You might have a brand which has been in place for years, but is it actually doing your business any good? Is it making it stand out? Has it helped your agency become well-known throughout your local area? If the answer to those questions is “no”, you need to give it a refresh. When competition for landlords is so fierce, you need to ensure that everything you do is designed to appeal to them and give you the edge over your rivals.
It’s remarkable how little joined-up thinking often goes into defining a letting agency’s branding. Many people assume that branding simply means coming up with a clever name and a funky logo, but it’s much more involved than that - your branding should permeate everything you do in terms of your marketing activity and the way you want to be perceived by potential customers.
But yes, great branding isn’t always what you can see.
Ground your brand identity in emotional values
Creating an emotional connection isn’t easily achieved, but can be richly rewarding when done successfully. Think about what it is about brands you use that resonates with you and then try and apply them to your business. The following questions might help you focus your thinking:
- What’s your story?
- Why are you in the rental market?
- How do you want to help tenants and landlords?
- What do you think is the secret to fantastic service?
- How are you providing that in terms of your day-to-day work?
It’s important you don’t make things up to fit into a predetermined narrative - always aim for authenticity because customers will sense inauthenticity from a mile away. Once you know what you want to get across to your customers, ensure that everyone at the business knows as well - not only should you publicise these values so they resonate with your customers, but they should be present in everything you do. This way, they can be used to guide you at all times and ensure a coherent marketing and customer retention strategy.
Why branding matters to potential landlords
In terms of finding potential landlords, branding in a practical sense works on the practical, aesthetic aspect of it in terms of your business looking professional and competent and catching the eye; and the more ethereal confidence and value-based benefit it has in terms of the quality of the service you are perceived to provide. While these aspects seem fairly disparate, they can be achieved if you ensure consistency throughout the branding itself.
As far as your landlords are concerned, your brand helps to define and differentiate you from the competition - when you have a clear brand to point to, you become much more than a simple commodity competing with your rivals on a purely lowest price basis. You offer something extra that goes above and beyond a basic service and ensures that these customers have a reason to return to you.
However, landlords are two very different markets that you need to reach and appeal to in different ways because they care about different things - but you’ll need to ensure that what are technically two separate messages are still delivered in a coherent, connected, consistent way.
As we discussed in our blog “How To Target Landlords: A Guide to Audience Research”, you need to know which type of landlord you’re targeting, because professional landlords are going to need to hear different things to new or accidental landlords.
However, most landlords are generally going to be most bothered about the service you provide, so this is where you need to focus your brand messaging. Ensure that the points you’re getting across to them are that you can save them time and hassle by taking away all of the jobs they hate to do.
If you can find a message that resonates with those landlords, you’ll naturally begin to win new customers - don’t just tell them what you think they want to hear, try and tailor your ethos to their pain points.
Click to download the case study of Foxtons.
You may also be interested in our blog "How To Win More Landlords: A Business Strategy"