THE REAL ESTATE BRAND BLOG
CEO / European Real Estate Brand Institute
About me and the journey to becoming a brand
#1. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS “NO CAN DO”
The journey to becoming a brand
Anyone who wants to set sail or fly high as a teenager needs the dreams to match. The goal of becoming a sail designer or pilot certainly filled my dreams, and a private pilot license was a step in the right direction – until an apprenticeship as a communications engineer and a meeting with a marketing colleague ultimately led me onto a different path. Life rarely follows a predefined plan. If it did, I probably wouldn’t have ended up as the single father of a wonderful 8-year-old boy. And what my path has taught me is that it takes time, experience and reflection to discover and establish the right position for yourself. Or, in other words, to correctly assess your unique qualities and build a promising identity – let’s call it a “brand”.
Of course, you realise I’m building toward a transition to the real issue. You won’t have to wait long, I promise. But let me just give you a little bit of relevant history here.
One, two and three
As the marketing and sales manager of a real estate magazine, many years ago I racked my brains for a long time as to why none of the most valuable brands in the world are real estate companies – despite the industry being one of the world’s strongest in terms of turnover. My first logical conclusion was that real estate companies tend to lack distinguishing features; one company is much like another, at least from the outside. None of the companies I considered possessed that specific, differentiated “scent” that makes any brand unmistakable. My second thought was that it was up to me to show real estate companies how best to develop their own brands. My third thought was: I can do this. I will do this …
There’s no such thing as “no can do”
“There’s lots of things our industry needs, but brands aren’t one of them. It’ll never work.” If I needed extrinsic motivation as I was launching my project at the turn of the millennium, there could have been nothing better than these words from the managing director of an established real estate company. I had analysed the keys to success in other industries and was now driven by a desire to unleash the full potential of branding and strategic positioning into the real estate world. It was time for me to make tangible plans, formulate goals and will myself across the finish line. This is the motto I live. This is the conviction that has allowed me, for example, to complete several Ironman competitions and, in 2018 and at an advanced age, to finish the New York City Marathon. Despite all the inner and outer prophecies of doom, one thing was clear to me: there’ s no such thing as “no can do” …
The rest is history …
… that is, the history of the European Real Estate Brand Institute. Since 2009, the milestones have come thick and fast: creation of a database; development of market research and scientific data analysis tools; establishing a benchmark model; brand evaluation and ranking; dividing the industry into essential sub-segments in all well-known European markets; contributing to the gif competence group Markenwert at the Gesellschaft für Immobilienwirtschaftliche Forschung e.V.; annual publication of the Real Estate Brand Book; foundation of the Real Estate Brand Club; the annual Real Estate Brand Awards celebrating the industry’s strongest brands with the Brand Diamond, etc., etc.
Diamonds are forever
Today, the European Real Estate Brand Institute is the leading institution for evaluating the strategic positioning and value of brands across European real estate industry. Our annual studies survey 109,000 experts and cover more than 1,000 real estate brands from 45 European markets. The best and strongest brands are included in the European Real Estate 500, the industry’s preeminent Brand Performance Index, and are awarded a prestigious Brand Diamond every year. Did you know that diamond, formed under high pressure, is the hardest natural material in the world?
Never let a good crisis go to waste
The 2020 Awards Gala was broadcast online on the Real Estate Brand Channel (corona again!) and was the largest livestreamed event ever held in the real estate industry. Naturally, that makes me happy. It also tells me that crises are no reason to bury your head in the sand. The journey continues. And not only for the real estate companies that cultivate distinctive brands and strong market positions to set themselves apart from their competitors, but also for us at the European Real Estate Brand Institute because we want to further enrich this industry – with innovative ideas that have formed under the diamond pressure of the recent crisis. As Winston Churchill once said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.