With a hot housing market, economic changes, and the tail-end of a worldwide pandemic, real estate is on the upswing. Many realty companies have shifted their content digitally over the last two years in order to adapt and thrive. As part of our ongoing Q&A series, we recently met with Theresa and Carolina of TB Realty Group to chat about their experience transitioning marketing collateral and listing brochures from print to digital with Issuu. Check out what they had to say.
We cover the greater area of Toronto, Canada, plus some of the suburbs nearby. As international real estate agents, we also handle referral connections between countries. We can do this anywhere around the world, but we really focus more on North America. Our strongest relationships exist in Florida and allow us to collaborate with a number of realtors there. These valuable connections broaden our market and our customer base. Our philosophy for growth is always, “try to do business with the people you already do business with.”
We used to print brochures for each of our properties, but the production and distribution process was complicated between the photography, printing, and driving time. We also never knew how many brochures to order and would often end up with leftovers after open houses and showings. We also began to wonder how we could really transform what we used to do with four pages and make it so much more. How could we attach brochures to our listings and send them out to our clients seamlessly?
Looking to replace the cost and hassle of printing by moving digitally, we began using Issuu for an online presentation of the brochure. Our magazine was later created to further expand our online presence. It completely modernized our work with the properties we list and with our clientele.
Digital content allows you to do, show, and say more than a flat printed brochure. When you combine professional listing photos with 2D floor plans and 3D walkthrough videos, you prevent buyers’ perceptions from being skewed. When we upload photos, we also include the room’s dimensions so we are upfront with exactly what size space the buyer is viewing. There is only one person that can buy a house, so rather than cater to many potential buyers, we advertise the house as-is – in an honest, direct, yet attractive way. When the right buyer for the property comes, they appreciate our authentic digital approach.
We’ve also tried using writing software to help attract potential buyers, but the effect of this is limited because these systems are not familiar with certain terms in our industry. Moving forward, we want to focus on improving our digital copywriting and get more creative with how we talk about available properties.
We embed links to our Issuu publications in our blogs, website, and Instagram bio. These links take customers straight to our property catalogs. Moving forward, we want to explore outside creative support to improve our design elements and flipbook covers. One example is updating our magazine cover, which is essential for attracting consumers and boosting engagement.
Our marketing content is now 100% digital. It was a great replacement for finicky prints and it has been well-received by our market and client base. We can avoid expensive printing costs and also have more creative freedom. For example, in our magazine, we can easily alternate between elaborate designs and more refined content. Our graphic designer is slightly more old-school, but going digital allows him to experiment with creating lighter, more airy designs. I really want to continue our magazine, and I am excited to see how we can evolve it further.
We were way ahead of the game and had the technology to help with the transition! Other realtors had no idea where to start, where to go, or how to find suitable replacements and services, so many were playing catch up. Luckily, we've been around for a while and knew how to adjust our strategy and content, all digitally. We enabled a unique feature where we put a QR code in the seller's property and the buyer just came, opened their phone, scanned the code and the digital property presentation was right there in front of them. This feature helped connect us with buyers and sellers in a time when human connection was limited and self-guided tours were taking over.
In real estate photography, the cameras are wide-angled so everything looks bigger in listing photos than it actually is. Ideally, we would always hold in-person tours so the buyer can see all the nuances of the properties. However, that option has been limited by the pandemic. One feature that has helped this transition is walking through the virtual tour together with our buyers. We know the things to look at, such as room dimensions and real space considerations. This provides buyers with a more realistic viewing and virtual touring experience. Transparency is a crucial component when showing a listing and it helps a buyer make an informed decision.
Many agents have asked us, “How did you do that?” so we told them about Issuu. Being able to share our resources with other agents has allowed for greater collaboration, too. As for our customers, it can be tricky to determine how many people are scanning versus not scanning the code. Issuu’s built-in analytics allow us to track customer interactions with the digital magazine and listing brochures, and that helps indicate our consumer reach.
Using Issuu for our property brochures streamlines our marketing process. It eliminates the cost of a printer and the time spent moving from one location to another while impressing our buyers. We are able to showcase our listings accurately and seamlessly without the additional stress from printed advertising. Issuu also tracks our consumer engagement and audience reach. We can see our statistics on brochure reads, which helps us gauge our progress and return on investment. Moving our content digitally on Issuu allows us to see what we are doing right and the areas we need to improve.
We currently utilize a freelance graphic designer as well as the popular design software Canva. Right now, we do not have any help in the writing department, however, that is an area we would like to focus on. Writing about real estate can be tricky because you are trying to stand out in a crowded marketplace while not overwhelming your customer.
Although our magazines are digital, we still want the buyer to feel a personal connection to our agents. One aspect we hope to include in our content is embedding videos within the flipbooks. These videos would feature pre-recorded content of our agents describing the listing the customer is viewing.
Real estate is a fluctuating market, but TB Realty Group reminds us that you can future-proof your business by switching to digital content. Explore their digital magazine and brochures here.
For more information on the power of digital content, visit our real estate page. And if you’re ready to add value for agents, sellers, and buyers by transforming your flat listings into dynamic brochures, try Issuu today.