Branding for real estate developments
Real estate branding from a design and marketing firm like AKSENT is about creatively packaging all the entities of the real estate company with the aim of communicating the benefits and identity associated with the brand thereby successfully positioning it to consumers.
Businesses that are planning to be in real estate development for a long period of time should always build a strong master brand and not only projects. The master brand is where the value resides and travels once projects are finished and sold out. The gain in equity and value every time the brand has a successful project will feed the image of the project and the image of the master brand simultaneously.
Branding basics in real estate are no different from other sectors; what’s different is the special dynamics of the business. Before beginning any brand project though, one needs to understand why it is needful to do so.
IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING A BRAND
• Identification- in that the buyer is identifying with a certain lifestyle and taste associated with the brand. With that, a design firm needs to develop a consistent real estate brand in terms of colour palettes, logo, font styles that can define corporate identity and allow the brand to stand out from the competition.
• To establish credibility and a record of accountability- Knight Frank researched branded and non-branded property developments in 17 global cities and found that developments linked to well-known designers or labels were around a third more valuable that similar plots nearby.
• High Clientele-With a trusted credible brand comes a high clientele not just in numbers but in quality; credible clients deal with credible brands.
• Citing innovation in the property market-a real estate brand is able to come up with unique concepts that distinguish it from its competitors.
Questions To Ask Before Beginning A Brand Project For Real Estate
1. What are the consumers buying into? Consumers are buying into the sense of the place and the feeling of the community. Once you understand your consumer you are able to develop a connection and trust in them that the brand can grow upon and establish.
2. What are the consumer’s expectations? Whether its luxury or affordable living, the brand image is a silent promise to consumers on what they are going to receive from the brand, therefore it is paramount that the brand delivers what they promise in order to develop trust with their clients and establish brand equity.
3. How is the brand positioning itself differently from others?
This is where creativity and concept are born. Let’s take the case scenario of a real estate development company that values the natural flora; the favorable theme to run with when branding such a company is an ‘eco friendly’ theme.
DEVELOPING A BRAND-DESIGN
In order to create brand identity, one must understand the core concept that sets the brand apart from its competitors. For example as previously described, a real estate development company that values the natural flora can be branded with an eco friendly theme that revolves around green palettes and imagery from nature.
This is the stage whereby concept materializes creatively into stationery, websites, Flyers, Brochures to position the brand image to its consumers.
Elements used to identify the brand materials such as colours, logo, shapes, and font styles should be repeated throughout all branding materials to create familiarity for the brand in the consumers mind and for easy identification.
The brand materials are key to making the brand stand out and since mediocrity won’t do the trick, exceptional and innovative design will help position the brand to stand out from its competitors.
NOTE- Avoid over-branding by keeping branding efforts to key developments which have the potential to become lifetime brands i.e. Destinations, Communities and Icons – Smaller developments would fall under these 3 groups, possibly as a sub-brand because people and customers will not remember several individual brands and will not be able to have meaningful relationships or even perceptions about a growing number of projects and developments.
DEVELOPING A BRAND- STRATEGY
POINTS TO CONSIDER
• A real estate developer in the process of establishing a brand name will make his presence felt at major real estate events such as property exhibitions, and will regularly offer new projects to buyers at such events. He thus puts his company into the limelight.
• Projects that are prominently advertised in leading property-related publications and other periodicals create interest with consumers. With repetitive exposure by such media, a brand name gets firmly imprinted in the minds of property buyers.
• A branded developer is aware of having a reputation to protect and live up to. This is evident in conscientious choice of location, superior amenities and quality of construction.
• A branded builder is a trend-setter on the property market – in other words, the rates he charges in his projects will often decide the rates that other projects of similar configurations in the same locality will charge.
• Make sure that all projects are successful in their own areas and for their specific target groups so the master brand value will keep growing.
•Always build a master brand not only project brands.
To conclude, behind all propositions such as all-in-one place”, “waterfront living”, “themed communities”, “good investment” we can find one Core Promise that real estate brands should be offering, it is the promise of a “better life” – If you want to build a brand in real estate, never break that promise.
Finally, a respected brand image is a developer’s most valuable asset.
– Aina Kiwelu