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Stunning Canadian real estate website and marketing campaigns

While there are endless examples of bad real estate marketing, this Canadian stands out big time. Let this marketing serve as an inspiration for your own.

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How design can blow away the competition

After seeing Ryan McCann’s real estate team website, it was instantly seared into our brains and we now equate Edmonton, Alberta real estate with McCann. “We’re a tiny company that’s changing real estate in a big way,” the website proclaims in large, easy to read font. “We’re reworking real estate,” their campaigns say. We believe them.

McCann has a lengthy corporate background that sets him apart as opposed to some real estate agents who defaulted to real estate because they wanted to sleep in, wear what they wanted and tinker with Twitter all day. “We have expertise and experience. you have dreams. we offer perspective,” the site tells visitors.

McCann’s website looks as if it were designed for an iPad by an extremely highly paid graphic designer and web development team. Here is the landing page (click to enlarge):

We found ourselves accidentally clicking on every link possible, not because we set out to, but because we couldn’t help it- we wanted to see what was behind each square that was presented to us on the landing page like a mint on a high thread count pillow. The site has this feeling that it was designed just for you, and no one else, like you are sitting alone in a high rise lobby with McCann himself as he explains in simple terms how he will best serve you.

It’s not just his website, McCann pulls of the unlikely and keeps the image and tone consistent throughout his marketing efforts. Below is his Facebook Page:

Clever. With simple, clean design, large typography and consistently clever but not overly informal copy, McCann’s website and related web campaigns are stunning and even though we are spotlighting them today, he will continue to stand out against the competition that insists that this (below) is somehow acceptable (click to enlarge):

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. John Carr

    November 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    What a breath of fresh air. Not another me-too site. This is one is a keeper and I will certainly try to emulate the tone, design and concept with my own site. Great Article. Thank you.

  2. jarvisteam

    November 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I was on the fence about the quality of content from AGBeat. I can only hear "offer value" so often. However, this feature, just made me a fan, I signed up, I'm liking it all now. I've even got the koolaid mustache to prove it.

    This line did it: "competition that insists that this (below) is somehow acceptable."

    Thanks!

  3. Ryan McCann

    November 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Hello all! Thanks so much for all the positive feedback on our site! At the beginning of this year we decided that we needed a major change to separate us from other Agents in our marketplace. We went through a full re-brand – business cards (which are oversized with QR codes), main page, several landing pages and our Facebook page. Templates didn't work for us. They failed to accurately represent who we were and more importantly didn't relate to the market. Design has definitely made the difference – our listing inventory has doubled and our builder business has picked up significantly. We're on pace to sell 90-100 homes next year! Thanks again! R.M.

  4. Roland Estrada

    November 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Ryan got it right. I've been experimenting in iWeb using an icon based front page because I can't stand the boring formatted agent sites that are out there. Even the real estate site vendors that claim to be cutting edge don't cut it. Bravo!!!!

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Business Marketing

Is Easy Advocacy the tool your business needs for ad campaign reach?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Product claims to make employee advocacy easier than ever with a tool that’s designed to enlist employees to share campaign content online.

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easy advocacy welcome page

Ever wished you could get all of your employees in on your campaigns, enlisting them all to help make your digital content go “viral”?

No? To be honest, me either – at least not until I learned about a new program called Easy Advocacy, created by a company called Agora Pulse.

Easy Advocacy is a productivity and marketing tool geared towards harnessing the power of larger internal groups (employees) in order to make content sharing (campaigns, social media posts, etc.) as easy as possible. The product is listed on Product Hunt, which is essentially a tech geek’s paradise for new and interesting technology. This week, on February 19th, Easy Advocacy was listed as the #1 product of the day.

The website boasts features like:

• Quick campaign setups
• Making content easier to share
• Knowing the reach of your shares

In addition to making it easier for employers to have their employees share content, the platform also offers basic analytics pertaining to things like number of shares and website visits. Employers can also identify their top advocates through a leaderboard.

Their website’s description of the toolset says that the tool “dispels the hassle of the usual employee advocacy complaints and makes the process of sharing content with employees, who then share on their social channels, easy peasy.”
One way it does this is by emailing your employees the exact instructions and copy the company would like them to share, making it somewhat automated.

Now, while this all seems great, my biggest concern is who their market truly is. Are they going after small teams? Probably not as having a team of only 5 people sharing a campaign would be nearly fruitless – unless you happen to have a major social media influencer under your employment.

If they go after larger companies, like Apple, for example, I can see this tool being helpful. However, it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword. Larger companies typically are beyond the point of needing word-of-mouth campaigns. Let’s use Apple as an example here, too. They’ve been around for years, and according to Statista, 45.3% of smart phone owners in the U.S. go with Apple iPhones. Given this, and the fact that everyone already knows what an iPhone is (unless you live under a rock…), I really can’t see much need for a tool like Easy Advocacy for such a large company.

So, where does that leave the company? Only time will tell. My first bit of advice to the company is that the name definitely needs work. The name “Easy Advocacy” implies that there’s some kind of advocacy happening for employees, when in reality, this platform is meant to help employers. But given my points above, I think they need to think about their model some more and maybe make this tool something that’s more robust that companies of all sizes can use.

Full disclosure, this does not mean it’s not worth trying out. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

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Business Marketing

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.

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The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

1. Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
2. Can lift over 50lbs
3. Can stand for 8 hours

The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to PrisonPolicy.org, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

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Business Marketing

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.

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instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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