Corporate Identity Versus Individual Brand
Corporate Identity Versus Individual Brand? One Reason Why The RE/MAX Model Works. A Word with Scott Rosenberg Managing Director of RE/MAX Results Commercial | RCRE
By: Kahlier R. Hart
For new and seasoned agents alike, building a strong brand identity is a key feature to sustaining a successful business in all markets. I sat down with Scott Rosenberg, Marketing Director of RE/MAX Results Commercial, to discuss personal brand vs.corporate identity and how the RE/MAX Commercial model supports both.
1. What is one of the principal reasons why RE/MAX is a smart alternative to the traditional commercial real estate brands?
One reason that I have personally felt that RE/MAX works well is that in a larger company, where there is a very strong corporate brand and corporate culture, there is danger of losing individual brand identity. Because a corporate brand is very structured, there is a risk that from the client's perspective, you are just a commodity or a clone of the last guy that was making the same call six months ago about your investment property. This is particularly challenging if there are more seasoned agents at the same company working in the same market as you. In this case you can be perceived as the clone with less experience...not a winning combo.
2. Is there an environment where that might actually make sense: Where having a strong corporate brand is important?
Well sure, if an agent does not have the proper track record, and he/she is actually in front of a client, then it can work to their favor because you one lean on the track record of the seasoned guys as evidence of his/her competence.
3. If a strong brand is important but it is also going to get in the way, how is that any different than the RE/MAX brand?
Great question! The strength of the RE/MAX brand in my opinion is a bottom up type of strength; where a traditional firm has a top down strength. Let me explain, in a traditional brokerage house, like the one I used to work in, they basically made the statement that we are the best so stick with us and conform to our methods. If you don’t follow us, you can’t be the best anymore. In exchange for absolute compliance an agent was able to wear the badge of the company. In addition, the agent had the privilege of giving 50% of all the fees he/she earned to the company. For me this model didn’t work because it felt coercive, elitist...just too top down. Whereas, in absolute contrast, RE/MAX says, hey you’re the best because only a competent agent will have the gumption to say, “I really am the engine behind my success and I can afford to pay for some of the services that I use in exchange for a massively greater share of the commissions I earn. In fact, RE/MAX agents worldwide out perform all other firms. We are the best, but it’s not because of the company, it’s because the company model attracts the best agents. Not to be cheesy, but it’s really an aspiration model. So to answer the question you first posed, the RE/MAX brand underscores the values of the agent, and communicates competence, effectiveness and results. What RE/MAX doesn’t do, is define how that will look and behave. The agent’s personal brand is allowed to communicate his personality, specialty, and market. This really matters because clients tend to do business with people they can identify and connect with.
4. That's very interesting, it sounds like what you are saying is RE/MAX provides a common philosophical platform of sorts for entrepreneurial agents to build their business on.
Yes, it really is. Functionally it is more than that too. Of course there is the physical office and network of agents and offices, but more and more the technology and support is now central to the productive functioning of our agents. Frankly that’s another topic. Bottom line RE/MAX helps agents run and maximize their business for themselves but not by themselves.