Hundreds of businesses may have hopped on the technology train when the pandemic hit, but for Toronto-based luxury brokerage Johnston & Daniel, staying on the cutting edge of digital tech has long been at the forefront of their business model.
The brokerage is on a mission to provide their agents with easy-to-use technology that will help drive more business to them and, ultimately, help them to be more profitable. For Johnston & Daniel agents, they not only have access to powerful backend systems that automate their business, but they're given guidance from in-house experts on everything from print marketing to growing their own personal social media brand.
"It's an innovative company, a trailblazer in the real estate industry," said Caroline Baile, Vice President of Recruitment, Coaching and Business Development at Royal LePage, of which Johnston & Daniel is a division. "Even long before COVID hit, they were focused on sophisticated global platforms that would help leverage the exposure of their clients and the realtors."
At the heart of their operations is the use of kvCORE, a high-powered, all-inclusive real estate platform that automates a realtor's business from the back end.
"It puts it on autopilot", Baile said. "It provides our realtors with lead generation, drip campaigns, a CRM, personalized websites, and even provides social media content and marketing. In addition, it is fully mobile, allowing our agents to manage their business from anywhere in the world."
As real estate markets all across Ontario shift, and the pool of buyers becomes smaller, having world-class marketing is more important than ever. Not only do agents have access to automated marketing tools on the kvCORE, but Johnston & Daniel's Design Studio -- an in-house team of marketing experts -- offers personalized advice to agents to help them grow their presence and engage potential clients with everything from print to digital marketing.
"Every person has a very specific skill set and our realtors get the benefit of all of that," said Melissa Salazar, Broker and Director of Marketing and Client Solutions at Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "What I love about our marketing team is the fact that we are working on all these marketing tools, and then coming up with all these options for personal branding within the portfolio. So whether it's changing fonts, [or] choosing your colour palette, we're really making it so seamless for whoever joins the team to really hit the ground running with professional marketing."
And it's not just the overall Johnston & Daniel brand that they're looking to help agents promote. Each agent receives guidance and tools to grow their own personal brand, whether that be through social media or crafting a website. And Johnston & Daniel covers the typically pricey costs that can come along with those endeavors -- something many brokerages don't do.
"We're not only helping them with the marketing piece, but we're also helping them with their personal branding and then rolling that out for maximum exposure, so it's multi-levelled," Salazar said. "Very few of the national brands allow that, whereas we actually encourage them and support them."
The brokerage also provides its agents with the tools they need to create engaging social content, from a green room where they can film videos and conduct interviews, to an audio room equipped for podcasting.
"Working with some of the newer agents or agents that have come over to our brand, they are in awe at the potential of what it will do for their business in terms of exposure and growth" Baile said.
Johnston & Daniel may be a Toronto-based brand, but their sights are far from locally limited. The brand has taken on a global initiative to open up their client base to people all around the world. Through a partnership with Leverage Real Estate, the brokerage is able to present their listings to a world-wide audience via J&D Global.
"It delivers a global exposure with over 544 million combined monthly page views and almost 150 million global unique visits," Salazar explained. "It maximizes exposure of all our realtor listings and maximizes the results."
And the tech focus won't stop here. Johnston & Daniel representatives continue to attend tech conferences, invite tech industry leaders in for talks, and keep up to date on all of the latest advancements that can contribute to their agents' success.
"There are lots more new initiatives coming [down] the pipeline this year," Salazar said. "So it's something to watch out for."
This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.