We have seen many highly qualified agents from independent real estate firms lose listings to lesser qualified agents associated with big global brands simply because the homeowner preferred to have the yard sign of the global brand posted in front of their house.  If you cannot immediately convey your extraordinary promise of value and pick independent thinkers for clients, that can be your fate, too!

Recently, we were in Trader Joe’s and observed a customer deciding which sparkling wine to buy for a Holiday gathering at her retail store in one of the very affluent neighborhoods here in Santa Barbara.  She wanted to buy a cheap sparkling wine and pass it off as “Champagne” (only wines from Champagne can be called Champagne).

The choice was between a TJ private label rosé ($9.95 per bottle) and an equally priced French sparkling wine from the Burgundy area. She opted for the French wine, even though our TJ wine expert friend told her it was not even close in quality to the rosé. It was more important to impress her customers with ambiguous French label than offering a quality experience.

We had just tried the rosé based on his recommendation and it was actually quite good. This wine was one of those great, rare bargains for which TJ’s is famous.

Alexandra even stepped in to endorse our friend’s recommendation and stated that she is no stranger to Krug and Dom Pérignon. The decision to go with the French brand was based solely on the TJ label, i.e., band perception mattered more than quality.

She thanked Alexandra and said she would buy it for herself.  But, she needed to keep up appearances. Who was she fooling? Instead of offering the pretense of Champagne, why not serve eggnog and lace it with the best rum that money can buy?  That would have saved her more money and made a lasting positive impression.

Brand perception matters.  That is why, if you are an independent, you absolutely must know your extraordinary value proposition and seek out independent thinkers as clients.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.