There’s been a major push this year for Century 21 agents to plunk down $150 and purchase their own gold jacket (assuming they weren’t with the company when the jackets were in vogue 15 years ago.) Aside from the fact that I loathe to buy any clothing at this stage, I’ve held off for one simple reason … I’m still unsure what the return will be for me.
Once upon a time, that gold jacket meant “real estate”. Then, for reasons unknown except to those who developed New Coke and threw Jack out the door from Jack in the Box, the jacket disappeared. From a company branding standpoint it was a terrible decision. As we have been told, market share has declined steadily since the jacket disappeared.
Is that attributable to the gold jacket alone? Of course not. Competition in the real estate industry has ramped up considerably in the intervening 15 years. But still …
So in comes the gold jacket, which no question is great for the company. But then I have to ask, what about me?
I chose Century 21 because of the name … people know it, people (usually) trust it, there is no doubt when you hear Century 21 that real estate is in the conversation. Will the gold jacket necessarily augment that link? Possibly … possibly not.
And from a branding standpoint, I have my own branding to worry about. Right now, it’s centered around the beagle. In time, my face my disappear altogether in favor of Tobey and Captain Morgan (and then I can wait to be accused of following Odysseus, even if Tobey predates him in the marketing chain.)
When I first started, I needed the security blanket of the Century 21 name to carry me through listing presentations when I had no track record of my own. Now? I still mention the cache of the brand, to be certain, but I spend far more time discussing my own record of success and my own marketing plan, not just what Century 21 can do for them.
Because at the end of the day there are 400+ Century 21 agents in my office. There are five (!) separate Century 21 franchises within 10 miles of my office – Metro Alliance, North Valley, Northwest and Sunland.
I still believe in the power of the name which is why I don’t move, even if the broker commission splits are a little greener on the other side of some fences.
But as for jumping on the branding bandwagon … show me the absolute return and then I’ll consider that 52 extra long in gold.
[tags]real estate marketing, Century 21, Phoenix real estate[/tags]