The easiest way to think of your brand narrative: What’s your story? And the easiest way to start conceptualizing your real estate brand strategy: Nail your brand narrative.
Because, here’s the truth of it: Over the last couple of decades, marketing has evolved from messaging to storytelling. When you’re behind the scenes, the difference between the two can feel like a fine line. But when you’re the client, the customer, the audience? The difference is huge.
Messaging is often draped in fakery. It’s strong-arming. It’s posturing. It’s pounding square pegs into round holes, because you just need to make them fit.
Storytelling, on the other hand, is authentic. (And we know how much the world loves the word “authenticity” nowadays!) It’s telling a story and letting the pieces fall into place. It’s trusting so deeply in your brand and your offering, that you can let your audience make their own decisions. Because you know that when they do, they’re going to decide on you.
So, your real estate brand strategy is all about developing the story that will get your clients from Point A (window-shopping and researching) to Point B (your committed client). In other words, it’s an absolute must for any real estate professional today.
What is Brand Narrative for Real Estate?
You can think of your real estate brand narrative as the beginning: not only the genesis of your brand, but the starting point for your storytelling. And storytelling is everything.
At its most simple, brand narrative is how you describe your brand identity to the general public, starting from your humble beginnings and transitioning into today’s mission and tomorrow’s vision. (Side note: These concepts will all be further detailed in your Real Estate Brand Book, which contains your Mission Statement and Vision Statement, plus a brand About. But more on that, later!)
But that’s only the what – the broader strokes of a straightforward dictionary definition. The real question is why?
Why Develop a Real Estate Brand Narrative?
Whether you’re a real estate broker or agent, a property management company or a developer, real estate brands all have something in common: Your buyer is the public. And the public – the human race at large – loves a good story.
Think about your favorite brands. You know, the ones you’re loyal to. The ones you’ve recommended to others. The ones that really do have a place in your heart (and your wallet).
Go ahead, really think about it.
Okay, now think about why they are your favorites. Your answer probably won’t revolve around the services they offer or the products they sell, but rather something in parallel:
- It’s the airline that you frantically phoned at 2 a.m. because your baby got sick in the wee morning hours before your flight… and the airline not only helped you reschedule, but also wished your sick kiddo a swift recovery. (Brand Narrative: We know things happen. And when they do, we actually care. And help.)
- It’s the rugged camera company with a lifetime warranty… that not only replaced the camera that got eaten by volcanic emissions, but that sent you a humorous Congratulations! card for taking your adventures to epic proportions. (Brand Narrative: We get you. We are you. And we stand behind both you AND our product!)
- And it’s the real estate agent who takes the time to answer your questions, in depth, even before you’ve become a client. The agent who takes the time to get to know you and your very specific needs, before sending over even one listing. The agent who follows up, after you’ve bought a home. (Brand Narrative: I’m not in this for a sale. I’m in this for the human connection. My true joy is in helping people!)
Okay, you get it: Brand loyalty is about more than a service or product, so brand narrative, too, should be about more than a service or product. It’s all about you and how you change your clients’ lives.
So, think of your real estate brand narrative as your company identity. As a way to engage emotionally with your audience – to motivate them not just to work with you, but to love you. And remember: If you don’t create and define your own brand narrative, then someone else will do it for you. And you may not like how that story goes.
7 Components of a Real Estate Brand Narrative
It can help to think of your brand narrative as the broader sketches of your story. It’s not a script to recite verbatim, but rather the overarching narrative behind all the very many stories you will tell.
As you begin to craft your brand narrative, consider the following essential components:
- Your Origin Story: Whether it’s your founder’s journey, the spark that birthed a company, or the evolution into today’s brand, your brand narrative should include your backstory. While this backstory will eventually be woven into your About Us, it will also serve as the hook to many stories around your beginnings and your brand motivations. Don’t be afraid to get personal!
- Your Motivations: We know, we just mentioned motivation in our last sentence. But, while your motivations – your why, as it were – evolve out of your backstory, they are an element all their own. Why do you do what you do? More than why you started, why do you continue?
- Your Truths: As humans, we all have our core, inalienable truths – those standards to which we hold ourselves. The lines we’ll fight to hold, no matter the pressure. What are those truths for your brand? What are your brand’s values? What elements do you deem most significant? List out 4-6 brand truths. Remember them, as you move forward.
- Your Brand Promise: A direct evolution of the above, your real estate brand promise condenses your truths, your motivations, and your story into one cohesive promise – a statement of purpose, as spoken directly to your client.
- Your Unique Selling Points: We’ll dive deeper into your USPs in an upcoming post, but for the moment, know that your unique selling points (also known as your unique selling proposition) is a key element to your brand narrative. What makes you different, or better, or unique to you niche? This must shine through, in every bit of content you produce.
- Emotional & Intellectual Impact: Even if you develop all the foregoing elements, you can’t deliver them like a plate of cardboard. They must be tied both to emotional and intellectual triggers, so that they simultaneously strum at the heartstrings while backing up your story with realistic information and facts.
- And Always, Authenticity: Through it all – as you develop each of the above – this element will underscore everything you do and say. Of course, this is authenticity: You should truly believe in your story, your truths, and your promise. Authenticity means you’re reliable and, when it comes to your real estate brand narrative, reliability (and relatability, for that matter) is something you must get across.
What’s Your Story?
So, where does your brand narrative begin? Where’s your story now? And where will your story – your real estate brand strategy – be headed in the future?
You’re busy. Marketing may not always be at the forefront of your mind or to-do list. So, it may take days, weeks, or even months to fully ruminate on these questions and develop, evolve, and fine-tune their answers. It can be an ongoing and ever-evolving project.
Want to speed up the process? That’s our expertise. Our real estate brand development services include full brand strategy – from story conception and brand narrative, through to full brand design, development, and management. Whatever you need, from the hyper-focused to the everyday.
And hey, we’re a pretty friendly bunch. So even if you just want to say hi, drop a question, or send us a comment, we’re always here. Get in touch!