We Changed Our Name. Here’s Why.

May 3, 2024 | Christopher Bernardi

What is going on at Burns Scalo Real Estate?

Exciting changes are on the horizon at Burns Scalo Real Estate as we embark on a transformative journey of rebranding and adopting the NAI flag across all service lines. Notably, the Brokerage Services division transitioned under the NAI banner in late summer 2023, laying the groundwork for today’s comprehensive rebrand. 

As the Director of Marketing and Brand Experience, I am eager to share why we made this strategic move, what it means for our clients, and our position in the Pittsburgh commercial real estate industry.

What is a “rebrand?”

Let’s start by understanding what ‘rebrand’ means. It’s not just about logos, fonts, colors, or taglines. These are just the visual elements that help with recognition. A brand is much more than that. It’s a powerful tool for communicating our value proposition to our target audience. This rebranding is a strategic initiative that underscores our commitment to growth, adaptability, and forward-thinking in the commercial real estate industry.

Why did we decide to rebrand?

When the term “rebrand” comes up within an organization, many questions are asked. The most important question is, “Is this the right time?” For Burns Scalo Real Estate, the answer was unequivocally, “Yes!” We knew it was time to make a change, but why? Simply put, it’s the most impactful way to signal to the market that a strategic shift has occurred. Here are the top three reasons we knew it was time to rebrand.

This misalignment happens often, particularly in organizations in growth mode and even more so with an organization like Burns Scalo Real Estate, which has a rich history spanning nearly seven decades. Over time, external perceptions are difficult to change unless you give the market a new reason to believe. On the inside, we were transforming, becoming something new and different; our employees were embracing the change, while on the outside, external perceptions remained the same. Ask anyone in Western Pennsylvania what Burns Scalo Real Estate does, and they will say, “They’re an owner and developer of commercial real estate.”

It was time to let the market know we are more than an owner. Joining NAI Global and changing our name signals to the market that something new is happening. It makes the market take notice and inspires it to question its understanding of our brand. The name change and accompanying tagline clearly define and reintroduce our brand to the market and change the external perception of what we do, who we do it for, and where we do it. We are NAI Burns Scalo: Commercial Real Estate Services Worldwide. 

There is no greater way to signify change than to “change.” Burns Scalo is not immune to the effects that the remote and flexible work movements have created in our industry. However, adaptable organizations such as ours can more effectively weather unexpected challenges and setbacks. Thriving in an ever-changing world is how we’ve stood the test of time for nearly seven decades. We made massive moves to adapt our business model to become a third-party provider of commercial real estate services, invest in new technologies, strengthen our bench depth, and restructure our executive leadership. 

Most notably, as part of the new structure, we welcomed Brian Walker as the firm’s new president and the market-facing spokesperson for NAI Burns Scalo. James Scalo remains CEO and will continue pursuing our vision and financial success. The change in leadership, combined with the shift in the business model, made a rebrand evident and necessary. We are a different company than we were a year ago.

The entrepreneurial spirit at Burns Scalo Real Estate is as alive as it was when Duke Burns and John Scalo were at the helm. We deliver this spirit through everything we do. Most entrepreneurs and business leaders will attest that the “pursuit of more” is omnipresent and a never-ending yearning to reach higher.

At Burns Scalo, we balance our entrepreneurial ambition by shifting our focus from size to importance. The question isn’t, “How big can we get?” but, “What are we building for the future?” This future isn’t just for the company but for our people. We are committed to creating more opportunities for our people to earn, recognizing that their growth and success are integral to our organization’s thriving.

Sometimes, stepping back propels a business or an entrepreneur forward, allowing for rejuvenation, innovation, and a reinvigorated approach to achieving objectives. Pittsburgh was never the “endgame” for us, but it will always be rooted in our values, work ethic, and legacy. Now, our operational excellence is amplified by the power and reach of NAI Global—a partnership that allows us to take our clients literally further. As we shape our future as a premier third-party commercial real estate service provider, our aggressive expansion plan for our service portfolio and geographic reach is backed by the strength and reputation of NAI Global.

What’s next?
The best way to predict the future is to create it. That’s what we are doing. Our new name, way of doing business, and geographical footprint are already delivering on their promise. All three divisions – Brokerage, Property Management, and Development and Construction – have already begun conducting business and building new partnerships outside of Western Pennsylvania, into West Virginia, as far south as the west coast of Florida, and as far west as Colorado. This expansion demonstrates our firm’s ability to reach all corners of the United States, a testament to our commitment to broadening our geographic reach. The future is not easy to predict, but the future is certainly bright.

Written by Chris Bernardi, Director of Marketing & Brand Experience