Have you been wondering how the “Bowtie Realtor®” brand was born?
In 2016 after getting back into active real estate sales in the Greater Palm Springs region, I began the creative work of branding myself. Real estate agents must brand their businesses to help them stand out and create a memorable presence in the local market.
Because there were thousands of agents, I needed a strong brand identity to attract clients and become memorable. I wanted more than just STEPHEN BURCHARD Real Estate. I wanted something catchy that encapsulated my vision and values.
I began thinking about my characteristics and habits as a real estate professional. For example, dressing up for business was something that I liked doing when working with clients or attending industry events. I did stand out because other real estate professionals in my area tend to dress casually.
I wanted to dress up and be stylish because I love it. However, I didn’t want to look stuffy or melt in the desert heat.
At the time, I usually wore a nice pair of slacks and a dressy polo. It wasn’t my style, but it was okay. However, I still longed for a style that suited me better.
One day when I was attending a meeting, a buddy of mine showed up wearing a bowtie that looked stunning with his nerdy features and mannerisms. This was a style that spoke to me.
Could this work for me?
I went through the checklist:
☑️ Nerdy glasses
☑️ Nerdy mannerisms
☑️ IT background
Yes, the nerd look would be epic!
I immediately set out to purchase some bowties on a budget. Luckily, Burlington, Ross, and TJ Maxx had a few self-tie bowties. I hit pay dirt!!
Self-tie bowties meant I needed to learn how to tie them myself. I made many attempts and watched YouTube videos until I got the technique of tying a bowtie. It is like tying your shoes, just around your neck. So, I recorded this video to teach others how to do it.
My outfit became a dress shirt, slacks, jacket, and bowtie. I was getting noticed in my circles for my unique, stylish look. It was dressy without being stuffy, thanks to the bowtie.
For eight months of the year, this was fine. But, living in the desert did cause a problem during the four months of our highest temperatures. So, as a problem solver, I decided I would wear dressy shorts and short sleeve shirts along with my bowtie, so I didn’t have to sacrifice my brand for comfort.
After settling on the look, I needed a tagline for my brand. I had come up with my logo that included the bowtie, but I wasn’t referencing the bowtie in my marketing messages. I needed to tie it together to make a complete package.
At that time, I worked for HomeSmart. I borrowed HomeSmart’s catchy tagline, “making real estate fun & easy.” I liked it, but it still wasn’t mine, and, more importantly, it didn’t tie in the bowtie, pardon the pun.
About the same time I adopted the bowtie into my work attire, I attended a course on Commercial Real Estate. I was there with about 20 other Real Estate professionals.
The instructor had a tagline-ish slogan as part of his listing presentation, “I’ll sell your property for the most amount of money possible, in the least amount of time with the least amount of hassle.” Something like that, anyway.
During the course, I was speaking with one of my classmates. I asked his opinion on how to marry HomeSmart’s tagline with my bowtie.
He looked at me with a grin and a twinkle in his eyes, simply stating, “dude, that’s easy; you take the knots out of real estate.”
Ta-da! The heavens parted, and divine white light streamed down upon us as I smiled with him.
No, it didn’t really happen that way, but it sure felt like it. My tagline was finally born,
I’m STEPHEN BURCHARD, The Desert Bowtie Realtor®, Taking the (k)nots out of Real Estate.
I loved it, and better yet, it caught on like wildfire. So when they think of me, people remember both the bowtie and the tagline.
Branding mission accomplished. It was all tied together.
Ha ha, I did it again. Pardon the pun once more!
I have come to understand that branding requires ongoing development and evolution. It isn’t a fixed destination. It’s a process that is hopefully evolving.
It took me the better part of 6-12 months, from adopting the bowtie into my attire to the birth of my tagline.
This process caused me to fully embrace that some of the best ideas are born from collaboration. From my buddy wearing the bowtie that morning and my colleague pointing out that I take the knots out of real estate, it was all prompted in collaboration with others; whether on purpose or not, it was a collaboration.
Bottom line? I need others to succeed and exceed expectations.
And the bowtie? Well, it’s become ubiquitous with Stephen Burchard Real Estate, my brand, and my mission and values.
Please contact me if you have questions about buying or selling real estate. I would love to speak with you at no cost or obligation. Contact me, Stephen Burchard, The Desert Bowtie Realtor®, taking the (k)nots out of real estate.