Columbia River Realty Rebrand: The Backstory
What does Columbia River Realty's Rebrand Mean for Consumers?
Columbia River Realty ERA Powered, the only brick-and-mortar full-service residential and commercial real estate brokerage in Washougal, Wash., unveiled a rebranding campaign that represents a complete overhaul of the brokerage during real estate in the time of Covid.
The significance of home has taken hold of homeowners since the beginning of the pandemic, a mindset brought into sharp focus by a recent PEW Research study in which two-thirds of homeowners say home is more important now than before the pandemic. Study respondents say they value a “slower pace of life, time for new hobbies, home improvements, and relaxation.”
Columbia River Realty developed its new brand around the disconnect between helping consumers buy a home that can offer a life-changing experience but not going the extra mile to empower homeowners to live their best life once the real estate transaction closes.
“Columbia River Realty will continue to provide excellent support to our clients throughout the homeownership cycle by sharing content focused on what homeowners care about right now - living well at home,” said Wright. "Find inspiration that drives your family to live your best life. Create a home that reflects your personality and values. Learn how to clear the cookie-cutter clutter and improve your curb appeal. Impress guests with Columbia River Realty's favorite latte recipes."
Wright believes the pandemic has made residents more mindful about supporting local businesses, too. “It's hard watching businesses you care about struggle, so also look for spotlights from us about the people, places, and things that make Southwest Washington special. You’ll know where to find the best bike rental and breakfast bagel in town and how to make your home more comfortable!”
To guide the rebrand, the brokerage turned to Jessica Dudley, a Camas-based brand strategist, and writer who partners with purpose-driven small business owners.
The campaign launched with the new tagline, “Buy, Sell, Live Well,” custom marketing materials for agents to share their unique story and personality, updated benefit-focused services messaging, relatable marketing elements that inspire the feeling of home, and a new visual identity, including an updated logo, brand colors, and property signage from Camas-based designer Erica Stupfel.
The brokerage now partners with Hidden River Roasters to offer ‘Your Home Blend,’ marketed as "Roasted whole bean coffee from a growing riverside town - both warm and ready to make you feel at home."
Wright says their brokerage will serve signature seasonal lattes at client and vendor appreciation events and include their branded coffee in gift baskets. They’ll also run a weekly social media series called “Coffee Talk” where brokers “spill the beans” and answer consumers’ burning real estate questions.
“Coffee is a part of many people’s daily home experience, and it encourages us to make time for connection,” says Wright. “It’s also a fun way to support a favorite local business.”
The brokerage gives every agent a houseplant in a coffee mug with a small sign that says, ‘Agents Grow Here.’ On the back of the card is a description of growth, a new core business value. It reads, ‘Columbia River Realty ignites change by boldly seeking new challenges and sharing new ideas. You are encouraged to rise to your potential and increase your influence.’
The brokerage also updated its service messaging to explain better the benefit of partnering with their agents. They built messaging around what buyers and sellers say is essential when choosing and working with an agent, according to a 143-page 2021 Generational Trends Report from the National Association of Realtors.
Dudley says, “I spend two-thirds of my time researching what’s important to your audience so that you can describe how your services solve their biggest problems. Messaging should be practical and personality-packed, and your reader should feel like you’re talking directly to them.”
Columbia River Realty says they help buyers find an affordable home in your ideal location, teach you about the home buying process and the local market, negotiate your best price and terms and manage paperwork.
Their expertise for sellers is a custom pricing strategy for your goals. They recommend minor price-improving repairs that enhance your home’s appeal without breaking the bank and offer professional photography, staging, and clever marketing that highlights the experience your home offers. Wright says, “You pack—Columbia River Realty will handle the rest.”
Wright just bought and relocated her main office building to 1203 ‘E’ Street, Washougal, Wash. The brokerage previously leased office space at Washougal Town Square. The new building (formerly Flowers Washougal) is evident and accessible to the public, and the larger area enables the brokerage to offer more services and amenities to clients and agents.
Dudley says now is the perfect time to elevate their brand messaging and imagery to reflect their brokerage’s professionalism and personality.
“After opening eight years ago from the trunks of their cars, the brokerage had outgrown their story and language, and there was an opportunity to elevate their brand perception and define their mission, vision, and values. I turbocharged their messaging with a strong voice, clarity, and a heartfelt brand strategy that’s unique yet relatable. Transitioning to a content-heavy real estate lifestyle brand helps Columbia River Realty connect with 85-percent of their audience that isn't actively buying or selling, and differentiates their brokerage from other brokerages.”
She says another thing that sets their brand apart from other real estate brands is “an enthusiasm that is anything but profit-driven, in an industry quick to focus on sales volume and commission checks.”
Columbia River Realty says they aim to be a brand that celebrates and amplifies the voices and stories of buyers and sellers. Instead of sharing images of a house they sold, which Dudley said can sometimes appear like a sales trophy, she encourages them to offer buyers and sellers a framed professionally-taken family photograph as a closing gift and share on the brokerage blog why their client’s move was life-changing.
She also says their brokers’ understanding of the significance of home and belief that home is the most important place makes what they do even more meaningful.
“The rebranding is more than a logo and a tagline - it’s a chance for Columbia River Realty to live their purpose every day: to create a kinder world where you love your home, connect to your community, and live the life of your dreams,“ says Dudley.
Wright adds, “When you drive by our new office, we want you to remember that Columbia River Realty is a forward-thinking real estate brokerage deeply rooted in human kindness, passion, and purpose. Our knowledgeable agents help you achieve more than you thought possible.”