When real estate agent Craig Robinson came to Hoole with an idea for a new business, aimed at supporting downsizers, we were excited to help him out. By getting to know his unique skills and offerings, we came up with a name, a story and a marketing plan that is already seeing great results.
Telling the story of Time to Downsize
The idea for Craig Robinson’s business was seeded when he realised he was meeting more and more people wanting to downsize in The Hills District. A sales agent and auctioneer at Ray White with more than 20 years of experience in real estate, he recognised a niche business opportunity – helping downsizers make the move in his area of Sydney.
As with most startups, he was unsure how much to invest in branding and marketing to begin with, when he wasn’t yet making money. So, he began by engaging creative people directly to set up a website and design a logo.
Eventually, though, he realised that he needed help from real estate marketing professionals who would be able to look at what he was offering with some objectivity and distance and, most importantly, step into the shoes of the prospective clients he needed to reach.
As a past client of Hoole, Craig reached out to engage us as he knew we specialised in real estate and he wouldn’t need to explain the industry to us. We often meet people who have tried to do their marketing themselves before realising they need expert help. It’s often the case that if you know too much about your business, it’s harder to step into the shoes of your prospective clients.
The Hoole strategy
How did we start the journey? Firstly, we held some marketing workshops where we gained a solid understanding of the business and talked about how to best communicate the idea. This is where we build the foundations that will lead to the most effective marketing campaign.
From these discussions, we came up with the business name Time to Downsize, as a play on the thought process that people go through at this stage of life. We developed a logo with a clock, picked brand colours that are popular with retirees, and identified referral businesses that also support these downsizers, including financial and legal professionals, retirement villages and property developers.
Through discussions and brainstorming, we identified that relatives and friends play a big role in supporting people with downsizing. We wanted to make downsizing sound exciting and more doable and stress-free with Craig’s specialist help, network, support and hand holding.
We also wanted to highlight Craig’s expertise, something that is often easier to do with some distance. His experience in financial planning, property sales and auctions, as well as his accreditation with aged care, all shone through. We decided to focus on the financial planning aspect first as that is the starting point for any downsizing decisions, while selling the home is more part of the process.
Ultimately, our goal was for the Time To Downsize business to feel personable. Our focus was on the people downsizing, and we wanted them to feel like they were active in the decisions, and to get them excited about all the independent living options available to them.
The Time To Downsize service turned into a pathway that people could follow, where Craig would know all the boxes that need to be ticked off or considered ahead of making final decisions or the physical move. This vision for the business arose gradually, and our next task was to communicate our message concisely and clearly.
Communicating with potential clients and building a brand
When we think about reaching our customers we always ask ourselves, what are the emotional and behavioural aspects of the target audience? We need to know that to communicate with them. This is where our branding and marketing strategies overlap, as both teams need the background on the client to come up with the right solutions.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to brand-building, but the key thing is to have a roadmap of what will be most effective. Because we are property industry specialists, we know what works best and don’t need to be educated on the industry or the clients. As we already have those insights, we don’t make ‘best guesses’ as we have been marketing to these people for years and know what they will react to and how to fast track success.
Starting with a digital interview, we wrote a fresh online profile and pages for LinkedIn and other social media platforms. We built an asset library of photos and videos, and developed flyers, promotional materials and a website with compelling copy.
Next, we highlighted to Craig that he would need to get out and about with car signage, letterbox drops, information in local media and information sessions, among other activities.
In stage three, we continued to build networks and relationships with local businesses and potential clients.
What were the results?
With Craig’s updated bio, photos and social media profiles, he was found through a Google search in his first month and invited to speak at a property developer’s event. At that point, only the social media pages and Google map listing had been created for his startup, which demonstrates how valuable an online presence can be.
Craig was delighted by this result because it meant that his expertise was visible and trusted. Through our marketing, we legitimised his business and let other people know about it, clearly articulating his vision so that it can be found on the internet and through search engines.
Within a few weeks, he had his first downsizing client, and we can now see that awareness of him as a downsizing advisor is growing, week after week.
What are the challenges?
As with all marketing, the challenge is to keep going. Establishing a business is a real mindset game in the early stages, as you need to spend money before you make money. Craig has achieved his goal of launching his own business and is now getting closer to his next goal, which is to have a greater income from Time to Downsize.
It can be hard to make big changes in life, especially when it is a path you have never travelled before. That’s why it’s important to get professional help so that you don’t waste your time or your money doing the wrong things. Plus, it’s always more enjoyable and creative to brainstorm a project with other people than doing it alone. We’re a friendly, creative team and we enjoy working with our clients and sharing our skills to help them reach their goals.
Get our help
Establishing a brand from scratch is not easy, but with a team of creatives it can happen faster and more effectively. In our work, we see the benefits of regular, targeted marketing for our clients every day.
When we’re working with startups, we can align activities with budgets. Our approach is to first develop the brand and then work on awareness. As a team, we can work faster together than employing individuals, and we can pass the baton on to one another as necessary. Working with Hoole means you can draw on the skill sets of a team of people rather than trying to be all things at once.
If you’re a real estate professional looking to take your brand or idea to the next level, get in touch with me, Melanie Hoole. I’ll show you how digital marketing can take your idea and turn it into a business, and get you in front of the people you need to reach.