Business News of Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Branding has become an ever important marketing tool and is increasingly becoming popular among real estate agents in Ghana.
Branding has virtually become a way of life in modern times. The likes of Nike, Apple and even our very own highlife star, Kojo Antwi, have created brands that have helped immortalize their status in society.
It is for this reason that a number of individuals and companies in the real estate sector have taken to branding to catapult them in this competitive market.
Branding, as defined by marketing expert Philip Kotler, is a seller’s promise to deliver a specific set of features, benefits and services consistent to the buyers.
Branding seeks to communicate a brand’s identity and position the brand distinctly from that of competing ones.
For stakeholders in the real estate, with special reference to agents, branding is the marketing tool needed to leverage their products and services above competition.
The Managing Director (MD) of Lamudi Ghana, Akua Nyame-Mensah, stressed the importance of branding in the scope of real estate.
“[Real estate] agents need to ensure that their visual identity, that is their logo and brand promises are consistent with the services they provide.
“When communicating with your audience, there should be an emphasis placed on quality, customer service, transparency and consistency with your message. This will breed trust with your customers and more importantly, you’ll be able to turn leads into sales.”
The opportunities within the real estate market in Ghana are numerous, especially considering the insatiable demand that currently exists. Large real estate brokerage firms have relied on branding to drive their quest for a large chunk of this market. In essence, it has helped them gain new businesses while firming their position on the industry ladder.
Unfortunately, some of the nation’s smaller agencies have not taken note and sometimes struggle with meeting demands of house-hunters and prospective commercial property customers.
Property expert, Lamudi, has compiled a list of useful branding tips property agents can adopt to improve their business:
1. Core values and target market
Before setting out into the wild, you need to assess who your target market should be, as well as the values your company should espouse. Every agency has its peculiar values and target markets. For instance, while targeting upscale markets, you need to emphasize key traits such as luxury, safety and uniqueness. Aligning yourself with these characteristics will attract such customers your way. If your business unit is concerned with affordable housing, you need to emphasize characteristics such as affordability and convenience. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to brand communication.
2. Design a logo
Many agents either work without logos or design themselves. However, this is a recipe for disaster. First, a logo is a form of identity tool, something the public would want to relate to and ascribe all forms of associations with. The logo is the first point of reference for any business unit and as such, must be done by a professional.
Establish an email, social media fan pages and even a website if possible. The world is slowly converging to the virtual realm of Internet where almost everything is available. Shunning your business from the World Wide Web hinders the opportunities you can derive from it. Additionally, advertising on the Web not only increases exposure, but also enhances the image of your brand.
This is a very crucial component to the banding process. Consistency ensures that your target audience does not get confused about your communication message. It also helps them to create associations with your brand, thus creating a strong brand image. Bear in mind that how you start with your brand is how your target audience would come to associate your brand. It is therefore very important to invest time and if possible money into research before commencing on such a venture.