In today’s real estate brand building journey, we learn about two gentlemen who successfully made the leap from career agents to agency owners, taking their small teams and brand names to new marketing heights. Of course, marketing budgets are going to be tight when you make the switch from agent to principal and establish a brand of your own. But you also need to stay visible online and ensure your name stays front-of-mind with prospective clients.
Jonathon de Brennan
When we first started working with Jonathon de Brennan several years ago, he was a young 28 year old real estate agent with a small team of three. Having spent over a decade as an agent at Century 21, Jonathon had taken the plunge and launched his own real estate agency, De Brennan Property.
A high-energy night owl, when Jonathon isn’t moonlighting as a DJ he lives and breathes real estate. Working in the highly competitive Mosman area, Jonathon is competing with mature and aggressive agents with more gravitas. Often on the phone after midnight, Jonathan has established a reputation with high-net-worth international sellers and home buyers currently working overseas but ready to return to Australia.
A million-dollar real estate agent, Jonathon consistently sells properties in Mosman, with a focus on houses priced between $5 million to $25 million. Jonathon and his team have had great success attracting new property listings with the old-fashioned methods of going door-to-door and using a “we have buyers” letter. However, he was aware of the importance of having a solid online presence to back up his team’s physical interactions with local homeowners – as prospects will head online to conduct a digital interview.
Jonathon de Brennan’s challenges
Jonathon’s main concern was his age. Although he is what we’d term a ‘career agent’, having worked in real estate since he was 18 years old, he needed to convey to potential clients that he has the experience and sophistication needed to sell premium properties. Mosman, with its highly sought-after multi-million-dollar harbourside properties, is a lucrative area for real estate agents, hence the competition for listings is fierce.
After attempting to manage his social media and online assets in-house, Jonathon realised that he needed a consistent presence that could be managed without cannibalising his or his team’s time. Jonathon also wanted to improve his brand reputation and personal identity to convey his level of expertise and that he offered a tailored approach to his clients.
When we took over Jonathon’s social media accounts he hadn’t posted an update for two years and his high-net-worth clientele and abilities to reach prospects internationally was not reflected through his branding or web presence.
Our marketing strategy
First, we conducted a review of De Brennan Property’s brand positioning. We then embarked on a set of marketing strategy workshops to fully explore Jonathon’s personal brand, his ideal clients and their pain points. As Jonathon had clear ideas about how he wished to portray and market himself, we worked with him to translate those ideas into unique marketing messages that would appeal to his wealthy clientele. We also devised a positioning statement and byline that better represented his abilities: Tailored Property Sales | International Reach. Tenacity. Dedication. (When we work with our clients, it’s a case of sitting with each one to home in on their key strengths, or niche, so we can then tell their story, authentically.)
Next, we updated Jonathon’s social media profiles and replaced his bio’s across the real estate industry web directories. We included new positioning statements and visuals that would better appeal to his high-net-worth clientele. This was the starting point for showcasing Jonathon as one of a select few Mosman real estate agents that work at the top end of the property market.
Next, we built De Brennan Property a new real estate website and installed an automated marketing system to work in conjunction with his WordPress website and online advertising platforms. To overcome any perception that his youth was an issue, we ghost-wrote a weekly article, as Jonathon, selecting topics that would pique the interest of ultra-high-net-worth individuals who reside in Mosman.
As Jonathon’s goal was to be the #1 agent for prestige homes in Mosman, he negotiated and secured advertising banners on both Domain.com.au and realestate.com.au, from which we drove prospective home sellers to his website. Once on his site, sellers were enticed to leave their contact details in exchange for a downloadable report that listed the most recent and most expensive property sales in Mosman.
Posting regularly to Jonathon’s social media accounts, running paid ads for every post, as well as emailing his 16,000 contacts each week, helped amplify his reach to more than 30,000 people living in the Mosman area each week.
In line with Jonathon’s own branding ideas, and to help his real estate agency stand out from the mass of 80+ Mosman real estate agents, the look and feel for the De Brennan brand was aligned with high-end fashion websites. Using black and white imagery for his brand content and ‘negative’ (white) space to create a sense of sophistication, we lifted Jonathon’s brand reputation and made him more appealing to wealthy Mosman homeowners. Even the social posts leverage the black and white imagery, enabling his messages to stand out against a sea of colour in the social feed.
Jonathan’s sales excellence has gone from strength to strength over the years that we have been supporting him. We enjoy helping him to promote key wins such as his position as the agent with the both the highest and second highest sales price last year. Jonathon understands that to remain as the go-to real estate agent in Mosman for prestige homes you need to invest in your brand and maintain a first-class digital presence.