30 minutes with Daniel Lee – Plum Property Brisbane

In Brisbane’s inner west, independent agency Plum Property is causing a bit of a stir. The growing brand features a tongue-in-cheek approach to video marketing that breaks the mould of how agencies showcase homes. In the process they’re racking up a massive list of followers that also translates to click-throughs and sales.

Only 10 seconds into a video depicting an Indooroopilly home, it’s hard not to break into outright laughter. On screen is Plum Property principal Daniel Lee looking for all intents and purposes like a dodgy used-car salesman espousing the virtues of a true ‘renovator’s delight’.

It’s irreverent, it’s downright amusing, and it’s nothing like a standard real estate video. It also happens to be highly effective because at the end you want to know more.

That, according to Daniel, is exactly the intent.

“I’ve always had a love of marketing,” Daniel explains.

“I like to think outside the square and as a result we’ve become known for our videos, which have generated a lot of attention.”

Daniel’s style is far from conventional. Each video features an imaginative narrative that effectively showcases the personality of the home.

In one, he plays himself after returning from Burning Man where he seeks the perfect retreat for his tribe of raving peeps. In another, he’s unsuccessfully looking for mates to attend the ultimate pool party. The houses star in the background, the storyline keeps you hooked.

“A lot are a little bit risky,” Daniel admits. “But I feel if you’re not offending anyone, that’s OK. In most I’m making fun of myself and people resonate with that.”


How it translates
Daniel notes he may feature in the videos, but the intent is far from self-serving.

“It’s not just for me and Plum Property, it’s for the clients to give them a new way of marketing. It’s about funneling people through to a realestate.com.au listing and by and large it works.”

Burning Man was one of his most viewed and liked videos, and in the past six months the volume of followers and engagement has grown. But likes and comments aren’t the real focus, he stresses. It’s click-throughs that really count.

Daniel explains a Facebook video might attract 100,000 views, resulting in 2000 clicks on the REA listing. That’s because the videos have reach, they’re shared, and they inspire audience engagement.

Most importantly they tap into a market far beyond people seeking a property or those looking to sell their home.

“In one case a girl who follows our videos tagged her mum who was looking to buy. The mother ultimately bought the property.

“If you didn’t do a good job of advertising, if the ad was standard and boring that girl would never have watched, so it absolutely works from a sharing perspective.”

In addition, it helps build both Daniel’s and Plum Property’s profile, and ensures each home is individually memorable.

The strategy is so successful Daniel has now trained most of his team in the process and helps oversee the direction of their videos.


The elements that make it work
For agents looking to tap into the power of social media and video, Daniel has a few words of advice.

“First of all, think it through – how do you behave on social media? It’s hard to keep people engaged, so consider it from a user perspective,” he suggests.

“Also take the ego out of it. How much time does someone have for you? Whatever the topic is, it’s likely to be no more than one and a half or two minutes, unless they’re a die-hard fan.”

Meanwhile, Daniel notes he always creates a storyline that is inspired by the property and it tends to have a couple of layers.

He also urges agents to go in with a plan prior to filming.

“You’ve got to prepare. I like to have three things to talk about for each property that are incorporated into a story, a script or a joke.”

A good videographer is essential, but Daniel stresses their role is not to direct. Instead it’s to help bring the idea to fruition with professional filming and editing.

Partnering up with someone else from the office can also assist as it offers a fresh set of eyes.

“Remember, this is not supposed to be a sales spiel, it’s designed to introduce an opportunity quickly in the best possible way in a minimum amount of time,” he says.


The ripening of Plum
Given the buzz that Plum Property has recently created, it’s easy to assume this is a brand enjoying overnight success, but Daniel is quick to dispel those rumours.

He’s been in real estate for over 12 years and had worked for more traditional brands before deciding to go it alone in 2016.

“We started very small, operating out of my apartment with just me, my business partner Dylan Simpson and an assistant,” he notes.

Now the team has expanded to over 20, including agents, property managers and administration, working out of an office in Toowong.

In the process they’ve built a large rent roll from nothing, and were recently nominated as a large agency of the year at the REIQ awards.

In addition, Plum Property sales agent Brett Andreassen was named residential salesperson of the year, and Daniel was also nominated.

“Yeah, we’re kicking goals,” Daniel concedes. “Our aim is to continue to grow in the next two years to hopefully have one major super-office on the westside of Brisbane.”

Want more of a giggle, check out Daniel’s video marketing on the Plum Property Facebook page.

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.