As a marketing agency, one of the great things about judging the REB awards is reading each entry and learning more about how industry figures have chosen to promote themselves and develop unique marketing strategies.

This week, we delve into three finalists in the Thought Leaders Award to learn more about their businesses, what they are doing to build their brand and stay front of mind. It’s also fantastic to learn how they are helping their industry specialism, buyers agents, to flourish.

Meet Cate Bakos

Based in Yarraville, Melbourne, Cate and her team at buyers’ agency Cate Bakos Property offer property expertise for investors across Melbourne and regional Victoria. Attending auctions every weekend, negotiating off-market sales, finding the perfect property and creating the right buyer strategy to secure properties are all part of the job of a buyers agent and vendor advocate. Cate and her team do this work with skill, as their glowing testimonials demonstrate.

Buying her first property at 21 and starting out as a mortgage broker gave Cate a solid grounding in real estate. She was co-director of a large Melbourne firm prior to launching her own boutique buyers’ agency in 2014. As well as empowering home buyers, Cate has established herself as a force in the industry, mentoring others and giving back. As president of REBAA, the Real Estate Buyers’ Agents Association of Australia, Cate works to raise standards and increase awareness of this growing profession. And as a podcaster, media commentator and blogger, she shares detailed and incisive observations and advice for anyone interested in real estate (and in Australia, that’s a lot of us).

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What we particularly like about Cate’s branding and marketing is her consistency – there are her Monday Minute videos, where she posts a one-minute chat on anything from property inspections to bidding at auction, and her Sunday Blog, with its suburb profiles, investor insights and personal stories of life as a real estate professional. She’s also embraced the public’s growing passion for podcasts and offers two to listeners, The Property Diaries and The Property Planner, Buyer and Professor.

The overall impression in all Cate’s offerings is of someone who is passionate about being a buyers agent and keen to share that enthusiasm with others in an informed and engaging way.

Meet Lachlan Vidler

Lachlan Vidler is the founder and CEO of Atlas Property Group, an investment-focused residential buyers’ agency that helps clients to invest Australia-wide. Lachlan also sits on the board of Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA), and has co-authored a book, A Military Guide to Property Investing, that draws on his former career as a naval officer, with chapters such as ‘Mission Analysis’ and ‘Discipline.’ He’s a regular media commentator and holds an academic position at UNSW within the business school. He holds a Bachelor of Business and Master of Commerce, along with a Graduate Certificate in Property Investment. Lachlan was a finalist for Buyers Agent of the Year and Rising Star in the 2022 REB Awards.

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What do we like about his marketing strategy? Most of all, it feels authentic and grounded in a solid bedrock of education and real-life experience. By drawing on what he learned in the military and applying it to his real estate career, Lachlan demonstrates a unique skill set and approach to property investment, which he shares with everyday investors who may have little experience in either field but want to make the right financial decisions. His website is clear and comprehensive, supported by informative blogs about buying property, and he comes across as someone who has done the work and now knows exactly what he is doing with his career as a buyers agent. Amazing work, Lachlan!

Meet Rich Harvey

Finally, we have the CEO of Property Buyer, Rich Harvey. As well as running Australia’s most awarded buyers’ agency, Rich is someone who gives back to the industry. He was a president of REBAA for four years and chairman of the REINSW Buyer’s Agent Chapter for ten years, where he helped write a code of conduct for buyers’ agents, demonstrating his drive to improve the industry’s reputation and lift standards.

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As well as writing content for his own business with the aim of informing consumers on how to make better informed property decisions, Rich raises money for charity, attending the CEO Sleepout with Vinnies each year. He’s raised some $30,000 in the last ten years.

What do we like about his marketing? It doesn’t feel like ‘marketing’ – it’s simply a showcase of his hard work and dedication. Rich is someone who stands out for his integrity, and that comes across well in his branding and can be seen in everything he does.

Marketing is unique to every individual

Marketing is about building up a brand and staying at the forefront of people’s minds, and the Thought Leaders I’ve profiled here demonstrate the importance of the ongoing need to promote yourself and your services.

My motto is, “Repetition builds brand recognition.”

All three finalists demonstrate a willingness to lift up others by mentoring, educating and sharing their experience and skills with the wider industry. As buyers’ agents and vendor advocates become an increasingly important and influential sector of the real estate industry, I can’t wait to see how their careers continue to unfold.

If you would like to discuss your marketing and how you can improve your brand reputation and acquire more clients feel free to book a FREE one-hour consultation with me, Melanie Hoole.

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Written by Melanie Hoole

My team and I specialise in helping real estate and property professionals perfect their personal brand, build a first-class digital profile and implement inbound marketing activities to attract leads. If you are unsure which direction to take with your digital marketing contact me for help.

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