Color Theory: Trends in Real Estate Branding

Understanding color theory for branding and how color works in real estate brand marketing can reveal opportunities to set your brand apart in a crowded field. For years, the same four colors have dominated the field of real estate branding—blue, red, black, and green. The question is whether to stick with the trends or break out by looking and feeling different than competitors. Here are the things you need to know about color theory for branding and real estate brand marketing.

Blue is the number one color for real estate brands and marketing for precisely the same reasons as healthcare and banks: the color blue is associated with credibility, trust, knowledge, power, professionalism, cleanliness, calm, and focus. These are all wonderful qualities for a real estate professional, but they can also make your brand blend into a sea of similar brands, all competing for the same business in the same markets.

In a solid second place for real estate brand marketing colors is Red—another common trait shared by healthcare and banks. In contrast to the professionalism and relative calm of blue, red is the color of the rulers, strength, bravery, and excitement. For the “take charge and get it done” types of real estate professionals and brands that understand how to turn risks into returns, red is the perfect primary color for branding. Red radiates determination and passion. Red also subconsciously signals to STOP and look, so it attracts the right kind of attention on For Sale signs. 

Real estate firms that deal in exclusive, luxury real estate tend to use black, greys, and metallic silvers and golds as their brand colors. Black is the color of elegance, sophistication, power, and luxury. If you choose black, grey, or a metallic color for your real estate brand and marketing, you must be prepared to live up to the unspoken expectation at every step of the marketing, buying, and selling process. With the right logo mark and design, these colors can work beautifully, but a poorly designed logo can scream “poser!” instead of the white glove elegance and luxury experience it’s meant to convey.

Green is the color of the environment, fertility, growth, and stability. Green is endurance, renewal, calm, and tranquility, so it’s another popular color often used in real estate brand marketing, but nothing too bright or towards the neon end of the spectrum. Green is also the color of money and agent commissions. Green is another common color that’s often used by financial institutions and investors promising growth.

While you might see occasional splashes of bright oranges or other colors, blue overwhelms them all. It’s clear that every tutorial on how to build a real estate brand must be prefaced with the words “make the logo blue, so your brand looks credible and trustworthy.” Add in some red to accent that blue, and your brand is now in alignment with the majority of real estate brands…blending together in a sea of homogenized sameness…with little to set it apart from the competition in a field that’s characterized by its fierce competition. Here’s why:

Understanding color theory begins with color psychology—the science and art of how color affects us. Here are some common examples of the moods and feeling that can be conveyed using different colors:

  • Blue = peaceful or trust
  • Red = passionate or important
  • Yellow = happy or caution
  • Green = nature or wealth
  • Black = serious or elegant
  • Purple = royalty or power

It’s these collective subconscious signals that make understanding color theory essential to branding and design. The basics of color theory can be split into three parts.

Understanding Color Theory Basics

The Color Wheel

The color wheel is grounded in the three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue). Next, there are the secondary colors (the colors you get mixing the primary colors, aka green, orange, and purple). Finally, the wheel incorporates the mixes of primary and secondary colors, resulting in 12 colors for the tertiary colors. Technically, any color scheme that is logically composed of each other can work in a color wheel format.

Color Harmony

In music, harmony is when two or more notes are played simultaneously, blending together in a pleasing way. Color harmony is exactly the same concept, but instead of music or some other element, it’s composed of two or more colors that work together. A major tenet in color theory is understanding how different colors interact – or don’t. For instance, two diametrically opposed colors will make a jarring or off-putting image. Using two very similar colors can create a situation where the overall design is boring and easily glossed over. Achieving color harmony involves choosing complementary colors that play off of each other in a way that stands out and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Color Context

Similar to color harmony is color context — or how two or more colors complement each other. If you open up a plain white Word document and type in black, the text is clearly visible. If you change the text color to a light gray, then try to read the light gray text on white background, you’ll find it’s much more difficult to read. Reverse the colors completely – so the page is black, and the text is white, and you’ll quickly find out where headaches and eyestrain come from. That’s context. The key to fully understanding color theory is simple: colors help our brains process information and work together to help communicate a story on many different internal and external levels – consciously, subconsciously, culturally, and more.

At Serendipit, we believe that to build a real estate brand you must begin with being grounded in capturing the essence of the company’s core values and consumer market appeal. Need some help in standing out in a crowded marketplace? We love building strong brands, and we’d love to help you too, so give us a shout!

Want to learn more about understanding color theory or the intricacies of color theory for branding? Click here or here.