Much has been written about the changing face of real estate marketing. We all know that marketing in an always-connected world is very different from the old days of maintaining a fat Rolodex and mailing postcards to an agent’s sphere of influence. And as a broker, how many painful forklift technology upgrades have you had to endure to keep up with these changes? Over the past decade, many real estate marketing companies have come and gone, but only a handful have exhibited the staying power to evolve with the ever-changing technology landscape.
For 15 years, Imprev has provided marketing solutions to the real estate industry, cutting its teeth by delivering solutions directly to agents, and later re-shifting its focus to meet the needs of brokers and franchisors. Over this same time period, the company evolved its marketing platform to help brokers and agents connect with buyers and sellers whose media consumption habits have changed from “focused” to “continuous partial attention.” Beginning with tools for print and digital marketing, and later, delivering services that fully automate the creation of marketing content, the company has proven its ongoing drive for innovation, showing brokers that Imprev’s present (and future) solutions are here to stay.
“Technology has reached the point where the broker or franchise can really make a difference for the agent, and can essentially do the marketing for them,” says CEO and Founder Renwick Congdon.
Upon launching in 2000, the company was quickly renowned for the quality of their print design flyers. Later, they became the first company to build a marketing center with multiple products that could be customized and distributed in one place. Through Imprev’s Marketing Center, agents have access to auto-generated print and digital marketing collateral, such as flyers, brochures, postcards, virtual tours, property websites and YouTube videos, all with a few clicks of a button. Agents can then publish these creative pieces directly to their social media pages, blogs or websites, distribute them through email or send them directly to their local printer.
Brokers and agents can choose from an extensive library of professionally designed materials, or opt for custom designs from Imprev’s in-house creative agency, consisting of fully trained art directors, designers and copywriters. The creative minds at Imprev work just like any advertising agency to understand the brand requirements of their clients and create aesthetically pleasing and professionally designed marketing campaigns. According to President and Chief Revenue Officer Bill Yaman, Imprev’s creative agency has the ability to either take designs that the brokerage has created and implement them into the Imprev system, or leverage Imprev’s real estate design experience to augment a brokerage’s design aesthetic. Either way, Imprev places the highest importance on brand consistency, placing control of the brand solely in the hands of the broker.
“Everything is auto-generated so the agent doesn’t need to lift a finger. They receive an email after they get a new listing and all of the marketing is already done,” says Phil Olson, director of marketing.
Agents certainly have the option to log in to the application and swap out photos or add their own marketing flair, but many agents will use the content “as-is,” and will never need to access the Imprev Marketing Center.
“Instead of the agent creating the content, it’s created for them,” says Yaman. “With brokerages signing up on behalf of their agents, Imprev sends the information to the agent ‘from’ their brokerage. It feels much more like a service than a tool. For many brokerages, this fundamentally changes the recruiting conversation, and sets them apart from other competing brokerages.”
In order to meet the ever-changing needs of such a fast-paced industry, Imprev looks outside the real estate industry to learn new ideas, trends and possibilities that could be applicable.
“We look at best practices in other industries and always keep in mind that what we’re doing for agents and brokers is helping the consumer, and helping the broker’s brand in the consumer’s eyes,” says Congdon. “Our clients’ marketing is being compared to what Nordstrom and Mercedes are doing, for example. Customers know what professional marketing and advertising looks like because they see it every day. That’s why design has always been really important to us.”
In addition to the library of Imprev-supplied templates that agents can choose from, a brokerage can standardize the best practices of their top producers as additional template options, and make those available to all of their agents.
“Our system is about letting the broker or franchisor figure out the very best ways to market a property, and automate the process for all of their agents so that they’re providing a lot more value to both the agents and the consumer. The agents start getting much higher-quality organic leads than those they would buy from portals because they’re coming from their own marketing efforts,” says Congdon.
These organic leads are vital to an agent’s success and are nurtured through the Imprev system using a built-in customer contact engine that automatically sends communications, both email and print, to an agent’s prospects and sphere of influence. Once again, this messaging can be provided by Imprev or through custom campaigns from the broker.
The company’s journey from a piecemeal print and digital strategy to a fully automated, comprehensive service goes to show Imprev’s dedication to innovation, and its fearless approach to the ebbs and flows of the industry.
“We’re committed to our customers’ success,” says Congdon. “We have a 15-year history, and we have clients that have been with us for that long. I think that speaks pretty well.”
“We’re in an industry that is constantly evolving. We had to evolve to deliver a campaign engine, and had to evolve again to provide this automated service,” says Yaman. “Those who stand still die, and we can’t stand still.”
For more information, visit www.imprev.com.