In our luxury real estate branding strategy and marketing practice, we work with real estate companies and individuals to identify their brand. In order to create a brand, we work with our clients to define the core values of the company or of the individual real estate marketing professional. This is what defines the brand or as we refer to it, the "integrity of the brand."
We also discourage the use of the word “Integrity” as an attribute of the company or the individual. The true meaning of integrity is the state of being whole and undivided. Unless one describes the whole of what integrity means to that real estate company or that individual broker/agent, the word is useless.
Integrity for a company or an individual in business is a body of values. Companies and individuals who have integrity adhere to principles (also known as core values) that define them as well as characterize their brand of doing business. It also means that the company/or the individual work to stay true to their principles.
A company or an individual is better off listing their core values instead of saying: “We or I have integrity!”. Stating one’s core values is a demonstration of integrity. It states exactly what can be expected of the company or the individual and honesty and ethics should be a given.
Here are two examples of a few of Whole Foods and Zappo’s core values. Whole Foods has their values spelled out on the wall of their stores in plain view of their shoppers.
"We sell the highest-quality natural and organic products available" (Whole Foods core value)
"We satisfy, delight, and nourish our customers"
"We support team member excellence and happiness"
"We create wealth through profits and growth
Here are Zappo's 10 Core Values, which are displayed on their web site:
Deliver WOW Through Service.
Embrace and Drive Change.
Create Fun and A Little Weirdness.
Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded.
Pursue Growth and Learning.
Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication.
Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit.
Do More With Less.
Our experience with both companies is that they live up to their core values. Neither one mentions honesty, ethics or integrity.
Companies and individuals who live up to their core values are easy to refer. We know exactly what to expect each time we do business with them.
Have you defined your brand of Integrity?