Brand Power


I’m not sure if our style and aesthetic at has any sway over you, or if our adoration for intriguing architecture and Triple AAA locations has any bearing on whether you do real estate business with us, but we are extremely proud of the brand we’ve been cultivating for almost twenty years + our association with Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage.

Here’s a recent article that outlines our perspective on real estate branding in this competitive day and age. And may I kindly take this moment to send a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who know what is really about….a commitment to serving, guiding and educating you on the dynamics of real estate in Toronto without pressure or hassle.

Read on below for the story.


~ Steven

Building Brand

Heather Wright, Real Estate Trade Journalist
Published on, a resource for Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals, March 2011.

When you are standing in a crowd of many, you are faced with a choice; you can either blend in and hope for the best, or you can take steps to stand out- and step up.

And so is it in the Real Estate and Mortgage professions.  The marketplace is filled with many faces, messages and communications of value.  The best way to cut through the competing noise and to define the thoroughfare for your message- is to build your brand.

With a customer centric businesses like the Real Estate and Mortgage businesses, your brand not only delivers a message- it communicates your value as a professional, and advocates  your strengths ; it is the marketing equivalent of a promise to deliver , and should lend depth, dimension and context to what differentiates you from the competition.

Brand is important.

We all know that brand is important, but why? What is it about this form of effective marketing communication that is so crucial to the marketing and eventually to the sales process?
Mark McLean, Manager/Broker, Bosley Real Estate Ltd, Brokerage, who has had many years of success in building brand for various organizations, equates brand with credibility.” To some extent, “Brand” is simply a measure of your credibility. You could be Joe Smith, the real estate agent who sells to all his family and friends and probably makes a decent living. Or you could be Joe Smith, the Brand. A somewhat larger than life professional realtor. It is a fine line but you hope that the branded version of Joe Smith indicates a more serious dedication to his craft. “

So then, in this context, if your marketing plan is your strategy to distribute your message- your brand is what props it up- and in building it you build context for the message.

Steven Fudge, Sales Rep, Bosley R.E. Ltd., Brokerage has had the unique success of building a brand of his own ( within an established brand. He, is keenly aware that brand, and the presentation of it, is at the nexus of competitive edge- and it is what can catapult you forward with force- or backwards,  if attention is not paid. “We live in an era where a brand name/logo instantly communicates a complex carefully-crafted message. To be competitive it’s critical for entrepreneurs to create an ‘image flash’ of what your business represents, sort of like a dazzling firework exploding mental images of your style, personality and work ethic in the minds of consumers. If you can encapsulate these, plus your core values and beliefs into a ‘brand’, you’re providing the prospective client a mental shortcut that defines who you are while exponentially elevating your recognition. “

“Never before has the opportunity existed where an entrepreneur with brilliant branding can potentially compete with a multinational corporation. This makes branding increasingly critical for real estate professionals. “
“At one time individual realtors predominantly relied on their brokers to do the branding. Think back to the harvest gold jacket days of the 70s. Now individual sales people must aggressively promote and differentiate their services in order to capture attention. “

Intangible Values

One of the greatest challenges in client based professions, is that success relies heavily on intangible qualities like trust and integrity.  Building a brand that addresses those issues lends credence and weight to other promises that you might make in the process of marketing yourself. A well-crafted brand lends dimension to your professional value- but this does not happen overnight. It has to be well researched, and carefully cultivated over time.  Expecting trust from a customer as an inclusion of your brand can be presumptive and counter productive.

Says Fudge patience is key in incorporating these values. “A company can promote intangibles like ‘trust’ and ‘integrity’ once they have earned those badges of honour. This takes time, consistency, and public consensus. Without those these ‘value claims’ might read as self-proclamations and be regarded with suspicion. “
“However, effective brand-building includes capitalizing on your merits and successes over time. Promoting trust and integrity comes with reputation, and reputation comes with a long proven-track record. These slow but steady brand-builders can usurp flash-in-the-pan and slick-with-no-substance competitors, providing the brand remains judicious in its promotions and does not jeopardize these claims. “

“In a time of instant information, any misfire can damage a brand. For example, automaker Toyota’s extended denial and subsequent public-relation blunders over the safety of their vehicles sullied its long-time reputation for trust, reliability and quality. The brand, like the cars, simply drove out of control and sustained some major damage. “

Brand within a Brand

There is great opportunity for Real Estate Professionals to leverage the existing brands they work under to really underscore and help re-enforce their own personal brands. But the key is to integrate the two- not use one to prop the other up, to really reap the benefits.

Fudge suggests that, like any good relationship, there should be balance. “I believe it essential to cultivate a respectful synergy where each brand reinforces the other. My broker, Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage, has been ‘Trusted Since 1928’. This brilliant tag line conveys tradition, longevity and security. My brand,, specializes in ‘Innovative Space’ with the tag line ‘For Homes That Pop’. My broker’s brand as ‘reputable’ and ‘sterling’ serves to anchor my business, whereas my ‘fresh contemporary’ brand reinforces Bosley Real Estate as forward-thinking and urbane. Our logos also share the same colour palette, thereby visually reinforcing each other while unifying our commonality. We complement each other without competing, which I believe mutually elevates our presence.”

McLean agrees that it is about union. “It is important to work with a company that has a decent value proposition. Perhaps they have a unique approach to how they conduct business or perhaps they have a deep history in the community. If you are just getting started in the business, then you should springboard off your company’s offerings. Build your brand around your company. Show how you can bring your company’s offerings to your clients. “Brand is a component, not the whole plan

McLean cautions not to rely too heavily on brand- and that Real Estate Professionals need to focus equally on the other parts of their business as well to ensure success: “Having a Brand isn’t the only thing that is going to win you clients. It is a whole shopping list. Not to say that you have to have everything, but the more you have above everyone else, the better. Your brand is part of your value proposition.”

Your brand must be sincere

Nothing good will come of making promises you can’t keep- and the same can be said when building a brand.  As a Real Estate Professional or Mortgage Professional, you take great pains to cultivate an image that projects your abilities.  The same can be said when you are building your brand.   You don’t wear clothes that don’t fit; don’t wear a brand that belongs to someone else.

This comes down to knowing, unequivocally – who you are, and what spot you want in the marketplace.  Make sure your niche makes sense to your skill set- and that you are setting yourself up for success in that regard.  Then you need to work on building a brand around that.

When it comes down to it, people do not want to build long term relationships with people they don’t trust; if your branding seems insincere, you will achieve the opposite of what you are trying to do.
McLean agrees that you need to determine who you are in building your brand. “I think you need to approach building your brand by doing what comes naturally to you. Whenever I brainstorm with any of my agents, one of the most important questions I have for them is; what is your competition doing and how can we you do better?  “

Fudge recommends coaxing out your strengths in the establishment of your own singular brand. ” I recommend avoiding the gimmicky, and instead focus on distilling your own strengths into a brand essence, much like sequencing the uniqueness of your DNA. Once this has been synthesized, implementing a consistent life-long marketing campaign that reinforces, extrapolates, and builds on this essence will generate the greatest success. “

Building a sound structure

Like building anything else to last, certain steps must be followed. McLean recommends getting down to brass tacks and asking you some straight questions. “One of the most important questions to ask you is what do I want my brand to portray? Who is my target audience and what do they like?  The brand that you build ultimately has to be attractive to the people you are trying to market to.”

Fudge recommends a four-step approach, that is as much about position as it is direction, and about building on what is already there:.” 1) Who am I? 2) Where am I?  3) What am I about? 4) How can I co-opt other brands, including my broker, the car I drive, the fashion I wear, the associations I belong, etc. to support and enhance my own?


As with all things marketing, the key is to deliver your message to the doorstep of those you want to hear it.   So, not only to you need to have a keen sense of self when building brand, you need to know your audience intimately.
Your platform for delivery is an extension of your brand, in the sense that can either support or detract from the sincerity of your message. Choose mediums that are comfortable for you to send messages- and where you think your audience will be receptive to them. The best way to get lost in the crowd is to do what everyone else is doing- simply because it is popular.

McLean underscores the need to understand your marketing delivery, and urges commitment to strategy. “The best platform is the one that works for you. If Twitter and Facebook are outside your comfort zone then people will pick up on that and not take you seriously. Whatever the platform, you have to do it well. There is no halfway. “

Fudge agrees: “The best platform to communicate your brand is the one your target audience(s) is most likely to subscribe to, whatever that might be”

How to assess outcome?

So, once you’ve nailed down who you are, what you want to say, and how you want to say it, how do you know if you’ve had the kind of impact you intended?

It is important to remember that the true effect of implementing a brand takes time to root properly. Once you’ve planted the seed-you need time to let it grow.

That said, there are ways of gauging the effectiveness of your brand. McLean suggests that some newer mediums are easier to measure, while older ones sometime require a bit of a calculated leap of faith.

“Social Media feedback is easy to track. Your number of followers go up and people can “Like” your page. Websites have decent back ends that can analyze data. Newspaper ads are harder to get a handle on. You only know it is working when people contact you personally. With traditional media the payoff is not immediately recognizable so if you are doing something wrong it is an expensive lesson.”

Fudge preaches patience, and says that impact is measured when the message starts coming back to you:  “It takes time to develop a brand, but if it’s effective you’ll start receiving unsolicited comments acknowledging your presence. When it comes from someone you don’t know who wants to engage your services, you know its working.

In order to stand out, and to give yourself that competitive edge, you need a brand that is compelling and that makes sense to who you are- and to those you’d like to know. And in businesses that rely on trust and integrity for marketing currency, there is nothing that resonates like sincerity when crafting your message, and in having the patience to see them through.


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