Within a few years after I got in the real estate business, I purchased a cattle farm. During the early 70s there was a growing problem of stolen cattle and horses. Not many cattlemen were branding their stock at that time but the one’s that did, didn’t seem to be bothered with having missing livestock. Cattle rustlers seemed to stay away from all branded stock. North Alabama ranchers had abandoned the use of branding about 50-60 years prior so it was something new to us.
I had always said that I was born in the wrong century. I have always had a love for ranch work. I think I could go on a life-time cattle drive and enjoy every minute of it. Sitting straddle a horse all day is a sheer pleasure to me. As you can easily guess, my favorite movies are westerns. The thought of branding my own cattle was like acting in my own western movie.
After some extensive research on the state and federal level, I made application for my own brand. After receiving approval of the registration from Washington, I then took to my blacksmith shop to make a branding iron. My livestock would now wear a trademark for protection from thieves. Matter of fact all my personal property has since been protected under my brand. This is not, however, the type brand I wish to address in this article. But there are a lot of similarities between branding cattle and branding a business.
A brand is an object, an image, or phrase that is registered, either by trademark or copyright, so that wherever or whenever it is used, it establishes ownership. A brand is quickly recognized as being owned by a particular person or company. A brand generally stands out, in contrasting color or shapes, so it can easily be recognized for long distances. My personal brand and my business brand are different. They both play off the letter “A” which is the first letter of my last name. I could have used the same brand but a brand is for life and if I built a company using my brand, then I couldn’t sell my company without giving up the use of the brand.
I have watched real estate Company’s miss out on vast opportunities because they didn’t take advantage of branding. What if a company or an individual, designs a logo, color scheme, or some other image that they use on every advertisement they send out. I’m talking about every “For Sale” sign, every “Post Card,” every printed ad, every business card, on the building, on cars, on social networks, websites; on everything you ever do there’s that brand. How powerful it that?
Almost as important as the lack of proper use of a brand, lays the misuse of a commonly used method for producing a response to an advertisement. Almost every agency I know of drives all their advertisement to a phone number. What make that so bad is that the phone isn’t always answered and if a message is left, and many times the agent doesn’t return the phone call. If the agent answers the phone and has a conversation with the consumer, it is a one-time shot to reach their interest. What if advertisements drive a response to a website? Now it is impossible not communicate with the prospect in some manner. From your website, they can contact you, they see other properties for sale, they can see other properties you have sold, and they have instant access to information about other services your company offers. Just imagine using a brand that drives thousands of people to your website. Now that we are in the era of social networks, link our website to those networks and watch your SEO get better and better. How productive can that be?
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.