Why You Shouldn’t Leave Advertising Out Of Your Social Media Campaign

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Social media has grown substantially in more ways than one. What began to balloon in the mid 2000s as a free way for brands to promote themselves, has become a circle of revenue driven corporations that no builder, brand or organization can afford to ignore in their marketing strategies. Not convinced? Well, in 2014 alone, 1.5 million businesses combined spent (a total of) $2.66 billion on Facebook advertising. That number is actually an increase over 2013.

In its infancy stage, brands seemed to struggle with the various platforms. Social media appeared to level the playing field in terms of marketing, making the sole barrier to entry a PC, Mac or smartphone – and many brands attempted to participate by simply existing. Then the platforms (most notably Facebook) did something drastic. They began to throttle engagement and impressions, forcing brands to pay in order to reach a larger audience. What this shift to pay-to-play models has done, beyond creating ways for these platforms to sustain themselves and grow, is put the power back into the hands of professionals and force more creative uses of the platforms. Marketers and brand champions must now understand the financial implications of haphazard campaigns, and strive to use their clients’ budgets to achieve more concrete ROI.

Some great examples are Facebook Ads and, more recently, Pinterest’s promoted pins. Both platforms seem to understand that their users aren’t overly excited about being advertised to, and thus have implemented restrictions upon advertisers that require them to bring creative, personal and engaging content to the table – or face failure. Restrictions include the use of sales heavy messaging and copy heavy images. The result is an attempt to create authentic relationships through the use of great imagery/copywriting and personal connections.

Within the real estate industry, this concept of creating authentic relations seems like a no-brainer. The use of targeted advertising to potential homebuyers on a platform like Facebook, where 829 million users spend an average of 40 minutes a day, can result in not only registrations, but also referrals. It’s a unique opportunity for users to engage and share one of the most exciting times of their lives with you – and everyone else (including their friends/family) can watch it unfold.

Your strategy and approach to advertising should be tailored to the specific network you choose to use, whether it’s the use of YouTube pre-roll ads, Twitter sponsored tweets or even promoted LinkedIn posts – but there is definitely a platform that is right for your specific campaign. Ignoring these platforms, unfortunately, is no longer an option.

BAM 2014 Year In Review

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It’s hard to believe 2014 is almost over already. For the team here at BAM, it’s been phenomenal. As we do every year, we continued to grow – adding new team members and big new clientsI’m confident that we’re now the strongest we’ve ever been.

As we prepare to say farewell to 2014 and welcome in a New Year, I thought it would be a great opportunity to look at some of the great things we’ve done this year:

We Launched Marketing Automation

I spoke a lot this year about marketing automation, which is all about providing customers with a personalized experience, and how excited we were about the benefits that this type of relationship building creates for our clients. Well, we officially began offering this service as of September 2014. We’ve been deploying personalized e-blasts and targeted website content for Queensville, and we’re currently implementing personalization into our upcoming projects for 2015.

We Drove Sales

I always say that when our clients win, we win. So you can imagine how happy we were to see clients like Empire Communities achieve an astounding 1000 sales this year and long-time associate and friend Sean Mason – who launched his own company this year – have such a successful opening.

L-R Carrie Alexander and Paul Golini of Empire Communities with me (John Amardeil); Sean Mason Preview Opening

L-R Carrie Alexander and Paul Golini of Empire Communities with me (John Amardeil); Sean Mason Preview Opening

We Got Exciting New Clients

We started to work on some big projects this year like Queensville, a huge new development north of Newmarket, for Aspen Ridge, CountryWide and Lakeview. We also, as I touched on already, helped green builder Sean Mason launch his company, Sean Homes, which is the most exciting new development project in the history of Barrie. We also began working on some exciting new communities that will be launching in 2015, such as New Seaton in North Pickering (for Aspen Ridge, Brookfield, CountryWide and TowerHill) and a London multi-use site for Sifton.

We Became Certified

This year BAM became a Google AdWords Certified Partner. Over the last five years, we’ve really been pushing the envelope to better manage our clients’ digital marketing campaigns. With brand new team members in our eBAM department and in client services, we are performing at our highest level ever.

We Won Awards

It’s always great to stand behind our clients as they are recognized for their successes – and this year presented a few opportunities for us to do just that! We attended the 34th annual BILD awards, where Green Builder of the Year (Low-Rise) was awarded to Empire Communities. Brookfield Residential and BAM were also awarded with the newest BILD award for the year –Best New Video. All in all, we were nominated for over 10 different awards!

L-R BAM joins Empire Communities on stage at the 34th annual BILD awards; BAM and Brookfield Residential Ontario accept their award.

L-R BAM joins Empire Communities on stage at the 34th annual BILD awards; BAM and Brookfield Residential Ontario accept their award.


I’m excited for whatever 2015 has in store for us – and likewise, what BAM has in store for it. I’d like to thank all of our supporters, and wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.

Getting Geared Up For The BILD Awards

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At BAM, we strive to make sure our clients win, because we are our clients – so their win is our win. As (intrinsically) good as winning feels, it’s also great to share our successes with others. The BILD Awards is one such opportunity for players within the GTA building and development industry to be recognized alongside their peers and awarded for their excellence in various categories such as Best Public Relations Campaign and Home Builder of the Year. The winners are announced at an exclusive gala with nearly 1,000 of the GTA’s biggest builders, designers, renovators, and sales and marketing professionals under one roof – If you’re in our industry, it’s the place to be!

In the past BAM has had tremendous success at the BILD Awards – we’ve won awards for various campaigns such as last year’s Best Video (Low-Rise) and the previous year’s Best Social Media Campaign. Last year we were also up for for best e-mail marketing piece, best website and best low-rise sales office, among other nominations.

It’s always an honour to stand behind our clients at the BILD awards, and 2015 will be no different. We’re gearing up to make our submissions for this year’s awards, and hopefully we’ll be sharing the stage with them next April.

Mixed-Use Development: No Longer Just A Trend

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It’s official: homebuyers are increasingly comfortable passing on larger living spaces, when stacked up against urban conveniences (according to a recent report by PwC and ULI). Looking at the report, entitled Emerging Trends In Real Estate, it’s easy to see how/why mixed-use development is becoming the norm – it’s blurring industry lines as commercial and residential developers discover the opportunities that mixed-use properties bring. The desire of tenants to be able to live, work, and play in an urban location is driving further demand for projects that could offer residential, retail and office space all in one convenient location.

This isn’t a new concept. In major global markets such as Asia, you have second and third floor retails. To put it simply, this type of building is just a better use of density. It creates complete communities that offer more options – which also happens to be a direct aim of Ontario’s Growth Plan.

There are a few of our current clients that are attempting to speak to this growing trend, while addressing the concerns of homebuyers who may otherwise not be drawn to rural/suburban living – namely due to long commute times. Queensville, which is poised to become a 6000 home community, will be a place where families can live and work. This is the same for New Seaton (in North Pickering), which will become home to more than 20,000 residents and developer Sifton, who is going to be introducing a new smart community in London (Ontario). All three of these communities will include mixed-use development ranging from office spaces, restaurants and different classes of residential living spaces – communities within communities.

What was once emerging is now a norm, with our population growing (rapidly) and developers looking for ways to attract homebuyers in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The needs/wants of homebuyers are shaping and challenging development, and it’s intriguing to see how the challenges are met.

Home Buying Practices In The Technological Age

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Is retail dying? It’s a fair question to ask amidst lowered sales projections by large players like Wal-Mart. There’s no denying that the general public is more comfortable than ever with the concept of making both small and large purchases online. In fact, within five years online purchases will account for 8% of the total retail nationwide. Close to 50% off all transactions involve the Internet in some capacity if you factor the research that consumers often do before making an online or physical purchase. This brings up the question, could this comfort level with online spending transcend into the real estate industry?

Well, with increased transparency displayed to homebuyers – and builders giving floor plans, finishes and detailed information on the minutest details of a home’s development online – it seems inevitable that engaged buyers would be able to take the next steps. This type of thinking is already being applied overseas. In India, for example, Tata Housing works with banks to facilitate the entire home buying experience online – and has had lots of success thus far. Meanwhile in China, E-House China Holdings Ltd is leading the peer-to-peer lenders phenomenon, which finances (and manages) down payments for new buyers 100% online in minutes. Could this type of concept apply to a North American housing market?

A recent Harvard report has shown that brick and mortar retailers still control between 94% and 97% of total retail sales. A vast majority of consumers who appear to be liberally shopping online are doing so from trusted retailers. Metrics are also a bit skewed when you consider that most consumers who purchase online visit physical locations to check out the products beforehand. So this raises the question, is it reasonable to believe that buyers would purchase a property without physically experiencing it? Perhaps, in the case of condos or new builds without models; however, there are also security issues in play – and one would have to take a great amount of due diligence around the genuineness of the transaction. Is retail dead? Not yet – and neither are traditional home buying practices (for the time being).

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