In RISMedia’s most recent Broker Best Practice webinar entitled, “Boomerang Business: Build a Brand That Keeps ‘Em Coming Back,” Robert Allan Paul, founder and president of Company of One, and Cleve Gaddis, managing partner of Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center, discussed ways that brokers can systemize their approach toward ensuring “boomerang” business. Sponsored by Imprev and moderated by Verl Workman, CEO of Workman Success Systems, the webinar’s panelists helped explain how brokers can stop “moment marketing” and instead, dig deep to their company’s core needs to build a brand that really grabs the attention of consumers and agents now and in the future.
Paul spoke first, helping attendees clarify the difference between branding and marketing. “Boomerang branding,” he says, is defined by principles and practices that not only attract prospects, but keep your best clients coming back. It’s this specific type of branding that helps fuel customer loyalty and client referrals, both of which are key to a broker’s success.
“Figure out how to leverage those relationships and make those connections so that you have more customer loyalty and can drive more referrals,” said Paul.
Differentiating yourself is also crucial; it will set the tone for your entire organization. Be sure to answer the questions “What do you want for your company?” and “What is important?”
“Marketing is all about the market. Branding is about you,” said Paul. “What makes branding difficult is that it forces you to really think about yourself as an individual or an organization in ways that you aren’t used to. Branding helps attach meaning to your name so you can make some real connections to your consumers.”
Paul then discussed the importance of having a vision. As a broker, you need to be able to point to a goal or goals down the road and say, “That’s where we’re going.” This includes having a mission (what you want for your company) and a purpose (what you want for your customer).
“Your mission is the equivalent of describing the first peak you plan to traverse if you’re crossing a range. It’s where you intend to be in 3-5 years,” added Gaddis.
Gaddis recommended that brokers set a clear, well-defined goal at which everyone can take aim. Choose to set out and defeat a common enemy, and also, choose organizations you admire as examples of who you want to become.
In quoting a passage from a book he recommended, “Beyond Entrepreneurship: Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company,” by James Collins, Gaddis said, “Your purpose is your team’s reason for existence and should be something that’s unattainable, but appropriate to shoot for, nonetheless.”
“Start thinking about who you are and what you want your legacy to be,” he said.
In addition to honing in on your intentions for the company’s direction, take some time to really think about your own personal weaknesses and flaws, because as Gaddis noted, those are “ultimately what make you unique.”
“Take strange things about yourself and turn them into a business model. You might be surprised with how many people you connect with when you show them a little vulnerability.”
Core values are also crucial to pin down. Try the following:
- Make a list of the values you feel define you.
- Include everything that pops into your mind on this list.
- Categorize the list by putting similar terms together.
- Create your final list. Don’t be paralyzed by perfection.
- Get out your thesaurus and find more interesting and specific synonyms.
Once your core values have been established, hire, fire and discipline by them. Always reference back to these values. It will help brokers lead and help set the company’s tone.
“Remember, it’s not really about you,” added Gaddis. “It’s about the value you bring to your clients. Make sure you budget and put systems in place to track the success of all your marketing and branding initiatives.
“Consistent marketing and branding can change the trajectory of your business forever!”
For more of the panelists’ expert-level branding advice, view the webinar in full below: