In a listing presentation, when you are up against a competitor whose company brand is not perceived to be as “prestigious” as yours you may have an invisible handicap that has nothing whatsoever to do with your own competence as an agent. In luxury real estate marketing, perception often supersedes competence.

We have a friend who specializes in marketing and selling equestrian estates in a world famous marketplace known for its lavish horse related properties. Our friend is a judge of equestrian events.  She also owns a horse farm and breeds horses. She lives and breathes everything equestrian, a true expert in her field.

For months she had known that one of the most expensive horse farms in her area was about to be put on the market. She stayed in touch with the owners consistently and was optimistic that she would be considered to list the property.  When the decision was made to list she was one of only two agents who were considered to market the property.

She had the superior marketing plan and the best listing presentation, given her impeccable credentials. Her competition did not know the difference between the nose and the tail of a horse.  But, the other agent had something that our friend did not have:  a company that was perceived to be more prestigious than hers.

Although it was a close “race”, our friend lost out to her competitor who was absolutely clueless when it came to horse properties.  The final decision was based on the fact that the owners did not want her company sign on their property because they were concerned about what their friends and neighbors might think.  Perception cost our friend over $500K in commissions!

The moral of the story is this: Understand what is at stake when it comes to perception of your company brand.  Certainly, competence “should” win out over perception. But, why not stack the deck in your favor by aligning with a more prestigious company brand.

Or, if you are part of a smaller, independent firm, create your own prestigious personal brand, set the tone, and encourage your company to align the perception of their brand with yours. That is exactly what  Debb Janes and Bernie Stea, did with their Nature As Neighbors team brand.