Traffic vs. Branding: When to prioritize one over the other (Part One of Two)

by Alice Soon28 Aug 2018

In this two-part series, we’ll be diving into the difference between brand promotion and traffic generation, and when to prioritize one over the other. In part one, we’ll examine branding to help you determine when and how you should increase your brand awareness. And in part two, coming next month, we’ll tackle traffic. So… branding, let’s get started!

Brand recognition is typically at the top of the marketing funnel and needs to be maintained throughout your real estate career. At a high level, branding gives prospective customers an idea of who you are and what your area of expertise is. It gives them something to connect with, something that makes them lean towards you over someone else. Here are some questions to think about.

  • Are you an entry level or luxury brand? Are there certain demographics you specialize in and cater to - first-time home buyers, seniors, families, immigrants, investors? Similarly with property types - condos, single family homes, or luxury homes?
  • Are you a recognizable figure in your community and know the local neighbourhood better than anybody else? You know where the good brunch spots are, schools and their decile, proximity to transit and amenities.
  • Do you have insights into certain neighbourhoods, property values and trends? Is data your differentiator? Show customers that you are actively staying up to date on the market in your neighbourhood.
  • Do you volunteer at the SPCA, or have your own investment portfolio? There are too many agents that grey out their personality and take a professional-only approach. Remember people like to work with people they like. Your personality is unique to you, the rest everyone can copy. Your social channels are a great avenue to show your personality. Just ensure you engage with your community and give feedback, no matter what the channel.

Once you’ve identified what’s unique to you, your brand persona, the next step is making sure the brand message is consistent across all your touchpoints.

What you’ll also need to consider is the timing of your marketing spend. Sadly, none of us have unlimited budgets to throw on every channel and initiative. When you can’t spend on both branding and traffic, here are some things to consider to help you decide which is more important at a certain time.

  • Slower periods are a great time to focus on increasing brand awareness in the marketplace. When the season picks up, and it’s time for people to reach out, you’ve built some brand equity, and they’ll be more likely to think of you.
  • When do your competitors market themselves? If they’ve paused their efforts, this might be a good time for you to be the only voice in your neighbourhood or niche.
  • How far along you are in your real estate career will also affect your decision. If you are a new agent trying to get your first client, then branding is imperative.
  • Make use of networking and community events. They offer great opportunities for people to get to know you and what you do, and word of mouth is still strong!

The keys to branding are clarity and consistency. If a buyer or seller can clearly articulate what it means to do business with you as a real estate professional, then you have done your job.

In our next segment, part two, we will outline the best ways to generate traffic for your business.


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