Kick off the fall with Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. We’re going deep on agent branding and best practices for spending with Zillow, realtor.com and more. Top marketing executives drop by to share their newest tactics, too. It’s all you need to take your branding and marketing game to the next level.
Real estate professionals have been up in arms since the passage of a Connecticut law designed to establish a legal definition for real estate teams and bring some conformity to the way that team names are structured.
While much has been written and said about the change, the discussion highlights the importance of naming, both as a way to define your brand and as a recognizable indicator of the service you provide to clients.
According to personal branding expert Stacey Cohen, there are a host of ways to tweak even your personal name to convey different attitudes and attributes. When naming a team or brokerage, then, there are even more options and more ways to convey your brand.
Having spearheaded the process of naming for two different companies, I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about what a name conveys and how it sets up expectations for buyers and sellers.
When naming my new brokerage, I enlisted the help of Margaret Wolfson, founder and creative director at River + Wolf LLC for a second time. Wolfson built the name of our company using three different elements:
- Door: Welcoming, entrance to something
- Ora/Oro: Gold, in Spanish (and Latin), suggesting value and something precious. Agents striking gold in terms of commissions.
- Dora from Greek, a female name (short form of Dorothea) meaning “gift”: The name Theodora, for example, is a gift from god, as theo is god. This home is a gift to both the agent and purchaser. Dora also resonates with the word “adore,” something the buyer or agent will adore or love.
Ultimately, we combined the various iterations to create the word ‘DOORA,” and the company DOORA Real Estate. The word encompasses the welcoming aspect of “door,” the treasure resonance of “ora,” and the idea of a gift or beloved possession from “Dora.”
For me, falling in love with the business is an essential part of entrepreneurship, and that starts with the name. The name helps create a story around your brand — one that you can use to inform everything from the look of your branding elements and your office to the messaging and language you use in your marketing.
If you are going to do something, do it well. Craft your team name with care, thinking of the future value of the brand. Don’t choose a name out of a hat or decide on a name based on the URLs that are available. Make your brand name an expression of one of the following:
- Your beliefs or driving philosophy
- A promise you make to your client
- Your view of your market
- Your view of home
- Your attitude toward teamwork
- Something that has a meaning that is personal to you.
Just the process involved in this type of naming ritual is useful. It helps you clarify your mission and vision for the company. It helps you communicate with other members of your team or brokerage about what is important to them. Most importantly, it offers you an opportunity to distill your hopes and dreams into that perfect word or image.
The creative energy I poured into creating DOORA Real Estate is the same creative energy I bring to serving clients. I partnered with Side to add technology and service that will help me grow quickly — spending less time on administration and more time delivering creative solutions for clients. I was drawn to Side because of its passionate support of local, agent-owned brands like mine.
I don’t think I would love my new brokerage quite as much if it was named Troy Palmquist Real Estate. While your mileage may vary, I encourage you to spend more time thinking — and thinking outside the box — when it’s time to choose a name for your business or team.