Tucson AZ Home Loan Info

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BRAND Yourself!

 Mike in Tucson:  BrandingMy friend Dick Carson and I have been working his cattle each April for more than a decade.  He's the photographer.  That's me with the branding iron.

This post is about YOU, so stick with me. 

The brand, GM, represents a whole lot more than the name of the operation, GlenMar Ranch.  It represents the work and accomplishments of three generations of the Powell family on what is today GlenMar Ranch in Southeastern Oklahoma. 

Back to the topic of Branding, though.  Cattle rustling isn't something that went away when barbed wire fences closed off the open range and the western cowboy's way of life faded into history.  Rustlers still steal cattle.  Branding isn't easy work, and it smells something awful.  (Ever singe your hair?)  But it sure is necessary.

At 600 lbs. each, and worth more than $1 per pound on the hoof, a dozen unbranded calves will attract the attention of modern day rustlers.  Do you wonder how they pull it off?  The rustlers' tools are bolt cutters, wire cutters and a big truck, maybe even a tractor-trailer.  Trucks don't attract much attention in rural Oklahoma, and the theft of Dick's calves probably didn't take the two rustlers more than half an hour.   Dick Carson, GlenMar Ranch: Mike in Tucson, mortgage lender

Your business is as essential to your way of life as the cow/calf operation at GlenMar is Dick and his family.  Is your business branded?  Is there a distinctive something that says to your world, "You KNOW who I am!"  If you're a lender, like I am, or a Realtor, you may spend most of your time prospecting for business and very little working on, or even thinking about your brand.  Maybe you believe that all the talk about branding is hype to sell books and seminars.  Don't be lulled into thinking that. 

Here's my challenge to you as my friend and colleague: 

(1) Look at your market, and note the most recognizable brand among your competition.  Mull it over in your mind.  Ask yourself why that particular brand sticks in your mind.  (In Tucson, the name Marsee Wilhems is more than a Realtor's name.  It's a brand.  The tag line that follows Marsee's name is "If I don't sell your house, I'll BUY it."  I didn't determine to memorize that name or tag line--Marsee and I have never met--but memorize it I did!  That's the power of branding.) 

(2) Examine your business, create your brand, and register your brand by writing it down.  Look at it.  Work on perfecting it.  Talk to a trusted friend about it.  When you like what you see, take step three. 

(3) Burn your brand into everything you do.  Put it on your letterhead.  Your business card.  The back of your car.  If your spouse will let you, on the back of their car.  Change your website to reflect and support your brand. 

Some of you are thinking right now: "There's nothing I have that my competitors don't have.  I'm not unique."  That's not the point of having a brand.  Imagine if my cattleman friend Dick stopped branding his herd because after all, EVERYONE else has cows, and they all look just like GlenMar's cows.  Active Rain presently has 27 different classifications--27 profile types.  Whether you're a mortgage processor, a home stager, or a virtual assistant, your degree of success in your chosen field depends on YOU creating a unique brand for YOURSELF.

If this post has given you a new perspective on the necessity of branding, please (1) subscribe to my blog and (2) make me your associate.  And please join Marti Garaughty's weblog community - The Art Of Marketing You.   Training 'em up: Mike in Tucson, mortgage lender

Final Thought: 
Someone is depending on YOUR success. 
Take the steps to make it happen! 

I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.
Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Think of me as your local expert.

 

 

Comment balloon 49 commentsMike Jones • July 29 2007 10:13PM

Comments

 Hi Mike, you're soooooooo right about the importance of branding. From a consumer's point of view, unless you differentiate yourself from the crowd, all realtors look alike. They have to give us a reason to call 'you' instead of the next guy(gal).

 Also, thanks for the mention of the marketing group, it's much appreciated.

Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... (garaughty.com) about 12 years ago
Thanks, and you're welcome! 
Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

Well well Mike...what do they say about great minds? I love the cattle analogy...even though there isn't much rustling around here! I'd love to send the "cool" your way but right now it's 11:00 PM and 71 degrees!

So nice to meet you...and I have added you and subscribed...you do the same?

What to you think of the "brand"This smile's for you" ???

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) about 12 years ago
I've added you as an associate and subscribed to your blog.  I love your brand.  It suits you!
Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago
Mike, your so right we all need to add brand awareness to our business model. I have been working on this for years. I am hoping that blogging will help consumers find me. I am actively working and will continue to work on my special brand. Great Post.
Posted by Frank Rubi, FrankRubiRealEstate.com (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) about 12 years ago

 Thanks for your comment, Frank.  I'm off to your profile to see what's cooking down in Louisiana!

Mike
at GoldenGateTucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago
Hey Mike...congrats on the Feature!
Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) about 12 years ago

Howdy Mike

I gave you a 5 for this very good and helpful post you tuck the time to do.

I liked reading it a lot. I also bookmarked it.

Have a good one

Posted by Dale Baker, New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information (Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections) about 12 years ago
Dale, thanks for your kind comment!  And for reading my posts.  AR is an amazingly effective networking tool.  Come back any time!
Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

Joan, back at you!  I'm off to comment on your featured blog!

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

Mike,

 Your blog is very accurate, prior to branding myself my business was average, but since the branding I have much more recognition which leads into business.  Nice cattle.

 

Posted by Tina Abraham, Broker, SRS, Realtor, Wilmington NC Luxury Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Seacoast Realty) about 12 years ago
 Thanks, Tina.  Wilmington, NC...  I once spent some time in the brig at the Marine base near Wilmington.  Perhaps that's the subject of a future blog, as I was never a Marine.
Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago
This is something I really struggle with in my market.  I've been thinking about it for years, and never come up with a good solution yet!  Feel free to nag me about this!
Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 12 years ago
 Margaret, from my perspective, the brand is about YOU.  It's independent of one's market.  If you moved to Tucson, an effective brand would move right along with you.  Let's talk more about this; I'll research your profile and see how I can make some trouble. Nag, nag, nag.
Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago
Outstanding post..I gave it a 5! Number 3 is my favorite. Too few Realtors separate themselves by creating that unique brand identity. Now if Realtors could generate the brand loyalty like that of a Harley Davidson which is one of the most popular tattoos known. That's branding and love of a product to the highest degree!
Posted by Bobby Carroll, Real Estate Marketing (Dakno Marketing) about 12 years ago
Mike - I agree with you. if you brand yourself it will only help you do better
Posted by Dan Tobias, Northridge Real Estate Expert (Rodeo Realty) about 12 years ago
All very good ideas Mike.  I agree with you and since I started my business, I have been trying to do just that. 
Posted by Karen Hubert, Home Stager (Center Stage Design-real estate staging, Ancaster/Hamilton) about 12 years ago
 Karen, I visited your profile, and then your website.  You have a wonderfully distinctive Brand!  You could have a miniature branding iron made of that brand to mark the burgers and steaks at your next BBQ.  Check out the link!
Much Success,
Mike in Tucson
(520) 349-9090
Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago
Thanks for authoring this great info Mike.  Branding is a critical component of your marketing-mix.
Posted by Larry Wright (nwRealty.Com) about 12 years ago

 Bobby, Dan & Larry,
Thanks for your comments on Branding!
I've visited each of your Profiles, and added you as associates.  Gotta love social networking!
Much Success,
Mike Jones, lender in Tucson, AZ
(520) 349-9090

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago
Great post. Thanks mike.
Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) about 12 years ago

Mike,

So glad I came across your post. The cattle branding analogy really scored a note with me. You're right, it doesn't matter what your brand is, as long you have a brand. One person who's branding sticks out for me is Denise Lones. She loves zebras and made them her brand. From her website, to her marketing materials, everything says zebra. Thanks for the great post (I high fived you).

Sandy

Posted by Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor (Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.) about 12 years ago

Thank you for the  post.  That's what our business is about.

Posted by Vicky Poe, Realtor/ Auctioneer (Good Ole Rocky Top) about 12 years ago

I use my brand on my advertising but not on my website?  What was I thinking?  I use my tag line on everything, but not my cool logo.  I am going to fix that realllllly soon.

Karie

Posted by Karie Hobson, Homes for Sale -Redmond Greater East Side (Coldwell Banker Bain ) about 12 years ago

 Lanre, thanks for stopping by!  I just visited your blog on the subject of alternative credit scoring: PAY RENT BUILD CREDIT.  Thank you for introducing me to PRBC; I had been using Countrywide's Landsafe for my alternative credit clients, and now I have another gun in the arsenal!

Sandy, bei mir bist du schoen!  Thanks for introducing me to Denise Lones. How does she create those beautiful Headlines?

Vicky, you've got Moxie!  Apprentice Auctioneer!  Thanks for commenting.

Karie, we're already associates; thank you for commenting.  Even your town has a brand!

 

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

Definitely building a brand will help grow your business. You are right finding the brand takes time and  lot of thought.  Thanks for the post.

Posted by Steve Lauver, Omaha Realty -- 402-689-7550 (Nebraska Realty -) about 12 years ago

Mike,  OOOPS!  The picture you have is not my brand.  It is the City of Norco's logo.  I use it for a link to the city's website.  My brand is not on my web site yet.  Just after my last post, I had to make an unplanned trip to Texas. Found a computer, so I am back in touch.  Maybe I will find time to doll up my website.

Karie

Posted by Anonymous about 12 years ago

Karie, welcome back!  You'll see that I fixed the OOPS to keep the City of Norco happy.  Seriously, thank you for the response.  Please edit your comment and insert your brand here!

 Mike in Tucson 

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

This is so true Mike!

I have a marketing background and understand this to be a key element to success. 

NIKE has it, COKE has it why not you and me? 

I'm formulating my "brand" around my business as I write this and well over the past year. It is a process and you will go thru changes but like you said, ask someone, write it down, say it out loud and soon you'll embody what the essence of your business is.  I tell you I wake up thinking about my work and go to bed thinking about it - even dream many nights on the very subject. 

Being in the home staging industry is a challenge for us all - in many areas it's new or few are able to sustain the little business that seems to be out there - there is tons waiting - but  many of our present and future clients don't know they really need it yet.

I'm on a mission to change one person at a time, one house at a time and change a mindset of an industry of Realtors who have yet to catch the staging wave.  Surf's up for this Florida girl and I'm starting in Texas!

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) about 12 years ago
 Karen, thanks for visiting and commenting.  It may not be true, but I think the world knows how REALTORS and lenders make a living.  I have no idea how home stagers get paid for their accomplishments.  It might make a good subject for a Members Only blog post!
Much Success to You,
Mike in Tucson
Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

Hi Mike,

You can visit my website at www.homestarstaging.com and look under services for some of the ways I make a living. 

But pricing for a full staging job for an occupied or vacant property varies based on scope of the work and what's involved (rental furniture, accessories, packing, painting the list goes on) It's like a "menu" you can pick and choose but ultimately it depends on the homeowner and their budget and what they want for their investment.  This is where it is good to meet with a stager, one on one and discuss options price, what they do and not do in terms of service (like I won't pack a house)

That's where our professional paths seemingly have a fork in the road in terms of dollars. Many stagers are also still trying themselves to figure out what works in their particular market and what the market can bear. 

It's all very exciting stuff.  I call it the "birth of an industry" and I'm so glad to be one of the "mammas"

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) about 12 years ago

This is a great "thinking" blog and I appreciate it.  Right away I got something from it.  I tried to write something with the same kind of message called "what's your sign" but it was not as interesting and to the point or point made as this.  Thanks for the example.

I work with my daughter and our  brand is "we care" - We came up with what we feel what we represent and we put it on all our presentations (business cards, marketing information, letters, brochures, flyers...) it reads.... "we take the extra steps to ensure our clients receive the utmost care".

We say it, we feel, we live it. And it is what it is.

Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) about 12 years ago

Mamma Karen, thank you for your thoughtful and well-written comment!

Rosemary, thanks for visiting and commenting.  I'm seeing you everywhere today!  God bless!

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

Hobson Brand

Mike,  Rearranged my website and added my brand.  The Hobson "Bar" is used on all my print advertising and now it is on the web!  Thank you.

 Karie

Posted by Karie Hobson, Homes for Sale -Redmond Greater East Side (Coldwell Banker Bain ) about 12 years ago
Karie, I'm going to check it out!  Thanks for the update!
Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago
HI Mike, Thank for visiting my blog.  We live and work a small ranch/farm.  I fully understand working the cattle, baling the hay, etc.  I get to help with all of it.  I'm with you on the branding.  I have my own for our real estate company and it goes on everything!
Posted by Anonymous about 12 years ago

Hi Mike, It seems that I wasn't logged in when I posted comments immediately above.  Actually I was  logged in, but one browser didn't know that!  :)

Keep up the good work!

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 12 years ago

Judi, thanks for adding me as an associate!  I've subscribed to your blog, and look forward a new AR relationship!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago
Mike this is such a great post.  I truly believe in branding.  It's one of the things that sets us apart from the rest.  My branding is a little sappy, but it's me.  I would just like to get the logo done in a more formal fashion.  That will be my next step.  Thanks so much!
Posted by Julie Neerings~Lifting Hearts ♥ Building Dreams~ (Agent Referral) about 12 years ago

Mike you and I must meet up!  Not only are you knowledgeable about mortgages and rock formations, you brand cattle also :)  I am getting the feeling that you're a country boy, not a city slicker :)  

I think Marsee changed her brand to "If your house doesn't sell in 60 days, I'll pay your mortgage for you"  I think she had too many sitting on her hands.  Of course, my own thoughts are If you win on cost (marketing) you'll eventually lose on cost (marketing).  There will always be someone else that can outdo you :)

 

Lexa Montierth 

Posted by Lexa R. Montierth, Real Estate Sales Agent and Marketer (NextHome Complete Realty) about 12 years ago

Julie, that's a wonderful family photo on your profile!  Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Lexa, let's get together over a cup of java.  I agree with your thinking above--I sell value, not price.  Dilbert is my favorite cartoon strip, and in one episode he asks a vendor "So how much do you charge?"  The vendor replies "Oh, I don't sell.  I partner."  Dilbert retorts "And I don't buy.  I shovel."

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

You could not be more wrong.  Marsee Wilhems is not only the best branded real estate agent she out sells all other real estate agents in Tucson.  How many homes have you sold Lexa?  My guess is less then 10 in the past 2 years.  Marsee has sold over 500 homes according to the Tucson MLS. 

She does not have to buy homes because she sells them so quickly, she merely changed her message to ad another USP (Unique Selling Proposition). But looking at you stuff I can see you don't even know what that is... 

 

Thanks Mike for recognizing real talent when you spot it.  I for one am a loyal and happy client of Marsee's.  She sold my home in 25 days for 99.4 % of list price.

 

 

Posted by J Wilson about 12 years ago

Play nice, boys and girls. 

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago
Mike - I've been reading a "Trend Setter Newsletter" and found the article about Status Stories fascinating.  Based on the UNIQUE experience you share with your customers - and the way you position yourself - I'd say you are definately ahead of the rest of us!  Cool pics!
Posted by Eleanor Thorne, Equity Resources 919-649-5058 (Equity Resources) over 11 years ago
My favorite topic.  Branding.   There are so many laws and ways to do this.  A great book is the 22 immutatable laws of branding!
Posted by Utah Dave, Homes for Sale - Utah (UtahDave.com Neighborhood Experts) over 11 years ago

Dave,

Thanks for commenting!  I need to come check out your brand.  And the book is on my shelf!

Eleanor,

Thanks for coming by and commenting!  I'll check out the newsletter.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 11 years ago

Mike- I love this post- A good logo is a great way of branding-somethinbg that sumarizes what you do and is recognizable as well.  I always enjoy reading your posts! 

Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) about 9 years ago

Allison,

Thanks for stopping by to comment!  I appreciate your encouragement.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 9 years ago

Mike, I keep hearing how we should brand ourselves. Have you seen anyone that when a little farther than a custom logo.  I would love to see examples of agents who went out on a limb and did something very different . . . and was successful with it.

Posted by Karen Mathers - REALTOR®, When it Matters, Choose Mathers! 772-532-3221 (Keller Williams Vero Beach) over 8 years ago

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