Alex Brandau knows a thing or two about relationships. In fact, he’s been an expert since childhood.
The founder and lead agent of Alexander Brandau Partners of Keller Williams Realty in Tennessee, Brandau is a fourth-generation investor who grew up around real estate and property management. His great-grandfather built houses and his grandfather subsequently began a leasing business, purchasing some of those family-constructed properties, which his mother then managed. Brandau was handed his first lease at age 12. That’s what set the tone for his career. Brandau got licensed in 2001 after realizing he had a passion for people.
“I’m a people person, and my success is making it about them. It’s always about the client,” says Brandau. “I love studying service models. We know there will be bumps in the road, but it’s about making the best real estate experience our clients can have. We want it to be as positive and smooth as possible.”
And there’s two resources he’s found incredibly valuable in his quest to create those “true raving fan” relationships he seeks out: the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) and, through that membership, RISMedia’s ACESocial, an automated social media marketing service for agents and brokers.
“[ACESocial] posts regular, high-quality branded posts that show up every single week, and we are getting really good traction from that,” says Brandau. “It’s not clickbait and it’s not incendiary. When I heard about the program, I thought, ‘This is phenomenal. We’ve got to put this out immediately!'”
Video, he says, is getting straight to the way of the future. And that’s why ACESocial’s video articles have been a hit. However, Brandau says that leveraging both video and written content has helped him connect with the three or four major buyer generations.
“Sometimes people have habits they don’t want to change,” says Brandau, such as reading articles.
Although Brandau does work with a lot of luxury clients, he says his goal is to implement marketing that is balanced and has a specific audience identified. It’s that dual branding that helps him build solid relationships no matter the price point, and ACESocial helps him do that.
“We are very intentional about what we put out there, and it’s a two-pronged approach. It’s necessary to build those high-trust relationships,” he says.
One of his favorite articles from ACESocial was about home security because it hit both traditional and high-end luxury buyers. Readers learned about a variety of options, ranging from a $20,000 home security system to a $200 Ring doorbell that can easily be installed by anyone.
It’s about having powerful pieces that are approachable and have the right language, says Brandau. He’s even had celebrity clients reach out to him after reading the content, asking, “How do I get that? How can I have that in my house?”
With help from the Institute, Brandau is able to zone in on the luxury segment, which likes to have “the coolest new toys.” But it requires knowing “the language of luxury.” Brandau says luxury clients have very high expectations and want to be given options at a national and international level. With the Institute’s network, he’s been able to provide that value.
“With the Institute’s help, we publish statistics that show how affordable Nashville luxury markets are compared to other areas on a national level,” he says. That data has also helped him formulate conversations that look to the future and not just the present.
“We’re having a conversation with a celebrity athlete client right now (at press time) about list prices. I said, ‘Let’s look at seven to eight years from now because it could be a different market, which could have even more value.’ You want to be specific, but you also want to have a wide-angle lens.”
Brandau says he knew being a member of ILHM was going to be a key differentiator for his business, especially because it shows clients he is spending time with leaders in luxury and thereby giving his sellers a competitive advantage over other local brokerages.
“We are a leader in the luxury space. I tell clients, ‘I can put your house in front of several brokers in NYC, Beverly Hills, New Jersey, etc., and we know them and have actually spent time with them.'”
This is in contrast to small boutiques or other local brokerages, who don’t have that network and simply send an email promoting the listing without having a solid foundation with national and international brokers. “And who needs another email?” he asks.
Brandau sees widespread growth for his company in the long run, and social media marketing and an extensive network of powerful luxury brokers is a key part of that. What’s especially important, he says, is partnering with companies that help streamline his processes rather than clogging up his steady workflow.
“Instead of having multiple people searching for content and having to qualify it, I now don’t have to worry about it. [ACESocial] is real journalism with real content that’s recurring. We know it’s there and we go with it. We don’t have to worry that it might be sponsored by our competition,” says Brandau. “The No. 1 thing is that it’s branded to us. You open the page and it’s branded immediately, and you get really good content. And, boom, there we are again with our image. It’s consciously and subconsciously branding us.”
Brandau adds that “it’s about continuing to show that we have something people want to consistently see. We want to be valuable and share what we are seeing in the market, but, at the same time, stay relevant.”
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. RISMedia is the residential real estate industry’s definitive source for news and information. Email Liz your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.