Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News; Shutterstock

From hashtags to hues of blue: 2 examples of branding that works 

See how two real estate pros went "all in" on branding to differentiate themselves and showcase their strong points.

January 1, 2023
2 minutes

A couple years into his real estate career, Oakland, CA, eXp agent Kenny Truong knew he needed something to set himself apart from the crowd. He decided speed would be his angle. He'd respond to calls and emails really quickly. He would provide clients updates in a timely manner. He'd sell houses in days rather than weeks or months. And so, he became #FastAgent. 

Kenny Truong

Now, a decade later, that personal brand has expanded to include the 370 agents operating as #TeamFast. 

"It's definitely helped differentiate us," says Truong. "A good brand has to be true to who you are and what you're doing. We provide on-demand service, so it works. Our team slogan is 'Be You But Fast.' So, yeah, we're all in."

While Truong's branding is all about responsiveness, many agencies and brokerages build brands about their connection to geographic regions or cities. That's the case for Rich Barnhart, managing broker/owner of By The Sea Realty in Fort Lauderdale. His company's branding makes sense on two fronts: Their office is located very close to the ocean and they specialize in waterfront properties. 

Rich Barnhart

The name came with the agency when Barnhart bought it 15 years ago. He decided not only to keep the name but to build a brand around it. His team's experience with waterfront properties is emphasized online and through mailings, all punctuated with cool blue colors. 

"I've never really dug into the data of it, but we know clients come to us because they know what our expertise is," he says. "That doesn't mean we won't work with a client who doesn't want a water view or a boat slip. I don't think having a brand is about excluding anybody, but rather it's about letting people know what you excel at."

Real estate branding expert Denise Lones says Barnhart's thinking is spot-on. "Branding can help you target a niche market," she says. "You can be a generalist with the rest of the market, but having an area of expertise makes you stand out. It creates a connection with the kinds of clients you want to specialize in."

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