NextHome believes the future of real estate brokerage lies in smaller, more productive offices.
tive offices. We all know real estate is cyclical, and overhead is the one expense you can control. It’s why we teach our franchise owners to keep it low and steer clear of large office lo- cations. There is simply no reason to have an office with 50 desks where only 10 are being used at any point in time. It’s no secret that broker- ages across the country are strug- gling to maintain profitability, and the ones that are in the black have thin profit margins. This is due to large overhead costs, unproductive agents and downward pressure on commis- sions from a lack of perceived value proposition by the agents. It’s why NextHome continues to increase our value proposition so our offices can justify the fees they charge for agents to be affiliated with them, and thus, help maintain profitability. Also, 50 percent of our offices are agent teams who went out on their own to open an office with us, so they’re naturally smaller in size; an- other 40 percent of our offices are small- to mid-sized independents who join us, and the rest are smaller existing franchisees from a competi- tor who convert. Unlike our competi- tion, we don’t measure our success by the number of agents we have in the company, but by how much busi- ness they do and how profitable they are. We’re confident our members are winning on both of those fronts. MP: You signed on with a major de- sign rm to help develop the Next- Home brand. Tell us about your col- laboration with Pentagram. JD: We knew we had to create a modern brand identity, not just an- other real estate brand lacking inten- tion or emotional connectivity. After studying great brands across the globe, one design firm kept coming up again and again—Pentagram. With offices in London, New York
and San Francisco, they’ve created the brand identity for companies like Verizon, Tiffany & Co., and more re- cently, Mastercard and American Ex- press. When we approached Penta- gram to help us build the NextHome brand, they were truly excited to cre- ate something entirely different and fresh for our industry. MP: How did Pentagram help de ne your branding…and what led to the creation of your mascot, Luke? JD: During the creation of our brand identity, we realized that our com- pany name speaks directly to what we do—help people buy or sell their NextHome. It’s a phrase buyers, sell- ers and agents already use in their daily conversations. “NextHome” represents forward motion and prog- ress, and speaks to the transition buyers or sellers go through. Another key component of our brand identity was the emotional connection—something consumers can relate to or talk about. That’s how our orange Frenchie mascot “Luke” was born. We wanted to direct the conversation between consumers and our agents toward something positive and fun during this often stressful process. Think of great brands you’re already famil- iar with—you emotionally connect to their mascot, not their logo. For ex- ample, with Geico, you think of the
gecko. With Budweiser, you think of the Clydesdales. With Coca Cola, you think of the polar bears. That’s why we use Luke in all our market- ing and especially next to our yard signs. He’s the emotional element connecting consumers to our brand, and gets conversations started all across the country. MP: Companies talk a lot about cul- ture these days, but it’s apparent something very di erent is going on at NextHome. How would you de- scribe it? JD: Family. Collaboration. Standards. Purpose. These are the things that define a “NextHomie.” For us, it’s about helping our agents become more productive and, more impor- tantly, ensuring an exceptional con- sumer experience when working with our agents. “‘NextHome’ represents forward motion and progress, and speaks to the transition buyers or sellers go through.” - JAMES DWIGGINS CEO, NextHome
82 July 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE
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