That special touch: Thoughts on branding with EXIT Realty PEI

By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer and Graphic Designer with Franchisee, Carol O’Hanley,  EXIT Realty PEI

Nowhere in business is it more imperative to carve out an identity for yourself than when you’re an entrepreneur, which is why many opt to call the EXIT Realty brand home. Not only does it offer tried and true marketing technologies and tools, but a strong and unique brand identity unlike any other.

Franchisees, Steve Yoston and Carol O’Hanley, were immediately drawn to this when they first opened their EXIT Realty PEI franchise in 2015, because when your market is a small island province of just over 150,000 people, you want to be noticed.

Wanting their office to look innovative and fresh, Steve and Carol looked at what competitors on the island were doing and endeavored to be something different, because to them, a professional, strong, and consistent image is a direct expression of their business integrity.   

“Our image reflects our values as owners of our brokerage. We want to ensure what we do and how we present ourselves is on par with those beliefs. We want everyone delivering the same message to the public and we want clients to know and recognize our brokerage when they see our logo so when we show up – no matter where we show up – it’s always the same,” Carol explained.

As the office’s chief marketing idea generator, Carol always wants her agents up front, saying, “The agents ARE our brand and we want people to see that,” so she strives to put them in lights wherever and however possible, successfully merging individual marketing identities with the EXIT brand and including agents in the marketing brainstorming process. And speaking of process, she knows that great marketing takes time, time and the help of an even greater professional.

“We were lucky to hire our marketing coordinator fresh out of college after completing a two-year marketing course. He works magic with any idea we send his way and creates a polished look for us every time. This is especially important to clients who want their properties highlighted in the best way and it means our agents look good anywhere we include them. We know we couldn’t create the ads and posts that he does with such ease,” she proudly admitted.

With a dynamic website, engaging video content, and an active social media presence, EXIT Realty PEI is always reaching out to potential clients as well as agents, and they’re always EXITized. They’re constantly sharing EXIT’s Design Guide and communicating guidelines with their agents and coming up with distinctive ways to market. “Some examples are our Tuesday Testimonials where we post client testimonials about our agents, or testimonials from agents on why they chose EXIT. We do anniversary posts for agents, and we had Saturday shout outs where we posted something awesome an agent had done in the community,” she shared.

Though social media allows them to do a lot of marketing for free, well-rounded promotion comes with a cost which they budget each year to cover everything from regular print publication ads to their weekly Chatting with Charities video campaign.

Check them out and if you like what you see, reach out, because Carol is a big proponent of offices working together, trying similar ideas in separate markets, and is always looking for fresh ideas, saying, “Don’t be scared to try new things! They say different is better than better. I wouldn’t suggest copying other brokerages in your area – instead, do something they’re not.”

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