Create a slogan that sells
Build a brand using a moniker that clients won’t soon forget
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When you have the first name Rambo, there is no shortage of obvious slogans to market yourself as a real estate broker.
Well, unless you’ve never identified with the character in the “Rambo” movies, that is. Instead, Rambo Halpern tagged himself with a slogan that fits his passion for the style of home he loves as a principal broker with Premiere Property Group in Portland, Ore.: “The Bungalow Guy.”
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Halpern said after leaving a high-stress job running an executive search firm in Tokyo and moving to Portland about 15 years ago, he bought a bungalow-style home and began working on restoring it with help from a local contractor he hired. He enjoyed doing that so much he bought another bungalow and repeated the process. “It was a type of therapy for me, getting out of the office and picking up some skills,” he said. “I became very fond of the architecture and craftsmanship of bungalows, which are turn-of-the-century homes, part of the arts and crafts movement. They’re embellished by true craftsmen, kind of a rebellion from the previous period of Victorian architecture, which is very ornate.”
Was he concerned with pigeonholing himself by using a slogan that refers to one style of house? He understands how that might be a problem for some agents. “What REALTOR® doesn’t want someone who wants to buy a million-dollar condo on the waterfront? They don’t want to be seen as someone who couldn’t sell that property,” Halpern said. “But for my own purpose, I decided this was the market I was going to go after.” The truth is, Halpern does serve other communities. Becoming so well known locally has allowed him to build a reputation that goes beyond the niche in which he specializes. He recently was named one of Real Estate Executive Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Real Estate Agents in Oregon. Such is the power of an effective marketing slogan.
For a real estate agent, the key to a successful marketing slogan is coming up with something that not only is catchy but that sets you apart. There is no doubt Halpern hit on something with his slogan. “If you put the word ‘bungalow’ and ‘Portland’ together in Google, you’ll see my smiling face come up,” he said. “If you put in the words ‘Portland REALTOR®,’ you’re going to get basically Zillow and all these [others] out there that are spending massive amounts and have huge web presences.” Halpern uses “The Bungalow Guy” on all his marketing material and has a website that uses that slogan: “TheBungalowGuy.com.” On Twitter, he is The Bungalow Guy @thebungalowguy, and he can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/TheBungalowGuyRealtor.
What's in a name?
“I go to stores out of the city … and someone will look at my credit card and say, ‘Oh, you’re Yolonda Sells Wauconda,’ and they don’t live in Wauconda.” — Yolonda Moenning
Halpern, who lives in a bungalow, also fell for the type of community commonly associated with bungalows in Portland, what he describes as “close-in, enclave neighborhoods that are surrounded by … retail centers that have shops and restaurants, coffee shops and art galleries in hundred-year-old buildings…and pretty much locally owned.” After buying and renovating those homes, leasing them out investments and living in one, Halpern became a licensed real estate agent, began selling them and decided to specialize in bungalows.
Halfway across the country, in northeastern Illinois, Yolonda Moenning has found similar success with a slogan that also might seem limiting: “Yolonda Sells Wauconda.” Her slogan, created about 18 years ago by a woman who worked in marketing where her husband was employed, is a natural fit for Moenning, who grew up in and still lives in the Lake County village of about 14,000 residents. If there is any question whether using her slogan was a good idea, Moenning, a broker-associate for RE/MAX Center of Grayslake, Illinois, need only point to the fact she has been a real estate agent for 25 years. A RE/MAX Hall of Fame inductee, Moenning also knows her slogan works for another reason. “I can tell because I go to stores out of the city even … and someone will look at my credit card and say, ‘Oh, you’re Yolonda Sells Wauconda,’ and they don’t live in Wauconda,” Moenning said.
Moenning also said her slogan has another benefit: It helps people remember the unusual spelling of her first name. “Most people spell my name incorrectly,” she notes, “and so I just say, ‘It’s spelled like Wauconda. It ends in O-N-D-A not A-N-D-A.’”
Rambo Halpern tagged himself with a slogan that fits his passion for the style of home he loves: “The Bungalow Guy”
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