CAN A BRANDING SHIFT HELP A REAL ESTATE FIRM DURING ADOWNTURN?

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Last week, 53% of respondents to GlobeSt.com's Quick Pollsaid a branding shift would not help a real estate firm during adownturn. 47% indicated that it would help. Ken Morris, CEO andpresident of Morris Southeast Group/CORFAC International, isfamiliar with the effects of a brand shift, as his own companyunderwent changes years ago. He speaks about the benefits of such ashift below:

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"I'm a big believer in branding in general. I follow marketingtrends, and I think in a competitive or down market when youpresent yourself in a newer, cleaner way or change affiliations,that's a news worthy event for an organization. Provided that theservice platform can be improved by that branding shift, it couldhave the affect of providing a jolt or boost to the missionstatement of an organization.

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"This downturn is the time that separates the men from the boys.This is my third downturn, and my business has always grown duringdownturns. I've been affiliated with CORFAC International for aboutseven years, and I adopted their branding about four years ago. Istill keep my company logo. Ten years ago I adopted a new branding,changed the company name and came up with a new logo and identitypackage. Both changes made a big difference in recognition andbrand awareness. It also helped us to clean up our missionstatement and figure out who we were and where we wanted to be.

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"I'm not saying if you did a branding shift three years ago toredo it now, but I notice that the national firms will change theirtagline every few years. I don't know how much more the nationalfirms can do, but with smaller, regional firms it's different. Theycan invest in their branding and mission statements and will get'fit.' You're going to see more innovation and a lot of smaller,more agile boutique firms pop up in this downturn as a result ofit."

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