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A real estate agent with a tablet stands in front of a house with a For Sale (Sold) sign

Brand guidelines help deliver clear, consistent messages across real estate affiliates and marketing channels 

Key takeaways:

  • Brand guidelines are essential for effective and consistent communications.
  • From property listings to video tours, brand consistency and uniformity are crucial in all areas of real estate.
  • It’s important to be flexible with how your brand exists on different platforms.

Brand consistency benefits all industries, especially real estate. Having consistent brand guidelines across all channels and collateral can make a real difference – and increase revenue by up to 23%. Brand guidelines can help achieve this consistency and give customers a positive association when they hear your name.

Below, we’ll walk through the challenges of establishing and maintaining brand consistency in real estate and the valuable role that brand guidelines play in the process.

The building blocks of brand guidelines

Brand guidelines are the rules that showcase your brand and establish an identity that speaks to your target market no matter where they encounter it. A brand style guide is a toolkit for effective, uniform communication, putting the right message out at the right time and place. Key components of this guide include tactile pieces such as logos, typography, and color palettes, but also more aspirational elements like mission statements, taglines, and brand stories.

Let’s start with the nuts and bolts of visual brand guidelines:

  • Logo. This is the center of your brand universe, around which everything else orbits. A logo lets customers quickly identify your brand and it tells your story in an instant.
  • Color. Color is a vital part of your brand identity and should be present in all collateral materials, including the logo and other graphic design elements. Most brands have one to four additional colors beyond the primary color.
  • Fonts. Any text that your brand uses should have a consistent look. Stick to one primary font used in all headers and throughout any designed pieces.
  • Typography. In addition to a primary font, most brands have secondary typefaces for smaller text and subheads. A style guide should set clear parameters around font color, spacing, text size, bold, italics, etc.
  • Visuals. What does your visual style look like? Still images or videos? Photos, animations, or illustrations? This depends largely on your team’s skill set and budget constraints.

Next, let’s look at messaging. What do you actually want your brand to say?

  • Brand mission. A company should have a business plan, and within that is your mission statement. This is a key part of branding – a killer one-sentence summary of the value your brand provides and how it will improve the real estate process for potential buyers.
  • Brand story. This broadens the ideas set down by the brand mission; a larger narrative that tells the story of your brand’s inception, how it has grown into its current form, and where it’s going in the future.
  • Core principles. This boils your story down to a set of key words or phrases that demonstrate your beliefs and core values.

In real estate, it’s essential to establish a recognizable and trusted brand identity. Without that, success becomes much more elusive. This has a tangible effect on the public perception of your firm. A consistent message that reinforces the principles set out in your brand materials makes it that much easier to build a relationship with clients based on trust and loyalty.

Next, let’s look at developing comprehensive brand guidelines for real estate affiliates

Brand guidelines for real estate affiliates

In real estate, a brand encompasses everything from an agent’s initial encounter with a potential buyer to an online storefront to marketing collateral to the look and feel of the properties themselves. It’s no small task to align all of these elements under one brand and so it’s important to have some flexibility in brand standards.

Here are some examples of how this can play out:

  • Property listings. Every listing needs property data, photos, and descriptions. The description requires the most work to get right and it’s where people go for the details that can make or break a sale. Be sure to include all the benefits and features, as this can help potential buyers evaluate whether or not the property meets their expectations. This transparency gives buyers the best chance to develop a strong relationship with your brand.
  • Neighborhood resource. Many buyers coming into a community are new to it and may need a dependable local resource to help them become familiar with their new neighborhood. Highlight the things that make the neighborhood special, be it weather, schools, culture, or health care. Also, consider gathering testimonials from past clients who live in the area.
  • Responsive web design. This may seem obvious but your website needs to be fully functional regardless of device, browser, or operating system. Anything less and you risk losing customers before they’ve even set foot on site. If a buyer can’t easily read text or swipe photos on a phone, they may turn to a competitor.
  • Video and photos. It’s worth the time and investment in a professional photographer or videographer to give your property the look it deserves. Video, in particular, can benefit from an expert who can help navigate VR, 360, and interactive video styles. Be sure to brush up on best practices in both formats so that you know what to ask of them.
  • Social media. Social media can have a sizable impact on how the public sees your brand, particularly compared with other real estate firms. The most important element of effective social branding is authenticity. Your brand needs to translate to real people doing real things, whether it’s an informal tour of the property or an AMA (ask me anything) Q&A session.

Mastering these brand guidelines helps to ensure that they are clear, concise, and accessible to all staff and affiliates. Now, let’s look at implementing brand guidelines across marketing channels. 

Implementing brand guidelines across marketing channels

It’s vital to maintain brand consistency across all digital and tactile marketing channels, be it advertising, web design, or social media, but also have the flexibility to adapt to each platform. So, how best to maintain this balance? Here are some strategies:

  • Give each platform a content strategy. The way you talk to potential customers on X (formally known as Twitter) or Instagram may be different than in a direct email exchange, even though you’re always talking about a real estate transaction. When each platform has a unique content strategy, it lets you easily shift your messaging and style to fit a unique audience.
  • Let the data do the talking. When you use data to learn about how your audience behaves on different channels, you have a much better idea of what kind of content works for them and when/how to deploy it. If your Instagram reels are working better than email campaigns, it may be worth shifting resources accordingly.
  • Keep your visuals consistent. Customers will recognize your brand more easily if they see similar visuals from platform to platform.
  • Keep your tone consistent. This is where your brand’s personality can shine. Is your tone friendly and informative? Fun and playful? Energetic and vibrant? This voice should come through no matter where buyers encounter it.
  • Listen to feedback. It’s always important to keep track of customer feedback and quickly respond when needed, but it’s even more critical to maintain a strong brand identity. Every piece of feedback can help improve the work you do and therefore strengthen your brand.
  • Update your style guide. A brand style guide is a living, breathing entity that should grow and change with your brand. A company just starting will likely have a very different brand message than one that has been around for decades.

As brand guidelines grow and change with the times, so should the training and support that your staff and affiliates receive to properly manage the brand.

Brand monitoring and enforcement

There are many ways to make sure that your brand is used correctly, regardless of platform.

  • Clearly define brand guidelines. Your guidelines are the master handbook for every project you produce. Make sure to write out the details of color, logos, typography, style, tone, and language.
  • Conduct regular content audits. This ensures that all customer-facing assets are consistent and reflect the brand’s values, be it web pages, email content, or social posts. Once you find errors or inconsistencies, work out a process for sunsetting them.
  • Create templates for popular assets. Assemble a brand kit that contains all logos, colors, fonts, and messaging, as well as specific assets like newsletter images, social graphics, or email headers. This allows your team the freedom to create content without constantly checking in to see if it matches the brand.

It’s far more challenging to maintain a consistent brand if your staff isn’t clear on what your brand consists of. Make sure everyone has access to the brand kit, and, as the brand evolves, update the kit and make sure everyone is using the latest version.

Your video branding partner

Brand consistency is the secret sauce to effective communication across real estate affiliates and marketing channels. When done right, it builds trust and recognition in this crowded and competitive industry. Customers who share a company’s core values can form emotional connections which translate into loyalty down the road.

Though this all may seem like a daunting process, you don’t have to go through it alone. REP-Digital has an all-in-one approach that captures exciting brand stories through a streamlined process combining creative expertise, strategy, and production excellence. Our powerful and unique SaaS platform Morpheus Marketplace allows you access to an army of content creators and world-class content creation tools to help spread the word. Join our waitlist and be one of the early adopters to experience the power of Morpheus Marketplace.