Estate agent Yopa rebrands for modern property market
Yopa – short for Your Online Property Agent – is an online-first estate agent launched in 2015 to provide an alternative to traditional UK real estate agents. Aiming to ‘put the customer first,’ Yopa’s key differentiator is its lower selling fees and the tangible connection made between the house and its investors. Indeed, customer centricity is key to the entire sales journey.
To more adequately reflect its unique qualities in a housing market increasing the preserve of under-qualified estate agents and questionable fees, last month Yopa launched its new visual identity and accompanying brand position.
In a project led by London-based design studio SomeOne, Yopa’s mission ‘To make selling your home faster, easier and as pain–free as possible’ has developed into a bold visual design with an accompanying tone of voice. And, while tech and forward-facing digital techniques such as mobile optimisation are core to the Yopa brand, the estate agent retained the hugely important, almost primitive nature of human communication at the front and centre of its brand.
This, says Gary Holt, founder and strategic creative director of SomeOne, ensures existing and potential customers are aware of the emphasis the brand places on the relationship between its agents and its audience. “Yopa’s agents are the lifeblood of the brand, they’re the ones out there ringing the changes as the smarter choice of agent, so it came naturally to put the focus on the people,” says Holt.
He continues, “It’s for this reason that tone of voice, dialogue and conversation formed such a central part of the brand. You can see this with the communications. With clear and helpful quotes, speech bubbles and direct contact. Dialogue between these two parties was absolutely paramount to the new strategy and creative look and feel.”
Lead designer for SomeOne, Tom Dabner, agrees. For him, the collaboration between agency and brand was reminiscent of the agent-customer collaboration which drives the Yopa brand. “In the spirit of being a people-focused brand, SomeOne worked closely with Yopa’s in-house designers to roll out the new identity. For example, during the creation of the identity elements, we created a suite of over 60 icons and illustrations together — designed to bring extra charm to a what is often seen as a charmless category.”
And, Dabner explains, even the collateral often considered secondary to the act of selling real estate has undergone careful consideration. “Even the sale boards have been stripped back to the absolutely necessary elements and nothing more – resulting in high impact and highly effective tools to get your home noticed and as a result, sold,” says Dabner.
Given the seamless relationship between SomeOne and Yopa, the results speak for themselves. “SomeOne captured the essence of the new Yopa brand instantly, living the same values as the brand itself — fast, flexible and totally personal,” says Gav Thompson, CMO of Yopa. “It has been totally pain-free working with Someone. A really great experience that led to an amazing result.”
The classic real estate model of over-charging customers while providing less-than-adequate service could see its days numbered. The emergence of brands such as Yopa, which model themselves on the highly successful, digitised customer-to-customer experience enjoyed by global brands such as AirBnB, indicates that almost every sector is on the cusp of innovating. For UK real estate, transformation renders the classic model unrecognisable – in this case, so much the better.