A luxury real estate firm's different kind of email strategy

September 10, 2015 McKenzie Gregory

Even if you’re not in the market for a multi-million dollar home, it’s likely that you’ve heard of The Agency before. CEO Mauricio Umansky is known not only for his status as the #3 top-producing real estate agent in the US, but also as the husband of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” celeb Kyle Richards. Plus, the brand's agents David Parnes and James Harris star in Bravo's hit real estate series "Million Dollar Listing LA."


Mauricio Umansky, CEO of The Agency


But it isn’t just its star-studded crew and their familiarity with the luxury lifestyle that drives The Agency’s success. In the typical brokerage model, cut-throat agents – all working within the same brand – compete against one another for business. But The Agency was founded with the goal of doing things a little differently.

How they set themselves apart

“Collaboration is one of our core values,” CTO Shane Farkas explained. “We share information and work together, which allows us to leverage the collective network of all of our agents rather than depending solely on the connections of one individual. By sharing information, we’re able to produce better opportunities for our clients because we can often find them properties that aren’t on the open market yet, and we can sell their properties faster by capitalizing on our massive combined network of contacts."

Maintaining an elite brand standard through email

That same spirit of collaboration extends into The Agency’s marketing efforts. “Within most traditional real estate firms, you’ll see that most of the agents have their own logo and their own website and their own team. They’re all trying to be their own brand. So something we set out to do from the very beginning was to give our clients a really cohesive brand experience any time they interacted with our agents."

And part of maintaining that consistency means standardizing their email communications. That's where Emma's unique agency platform comes into play. The tiered structure lets Shane share templates with their agents and control the design for consistent brand communication while allowing each agent to maintain and send to their own email lists.

 “With the messages we’re pushing out via email, we enforce a brand standard across all of our agents. We've invested very heavily in a brand image that really reflects the luxury market and the luxury lifestyle, and our email templates were designed with that high standard in mind. So what Emma then allows us to do is push all those amazing designs out to our agents, so they’re not out doing their own email marketing that we have no control over."


With listings like these, your emails need to look like a million bucks!


List management made easy

Shane also pointed to the ability to segment opt-outs across agents’ sub-accounts as one of the biggest reasons The Agency ultimately chose Emma. “Each of our agents has their own sphere of influence, but even in LA, the world of luxury real estate is a pretty small one. Everyone interested in our properties might be in some way connected to five of our agents – so the agents naturally have quite a bit of overlap in their contact database."

Without the right tools, this overlap could become a serious problem. “If one of our agents has someone opt out of their list – but the email recipient still wants to receive information from the other four agents they know – Emma’s agency platform helps us ensure that our other agents’ email lists remain unaffected. For a brand with an audience of contacts whose needs and interests change all the time, that ability was crucial.”

The Agency isn’t just savvy when it comes to its email marketing – it offers a full range of marketing and sales solutions for buyers, sellers, developers and investors across the globe. To learn more about its offerings or even just check out their agents' awe-inspiring listings, visit their website.

The takeaways

Don’t be afraid to do things differently. Whether it's your overall business model or simply your email marketing, it's important to stay true to your brand – even if it's a little different. The Agency found success by diverging from the traditional brokerage model, creating its own system of collaboration between agents.
For busy agencies, maintaining control over your brand image is crucial. Emma’s agency platform allows The Agency to maintain consistent, high-quality branding across all of its agent sub-accounts.
Communicate with the right people from the right account. The heart of any successful email program is a healthy email list, so powerful (and easy-to-use) list management tools are critical to keeping your sub-accounts’ lists separate and growing with more of the right subscribers.

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a content writer on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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