Brand recognition is one of the highest motivators of consumer behavior. Large corporations spend millions of dollars to make sure their “brand” is recognized and that ‘brand” brings to mind positive feelings. Not only did Ray Kroc demand that every burger served by a McDonalds was the same, he advertised that fact. Marriott, one of the largest purveyors of hotel/motel/resort accommodations, has an entire department that creates manuals that dictate where every thing in a room must be (from a electrical outlet to the size of the handles in the tub). The strive for consistency and market quality. People use copy machines everywhere and most of the time they refer to making a xerox. Xerox is a brand that became so powerful it became a verb. Better brand recognition coupled with stringent quality control equates to a stronger bottom line and profits.
The Disney brand is more than “Tinkerbell” or a castle with fireworks. Disney has long practiced strict discipline in every theme park and store. Not only do they have strict regulations on appearance, every park attendant is schooled on behavior. (You encounter a guest, you make eye contact and verbally greet them.) Those rules create an ambiance for visitors that in turn defines the brand.
Real Estate has branding too. For a moment, let’s move past the Zillow brand. Zillow is an advertising firm and not actually a real estate broker. There are different rules in place for brokers. Most people are aware of Century 21, ReMax, Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams and so on. What people don’t always know is that most of the local offices of these national brands are franchises (just like your local McDonalds). The corporate headquarters sets parameters and the local office is allowed to develop a niche “brand” in their local market. There are also local firms in every area that have carved out a niche for themselves.
The answer is found in the real world experience of consumers. A buyer or seller does not interact with the Franchiser and in most cases never meets the franchisee. The consumer meets the agent. The agent is the grinder at the bottom on the food chain that does the work. The agent is affected by the brand in many ways. The agent is impacted by the franchisee’s policies. Agents are contractors, but they operate under the terms of the contract they have with their broker.
Happy agents are better agents. So it stands to reason, that brokerages that are focused on agents happiness are a better fit for consumers. The agent’s job, while appearing to be rather simple and straight forward can be difficult without proper training and support. Laws change with regularity. Understanding how the change will impact consumers in an area is important information. Brands that make sure agents are up-to-date are good for the agents which in turn is good for the consumer. Brands that don’t have meetings on a regular basis are failing the consumers. (I know, local laws require meetings, but laws do not require attendance)
I have had the opportunity to work for several brands and I have worked with agents (in transactions) from almost every brand in the area. I promise you there is a difference. When representing a seller and receiving an offer, the buyer’s agents brokerage is evident from how the paperwork is prepared. Century 21, Coldwell Banker and Long & Foster are noted for having excellent paperwork. Others, not so much. It is no surprise that the same brands agents submit complete offers. The brand makes a difference. Consumers don’t see it, because agents work hard to cover for one another. (Various interpretations of the Code of Ethics prevents from exposing incompetence, so we grind on).
I currently work for what I consider to be the most agent centric (as opposed to broker centric) brokerage in the DC area. Century 21 Redwood Realty is a leader. Much of what they offer consumers appears the same. Behind the scenes, what they offer agents surpasses any other brokerage I have been affiliated with in my career. It is the little things that they offer that makes the agent’s job easier and allows the agent to focus on the primary goal of their client. They have all the bells offered by Century 21 corporate and they have added all the whistles an agent needs to get the job done. No, they don’t offer some dopey pyramid scheme where an agent can refer an agent and then collect a portion of that agents commission for life. They make it easy for an agent to work and earn money based on performance. The owners are keenly aware of the importance of internet presence, but they are also in tune with the fact that local information is key for agents working locally. Paperwork for transactions are submitted and double checked for accuracy. If something is missing, the agent is notified right away. They offer an online system of follow up to ensure no one ever falls through the cracks. If you are a client of Century 21 Redwood, you will be supported by your agent, the support staff and the broker. Quality is the focus, quantity is the result.
There is a reason the largest relocation company in the world continues it’s relationship with Century 21 year after year. In order for them to remain the largest, they have to be sure that the people referred are taken care of completely. Century 21 Redwood remains on the list of top performing franchises year after year after year. The brand is important. The franchisee is successful. The reason is happy agents are working in everyone of their offices.
I would like folks to choose to work with me (honestly, I need to earn a living too), but if not me, I firmly believe that any one of the agents under the Century 21 Redwood Realty banner will suffice. We are all licensed. We are all experienced. We are all supported by the best brokers in town. My website is Hot Metro Homes If you want to visit the main site, go to Century 21 Redwood
Brand does matter and REDWOOD ROCKS
I would be remiss if I failed to offer you a chance to contact me