Creative Director + Lead Designer Caroline Dominguez Talks Transition from One-Woman Branding Studio to Expanding Services
It all started with a bright blue briefcase.
I was a Keller Williams Realtor, taking a sharp turn into a new industry outside my journalism and graphic design experience; and I was eager to make my mark. I made a point to carry that briefcase with me everywhere, from the office, to coffee shops, to a slew of doorsteps in the Lone Star State. Further, I decided to always greet new clients in a pair of black pumps. (Well, most of the time. There was the occasional showing on a stretch of Texas farmland, where practicality prevailed in my choice of footwear. Because…#cactusplants and #potholes.)
One of the greatest compliments I received in that season was when a client recognized me by that blue briefcase. I, or the briefcase, rather, was making an impression.
It all seemed to click even then: branding and name recognition? Leaving your mark? There was a way to bring dignity, trust, and personal branding with heart + soul into real estate.
I didn’t know it then – couldn’t have. But that blue briefcase, my black pumps, and that season of my professional life is what first sparked BLUEPRINT alive. In the back of my mind, I knew there were passions and talents I was still waiting to use, a way to marry my journalist’s love of storytelling with my designer chops and first-hand experience in real estate. And though I’d worked my way up into the role of Marketing Director for a bustling real estate team in Virginia, establishing myself as a creative who both knew and loved the industry, I longed for a life and career beyond the cubicle.
I wanted to help other Realtors tell their stories.
As I submerged myself deeper into the industry, I knew I wasn’t alone. Surely other real estate professionals knew the importance of personal branding, craved the ability to present themselves with a level of meaning and class that went beyond overused sales scripts, big-box design “solutions,” and stale marketing templates.
I got to work.
Amidst the flurry and fringe hours of my office job, I drafted a business plan. If I was going to help other Realtors define their image in a competitive marketplace, I’d have to lay my own foundation of purpose. Draw up the blueprint to make it happen.
Many months later? What began as my late-night, spare bedroom side business had become a flourishing one-woman branding studio for real estate pros who gave a darn about how their business presented itself to the world.
The last few months have found me back at the drawing board once more. In the fringe hours between client calls and design work.
It feels all too familiar, pouring over these changes in my business. I am back again: setting new goals and defining what it means to “scale up,” being just as selective with my words and services as I was in the very beginning. Feels like I am taking hold of the blue briefcase and slipping back into my black pumps, moving forward with the question: What do I want to be known for? My answer is the same.
Trust. Precision. Values. Giving a “darn” on all fronts. Not only for design, but for social media excellence, content creation, and more, exclusively for the industry I most adore.
This vision rings especially true in an industry that has weathered drastic changes in recent years. With the onset of social media and other tech-savvy platforms, real estate transaction tools and data that were once notoriously expensive and complicated are now simple + accessible to the average home buyer/seller—with just a few clicks of a button. It’s hard to tell which disruptions will stick and which will fall by the wayside, but one thing is for sure.
The average Realtor value proposition is not enough. The average professional image is not enough. Unless you are content to blend into the sea of agent sameness, then weaving a consistent brand narrative across the board—one that proves worth, welcomes genuine connection, and fosters loyalty—is more critical (and challenging) than ever before.
And so here I am. With you, for you. As the real estate industry redefines itself in the digital era, I’ve realized that my branding studio has the ability to give you something more.
That’s why I’ve decided to bring others along in the journey.
Today, on the cusp of launching new services and with a band of expert new team members at my back, I am inviting you to craft a fresh mission in business as I step into a fresh, mission-oriented phase in mine.
You already believe your work goes “beyond the transaction.” Let’s do more to give that message the elevated platform it deserves, in a way that makes you feel proud to share your story, direct people to your website, deliver your materials, invite them to engage with your social media.
Throughout the next two weeks, I’m excited to introduce the new members of my team to you as well as delve into the expanded services we’re unveiling to current and future clients alike.
So much goes into bringing other people into your business, and as BLUEPRINT steps into its next season, I am confident there is place for you to grow and accelerate right along with us. We will continue to be your resource for inspiration, and your champion for excellence, in real estate branding, marketing, communication and beyond.
With a roster of international clients and a great team to support, BLUEPRINT has a great foundation.
Join us as we build up.
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