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‘Brand conflict’ a challenge for real estate execs


BELLEVUE, Wash. – July 16, 2014 – The majority of top real estate executives believe that consumers view their company's brand more favorably than the major listing advertisers: Zillow, Trulia and, according to the 2014 Thought Leader Survey conducted by marketing technology firm Imprev.

Overall, 69 percent of real estate leaders surveyed think consumers view their company's brand more favorably than Trulia, 64 percent more favorably than Zillow, and 63 percent more favorably than Fewer than one-in-five executives think consumers view any of the top three listing ad sites more favorably than their brokerage's brand.

The 2014 Imprev Thought Leader Survey was conducted in June. It polled top executives at real estate franchises and independent brokerage firms. The surveyed companies were responsible for more than one-third of all U.S. residential real estate transactions last year.

"Real estate executives believe that the 'consistency' of their brand is highly valuable to their business, with 88 percent ranking it an 8 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10," says Renwick Congdon, CEO of Imprev. "Just 5 percent gave (the importance of branding) a ranking of 3 or lower."

However, Congdon says that branding presents a challenge in the real estate industry: Agents have a brand, companies have a brand and franchises have a brand. More than one brand for a single agent can create confusion in the marketplace and even within a company that must decide how to promote its business.

2014 Imprev Thought Leader Survey findings

The number one brand challenge faced by real estate leaders

  • Keeping their brand relevant to today's consumer (25 percent)
  •  Cost to maintain brand awareness (24 percent)
  • Achieving brand consistency across all channels (21 percent)
  • Getting agents to embrace your brand promise (19 percent).

Marketing tools and technology

When asked to select five competitive items that help differentiate them from their competition – ones that "help your business most" – respondents selected:

  • Marketing tools & technology (87 percent)
  • Productivity of agents (84 percent)
  • Brand (83 percent)
  • Culture (81 percent)
  • Training programs (72 percent)
  • Leads generated for agents" ranked 7th with 58 percent.

Which brand impacts consumer perception more?

When asked which brand has the greatest impact on how the consumer perceives their brand, survey respondents said:

  • Company brand (37 percent)
  • Local brand (34 percent)
  • Franchise brand (25 percent).

Only 6 percent of real estate executives said portals such as Zillow and Trulia have a major impact on how consumers view their brand.

Brand promotion tools

  • Company Websites (96 percent)
  • Facebook (87 percent – tie)
  • Agent websites (87 percent – tie)
  • Email marketing (79 percent)
  • Direct mail (64 percent)

Top marketing tools real estate firms provide for agents

  • Old-school printed material: flyers, brochures, etc. (90 percent)
  • Agent websites (89 percent)
  • Training (88 percent).

More than two in three firms provide agents with online marketing software (69 percent), but one in three provide agents with 1990s technology – Desktop Publishing software – to create marketing material.


'Brand conflict' is a business challenge for real estate execs, and more than 100 survey respondents shared their personal views.

Among the most common concerns: Portals making brokerage firms "pay to get our own leads;" the growing power of teams and agents who want to promote their individual brands; and inaccurate data on the portals that impacts their brand.

More results from the 2014 Thought Leader Survey can be found online.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®


Related Topics: Business