Armo Movsessian, Creative Director of EQ1, relays his experience in creating beautiful, customized property listing sites using Brandcast. Based in Silicon Valley, EQ1 is a unique real estate agency that leverages innovative marketing strategies and modern technology to set new industry standards for selling and buying property.
A New Approach to Real Estate Marketing
When we launched EQ1 in 2013, we wanted to take a different approach to real estate marketing. Typically, brokerage firms use different contractors or vendors that handle various aspects of marketing a property, such as photography and videography, or web design and development. Often, it’s up to the individual agents as to which vendors they use and how they choose to showcase a particular property. Also, the big agencies tend to focus on volume and high turnover. These factors result in inconsistencies and varying quality across a firm’s marketing executions.
We wanted to create a strong brand for EQ1 that put quality at the heart of everything we do. In order to accomplish this, we’ve set very high standards for all our listings. Our firm handles all aspects of a deal in-house, including staging and marketing, and each listing must meet certain criteria. In order to carry this perspective into our marketing efforts, we don’t use vendors for the various parts and pieces of marketing collateral – we do it all ourselves. It’s a very different dynamic, and one that we feel provides the best service for our sellers, buyers, and agents.
This heavy investment in our brand has really paid off. We’ve had a great track record over the past few years. We launched with 5 people, and now we’ve grown to two offices with a third office opening next year.
Modern Technology Supports a Strong Brand
What sets us apart from other firms is that we focus on leveraging modern technology to help us deliver the high-quality service that our brand requires.
When it came to building our property websites, we needed a web platform that allowed us to showcase properties beautifully, as well as create numerous websites quickly and easily on an ongoing basis. Most importantly, we wanted full control over the site’s design, content, and management—meaning, we wanted to handle it all in-house.
Currently, I'm responsible for all online web solutions, including the design, photography, videography and webmaster. As we grow, we’ll hire more people. Our web solution needed to help me get my job done efficiently and easily without additional support needed.
The Wild World of Web Platforms
We first tried building our property websites using WordPress, but that platform was difficult to use, took too much time, and required too much technical know-how. We also explored using SquareSpace, which was easier, but too basic for our needs. It really limited us creatively and aesthetically. We do a lot of videography, and it was somehow difficult to add video to our web pages using either WordPress or SquareSpace.
The bulk of our business is residential properties, and because every home is unique, we need a platform that gives us flexibility to showcase the special character of each individual property in the best way possible.
Brandcast is the only platform we’ve found that helps us deliver the level of design quality that meets our brand standards combined with a streamlined workflow that allows us to create the systems and solutions that work best for our firm.
Creating Customized Listing Sites on Brandcast
An efficient workflow is really important to our business. I’m currently turning out up to seven sites per week, and platform features are critical to helping me streamline design and production. With Brandcast, I can turn around a fully customized website in less than half a day, which is pretty fast. We have four styles of property listing sites, so I can take a basic template that I’ve created and easily modify it to fit a particular property.
My favorite Brandcast features are the embedded video tool, which is super easy and quick, and the scalable blueprint area, which gives me micro-control over my design. I also love how easy it is to add content.
I sometimes work with the Brandcast team to get feedback and ideas, which really helps me tap more of the platform’s capabilities. I appreciate that Brandcast is on the cutting-edge of new trends in web design and development and is focused on bringing them into the platform.
Maximum Value with Every Listing
Brandcast has played a critical part in helping EQ1 establish a successful new model for real estate marketing and really elevating our brand to the level we envisioned. We’ve been able to set a high standard and create a certain branded look for our websites that is easy to replicate across all our listings.
Most importantly, the platform has allowed us to deliver value to all players in our value chain. Our beautiful sites not only add value to the property itself—to our sellers and buyers—but they help our agents be successful, and also showcase our brand and our firm’s capabilities to prospective customers. Our sites make people want to work with us.
I’ve been very happy with Brandcast and hope to grow with the platform for years to come.
For more information, visit: www.eq1realestate.com.