Best Buys Program: Innovative Real Estate Marketing with Consumer-Centric Content and Dazzling Design
A visually stunning email landed in my inbox and was the catalyst for this post on the Surterre Properties Best Buys marketing program, a great example of modern real estate marketing. A boutique real estate brokerage based in Newport Beach, California, Surterre Properties specializes in the luxury real estate market of coastal Orange County. Local listings deemed to be the “best buys” are submitted by the Surterre Properties Realtors to an in-house committee of agents who actively critique, then approve (or deny) the submission. This creates a list of properties that reflect the best value in the market in the opinion of the committee. The committee selects between two and seven properties for the list and properties may or may not be listed by Surterre Properties. The list of selected properties are then posted to the Surterre Properties website and a call to action email is distributed weekly via email to the Surterre Properties agents who then forward the email to their clients and own email lists. The company tracks the sales rate of properties on the best buy list and states on their site that the program “…boasts a 71% sales success rate”.
Why Surterre Properties Best Buys Program is Effective:
- It meets the need of the consumer: No matter what the market, what buyer isn’t looking for the absolute best deal out there? No matter what the market, what seller isn’t looking to be positioned as the first one to sell, the one everyone else says is a great buy? The best buy program provides relevant content, created by a credible team of real estate professionals, that the consumer is very interested in hearing.
- Visual execution: The tightly guarded brand imagery of Surterre Properties is brilliantly executed through the email that is sent out. It is hard not to look at it. The visual design is one of the best in the business.
- Exclusivity: Properties are turned down. The committee says “no”. There has to be a compelling reason or reasons why the listings are chosen as a best buy or they don’t make the list. (Think of the side effect for agents whose properties are declined for the program, providing them ammunition for gaining price reductions from their sellers – “Mr. & Mrs. Seller, a committee of experienced real estate professionals agreed that although a good deal, your property is not the best value out there. If it was listed at “x”, the committee indicated your property would qualify for the best buy list.”)
- Brand agnostic: Properties don’t have to be Surterre Properties listings.
Opportunities for Improvement:
Interesting to note, there is no subscription opportunity on the Surterre Properties website for consumers to register for the Best Buy’s distribution list (in my opinion, a missed opportunity for the brokerage to build its database). It is up to the agents to forward the weekly best buys email to their own clients and email lists. So, as a consumer, in order to receive the weekly best buys email, you have to be forwarded the email from a Surterre agent. This might be fine if there was some communication on the site letting consumers know how to get added to the list. As of this post however, I only find a button on the home page which lets you navigate to the current best buys – it’s certainly pretty, but there is no call to action, and, the best buy’s program is not part of the main navigation of the site. So if a user misses the button on the homepage (which falls below the fold on my 1280 x 800 pixel laptop monitor), they are not likely to find the program at all.
In addition, there is no easy opportunity to subscribe to the best buys list in a feed (or RSS) form on the website (the listings are presented as a page, not a post). Surterre Properties does appear to create a post on the Surterre Blog and send an out a weekly best buy update announcement through twitter, but it required some digging on the site for me to find both these options, and the blog does not have a “Best Buys” category for easy reference. It is not easily possible for the consumer see prior Best Buy weeks, browse prior properties that made the list, nor subscribe to the content that the brokerage is providing without having to ask a Surterre Realtor to be added to their distribution list. This must have an SEO impact too (any SEO’s care to weigh in?). It seems that the brokerage could be benefiting if the weekly best buys were presented in a post (that included the content of the best buys, not just a link to the page on the website) that was archived the next week, versus a page that appears for one week and then is gone the next.
However, in summary, where this program really shines is two-fold:
- It has valuable content that consumers want.
- The visual execution of the campaign is unparalleled, professional, and consistent with the brand image of the company.
As a result, the Surterre Properties Best Buys program is a great modern marketing program that is certainly worthy of Agent Applause.
Disclaimer: Although I no longer sell real estate, I want to disclose that my active real estate license currently hangs at Surterre Properties and I am a raving fan of the marketing that this company produces.