All real estate firms hope to establish brand loyalty. But a growing number of Rapid Realty brokers have taken that literally, getting permanently branded with the company logo.
No less than 37 Rapid Realty agents and managers now have tattoos featuring the logo of the Brooklyn-based franchise firm, which has about 1,100 salespeople across the New York area.
It all started in 2010, when a heavily inked Rapid Realty broker, Adam Altman, had the company logo tattooed on his arm. “I thought it would be kind of tongue-in-cheek,” he said. Plus, he felt that the constant reminder of the firm would keep him working hard.
Since then, company founder and CEO Anthony Lolli has encouraged other Rapid agents and franchise owners to follow Altman’s example. Lolli said he pays for all the Rapid tattoos, and offers all newly inked agents the title of “Brand Ambassador,” which comes with a 40 percent share of rental commissions — the highest percentage available to agents. (Agents start out at 25 percent.)
Essentially, “you give yourself an instant raise” by getting a Rapid tattoo, said agent Stephanie Barry, who sports the company’s logo on her arm.
Many Rapid agents who have gotten inked see it almost as a team-building exercise, going with groups of their colleagues to get it done. Videos and photos of these “Brand Ambassadors” are uploaded to the company’s Facebook page. “You feel like you become part of an elite group,” Barry said.
And agents said they aren’t concerned about what happens if they leave the firm. Altman, in fact, now lives in Philadelphia and has left the real estate business, but said he doesn’t mind having a permanent reminder of Rapid.
“I don’t have any bad feelings against the company, and I know if I move back to New York, I could work there again,” he said. The tattoo is “a nice way to remember the two years I spent there.”
Lolli himself, surprisingly, does not sport Rapid Realty ink. “I’m not a tattoo type of guy,” he said. “But if I was, I’d get one.”