What makes a great real estate logo?
If you haven’t already read Part 1 of the Real Estate Logo Design series, click here to catch up. I covered the tangible aspects of good logo design in the first post. In this one, we’ll be talking about the intanglibles.
Once we’ve determined whether you’re using a graphic or just text and what colors your logo should be, it’s time to work on putting the pieces together.
Remember. The most important thing is in how the logo plays into the overall brand, and not the other way around.
Layout & Composition
This, for me, is the fun part. It’s testing out what we’ve talked about and putting together options that fit your brand and your business. Composition is a balance of how the colors are used, how and where typography is placed, and how the graphical element (if any) plays into it. Visual appeal is subjective, and what looks great to me may not resonate with you. That’s ok. It’s part of the process. It’s common to go through several iterations before we land on the right logo design.
When we’re evaluating the design, in addition to visual appeal, we need to keep other factors in mind. Will the logo appeal to the desired audience? Is it unique and will it set you apart from other real estate brokerages or teams in your market? Does it feel balanced and stable? It is simple, clean, and easy to use across multiple uses? How adaptable is it to different layouts and formats?
Audience is somewhat straightforward. Your logo should reflect the core of your real estate business. If your niche is luxury real estate, your logo should reflect the high end look to appeal to the luxury consumer. If your business is primarily urban condos, likewise, it should reflect a modern and urban vibe. Circling back to the first post, I discussed the importance of the logo representing who you are much moreso than what you do. It also has to represent who your audience is and what they can expect from you. Of all of the intangibles, this is the most important. Yes, everything else has to work, but if your logo doesn’t appeal to the people that you’re trying to reach, there’s no point in having one.
Differentiation is also easy to identify. If your logo looks like a lot of other real estate logos, it’s not differentiated. Your logo should be unique to you so that when people see it, they recognize that it’s your business and not just any other real estate agent, and so that it’s memorable and sets you apart.
Side rant alert. If every other real estate logo is either a house with a swooshie roof or a key with cursive script, please don’t do the same thing. You don’t want your logo to look like everyone else, first off. If you’re on my site reading about what makes a great real estate logo, hopefully you’ve already decided that you want something that stands out. Secondly, it’s benchmarking backward. Those logos have been out there for eons. There’s nothing new, they don’t stand out, and they say nothing about who you are or why someone would want to use you versus a different option.
Balance is a visual need. Does the logo symmetrical? Humans have an innate need for visual balance and symmetry. When something is off, we notice.. We find people who have symmetrical features more beautiful that those who do not. In real estate, we don’t like houses that don’t have great curb appeal. A house with a two story addition on one side isn’t balanced by something like a roof line or porch on the other looks off kilter.
Your logo is the same. It should be aligned to maintain a balance. We want them to remember it, but not for the wrong reasons.
Simplicity is where things get a bit more complicated. Very often the client wants a real estate logo with multiple colors and/or a blend of different fonts. When you add graphics, textures, or fancy typography to that, it gets muddy very quickly. Your logo should be easily seen and easily read, so a clean design is crucial. Keep in mind that it needs to work on something as small as a business card or a social media profile image or as large as a sign or banner. Not sure if your logo is simple enough? Show it to a friend, wait an hour or so, then ask them to sketch it out.
Adaptability is another area that agents often don’t think of when choosing a real estate logo. If the logo includes a graphic, can you use only the graphic as an icon on it’s own, without the text, and have someone be able to tell your business from another? If you used only the text and not the graphic, does your typography have enough style that it stands on it’s own? Can it easily be changed to a square layout, a horizontal, or a vertical layout for different needs? Can you use it in all white if you need to overlay your logo on a photo? Can you use it in all black if you need it for a print publication?
Who to Hire For Your Real Estate Logo?
Who to hire to design your logo? There are plenty of options ranging from DIY, bidding style online logo design platforms (like 99designs), using a freelance site like fivrr or upwork, hiring a local graphic designer, or hiring a branding specialist.
Each has merit, depending on what you want and what your goals are, except for the DIY route (unless you have some experiece in graphic design). If you need something “slap and go” basic, using a low cost solution can work for a little while. If you’re not focused on building a personal brand, going with a designer who isn’t going to dig into that aspect and just produce something that looks nice will also work for a while. If you want to build a sustainable brand to grow with your business, go with a branding specialist.
Did you know that when Steve Jobs paid Paul Rand for a logo in 1986 that it was $100,000? With inflation that’s nearly a quarter of a million dollars in today’s money. Do you know what Jobs got for the $100,000? He got one logo. The perfect logo. He didn’t even get a say in what it was, but Paul Rand knew what the brand needed to be and he nailed it.
We hire people in business to do things that we can’t do and who know things that we don’t. I pay a bookkeeper, and accountant, an attorney, and I pay a mechanic to take care of my car. In none of the above cases did I choose a service provider based on who is cheapest. I don’t want a cheap bookkeeper. I want one who’s really good at what she does (and she is) because I need that peace of mind. I don’t want a cheap mechanic, either. My grandson rides in my Suburban. Nor do I want the cheapest attorney or accountant.
No, I do not recommend that you hire anyone for $100,000 to create your logo. Well, if you do, I’ll take the job, but you won’t get much more than what I would do for you for one percent of that so save your money. What I do recommend is that you do what Steve Jobs did. Hire someone who is skilled at the job you need done. Check their other work and talk to them as much as you can before you hire them. When you find the right fit, hire them, pay them what they’re worth, and trust their expertise.