Developing a real estate brand is complicated, costly and time-consuming, according to Chris and Kerrie Rowbottom. They recently cancelled well-advanced plans to merge successful separate sales and property management businesses under a new brand, to instead join First National Real Estate.
After investing in the design of a new, boutique brand, the eleventh-hour change of direction wasn’t an easy decision but was unavoidable, according to the directors of First National Real Estate Engage Eastlakes.
‘Kerrie and I had put so much work into our new brand and future plans, but there was a sense that much more was needed, and, when we discussed our vision for the future with Katina Giannos of First National Real Estate, we understood the challenge of change’ says Mr Rowbottom.
‘Katina asked us where we wanted to be in one, three and five years; what our strategy was to get there, how we’d address our digital needs, and how we would address the rapidly evolving needs of the business. It quickly became clear how much more time we would need to invest in research and development, and also how much more commitment would be needed to the training needs of our team.’
According to First National Business Growth Manager, Katina Giannos, Chris and Kerrie’s journey isn’t that uncommon.
‘Developing a brand has serious implications for estate agents and frequently overwhelms critical elements of business strategy, training, technology and marketing expertise required to reach those goals’ says Ms Giannos.
‘The toughest decision for Chris and Kerrie was to let go of all the hard work done, but their realisation was that First National has a national brand, can guide their business planning, will save them an enormous amount of time in assessment of technologies, and clears the pathway to market share growth and an assured future for their team.
‘As an independent, you have a steep uphill battle. Trainers want ridiculous amounts of money, brand development is expensive, connecting to the best technology is far from certain, and mistakes are expensive. You soon discover you’ve spent all this money and you haven’t even touched the digital space. Then, who helps you plan, where’s your mentor, and who is going to help you keep everything on track?
‘First National has all of this set up for you; with all of the back-end resources to drive your business forward, introduce you to the right products, and do it all without seeking corporate profit. It’s a compelling proposition when agents realise how it all falls into place’ says Ms Giannos.
Chris and Kerrie Rowbottom have now completed their transition to First National Real Estate, effecting their rebrand using the network’s charcoal and white branding option.
The sales and property management team has been inducted by Business Growth Manager, Katrina Tarrant. Speaking about the process of transitioning to First National Real Estate and the induction of First National Engage Eastlakes’ team, Chris Rowbottom says he couldn’t be happier.
‘Today with Katrina Tarrant was outstanding. The team’s acceptance of our decision to join First National is critical, and, Katrina’s knowledge of the real estate business is incredible.
‘She was asked a wide range of important questions and was so professional with all her responses. Having discussed our transition to First National with almost every person that works for me, everybody has said the same thing. First National has delivered an outstanding message to everyone today.
‘We are so proud that we reached the right decision for everyone in our office. We really feel blessed to be in business with some great people and have a clearly defined future. Katrina seems to have this amazing relationship with Kerrie already and we are thrilled’ says Mr Rowbottom.