Elite AgentFEATURE INTERVIEWSSELLING + MARKETING PROPERTY

How we sold it: 38A The Terrace, Ocean Grove

Building relationships is real estate 101, but it’s not just connections with buyers and sellers that can help you sell properties.

RT Edgar Bellarine Director Brock Grainger says forging strong partnerships with local media organisations has helped him tell the story behind his properties and this works to complement his digital and print marketing campaigns.

The result is more eyes on his listings and strong sales results he can then promote through savvy ‘just sold’ advertising.

Real estate agents often say it’s relationships that win and sell their listings, and that couldn’t be truer than it is for Brock Grainger.

The RT Edgar Bellarine director says the key to listing and selling 38A The Terrace, Ocean Grove, was his relationship with the builder and vendor of the home, and his long-standing connection with News Corp Australia and local paper the Geelong Advertiser.

Brock ran a print marketing campaign with full-page ads in the real estate section of the Geelong Advertiser’s glossy GT magazine and secured an editorial on the new, three-level, five-bedroom home through his relationship with real estate editor Peter Farago.

He tied this in with a News Xtend Property Marketing Prestige digital campaign that generated views from the US, Spain and Finland.

38A The Terrace, Ocean Grove

List the property

The builder behind the two high-end homes on the block at 38 The Terrace had created one for himself and was selling the other as an investment when he engaged Brock on the listing.

Brock had sold properties for the builder on numerous other occasions and said it was fostering this relationship that meant he was the first agent the vendor called when they started on this project. 

“I’ve had the privilege of working with him a couple of times before, and he’s definitely a boutique builder and produces very high quality,” Brock says.

“He doesn’t do a lot of projects, but the ones he does do are of the highest standard.

“We sat down and worked out a campaign that we felt was going to get them the best result.”

38A The Terrace, Ocean Grove

Marketing the property

Both the vendor and agent wanted to wait until the home was completed before launching the marketing campaign so that it could be styled with furniture and quality photographs could be taken.

“It was quite an extensive marketing campaign for our neck of the woods,” Brock explains.

Brock says it was critical the level of the marketing campaign matched the high quality of the property, which featured panoramic ocean and Barwon River views, luxurious open-plan living, oak floorboards, six bedrooms, three bathrooms and an in-ground pool.

“The home was really high quality and, obviously, we needed a campaign to match,” he says. 

“We’re a very prestigious brand, and the way everything is set up through News Xtend, and with their print advertising too, definitely represents our brand and prestige properties really well.

“It attracts a market that we’re not able to reach, and they’re able to pitch the property to a number of people that might not actively be looking (to buy a home).”

The digital campaign

The News Xtend Property Marketing digital campaign targeted buyers locally, nationally and internationally through display advertising across the News Corp Australia and Google Display networks, including News Corp Australia’s lifestyle websites.

Google Search Ads also meant that buyers found the property when they typed in key search terms and were directed to a dedicated website just for that property.

The campaign also comprised social media advertising on sites such as Facebook and Instagram.

“If you were to have the perfect marketing campaign, it would consist of both – digital and print, but if it was a case of one or the other, I’m certainly more of a digital person, and I certainly push that for all of my campaigns,” Brock says.

“It definitely helps target those non-passive buyers, but for me, what I also love about it is the retargeting side of digital.

“You just can’t put a price on what that’s worth to your brand, you as an agent and also the property that you’re marketing.”

The print campaign

For 38A The Terrace, Ocean Grove, Brock did create the “perfect marketing campaign” and ran full and double-page print ads in the real estate section of GT Magazine.

Through his strong relationship with the Geelong Advertiser and the high calibre of the property being sold, Brock was also able to secure an editorial on the property.

“We’re a long-standing company in the area and we’ve built some really good relationships with various companies and certainly with the ‘Geelong Addy’,” Brock says.

“We’ve got a great relationship with them, and that all flows on to being able to help our clients in more ways. 

“We are able to get those extra editorials and extra comments in stories on a regular basis.”

Geelong Advertiser Real Estate Editor Peter Farago says he is always on the lookout for properties his readers will find enticing and interesting.

He says 38A The Avenue, Ocean Grove, ticked all of the boxes, and that’s how it wound up with the Coast to Country House of the Week editorial.

“We consider things based on what we think will interest readers, and sometimes price comes into it but often, it’s something that’s big or out of the ordinary,” Peter explains.

“Homes that are super expensive are always going to be of interest, but properties like this one – it’s on the coast, it’s near the centre of Ocean Grove, and you’ve got great views.

“It’s the type of property that draws a lot of readers.

“The majority of our readers wouldn’t be able to afford that type of property, but it still gets them talking.”

Peter says taking a look at how others live has become somewhat of a national sport in Australia, especially with the current hot market conditions.

“Readers look at what people have done to their homes, what they’ve got in their home and a lot of other things,” he says.

“They are interested in what people are doing, what sort of home they’re building or have built, and what features they have got.”

Peter says agents looking to secure editorial space need to keep him and the real estate reporters at the paper up to speed on listings they have coming up, that are on the market and that have just sold.

It’s also a good idea if a reporter leaves you a message or email to get back in touch with them quickly as they work to tight deadlines. Delays can mean you miss out on featuring in the story.

“At the end of the day, we’re a news organisation, and we’re about building an audience,” Peter notes.

“Having a good relationship with us is key to that, so when agents get that good listing or one that’s rare, tell us straight away.

“Brock is one of those guys who is always on the front foot.”

The buyer

The buyer for the home ended up coming from the local area, with Brock saying she lived just 15km away.

But he says it was the digital marketing campaign that found her.

“Within Australia, largely the inquiry came out of Melbourne and Sydney, but the actual buyer was a Bellarine buyer in the end,” Brock says.

“But because she was in a different suburb, she hadn’t seen it (the listing) a lot and that digital campaign was able to target her and introduce her to the property.

“She let me know that they weren’t actively looking, and they did see it on a website that wasn’t a real estate portal.

“They said it just popped up on their screen, and then they were redirected to the website and then they looked it up on realestate.com.au.

“But that initial capture was through outsourcing our digital campaign, which was good.”

After-sale campaign

Brock also used the ‘Just Sold’ extension to his digital campaign, which serves ads to viewers of the property advertising to let them know the property has sold.

The idea behind the campaign is to raise an agent’s profile in the area and help them win listings through social proof of their selling capabilities.

Brock describes it as a “digital letterbox drop”.

“It’s about creating brand awareness,” he says,

“I don’t do a lot of the old just listed and just sold letterbox drops; I’ve turned to digital marketing for those types of things.

“The Just Sold part of the campaign goes back out and retargets those same people that engaged with the property when it was for sale.

“So effectively it’s doing the same thing as the letterbox drops, but it’s more targeted and gets you in front of the right people’s eyes.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.

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