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How One Branding and Design Agency is Making its Mark on GTA New Builds

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Canada’s real estate industry isn’t known for adopting anything quickly, but for innovative firms like Channel 13, this truth presents an opportunity to blow the competition away.

And that’s just what the branding and design agency has been doing for the past nine years, catching the attention of some of the major players in the development realm along the way. Think: Dream Unlimited, Graywood Developments, and Cabot — the golf and hospitality group that moved into real estate — among others.

Condo marketing is rarely a colourful practice because, more often than not, it simply doesn’t need to be. But Riel Sammy, co-owner of Channel 13, tells STOREYS that his firm crafts a narrative for each project, appealing to the people who ultimately live in the buildings. This, in turn, brings creativity and colour to a space that’s hungry for both.

“We strive to craft meaningful content that’s customer focused, narrative-specific with great design. We build upon existing design aesthetics and aim to elevate them to new heights,” Sammy says. At Channel 13, part of creating content is telling meaningful stories around the companies the agency works with. Not many developers do this, he explains, but globally-recognized brands do, because they understand that it will set them apart from their competition.

READ: This Full-Service Creative Agency Guides Real Estate Insiders to Success

“To create a narrative, if we’re brought in early enough, we help guide the overall concept of what’s being built, just like an architect or interior design team would; we construct an entire strategy. While [a condominium] might be sold to investors, at the end of the day, somebody has to live there and you have to be mindful of who lives there, as well as where it’s located, and that comes down to storytelling.”

The company has certainly come a long way in a short time, growing from a trio of freelancers to a team of 10 (and growing) with studio space in Vaughan.

Like many companies before, Channel 13 started as a passion project, working out of its co-founders’ homes, but after quickly making a name for itself working on some major real estate developments across Ontario, it wasn’t long before Channel 13 moved into its Vaughan offices. The firm’s expertise in the technology and design spaces make it a superior alternative to old guard agencies that have been around longer than today’s homebuyers—a savvy consumer cohort who skew younger.

The biggest challenge for an agency like Channel 13, which conceptually strives for another level, is timing. Sammy says there’s a unique balance to every project with what might be mistaken for minutiae, but upon which everything rests. Channel 13 has achieved success because it tailors projects to their respective developers’ visions, but with a little more panache.

“Developers have to jump through hoops with approvals, zoning and permitting processes, but we have enough experience in real estate ourselves to provide enough lead time to generate buzz for our clients’ projects,” Sammy says. “We’re not just a digital design agency; we know how the real estate industry works, and that includes our clients’ stresses, and the nuances of the market. If we’re relied on as strategic partners, we’ll run and gun so there’s one less thing they have to worry about.”

Channel 13 recently acquired a strategic partner that brings its own brand of know-how. Now, Channel 13 manages web properties for major players, including the aforementioned Dream, Graywood and Cabot, and helps them scale their online presences.

Having proven itself as a force to be reckoned with in the digital design space, Channel 13 is also making a name for itself in the GTA’s real estate industry. In addition to design acumen, the firm understands real estate brass tacks and it lightens the burden of each project for its clients.

“We have been big believers in social media advertising for a number of years,” Sammy says, “but we believe the most effective way is omni-channel advertising.” Suave, smooth, and seamlessly integrated, Channel 13’s approach to project branding and design is one that will land with end-users in a way that’s unmatched in this market. Intrigued? Schedule a strategy session to learn more.


This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.

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