Updated: Mar 5
This blog is written by Jen Josey, Real Estate Investor, and REIGN coach. She is not a professional writer and writes like she talks so put your red pen away. Jen is extremely opinionated but reserves the right to change her opinion at any time because, well, that's the way she rolls. She may also use colorful language so don't be offended. Jen does not claim to be an expert, she is just sharing her personal thoughts and adding a perspective on investor topics that may benefit her readers. Jen also finds it strange to write in the third person. Enjoy!
Picking a business name can be one of the toughest decisions you can make. It's something you will (have to) live with for a very long time. Let me share with you some tips that will get the ideas flowing.
First, let me start off with my biggest pet peeves. I cannot stand business names that are the business owner's initials. Bleh...beyond boring! To take it a step further, using your kid's names just confuses your clients. It's a nice gesture if you are creating the business as a legacy for your children but just get used to grown men calling and asking to speak to Lexie of "Lexie and Landon Properties" while Lexie is just a 2nd grader. If you have already created your business name using your initials, come up with an easy way for your clients to remember. For example, if John Smith's company is titled, "JS Homes," John could say, "As in Just Sold Homes."
Now that I got that out of the way, let's get creative!
I would start with picturing the perfect icon that represents you or your business. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. If you are in real estate, make your business stand out by NOT using a house as your icon. Your company name will probably include "properties" or "homes" so they'll understand that you're in real estate. Including a house in the logo is just overkill, if you ask me. A friend of mine goes by the name, Blaze and the name of his company is Trailblazer Home Solutions. His logo includes a flame. Another friend uses a cute picture of their beloved dog as the logo and the name of their company is Smiling Dog Properties.
Be careful choosing an icon that's trendy. I've seen a few "Red Door" themed businesses and putting a red door on a house is not as cool as it was a decade ago. (Disclaimer...I still love my red front door.) Also, choose an icon that is simple and easily reproducible. You will be using this image on your website, profile pictures, marketing items, etc. Use an anchor as your icon instead of a whole cruise ship.
Vance and I use an acorn as our icon for two specific reasons. First, we live and work in Raleigh, NC which is the City of Oaks. We love our community and surrounding areas so we wanted to represent this pride through our logo. Second, the proverb 'great oaks from little acorns grow' puts forward the idea that great enterprises may have modest beginnings. We were starting from scratch but had huge dreams so the acorn fit us well.
I hope thinking of an icon first has started the wheels turning. Next is coming up with the actual name. I would definitely avoid using your last name unless it's an overly popular name or it's just too easy to dress up. My friend's last name is Hitchings and they considered calling their company, "Hitching Post Properties." If your last name is Hall, you could do "Over Hall Homes." On the downside, I know of a company that uses their last name and was involved in a very messy contract dispute. That contractor was able to easily locate their personal home address which followed with unnecessary harassment.
Before you decide on a name, you should always check to see if that domain is available. The easiest way to check this is to do a Google Search with your potential name followed by ".com." When I was creating a website for the Real Estate Investor Growth Network, REIGN.com was already taken so I chose REIGNMastermind.com. Googling the different sites will also help you to narrow names down.
Another great nugget is to keep your business name SHORT. This will come in handy when you are branching out and need to create a separate LLC for your rental portfolio. Our original company name is Jolific Homes but we only used the "jolific" for our website and our email addresses. Within 18 months, we bought our first AirBnB and created our second business, Jolific Properties. This keeps the continuity flowing between our real estate businesses. Whether I'm emailing someone for Jolific Homes or Jolific Properties, The email is coming from email@example.com. Keeping your name short will also avoid future clients from having to type out, firstname.lastname@example.org. Yawn.
Speaking of email addresses, please pay the whopping $6 a month for a G-Suite so your email address is email@example.com. Using firstname.lastname@example.org screams rookie and lets possible business clients know you are not serious about your company.
Getting a G-Suite includes a couple of email slots so always have a generic one for your websites like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Down the road, when your increase your team members, that email can be assigned to a (virtual) assistant. If you and your business partner share a business card, the info@yourcompany also works for one card.
So, what the heck is a "jolific" anyway?
Our last name is Josey and we put a "Jo" spin on a lot of things. For example, our backyard is called the "Joasis." We have a "Jozebo," a hammock in the back corner we call "Johammocksburg," a fire pit called "Ring around the Josey" and a sandbox called the "Josey Shore." In the spirit of the acorn we chose as our icon, we combined Josey with "prolific" and thus created, "Jolific." Issues with using a made-up word are having to spell it ALL the time but to us, it's worth it. It represents our personality and holds a lot of meaning for us. We never want to stop growing.
You want a business name that is easy to remember but also represents you. Jolific is not memorable but once I say, "It's Josey + Prolific because we're all about growth" people start to get it. Maybe you love a dragonfly because it represents change, you could be Transformation Homes with a dragonfly logo. Maybe you're an avid runner so you can call your company Finish Line Homes. Maybe you love pink azaleas and call your company Azalea Homes and every house you renovate includes pink azaleas in the front yard. Maybe you're a fisherman, you could call your company Tackle Box Reel Estate and your tagline could be, "Let us hook the best deal for your home!"
I hope I have given you some good ideas! If you have a creative business name, I'd love for you to leave it in the comments below*. Please also include how you came up with that name.
Make it a great day! Whoop whoop!
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**Read more blogs by Jen Josey at www.REIGNmastermind.com.