Up and Coming Agent – Lachlan Goddard

Each month we interview a real estate agent that we consider to be an expert in the real estate industry, whether that be determined through impeccable sales results or taking an innovative approach to the industry.

This month, we wanted to expand on the strong foundation of our Expert Series and shine a light on agents who are ‘up and coming’ – the type of agents that you’ll want to keep an eye on.

To kick us off we have Lachlan Goddard, an up-and-coming agent operating out of Jellis Craig in Northcote. In this interview Lachlan shares insight on coming from a real estate family, finding success in choosing the right real estate niche and advice to those in the industry on how to make the most of their social media marketing.

Does your agency’s style guide have a plan for digital assets?

  
Style guides are exciting, especially when starting a new real estate agency or rebranding. Naturally, people are very visual and style guides show a glimpse into how people will see us and our brand.

However, once the business is up and running the style guide is often forgotten. Copies of the style guide are generally passed on to external contractors offering marketing services and these people will remember to use the basics such as fonts and colours. The style guide has then served its purpose and will sit alone on the server or in a drawer gathering dust. As with most forgotten things, they don’t keep up with the times and this is something that we’re increasingly noticing here at Identity Marketing.

Technology has wildly advanced in the past decade, and considerably so in the last couple of years. Video content has become the new normal on websites and social media but many real estate agencies don’t have style guides that include parameters around how their brand is to look on video and other digital assets – and this is where things get problematic. When real estate branding is left open to interpretation, brand cohesiveness goes out the window and in the past few months we have witnessed content from the same office, and even the same agent that look wildly different because they don’t use digital asset parameters.

This might not seem like the end of the world, and depending on your perspective it might not be, however when your branding is inconsistent that’s when your marketplace starts to make assumptions about the services you provide. You could be a great agent who knows their stuff, but if your brand is all over the place, people will start to assume that you too are ‘all over the place’ and not in the positive sense. Agents often focus on giving their audience every option to use them but forget to think about removing every objection to choosing them and their service.

So it’s time to dig up the style guide and see what’s missing in this new and exciting technological age. But before you do that have a think about the type of digital marketing you do now and what you may be doing in future. For example, you may not be doing a whole heap of video now but what kind of digital marketing will you be doing this time next year?

To get you started, and at the very least your style guide should include the following:

Lower thirds

To recap, a lower third is a graphic that is placed in the ‘title-safe’ lower area of the video. Lower thirds are key for introductions such as who is speaking and/or what the video is about. Lower thirds help to save time and allow you to jump right into the thick of your topic without having to worry about verbal introductions.

How text appears on screen

How your text appears on screen details much more than fonts and colours. Your style guide should cover the approved text transitions, whether you will include solid background boxes for visibility and how information of key importance will be highlighted.

Logos

Your style guide should cover approved logo placements, size, style and transitions.

Statistics style

Statistics are key in real estate, especially when communicating to the local property market. Your video statistics should have a set style to ensure easy readability between your statistic videos and to create a style that becomes known for valuable knowledge and insight.

  
Additionally, When creating these guides for our clients, we like to include a segment about song choices as music can determine the tone of your videos. We also recommend presenting your digital style guide elements in video format to ensure there is no room for interpretation, which will keep your brand consistent across all platforms.

If you’re unsure of what your style guide needs to meet today’s standards – contact us to start a conversation.

How To Know It’s Time For A Rebrand

 
 
Deciding to rebrand is a big step, one that often comes after a lengthy deliberation process.
If you’re still in the decision process, or you’re unsure if you are in need of a rebrand, continue reading to see the 6 reasons for a rebrand.

Marketing pieces are no longer in alignment:
The most obvious reason is having marketing pieces that are no longer in alignment.
Are your print, email, and social pieces matching and looking cohesive? If not, it’s time for a brand refresh.
When looking at your marketing and communication materials look for variations in colours, fonts, logos and design aspects.

The current brand doesn’t represent the business:
As businesses evolve, they can often outgrow their original image – as was the case with a recent rebrand client. They had a very serious looking brand that was dry and formal. This is all fine and dandy, except this client’s main audience was young people and first home owners and so we worked with our client to develop a fun and informative brand that could really connect with their audience and win them over.

Expanding and recruiting:
If you’re expanding or looking to expand, it’s time to assess what your brand looks like from an outside perspective. If you want promising talent to join your agency or team, you need to be able to accurately portray why you’re the right choice and that starts with your brand. Does your brand accurately portray the values and the type of people who work within your agency? If not, it’s time to reevaluate your brand guide and then rebrand.

Shaking off an old image:
Similarly to outgrowing original branding, shaking off an image is about ensuring your brand reflects who you are now. Shaking off focuses on distancing a brand from negative connotations or prominent people who are no longer within the agency.

Losing market share:
As people are very visual, they often flock to the brand that visually and simply portrays their values – this is great, unless your brand isn’t the one they’re flocking to. If you have experienced a downturn in customers while another local agency has experienced an increase, it’s time to reassess your branding.

Tapping into a new demographic:
If you’re wanting to tap into a new demographic, it’s time to understand whether your brand will align with their wants and expectations. People judge a book by it’s cover, so you need to ensure that your brand’s ‘cover’ covers what a prospective vendor wants to know from the outset.
Then the flip side, you need to ensure that any new branding isn’t going to alienate your current clients.

If you’re experiencing one of more of these – it’s time to get serious about your rebranding discussion. We’re experts in real estate rebrands and we recognise that no one experience fits all – so give us a call to discuss what options are right for you.

October Social Media Update 2018

  
This month’s Top 5 Social Media Updates revolve around mobile devices and how they are becoming the new norm for consumers. This is leading social media platforms to better understand how users prefer to use social media and it’s evident that they want to use it on their phones. This month we have updates from Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube, so read on to find out more and specifically what it means for your mobile experience.

Facebook – Instant Experience Ads

In early 2016 Facebook launched a feature for brands and businesses called Facebook Canvas. The idea behind it was simple – people were increasingly spending more time on mobile devices and only switching between a small number of apps. Businesses and brands needed access to a fully customizable digital space that was optimised for mobile viewing. This is where Facebook Canvas comes in.

The feature experienced success, especially with advertisers who knew how to make the most out of the Canvas experience. Now Facebook is back to make a good thing even better, this month they have announced that Facebook canvas will ge getting a bit of a makeover, which includes a name change and the addition of Facebook Pixel functionality. The feature will now be referred to as ‘Instant Experience Ads’ and we think that name is very fitting. A main drawcard of this advertising feature is that creators can produce experiences that felt like websites but loaded 15 times faster than conventional websites on mobile devices, so you can see where the ‘instant’ part of the name comes from. As for the ‘experience’ part of the name, this really depends on how well users are able to use the ad feature, with some brands going above and beyond by making visually stunning, interactive and immersive ‘experiences’ for viewers. Have you used Facebook Canvas or Instant Experience Ads before? Let us know your experiences!

Instagram – Video Tag Testing

Video is becoming the new normal on social media and Instagram is no exception. We have been seeing a massive increase in the amount of video being shared on Instagram Stories, as well as the original Instagram feed.

In the next 12 months we anticipate many updates to videos features on all social media platforms and it looks as though Instagram is leading the charge with their newest feature trial.
Instagram has begun testing a way for users to be able to tag their friends in their videos. Previously, users could only be tagged within static images on Instagram – a feature that was introduced in 2013 and to tag a friend in a video, users would have to settle with mentioning their friend in the comment section.

We look forward to Instagram rolling this feature out globally for all users in the coming months should Instagram’s testing yield positive results.

Instagram – ‘Superzoom’ Feature Expansion

Instagram may get a bit of slack for essentially stealing the Stories idea from Snapchat, but you have to hand it to them for making it their own. It seems each month they are bringing new additions to Stories that make them more engaging and enjoyable for the creators and viewers. The newest update that fits into this category is an expansion on a well known and loved feature: Super Zoom.

If you’re new to the Super Zoom feature, allow us to enlighten you. Launching in October last year the original feature included only one option and it took the web by storm. It was a simple filter – dramatic music and dramatic camera close ups of a face or object almost as if you were in a movie. Naturally, Instagram built on this success and made more edits to the Super Zoom feature.

Fast-forward to now – Instagram Stories has brought in six new effects for you to play and engage with, including ‘Bummer’ which features sad music and falling leaves and ‘Paparazzi’ which features camera flashes and increasing close ups.
We had a whole lot of fun in our office testing these new additions which you can see a glimpse of in the Top 5 Social Media Updates Video.

Snapchat – ‘Bounce’ Feature

Now that we have discussed Instagram taking something of Snapchat’s and making it arguably better – Is Snapchat doing the same thing to Instagram’s Boomerang?
This month, Snapchat announced that they would be adding a feature called ‘Bounce’ to their repertoire. To shed light on Snapchat’s Bounce feature, we’ll first explain Instagram’s Boomerang feature.
Instagram launched Boomerang in 2015. Described as short, action-packed video loops, Boomerang edits video to create an a video that loops in a back and forth motion.
Although incredibly popular, Boomerangs had 2 issues: firstly, you can’t control how the video is looped. Secondly, the feature required a stand-alone app which linked with Instagram, however recently Boomerang has been built into the Stories options.
Snapchat has seemingly understood these issues and built their Bounce feature around it. Snapchat doesn’t require any external apps and when you have filmed your video, you have the option to make it into a creative looped video. Best yet, you can then control where exactly you want the looping to focus.

If you’re an avid user of Instagram’s Boomerang – Give Snapchat’s new feature a try and let us know what you think.

YouTube – Vertical Ads

Mobile is force to be reckoned with – and YouTube knows that very well, especially considering their data shows that 70% of YouTube content is viewed on mobile devices. So it’s no surprise that YouTube has implemented support for vertical ads. The social media giant’s vertical ads are optimised for mobile and take up the full space of the screen to ensure that advertisers can make the most of the space.
Recently, YouTube also implemented support for vertical video uploads from users, meaning that the dreaded black bars would no longer appear beside the video and when viewed on mobile, the video would once again take up the full screen, just as it did when it was created.

Mobile is evidently taking over and social media platforms are making the most of this trend- are you making the most of it in your marketing?

That’s it from us for the Top 5 Social Media Updates for October – let us know your thoughts!

Reflecting on these experts this long weekend

Great real estate agents know what they want and go after it. If you’re seeking inspiration this long weekend, here is some advice from a few of the great real estate agents we’ve had the pleasure to work with.

 

 

 

After this weekend, it’s a sprint for real estate agents to finish off a great year, so it’s important your marketing is backing you up while you kick goals.

Contact us if your marketing isn’t where it should be and we’ll fix that for you.

Kind regards,

Steve Osborn
1300 590 494

Brand Principles and Why They’re Essential

 

It’s no surprise that real estate agents and many real estate agencies are new to the term ‘brand principles’.
It’s something that is overlooked or ignored when starting a real estate brand or revitalising a brand through a rebranding journey. People are naturally very visual and priority gets placed upon the visual aspects of a brand before anything else; but how well can the visuals of a brand or the culture of a workplace reflect the actual brand if they don’t know ‘who’ they are at their core?

Brand principles are at the very core of your brand. I often see agencies without them and they’re easy to spot – how? Copy on their website, print marketing and social media all look like they’re written by very different people and this is because they’re not writing from the perspective of a single source, or rather the brand’s principles.

Principles are the foundation behind how your brand looks, how it communicates, and where it will go in future.
For example, think of brand principles as personality traits in a person – a person’s personality will dictate what they wear, how they speak and their goals in life.

A refined personality type that values pleasing people would look and act differently from someone who is loud, eccentric and values timeliness above all else.

To put it simply, people connect better with people rather than brands. But by having a personable brand, you’re making the connection process easier. Brand principles are also vital to help people understand exactly who your agency is, where you fit in the marketplace, what makes you different from other agencies and paves the way for the uniqueness that will win new customers.

Real estate brands that have well defined brand principles and use them to establish their brand are easily identifiable by their brand image that represents who they are and what they do, cohesive copy that matches across all marketing deliverables and the employment of great talent that fit their workplace culture.

If you’re curious to learn more about brand principles or want to know if your brand principles stack up, give me a call.

So You’ve Made Videos – Now what?

Here at Identity Marketing we deliver new tips every month on how you can improve the quality of your real estate marketing videos. We do this because we recognise that videos should match the quality of the agent. What we haven’t explicitly covered is what to do after you make your digital real estate content.

Firstly, let’s talk about Facebook. It’s arguably the most well known social media platform and a staple in most real estate marketing plans. To maximise the success and really ensure your efforts are worth it, I recommend putting money behind content that you want people to see. Facebook works on a ‘pay to play model’, mainly due to an endless number of people wanting to advertise and a finite number of people to advertise to. Without spend behind your content and videos, you’re at the mercy of the algorithm gods and they may not be so merciful.

If you’re well versed with putting spend behind your content, it’s time to take the next step and promote your content to the right people. At Identity Marketing we do this by creating custom audiences that Facebook can target on your behalf. These custom audiences include using email database contacts, similar audiences and promoting to those in certain areas. This ensures that the people seeing your content are already more inclined to respond positively to your content.

Next, it’s time to look at email. You should be delivering your video directly to your database through email. It’s always a nice addition to add a short summary about the video too.

Finally, let’s move onto Instagram. Instagram offers multiple ways to include video into your profile, however there are some limitations. If your video is over 60 seconds you won’t be able to post this to your profile feed- you do however have the option to cut the footage into consecutive 15 second segments and post it to your Instagram Story, or you can add the full footage to Instagram’s newest feature, IGTV. The great thing about IGTV, otherwise known as Instagram TV is that you can link your IGTV videos to your story to direct your audience to view the full video. Instagram thrives on creative ways to implement video, so the sky’s the limit.

My last recommendation is to remember the optimal dimensions for your video content –  for a refresher in what the best dimensions and sizes are, you can find our handy guide here

If you have any questions regarding this blog or if you would like to know more about how to best reach your audiences with valuable content – contact me on 1300 590 494.

Ben
Senior Digital Designer
Identity Marketing

September Social Media Update

  
In the past few months, Instagram has taken centre stage in our top 5 updates. It hasn’t been uncommon for Instagram to release more than one big change to their platform at once, most recently we discussed the introduction of IGTV as well as the roll out of real time activity status indicators and ability to add music to stories – you can read about it all here. However, this month it’s Facebook’s turn to shine, with 4 of our updates this month about the social media giant.

First off, Facebook is taking a page out of Instagram’s book and implementing their own version of Story Highlights. This update is still in the rollout stage with select users seeing the new highlight options that allow users to turn their temporary stories into long term content that can be viewed on their personal Facebook profile. This update has been expected for quite some time as social media users are starting to favour temporary content styles as they allow people to post content that is less polished, more in line with ‘real life’ and generally posted on a whim instead of being more curated and planned, which is often the case with a lot of social media content. By introducing new temporary content updates like this, Facebook is on the path to making story creation of Facebook a bit more enticing to users, and with more users comes more advertisers.

Facebook Events will soon be getting a makeover as Facebook adds more options for event organisers and more context for attendees. The added options include the addition of a schedule, where organisers can highlight the times of specific acts or segments within an event. Previously, you had to put all the information in the main description. Another addition allows further details on admission to be provided, such as whether the event is free or a paid event and where to get tickets. This update comes in the wake of Facebook trying to minimise the promotion of fake news and global events most notably by promoting more local, relevant events for users and developing genuine ways to connect them – online and offline.

Facebook has also realised that their 2.23 billion monthly active users all use their app for different things and has started rolling out personalised function bars. If you use the marketplace or watch shortcut most frequently, it will appear in your function bar. However, if you never use them, it will preference other shortcuts and those won’t be on your main page.

In Facebook business related news, Facebook is redesigning the business pages layout. You’ve probably had a notification about your page changing – the reason behind this? By positioning small businesses as destinations, rather than auxiliary to users Facebook experience, this will help to boost engagement for the businesses that put a bunch of money into the platform. Business pages will now have a service-related button at the top of their page, such as a “start order” button for a café or restaurant, and a “call now” or “book appointment” for real estate agents. They’ve also added a function that could be a potential point of contention – there will be a related pages section on your business page. This means that inadvertent advertising for competing businesses may appear. The idea is to enable users to connect with businesses they may not have discovered yet, and this function is very much consumer-minded rather than business-minded. Page admins may feel that customers specifically looking at their business page could be led elsewhere, which is not something that would happen on their own website.

In our fifth – but non-Facebook related – update, LinkedIn is trying to get you to use their ‘groups’ function now more than ever before. They’re integrating the ‘LinkedIn Groups’ standalone app into their main app. Originally, LinkedIn Groups was considered helpful and quite valuable in terms of educating and connecting, however it experienced a huge surge of spam that occurred, putting users off the app. This is how they’re integrating ‘groups’ back into the main LinkedIn app: posts from groups, and notifications about group activity will now appear in the main LinkedIn feed. Plus, you can also now @mention group members which previously wasn’t available, due to the standalone app situation. One big change, designed to make the LinkedIn Groups experience more pleasurable, is the retirement of the group email blast function, which was one of the most annoying features of LinkedIn Groups. Time will tell whether this will be effective at reviving the previously spam-filled function for them.

A Look Into Rebranding Real Estate Agencies

A rebrand is only as good as it’s foundation.

I like to think of rebranding as building a home. Without a strong foundation, quality build materials and expert advice, it can easily come tumbling down. The end result being wasted time, misused money and feeling defeated.

I often speak with real estate agencies that are looking to rebrand and help them facilitate future growth and establish themselves in ‘the now’. Giving them a modern and fresh brand that is aligned with their business objectives.

Typically, it’s one of 4 common branding issues that lead them to deciding to rebrand their real estate agency. These are the most common challenges I hear real estate agencies facing with their branding:

Brand consistency – Over time a brand’s marketing deliverables evolve and sometimes new colours, shapes and elements sneak their way into the branding which makes the branding look inconsistent across marketing pieces.

Complacency – The challenge successful real estate agencies have is that they don’t feel like they need to invest into the brand – they say ‘why change something that isn’t broken?’. Although a brand may not be ‘broken’, should the brand start to look tired it leaves space for a fresh and new brand to take some of its market share.

Direction – Over time new people buy into a business or people move on and the brand needs renaming. Using the existing brand principles and visual identity doesn’t give the business a clear direction. A rebrand helps you understand who you are so you can communicate that through words and visuals in your communications

Misinterpretation – A well defined brand is easily understood by consumers, and brands are able to guide their marketplace to the right conclusions. In the absence of clarity consumers make their own associations with the brand, and this can be detrimental in the long term.

These issues come down to more than just adding some new visuals and to really ensure that a rebrand is solving the above issues, a complete rebrand is needed, along with well planned brand principles to act as a strong foundation.

Brand principles are a vital part of any successful real estate agency and are there to help people understand exactly who your agency is, where you fit in the marketplace, what makes you different from other agencies and paves the way for the uniqueness that will win new customers.

If you would like to learn more about brand principles or find out about the 4-part branding process we use a Identity Marketing, get in contact with me today.