The Elle Group, a boutique real estate team in Boston, had a new construction listing — the Boardman Street condos. Lien Vuong, founder of The Elle Group, was responsible for selling the property’s 9 units. She wanted to impress the sellers, and knew that before she could do any selling, she needed high-caliber visuals, even while (especially while!) the project was being developed.
The Elle Group contracted us at O’Kane Marketing to put together a set of renders that would show what the Boardman Street condos would look like when they were finished and allow The Elle Group to start selling them ASAP. To start, we obtained the floor plans from the builder and listened closely to their input on the finishes and details.
When it comes to creating the renders, we’re constrained by the four walls and the reality (or soon-to-be reality) on the ground for the project. That said, we often help with the furniture, decor, camera angles, and scene lighting so that the renders we provide are near magazine-quality, and will help the realtors move their properties more easily. This is a part of the process that we take particular pride in.
Our client, The Elle Group, was thrilled with how the renders came out — and so was their client. This investment would allow Lien and her team to show buyers what the property will look like even while the building itself wasn’t much more than two-by-fours.
But there are tons of new condo projects in East Boston, so we prodded Lien and The Elle Group to take those renders and put them into a social ad campaign so that they could build some awareness and excitement around the development.
The Elle Group went ahead and hired us to build a social ad campaign for the project. There are three components to a campaign through the Meta ad platform, which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and more:
1. Objective (website visits, page likes, engagement, etc.)
2. Audience (criteria that can include age, location, interests, and more)
3. Creative (your choice of a carousel slider, a video, a single image, etc.)
We set the objective to Lead Generation. That means that rather than sending people to a website when they engage with our ad, we can solicit contact information from interested buyers right on-platform. Because the Boardman Street project was so new, there was no website, and of course, buyers couldn’t physically tour a finished product — so we wanted to do our best to sell right on Facebook or Instagram and collect their information there, if possible. Plus, this was pre-MLS listing, so we couldn’t even link the ad to a listing website if we had wanted to.
Because housing is considered a Special Ad Category, there’s limited demographic targeting that we can do. Instead, we set up two audiences: One, everyone who lived in a broad radius around the property, not narrowed down any further. For the second audience, we only targeted people who had watched at 12 seconds of the 24-second video from the first ad already, and therefore, signaled their interest. In other words, we cast a wide net initially, and then focused in on promising potential buyers, all while carefully following the Special Ad Category rules.
Buyers scour the listing websites every day. We knew that if they got hit with an ad for a new property that they haven’t seen yet that’s right in their neighborhood, it would have a pretty good chance at catching their attention. We had a solid starting point for the creative (the renders we created) but we went a little further and turned those renders into an animated video that spotlighted some property features in an eye-catching way. We knew we wanted to highlight the large, open living spaces, the custom built-ins, the penthouses with private decks, the garage and off-street parking, and the location.
Finally, before going live with the campaign, we configured an Instagram profile to act as a sort of mini-website for the property that could show off more details for the project. This wasn’t about getting followers (see our recent blog post, “Why No One Wants to Follow Your New Development’s Instagram”) but about having more space for showing important information. We were able to include the renders, floor plans, information about the neighborhood, and more.
So, to re-trace things one more time — if you saw an ad for this property on Instagram, you could easily tap through to the profile and learn everything you need to know, all while staying on Instagram.
So, the campaign is ready to go — but what happens if and when leads come in? We set up an automated email that would go from Lien and The Elle Group to the interested buyer. That email included a PDF booklet that had even more information, and provided a natural starting point for a conversation. Lien could then follow-up and try to set up an in-person meeting.
The campaign, which ran on and off for about 3 months, yielded 40 leads, of which 3 turned into sales, totaling more than $2 million. Not counting the renders, her marketing spend that led to those 3 accepted offers was just $545. Not a bad ROI!
We know what you’re thinking — that all sounds great, but why would you highlight anything but a big success story on your company blog? And it’s a great point! We always think the same when we see case studies and success stories on other companies’ blogs. If we had to pinpoint why this project worked, there are a few reasons.
-The property is beautiful. It gave us plenty to work with!
-The “mini-website” — or, the way we configured the Instagram profile — was key
-The automation that immediately sent more information and started a conversation between agent and buyer ensured that no leads would fall between the cracks
-There were 9 units, so the ad spend was more efficiently used than if there was just one or two units. Plus, the property was in an in-demand area at an in-demand price
It’s important to remember that while the market has cooled off a bit, getting additional exposure on your listings is important now more than ever. Realtors must look at every listing like a billboard for their own services.
We’d love to hear about your next listing, whether you need renders, exposure on social media, a website, or all of the above. Let us know what you’re working on!