When Should You Rebrand Your Business? A Guide for Real Estate, Property Management & Luxury Vacation Rentals

rebrand or refresh your brand

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s time to rebrand your business, then it probably is.

But if the thought of rebranding your real estate or property management company, or even a luxury vacation home, is daunting, then remember: Rebranding does not mean starting from scratch. It doesn’t require throwing everything previous out the window. And it’s not a total do-over.

The truth is that rebranding – or, at least, successful rebranding –  can be a very delicate balance

The goal is to ensure that your branding materials and messaging reflect your company today, not to alienate the clientele you’ve spent so long nurturing. Because your business already has an established identity – if it didn’t, you’d be branding, not rebranding – And your public doesn’t want to get to know a completely different you.

Think of rebranding more as a refresher. It’s a chance to review your messaging, check in with your current mission and goals, and ensure that your public image matches your company identity.

That said, it’s not a quick and simple process to rebrand your business. It takes time, effort, and investment. So before you jump in, set aside the resources for all of the above. 

When to Rebrand Your Business

emotional storytelling to rebrand your business

At some point, every lasting brand goes through a rebranding process. You’ve seen it happen, time and time again: Facebook became Meta; HomeAway shifted to Vrbo (and called themselves ver-boh); and even Google updated its long-standing logo. 

Rebranding is just something that successful companies do, because the longer you stick around, the more trends change

And so, when you’re considering whether it’s time to rebrand your business, the first question to ask is, when was the last time you rebranded? What has changed between then and now? Is your branding, messaging, and/or marketing behind the times? Because, if the answer is yes, then you don’t need to read any further: The answer is yes, it’s time to rebrand. 

That said, if your real estate, property management, or luxury vacation home brand isn’t feel stale, that doesn’t mean it’s still not time to rebrand. Because there are many reason why companies choose to run refresh, among them: 

  • Your business is evolving. Many real estate brokerages, developers, vacation home, and property management companies find that, as their success grows, as their clientele expands, and as their vision matures, their brand also evolves.
  • You need an infusion of fresh inspiration. Great brands are built on consistency, familiarity, and established expectations. That said, like all businesses, your real estate brand must respond to market expectations and business trends, whether you’re staying the course or steering the ship in a new direction.
  • Business has plateaued. We’re of the don’t-mess-with-success mentality. By that, we mean that if your company is experiencing wild, runaway success, hitting every milestone and exceeding every previous metric, and experiencing excellent growth, then you don’t need to rebrand. But, on the other hand, if you’re not meeting your goals, sales are plateauing (or decreasing), and the competition is creeping up, then it may be time for a brand refresh.
  • Big things are happening. At some point, successful real estate brands see major changes. You could be expanding your offices, or merging with another brokerage, or expanding your market. The point is, if your business is seeing new and exciting changes, then your branding needs to be new and exciting, too.
  • You’ve lost control of your brand image. This one can manifest in a couple of different ways, but it comes down to 1 main take away: your audience doesn’t understand your brand value proposition. And that is one of the most serious problems you can have.
  • Something’s not working – either anymore or not ever. Branding the first time can be really hard, because your business is new and, while you have vision, you haven’t put all the pieces into practice. With some time and experience under your belt, you often learn that your original mission, messaging, and brand identity don’t quite reflect the successful business you’ve put into practice.

What’s Involved in Rebranding Your Real Estate Business?

when is it time to rebrand your business

Before we get into the details, let’s establish the two primary purposes of rebranding:

  1. To update your client-facing image/identity: If things are changing within your company, you are rebranding will update your branding materials and guidelines to reflect this new reality.
  2. To resonate with your clients: If you find that the public at large – or, worse, your clients – are unsure of your brand identity, then an immediate rebrand is required. 

There are so many possibilities, options, and shiny new thingamajigs, when you are considering how to rebrand your business, but let’s be clear: a new font or a new logo or a new website design or even a new company name (!!) do not constitute a rebrand. These are simply the window dressing for your rebranding.

Rebranding Begins with Conversation & Documentation

This might be the least sexy thing we’ve ever said on the blog – and we talk about a lot of unsexy business things – but true rebranding begins with soul searching, serious tête-à-têtes, long drafts, and lots of rewrites.

As we said – completely unsexy and yet, wholly necessary.

Because, before you can get to that sleek, new san-serif font or your brand’s new color palette, you need to understand the messaging behind what your font communicates and your color scheme illustrates. 

And that all comes down to great documentation: to a brand book, new SEO targets, style guidelines and, often, company culture guidelines that fully and clearly communicate who your brand is, right now

All that documentation? When it’s honed, edited, and refined to perfectly communicate your current brand identity and messaging – well, then your designers and marketers and other team members can do their beautiful, wondrous, shiny things.

They can decide which fonts and colors best reflect your current personality. They can massage and rework your calls-to-action and taglines and marketing to effectively tug at your client’s heartstrings. They can perfect all those oh-so important window dressings that, while so important to your brand, do not stand alone

Rebranding Requires Talking to People

To fully understand your internal and external brand –  and, by that, we mean both your internal workings and your client-facing identity – it’s essential to talk with a cross section of your internal and even external people.

For every company, this means speaking with your team. Talk to your agents, your architects, your marketing team, your social media manager, your administrative assistants –  to everyone who may have a unique view 2 your company’s identity, your clients’ needs, and your industry is ever-evolving standards and expectations.

Take a ton of notes.

It’s About Telling an Emotional Story

emotional storytelling to rebrand your business
Rebranding everything from a luxury vacation home to a real estate brokerage boils down to messaging: to an emotional connection with your guests, clients, customers, and buyers/sellers.

We know it’s a buzzword and a trend, but storytelling really is the heart of marketing in 2022.

So, what story or stories does your brand tell? You can get really personal with this: who do you help? How do you change lives? What client interactions have most moved you? Because real estate is a very personal and, often, emotional industry. We change lives. Tell those stories!

And It’s About Knowing Who You’re Talking To

Branding and rebranding are all about honing your focus and pinpointing your audience. In the industry, you’ll hear this referred to alternately as your demographic, or your marketing personas, or your brand’s avatars.

Whatever terminology you choose to apply, it all comes down to the same thing: you must understand your target clients. We like to think of these as your “perfect” clients – the people who are best suited to your offerings and truly delighted and fulfilled by what you do. They are a natural fit for your brand.

As you rebrand your business, as you refresh your brand identity, as you pick those fonts and color palettes, as you pontificate on your updated messaging, you will make your decisions based not only on your real estate company’s identity but also on your clients’ preferences and aesthetic.

Because ultimately, your brand is a reflection of both you and the clients you serve. Your decisions must resonate with those clients. So first, you need to get to know them. You need to put people to paper, so that everyone who reads your brand book and style guidelines will know and understand your clients, too.

To Overwhelmed to Rebrand Your Real Estate Company Alone? We’re Here to Help.

Peak Integrated Marketing services

If it’s time to rebrand but you don’t have two of the trio of resources – time, effort, and investment – mentioned above, then you’re not alone. Branding is the foundation of your business; feeling overwhelmed by it means you understand its importance.

If this isn’t your passion or your wheelhouse – if you struggle with the hows and the whats – then you don’t have to go it alone. Because, ultimately, you should love what you do and stick to doing what you love. Farm the rest of it out.

At Peak Integrated Marketing, we take our clients’ branding seriously. In fact, our team includes dedicated branding experts, from consultants and copywriters to SEO professionals and designers, who are dedicated to all of the above.

Not just so you don’t have to, but so that your company benefits from the dedicated expertise, the search engine love, and brand identify-reaffirming branding you truly deserve. So please, get in touch and let’s talk. We look forward to it!