Branding

The whole world is watching

Author
Brian Boero
No.
514
Date
09/01/10

A large billboard came into focus along the interstate, the final indicator that my weeklong vacation at Lake Tahoe was over:

“Now recruiting dual-career agents”

Big. Bold. Proud.

And insane.

A large regional real estate company planted this billboard. I wondered for a moment why a respected real estate brand would do such a thing. But then it occurred to me that “respected” made no sense here; “recognized” was more appropriate.

Like in, “I recognized the familiar aroma of grease wafting from the lunch truck.”

I spent the next half hour thinking about statements that were possibly more offensive than the one plastered on this billboard:

“Make money performing surgeries – ask us how!”

“Now seeking motivated sperm donors – work from home!”

OK. Sorry. But you get the point.

Ironic transparency

This billboard is an extreme example, but we see it all the time: real estate companies opening up their robe just a little too far and revealing some unpleasant sights

How many times have you seen a real estate school promoted on a real estate company’s home page? Or a “Careers” page promising “Leads” to those “New to the business?”

Do you think today’s buyers and sellers are too confused or too caught up in the “emotional nature of the real estate transaction” to notice this stuff?

Of course not. The whole world is watching now. Blemishes, let alone fundamental weaknesses, are nearly impossible to buff away. Stuff that didn’t strike a sour note during the good times rings with contradiction in an environment where the cover of Time magazine is dedicated to “Rethinking homeownership.”

Ouch

Maybe you think I’m wrong, that there will always be enough people to hire the friend of a friend who just needs a break, that we choose sales people we like regardless of qualifications.

You’re going to get dinged anyway. By competitors.

Companies with strong organizations, a discriminating approach to recruiting, and standards around service delivery are beginning to pointedly position themselves against the companies in their markets without these things.

It’s resonating.

Bingo

I started this post a few days ago. Today, Greg Robertson over at Vendor Valley posted the video below. I’m sharing it here because it encapsulates everything I’ve written above:

Real estate matters. Let’s treat it as such!