How to Invest in Real Estate: Standing Out from the Competition with Your Brand – Ann Lee Interiors

How to Invest in Real Estate: Standing Out from the Competition with Your Brand – Ann Lee Interiors

When teaching our students how to invest in real estate, one focus is our brand. When Ann Lee was founded, as with any new business, there was a multitude of decisions we had to make. But one thing was crystal clear – We wanted our buyers to have a different experience. We wanted to set ourselves apart in the marketplace because frankly, the majority of flippers were all beginning to look the same. It was getting extremely boring to be a flipper and have your product stand out. But we changed that quickly!   So we created a brand called “Ann Lee Interiors” and built our own army of dedicated agents, lenders, contractors, and employees who follow and promote our brand. As soon as a potential buyers walks through the front door, we wanted to give them a unique buying experience! We take our buyers on their own custom journey. And during that journey, every single small detail is important. It’s the little things that make a difference. Things like custom Ann Lee labeled house keys, custom brand postcards, and small customized pop-up promotional cards spread throughout the home.   When you’ve built your brand, you’re in-turn, customizing every single flip! When you customize the home and the home-buying experience, you have just ensured that your potential buyers feel special. Your product, in turn, stands out from your competitors.   You may ask, “what sets Ann Lee Custom Homes apart from their competitors? Most real estate investors would never share their secrets with the public…but we’re different! We want to share our wealth of knowledge to help make you more successful and profitable when it comes to your real estate investment(s). While I do not wish to bog you down with details right now, there are 5 simple ways to ensure that your house stands-out:   Be different from your competitors –   It’s not rocket science! Every buyer has an mental picture and checklist of exactly the type of house that they want. Make your investment stand-out by giving the potential buyer what they want instead of what you want or is the least expensive. It needs to look like a custom designed home rather than a home designed by a contractor or narrow-minded investor!   Be aware of how the potential buyer perceives you –   Our buyers perceive us as custom home designers rather than flippers/investors wanting to earn a quick buck and move onto the next investment without putting any thought or pride into their flip. Our buyers see our homes as ones that they are eager and excited to purchase rather than a house that they are just “agreeing” to buy.So again, ask yourself this: “How does my potential customer perceive me? Do they perceive me as a ‘flipper’ or as a ‘custom home designer’?”   Tile is “art” not “flooring”   Most investors...

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Marketing 101: How to Create Brand Awareness

Marketing 101: How to Create Brand Awareness

How do you begin creating “brand awareness” for your products? Over time, one needs to establish positive brand awareness that promotes the possibility of the purchase of your product in the future. The initial impression of your brand is of utmost importance! Beyond this, however, are all of the future impressions that may be formed regarding your brand.   BRAND AWARENESS Your brand awareness measures a consumer’s knowledge of your product.   Challenges in creating brand awareness: 1. Do potential customers even know that you exist? 2. Is your product better? 3. Why pay more for your products rather than from a less expensive alternative?   Maintaining Brand Awareness: Ensure your brand promise is clear. Be simple, be direct, and by all means, be consistent. Focus on creating a well-conceived brand name. Even the most clever branding strategy will fall flat if the name you seek to brand is poorly conceived. Understand the competition – No one operates in a vacuum. While originality is important, it’s critical to be aware of your competitors’ branding strategies. Set branding goals. You can’t very well determine your success if you don’t have a benchmark against which to measure it. Know where you want to go and when you want to get there. Remain committed to the brand while being flexible… Branding success doesn’t occur overnight; it takes commitment to maintain focus and build loyalty. But that doesn’t mean strategy changes might not be necessary along the way, so be open to tweaking your approach as necessary.   BRAND EQUITY: Brand equity is strategically crucial but it’s also difficult to quantify. There have been a multitude of experts who have developed tools to analyze certain assets but there is no universally accepted manner in which to measure it. One must fight to maintain a reserved mental space in the consumers mind.   There are four aspects of brand equity: 1. brand loyalty 2. awareness 3. association 4. quality perception   Business Week ranks brand equity: Sony: -16% Sony spent $1.6 billion on advertising last year, according to Advertising Age magazine, but it wasn’t enough to stem Sony’s slide in global brand value. Its drop of 16% is all the more troubling as rival Samsung passed the Japanese giant in brand value while spending far less on ads.   According to Interbrand’s Jan Lindemann, who directed the ranking, Sony’s brand value has dropped because it gave up leadership in MP3 players to Apple by not innovating and because it hasn’t been a player in cell phones. Another minus: Sony has devoted considerable resources to its film and music recording businesses, where its brand carries little weight with consumers.   THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSISTENCY: Consistency is the same message with the same style…   The message should be consistent. Tide detergent, for instance, has always placed an emphasis on how clean their detergent will make...

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Marketing 101: Branding

Marketing 101: Branding

When it comes to your business, one of the most important things that you deal with is your “brand.” This is also one of the most over-used words in the corporate work place today. It has become a catch phrase like the term “synergy.”   Understanding how valuable your brand is ranks right up there with profit and loss statements at the end of your year. There are extreme studies that can help you determine your brand equity. What concerns me most of all is the flippant way small businesses use their brand. They carelessly make changes to their look, their materials, their logo, and various other visual representations of who they are. They wonder how these large brands have arrived at where they currently are without ever considering what it took to get there.   Take Walt Disney for instance. One of the most recognizable brands in the world. Its logo is a scripted font without much contrast or color. It has remained the same for decades. Their brand has superseded a man’s name and as become what children wonder about and what parents are comfortable giving to their children without question of its content. It has become a magical place filled with enchantment and fun.   How did all of that come out of a man’s name that was written in a lackluster font? Maybe it’s in this that we find that our emphasis should not always be on how we look, but who we truly are as an organization. This reminds me of how I used to pick movies or books off of a shelf. My wife would always rave about what she had seen or read while I was always disappointed with my choices. I have always been fooled by the glitz and glamor of the cover while my wife would always take the time to discern based on content. We are in an age where our content is available everywhere and our content is far more important that the look we give it.   Consider looking at one of our brands that we use to set us apart in the markets that we invest in. Ann Lee Interiors, www.annleeinteriors.com. There are many advantages to developing and utilizing our own interior brand:   1. A brand makes one’s company look legitimate   2. A brand sets one apart from the competition   3. A brand allows one to avoid the appearance of a “rehabber” and rather appear as a custom home designer – which results in a higher purchase price   4. A brand gives one the feeling of being “custom.” People equate “custom” with expensive. We are able to provide the customer what THEY want on all price points   So, get out there and start “branding!”   To receive information or to register for our live “Marketing Academy” events, visit www.andrewcordle.com To register...

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