Will Technology and Mobile Help Build Brands in Real Estate?

It’s the halfway point at my first NAR convention here in Anaheim, California and the it’s been quite an experience.   

There are lots of companies here ready to help the real estate industry move beyond its existing plight.  As SVP of Marketing at Smarter Agent I am particular interested in what technology can do to help brands, brokers and agents better connect, maintain and serve clients. And just as importantly how do they help build brands?

Last night, before taking our hardworking Smarter Agent team to dinner to thank them for coming across country and giving up a weekend, I had a chance to listen to and share some thoughts with Marilyn Wilson of WAV Group over some wine.   It was interesting to share thoughts about the need for those in the real estate industry to own not only their brand but also their customers.  While there are plenty of options for technology and even mobile, not many of them seem to empower branding.  In fact it seems to me that the end user while central to success does not always come first when defining who you are as a brand. 

Interestingly enough, before drinks Michael Eisner former Chairman and CEO of Disney spoke to the thousands of REALTORS and Brokers in the audience.  Was there a company more built on brand and experience?  Disney not only developed great products but they also defined their own brand experience owning it from start to finish. 

It seems that is a lesson that needs to be learned from in the real estate industry.  Now I admit to being new to this industry, but I think branding is and owning the customer experience is fundamental to success regardless of what your company does, who it serves and industry.  While I acknowledge the seemingly immediate pressures we all face we cannot overlook the long term impact of branding has to offer.  In the end it is about driving loyalty.  So why not invest in tools that do just that? 

That is part of the reason mobile is such a key driving force.  Not only are mobile phone ubiquitous, the various mobile devices are also driving users to companies who embrace them.  Whether you’re a small office or a national brand your customers are all on a mobile device and they use it to search, discover and make purchase decisions from it. 

Therefore as you think about branding and owning the customer experience how will you adapt to a mobile society with customer always on the go?  Will you develop not only a strategy but embrace a solution that can help you reach clients while maintaining control of who you are and what makes you the right REALTOR for your clients? And just as importantly will you get ahead of the curve and develop a solution that will allow you to reach new clients as they use their phones to look for new homes and just maybe find YOU?

I hope so and I am pulling for all you.  Nothing is more fun than watching someone really define and own their brand to drive them the right clients.

Looking forward to meeting more people today and a night at the House of Blues.

On a side note, It was also a small thrill to run into Eugene Robinson Pulitzer prize winner from the Washington post and of MSNBC.  Very cool. 

 ~ Philip Charles-Pierre, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Distribution