketing and SEO
Content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) work hand in hand. SEO earns you a highly trafficked position among search results, and content marketing builds trust with these new prospects. Both are key players in a well-designed real estate branding strategy.
Create eye-catching photo and video content
Not surprisingly, 89% of buyers call photos “very useful” when they are looking at homes online. People attach sentiment to their house more than any other belonging; it’s human nature. Smart agents know this and capitalize by including professional video and photo content in their real estate branding strategy.
Use Google My Business to enhance your SEO
Establishing yourself on Google My Business is a simple and cost-effective way to improve your search rankings. Understandably, Google favors agents who use their products and regularly post useful client-focused information. We recommend adding this channel to your real estate branding strategy to enhance your results.
Make high-value real estate email marketing campaigns
Real estate email marketing is one of the largest branding opportunities for real estate agents. With a simple management tool, you can send powerful emails full of valuable information, video content, and other branded media designed to persuade prospects to partner with you. This is an incredibly useful channel to add to your real estate branding strategy.
Master your social media presence
Social media is a powerful tool that deserves a place in every real estate branding strategy. If you’re trying to scale your real estate business, you’ll get there faster by focusing both on generating new leads and warming old ones. But, like anything, studying helps! These proven social media strategies can help you build a strong brand on social.
Promote your brand with paid ad campaigns
Google and Facebook’s paid advertising platforms are a revolution in marketing. Thanks to them, any real estate agent can drive traffic to their website with a click of a button. For those in search of a faster way to scale their real estate real estate business, running campaigns on these platforms is a smart route to explore.
Leverage referrals to magnify your presence
Generating referrals should be a priority in any real estate branding strategy. Due to the high value of the transactions, 41% of buyers and sellers only trust agents who are referred to them. Those who ask past clients for referrals and build referral networks use this dynamic to their advantage.
Common real estate branding mistakes
Building a standout real estate brand should be a priority for any growing real estate business. But best practices have changed, and some old methods no longer deliver the same results. Here are four common mistakes you should avoid when implementing your real estate branding strategy.
Failing to build an authentic brand identity
Your brand is your identity. It should be as unique as you are and help you stand out. But to stand out, you have to stand for something. Finding a purpose or ideal to build your real estate branding strategy around helps your message resonate with your target audience.
Underestimating the luxury market’s potential
Agents that target luxury buyers have higher commissions and spend more on marketing, drastically increasing the speed at which they grow. Building a real estate branding strategy capable of winning high-ticket deals is an opportunity that too often goes unexplored.
Not taking advantage of all the internet can offer
The internet created a plethora of branding opportunities that were not previously available, yet most agents don’t take advantage of them. Social media, emails, websites, and relevant content give you the power to create a world-class brand that’ll impress your target customers.
Overlooking free press as a branding goldmine
Free press is a remarkable real estate branding strategy that agents often overlook. To drum up new business, savvy agents use tools such as HARO, real estate industry podcasts, local events, and local news articles to build authority and attract attention to their businesses. Bottom line: if you’re not seeking press, you’re leaving money on the table.
Falling short of real human connection
Remember, your target audience is human. People form connections with those who share common interests. Go beyond the surface and focus on how you can use your lifestyle, hobbies, values, and ideals to connect with prospects and clients.
Examples of quality real estate branding
Not all real estate branding strategies are created equal. The truth is, the top 10-20% of real estate businesses dominate the majority of the market. These are the agents who’ve heavily invested in creating world-class websites, social media profiles, and content.
If you want to stand a chance of competing, we recommend carefully studying those leading the industry. To make that easier for you, we’ve listed some of the best brands we’ve built for clients—and shared the expert thinking behind their creation.
A mix of elegant typography and eye-catching visual media, the Official Partners website screams authority, luxury, and professionalism—all traits of the industry-leading team behind the brand. Built mobile-first, it functions flawlessly on all devices, too.
As Los Angeles’ top luxury real estate agent, Stormie Leoni needed a brand that lived up to her reputation. To make it happen, we built her brand with the colors, images, and aesthetic that match the chic, luxurious Los Angeles mansions she’s famous for selling.
Jen Winston wanted to build a brand that showcased her personality. To achieve this, we leaned towards high-end images of her, rather than putting all the focus on the ‘to die for’ mansions she deals in. Paired with her sweet but persuasive bio, Jen’s website successfully captures her charm.
Devin Hugh Leahy
Beyond being a Forbes Top 5 Broker, Devin Hugh Leahy is known for his sleek suits, luxury cars, and charisma. Through stylish typography, powerful portraits, and dark color choices, we built a classy brand that suits him perfectly.
Kumara Wilcoxon’s website is a testament to her $359M sales history and industry dominance in Austin. Leaning into a minimalist yet luxurious aesthetic, her site features professional drone footage, large vibrant images, and a ton of trust-building elements, which load instantly and are formatted for all devices.
Just like the jaw-dropping properties they sell, the website we created for Carolwood Estates is modern, luxurious, and uses clean, open space and large visual assets to create a feeling of importance, prosperity, and class. These are all keys to building a successful real estate branding strategy in the luxury market.
Another incredibly human brand, Khrista Jarvis wanted to demonstrate her expertise while remaining approachable. We achieved this by showcasing her nurturing personality both in work and in life. The homepage video, in particular, leaves you feeling like you’re in good hands.
Robin Kencel’s website goes beyond visually pleasing—an excellent example of how to apply the vital elements of real estate branding while adding your own twist. Each page is filled with stunning lifestyle images and video content that make a lasting impression.
While the internet leveled the playing field, it also gave buyers more choice. And more choice means they can be selective. If you want to succeed in today’s market, building an online presence that cuts through the noise has never been more important.
Need help with your real estate branding strategy?
Part science, part art, building a brand is complex. You now have a ton of information about the latest real estate marketing strategies, along with common pitfalls to avoid. Now, if you’re interested in getting expert creative and branding support that helps you achieve your goals and position yourself as a market leader, reach out to our team to get started.