It’s important to consider how your brokerage’s brand and business model communicates your expertise to potential clients. If the name of your brokerage doesn’t effectively demonstrate your capabilities as a land professional, then you might be missing out on potential opportunities. In this article, we’re going to look at several questions that you can ask about your brand to determine if your brand name is hampering your ability to grow your business. Consider these points when branding your business or choosing a brokerage to work with.
Is Your Brand Limiting the Type of Land You Want to Sell?
If your brand’s name is centered around a particular type of land, you may be getting looked over by owners of different types of land who are looking to sell. Here’s what Mississippi land professional Jack Gabriel, ALC, had to say about his last brokerage’s brand limiting the type of land he could sell:
“My experience as a land agent has taken many places. I have worked as an agent and as a broker for a few companies. At my first brokerage, we catered to hunting properties because we were part of a large hunting brand that also had a real estate company. I missed out on plenty of farmland listings because they only thought of me as the hunting agent. Now with National Land Realty, I’ve been able to take on all kinds of properties and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on listings because of my branding. My first year was a little slow as I had to learn the new system and rebrand myself with a new company. One short year later I had doubled my best year ever and am on track to even double or triple that production this year.”
Is Your Brand Restricting the Geography in Which You Can Sell Land?
Finally, a geographically specific brand or name can restrict the areas that you can do business within and cause you to miss out on potentially lucrative opportunities. If the name of your brokerage implies that you only operate in a single state or region, you could be losing out on possible clients and referral opportunities. Here, Kansas land broker Jeremy Oehlert explains how having national branding has helped him seal more deals!
“If the name of your brokerage is tied to a single state or geographic area, it’s likely restricting the type or number of listings in more than one way. Some brokerages even limit the area within the state where a particular agent or office is able to market their services, which further limits your reach. The brokerage brand can limit the number of people you are able to help, as it’s unlikely that a Texas landowner is going to hire an agent from Michigan Realty to sell their ranch. Thanks to our national branding and network, I can refer a client to another agent in a different state and know that they’ll be taken care of. It works on incoming referrals as well, as I would never have had the opportunity to list The Proving Grounds Ranch had it not been for our brokerage’s nationwide referral network. Another consideration with branding is the perception of a customer or client. For example, a seller may consider a broker with Kansas Realty to be an expert on Kansas real estate, but that may be the reach of that brokerage is limited to the local market. That brokerage may even market on a national level, but because of public perception that listing could go elsewhere without Kansas Realty ever receiving a phone call. I personally witnessed a situation where I landed an auction for 41 parcels of farmland in which the seller became obsessed with the national marketing reach I would bring to the table. I was competing against multiple brokerages for this listing and I’m certain that having the word ‘National’ in the company name greatly assisted in winning the business.”
A good brokerage name and brand should communicate your services to potential clients in a succinct and easy-to-understand manner. Take for example our name, National Land Realty. Our company’s name tells clients that we are a nationwide brokerage, so they know that no matter where they might be in the country, we can assist them with their land-related needs. Our brand also communicates to clients that we work with a wide variety of properties, not just hunting or farmland properties, which creates more opportunities for our land professionals and brokers.
Is Your Brand’s Business Model Causing You to Miss Opportunities?
A brand’s business model can impact various aspects of your brokerage’s ability to do business. For example, a brand’s business model can limit the areas in which you can sell land, thereby restricting your potential to meet and create relationships with possible clients. Here’s what North Carolina land broker Aaron Sutton had to say about a brokerage’s business model limiting his business’ reach:
“With my previous franchise that I worked under, there were geographic limits on where I could market my services which significantly restricted my success. I was also limited by a lack of resources and office help. After leaving that company, I started my own firm and realized quickly the financial burdens and marketing headaches that come with being a small business owner. Now, with an office support team, a nationwide referral network, and the opportunity to market my services to anyone, anywhere, I’ve been able to close more deals and cover more ground than ever before. As CEO Jason Walter told me before I signed, ‘We want YOU to do what YOU do best and that’s selling land. We will take care of the rest.’”
A brand’s business model can also limit your available resources to market and advertise your listings. Some brokerages charge upfront fees and other brokerage fees upon closing, leaving agents and brokers with less money in their pockets for advertising and other forms of marketing. Mississippi land broker Beth McClellan, ALC, spoke to this, stating:
“At my last brokerage, I was required to pay large brokerage fees when I closed on a property, which left me with less money in my pocket to market my listings. I was also expected to pay for all of my marketing supplies, things like glossy folders, envelopes, and thank-you notes. It felt like I was on my own to advertise my listings. At National Land Realty, they make it easy for me to advertise my new listings with targeted letter campaigns, extensive GIS data, and an in-house marketing team. Everything they do helps get my listings in front of potential buyers more often.”
A weak business model can also create a lack of consistency from office to office as well as internal competition between brokers and offices for listings. It’s hard enough these days to make yourself and your services stand out from the rest of the brokers out there, so why would you want to be competing against others within your own brokerage? Regarding the importance of a strong business model, Arkansas land broker Jeramy Stephens, ALC, stated:
“If a brand’s business model isn’t firmly established, it can create a lack of consistency from one office to another which is detrimental to a large brokerage. It’s fairly common in other brokerages for agents to feel as though they’re competing for listings or clients with other agents in their brokerage or even within their office. A strong and cohesive business model creates a strong team mentality and fosters cooperation to the benefit of all involved.”
National Land Realty’s brokerage model affords all of our Land Professionals and brokers as many opportunities to succeed as possible. This is accomplished through our in-house marketing team and support crew which enable our Land Professionals and brokers to focus all of their efforts on creating lasting business relationships with landowners and other potential clients. National Land Realty also assists with lead generation via targeted mail campaigns at little to no cost to our Land Professionals and brokers, and our nationwide referral network ensures that we are able to provide any and all potential clients with the services they need. A brand’s business model can create opportunities for agents and brokers that they would have never thought possible, so it’s important to consider how your brokerage’s business model works for you!