In the competitive world of New York realtors, it’s challenging for an individual broker to rise above the din. Our client needed a bold brand to accompany a major new property portfolio.
We built a highly personal brand based on a broker’s distinctive persona.
According to an interview in The New York Times, the client’s business was up 15% in 2015, thanks to a brand that conveys a message of “real estate for real people.” The new brand establishes a foundation on which she can grow her business and remain independent.
What’s the No. 1 topic of conversation in New York City? Real estate.
While every New Yorker holds a strong opinion on the merits of a particular neighborhood, they’re remarkably indifferent about real estate brokers. That’s because Manhattan brokers are indistinguishable from one another.
When we met Klara Madlin, the realtor whose firm bears her name, we knew she was different. Madlin was preparing to exclusively represent eight new residential buildings through an agreement with a developer.
New Yorkers are remarkably indifferent about real estate brokers.
She needed a distinguishing brand to support this elevated portfolio of properties.
Crackling with energy, Madlin explained her version of personalized service: “We guide our clients whether they are buying or selling. We help them with paperwork, we prep them for co-op board interviews. And sometimes, I even have to read their minds.”
With that comment, the solution to this branding problem revealed itself. We created a truly Responsive Brand built around a conversation, with elements that can be combined in ways that speak personally to the firm’s clients. We created a signature piece of typography that would always be aligned with a phrase to open a dialog. The business cards say, “nice to meet you,” “we’ll stress over the details,” “the nice new yorkers,” and of course, “ yes, we read minds.” These provide the foundational messages of the brand. A giveaway umbrella is emblazoned with “shelter from the storm,” and the website greets the visitor with the simple word, “welcome.”
In addition to the conversational tone, the website had to sort and display a high volume of data. Real estate and property search and display presents a complex design challenge; maps, floorplans, open houses, photos and amenities need to be sortable and saveable to each visitor’s “favorites” list. Visitors register to save their searches and are entered into the marketing database.
Compounding this challenge we understood that in New York’s tight real estate market, a brokerage adds and deletes listings frequently. Many agents also work off site on a variety of computer platforms. On top of this we also had to find a highly economical solution with mobile functionality. Since we understood the site had to be easy to use by a technological novice, we built the site with a WordPress theme. We hosted two training seminars and prepared 20 video tutorials to ensure the client had adequate training to update the site.
Analytics indicated that more than half of visits to the site are from a mobile device. The website is fully responsive—delivering a similar user experience on smartphones, tablets and desktops with on-page SEO. Every listing has multiple fields that add to search engine visibility.
Madlin’s Responsive Brand is unmistakable: It reflects her unique personality and customer-first service approach — and it’s designed to remain relevant as she grows her firm in coming years.
Madlin’s brand reflects her unique personality and customer-first service approach — and it’s designed to remain relevant as she grows her firm.
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increase in sales
increase in web traffic
New York Times interview