Estate agents – Are you innocent or Guilty?
I read a cracking book recently.
It’s from the smoothie and healthy food company innocent. They don’t cap up their name – they’re different like that.
In fact they are different in many ways as the book – innocent, our story & some things we’ve learned highlights frequently.
Unless you live in a remote Andes village you’ve probably heard of the company.
They went from zero to £100m worth of sales in their first ten years and keep growing.
What started off with three mates with an idea to produce healthy drinks turned into one of THE business success stories of recent times.
The book shares the inside details of how they struggled to get financial backing. The bordering on genius PR and marketing techniques they use.
The focus on getting tiny details spot on and their headline grabbing pledge to give 10 per cent of profits to charity and do the right thing by the environment and suppliers.
They talk about their process for new staff quoting Google’s mantra ‘it’s all about people and recruitment.’
One of the most impressive things is that the book was written in 2009 and still feels bang up to date. The social media approach they talk about back then is a LOT better than what some huge companies are doing in 2016.
But for me the big thing was their total focus on the brand, what it stood for and that EVERYTHING they do communicates what their products and company is all about.
If you own or work for an estate agency you have a brand whether you want one or not. Don’t be guilty of ignoring it or dismissing its importance.
You might be the local agent who has been in town for donkey’s years and is seen as a little bit tired, dated and seen as pricey.
Or you could be the pimped up uber cool agency where ties are banned and an espresso machine is constantly on the go to accompany your funky furniture. But for some you are a little too cool. Is it the slick haircuts and beards?
Maybe your brand is the one seen locally as a bit smug, stuffy and up themselves with an office that makes people feel they are walking into a Gucci store.
Possibly you are getting lots of things right, doing the right things in the community, leading your local market and loved by your clients.
Now, I’m not going to pretend to an expert on branding but I do know about PR.
And a good strong brand that honestly communicates constantly what it stands for to its punters usually has good local PR, a solid reputation and positive perception.
Those three little gems often lead to getting called in on valuations and winning instructions more often than less brand savvy rivals.
Your brand matters. I also think there is a lot the property industry can learn and apply by looking at the likes of innocent, Gu desserts and other feel good brands.
Read the book if you get a chance as it articulates the brilliant business benefits of a brand far better that I could do here.
Like everything in the world (well apart from love and KFC) the book is available on Amazon, it aint cheap at £18.99 but it’s very good, just like the drinks.
Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.
PS: Could you imagine the veritable goldmine of PR and positive coverage and goodwill an agency would get if they donated 10 per cent of their profits to community projects in the towns and villages they served?
PPS: For the record and much to wife’s dismay I don’t have shares in innocent or any vested interest in this book. I had shares in a Californian start up once – they were crap. I lost that year’s summer holiday money on them.