A lot has been written in recent years on brand building. Beyond the ad campaigns, blogs and news headlines, there have been some great examples recently proving how authenticity—in saying what you will do, and doing what you said—can build market strength and client loyalty. Apple is a prime example. So is the Four Seasons. Each has set a high mark for brand excellence and each continues to deliver products and experiences that outshine the competition and delight their customers.
When people think of Bay Area real estate, they don’t always think in terms of a “brand experience.” That’s a missed opportunity. Think about it: Few experiences in an individual’s life are filled with both the emotion and financial investment that comes with buying or selling a home. What better opportunity is there for an organization to deliver as promised—or even better, to set expectations high and then exceed them?
At Pacific Union International (PUI), we’re passionate about the power a positive brand can have. For us, brand excellence starts by putting the client experience at the center of everything we do—from the talent we hire, the training we provide and the tools we create to help our agents work more efficiently and our clients to get smart about real estate. The brand is more than the logo or look of things. It’s the experience our clients, business partners and team members have as part of their relationship with Pacific Union.
Measuring the impact of a positive brand experience can be challenging. Sometimes it’s intuitive; sometimes it’s obvious (like when Microsoft launched its “I’m a PC” campaign in response to Apple’s wildly successful brand building “I’m a Mac” push). At PUI, one metric of our brand strength can be seen in our overall performance—in short, in the number of units sold, the value of homes bought and sold, the loyalty of our clients and retention of our top talent. That, of course, is just the start—here’s a look at a mix of ways we evaluate the power of our brand:
1. 19% year-over-year increase in total sales volume driven by an increase of nearly 9% in the number of homes sold
2. Rise in average PUI’s Bay Area home sales price from $900,000 to over $1.1 million
3. Earned 2010 top-30 U.S. brokerage firm ranking by the Real Trends
4. Selected by Christie’s International Real Estate as the exclusive agent of record in Northern California for its international client base; expanding the firm’s presence globally.
5. Added over 40 top performing real estate professionals—and experienced only three team departures among the original 440-person PUI team
6. Orchestrated strategic growth via small firm acquisitions in key Bay Area markets, including San Francisco’s South of Market (SOMA) region
7. Launched a strategic joint venture with Wells Fargo Bank (WFB), Mortgage Services Professionals, to provide streamlined financing and mortgage services to PUI clients—and earned a top-10 performance ranking in 2010 by WFB
8. Invested $500,000-plus in web, mobile and enterprise solutions to arm PUI agents and clients with ready-access to up to date market trends, comps and residential sales information
Less than 24 months ago, we embarked on a big journey—the combination of two firms each with their own culture, clients and way of doing business. With strategic planning and focused execution, we integrated the best of both operations and teams and have grown into a stronger, single brand. As we look ahead, we’re ready to capitalize on that brand strength and continue to do what all great brands do: Exceed client expectations. We welcome you along for the next phase of our growth.