Following Century 21 and Halstead, Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate became the latest real estate company to undergo a makeover, this week unveiling a rebranding effort that will cost Windermere’s network of franchises and agents around $10 million.
A redesigned website, fresh new logo, vibrant business cards and, in Seattle and Bellevue alone, 20,000 rebranded real estate signs are all planned for Windermere, which last refreshed its logo in 2008.
That logo, a series of interwoven diamonds, is now being replaced with interlocking arms, meant to symbolize the connection between the company’s agents and clients.
“Over our 40-plus year history, we’ve had three or four refreshes — and it’s important for a company to always look at whether the brand is keeping current with the times,” said Windermere President OB Jacobi, whose father founded the company in 1972. “As we all know, imagery is important. We felt it was time to update the color logo, font, signage, business cards. We looked at everything.”
A new company website, meanwhile, will debut in July, even as the company, among the largest on the West Coast with more than 300 offices and 6,500 agents, continues to expand across California, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Montana and Idaho, Jacobi said.
“It’s a ton of money for the company and for the agent population so we wanted to be very thoughtful as to how we rolled this out,” added Jacobi, who said franchise owners will have packages that agents can purchase to update their branding.
Windermere launched its luxury marketing program, W Collection, in 2016, and this triggered the move toward a brand refresh, prompting the company to look at all of the Windermere sub-brands with the aim of creating a more contemporary feel, Jacobi said.
Jacobi stressed that the company consulted on the “facelift” with agents, franchise owners, executives and outside experts to come up with the brand refresh, which Jacobi said his father approves of. It has had a warm reception among agents and franchises, too.
“The brand refresh has reinvigorated our agents and given our clients a glimpse of the innovative support Windermere consistently provides to franchises and agents year after year,” Marla Heagle, owner of several Windermere offices in Washington state, said in a prepared statement.
Windermere’s brand refresh follows a series of rebranding efforts by well-known real estate names, including New York brokerage Halstead, which in April announced wide-ranging changes to its font and color palette. The effort, which included redesigned store-fronts, also included a change in name from “Halstead Property” to “Halstead.”
Meanwhile, Century 21’s rebrand was unveiled in March, not long after new CEO, Nick Bailey, came on board.
Those rebranding efforts by brokerage companies also come on the heels of a failed new logo by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which distanced its from the design days after members overwhelmingly panned its $250,000 price tag and uninspired look.