When I first started the business back in 1998, it was very much a family business with my wife working alongside me and, in years to come, our children joined us.
Like most independent agents who branched out from the franchise norm in the late 80s and early 90s, we generally chose our own names as our business name as that was what we had traded on to build our client base.
As the business grew over the years, it was no longer a Justin Ferguson family business. Our family expanded and we decided it was time for a rebrand.
We strategically chose to the retain Ferguson in the name as we didn’t want people to think we were a completely different business, but we completely changed the look and branding across the board.
During the process, we came up against a few hurdles, which I felt was important to share:
1. Work with experts
To get a high-quality result that doesn’t alienate your longstanding clients, you need to choose experts with experience in your field.
2. Name changes can take time to process
We all have Facebook pages these days and you are literally at their mercy when they update your page name. It can take up to 30 days.
3. Expect some downtime and plan for them
When you do a major name change, you also need to change your website, email addresses and business cards.
4. Communicate the change to your clients
Make sure those who are nearest and dearest to you are the first to know by sharing the news online, via email or, for the more traditional, a letterbox drop or phone call.
Make this a time of celebration and a new start for the business, and recognise past achievements with the team.
Justin Ferguson is the principal of Ferguson Property.