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6 Takeaways for Building Your Real Estate Brand Around Your Consumer

How team leaders serve alternative, tech, and creative clients
With Kerri Naslund Monday, Michael Minson, and Kristen Meyer

As potential customers place more emphasis on authenticity, it’s becoming crucial for businesses to align with their audiences.1 To stand out in today’s competitive market and build deeper relationships with discerning customers, brands must be transparent and personal.2

During a conversation with PLACE Head of People Holly Priestner, three PLACE Operators shared how they, as business owners, have built strong brand identities that resonate with their clients and communities to create loyal customers.

Kerri Naslund Monday

Owner/Operator | The Monday Team

An authentic brand is not guaranteed to succeed, but an inauthentic brand is poised for failure. Building an authentic brand is about taking and owning risks. I wake up every morning thankful for The Monday Team brand – I identify with it, wear it on my sleeve, and am immensely proud of what we’ve created.

1. Rock n’ roll branding

When it came to building The Monday Team brand, we began by getting clear on our audience. Our clients are not the average HGTV viewer and tend to gravitate toward alternative, punk, rock, pinup, burlesque, or even retro subcultures. They’re looking for agents like those on The Monday Team, who are nonjudgemental and open-minded. We serve many communities, and we’ve worked hard to intentionally create a safe, inclusive space for our clients.

2. Don’t forget to pop!

Once you know your audience and brand values, you can create more unique items of value and events. Mai tai cocktail hour, taco truck parties, and buyer baskets full of our vintage-style cleaning products — these are all things The Monday Team does because we strive to consistently go above and beyond to cater to our clients’ interests.

Michael Minson

Owner/Operator | Level Up Group

Back in 2016, I was in a listing appointment with a client who was in the tech industry, and he kept saying he was ready to “level up” to a new home. As someone who had a 13-year tech career and has been playing video games even longer, I understood why the phrase “level up” resonated with him, because it resonated with me. It’s fun, familiar, and fitting for my clientele who live and work in the tech-centric San Francisco Bay Area.

3. The fundamentals of good branding

To create a compelling brand, you have to understand the core of your business. Ask yourself, “What’s our magic? What does our brand bring to clients that no other agent does?” To have an authentic brand, take the time to learn about your community and genuinely connect with your market and target audience. My team and I have fleshed out our mindset, beliefs, and processes, and we follow through with authenticity and integrity.

4. Crack the subculture’s code

In California, the tech industry represents nearly 10% of the state workforce; as 90% of my clients work in the field, our branding is centered around tech culture.3 San Francisco is one of the top pet-friendly cities in the U.S. and has many pet owners; our website features a page, Level Up Pups, to showcase my team members’ pets, each with its own personalized bio showcasing relevant content.4 We also host brewery events with Japanese food trucks and Peloton-a-Thon events to fundraise for a local youth homeless shelter because we’ve taken the time to learn and cater to our customer base’s interests, even for events that aren’t real estate specific.

Knowing your community and how your brand fits in will allow you to customize and update your level of service, create personal connections, and ultimately outplay your competition.

Kristen Meyer

Owner/Operator | Sweet Living Seattle

My career prior to real estate was in the music industry. This brought me to Seattle, where I worked for Sub Pop Records, most known for launching bands like Nirvana and The Shins. When I decided to build a real estate business 20 years ago, I naturally worked with my community of musicians, artists, designers, and creatives. I understand the unique needs of that type of real estate client and built my business model to serve them.

5. Embrace an indie brand’s upbringing

Early on, I collaborated with professionals who understood the target audience I served. My first key partner was a mortgage broker who also had a background in the music industry, and we created a comfortable business niche environment for our creative clients.

Aesthetics and visual identity are important to our clientele, who are architects, creators, and visual artists. I hired an incredible graphic designer to develop logo concepts as part of my marketing strategy, and we are purposeful about tying that into our online presence and marketing efforts. If you’re not a graphic designer, don’t DIY your logo. Invest in a professional designer to create a lasting logo your brand won’t outgrow. It’s funny to me how many agents put more thought into what car they drive than how their business is branded.

6. Fully embrace your style and own your taste

When my business grew to the point of needing a team, I knew I wanted a fresh brand to attract growth-minded talent and target customers who would be a good match for us. I decided to build a brand that can make anyone feel something, kind of like art. I hope that when people see Sweet Living brand and marketing materials, they do a double-take because we stand out and look different from the rest. Whether that is on social media platforms, our video content, or even business cards, I want Sweet Living to connect and stand for customer trust.

Interested in building a distinctive brand?

Explore how PLACE can support your journey with access marketing experts to create emotional connections with your target audience. Fill out this form to connect to a Growth Leader to learn how PLACE makes your brand stand out to create customer loyalty in the bustling real estate landscape.


  1. HubSpot, Litmus, Rock Content, & Wistia. (2023, May 8). The State of Marketing 2023 (pp. 3–16). HubSpot.
  2. Jansson-Boyd, C. (2023, May 30). Consumers Want Brands to Be Authentic. Psychology Today.
  3. CompTIA. (2023, March 30). State of the Tech Workforce 2023 (p. 11). CompTIA.
  4. Roughley, T. G. (2022, December 8). The Top 50 U.S. Cities To Be a Dog Owner. US News & World Report. 

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