New Park In The Treetops Community


Here at BAM, we’re extremely passionate and play an instrumental role in working with our clients. We help them put their best foot forward when they’re developing the look and feel of their new communities. For this reason, it’s extremely exciting for us to see ideas come to fruition as projects move from development to completion. This can often take some time, as many communities have multiple phases, and certain elements may not be a part of the initial phase.

This was the case with the award-winning Treetops community in Alliston. While working on the project, we encouraged the developer, Lou Biffis, to build a destination community. A community that would require you to spend more time driving to it, but once you arrived, you’d get a superior quality of life with all the amenities you could ever need – or want. A community with ample facilities, including recreation, protected green space, trails and dog parks to walk, run, jog and explore. If you take a look at the community plan, you can see that many of these elements have been wrapped into the overall lifestyle that the community offers homebuyers.



We were extremely excited to see that Treetops recently opened Treetops Park, which boasts seven acres of activities and diversions for every fitness and energy level, including a multi-level tree-themed playground, splash pad, beach volleyball courts, basketball courts, an amphitheater and a promenade running throughout the park, complete with a lookout area. It’s amazing – and a wonderful amenity for all the community.

It’s a great feeling to see elements come to life in communities – especially when we dedicate so much of ourselves to it in its conceptual phase.

Canadian Anti-Spam Laws: One Year Later


These days, it’s virtually inconceivable that you’d even consider creating a marketing strategy for your brand or client without including an email marketing campaign, which is often considered one of the top ways – aside from social media – to keep your registrants, customers, etc., engaged in your product or service. The way we think about email marketing has certainly evolved over the past few years; these days, aside from concentrating on the layout, design and multi platform functionality, there are also legal aspects that must be considered. Last year, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) went into effect, requiring all emails sent (by businesses and charities) within Canada to abide by a list of rules, or face stiff financial consequences.

A year later, after the initial ‘panic attack’ by brands and agencies, has the new law been effective? That’s actually a grey area. Overall email volume dropped by 29% over the last year, but there has been no significant change in spam volume. In fact, there have only been 3 instances of the laws actually being enforced in the last 365 days:

  • Quebec based Compu-Finder was found to have four violations of CASL. They sent numerous emails without consent, as well as messages in which the unsubscribe button didn’t function properly. Interestingly, Compu-Finder accounted for 26% of all CASL complaints. They subsequently faced a $1.1 million dollar fine.
  • Plentyoffish Media Inc. (Plentyoffish) agreed to pay a fine of $48K for failing to have an unsubscribe button that was clearly and prominently visible on their emails.
  • Porter Airlines Inc. (Porter) agreed to pay $150K for alleged violations of CASL. Much like Plentyoffish, they failed to have a visible unsubscribe button, as well as a full contact address.

It’s important to keep in mind that enforcement of the CASL is strictly as a result of direct complaints from recipients. Rule of thumb, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here is a list of items to keep in mind while developing your campaign.

Facebook’s New Video Advertising Is Coming


If you’ve been following the tech blogs over the past few weeks, you’ve likely heard about the large leaps Facebook is undertaking to dominate the video hosting/streaming landscape. Well, with the announcement they will be opening up their muted, auto-play video format to advertisers on a grand scale, not using their platform for video may no longer be an option. For many brands, who are already seeing huge increases in their conversion rates with the use of video advertising elsewhere, Facebook’s new “suggested video” feature will seem like an obvious next step; however, it does have logistical issues that need to be considered. Much like Instagram, companies and agencies will likely want to adapt campaigns to include Facebook specific versions, to address the platform’s intricacies.

Beyond general size/length, many of the considerations you’ll need to make when planning and executing a video ad for Facebook should probably be the same ones you make for all of your video campaigns. Here are a few things to think about during your planning stage.

It’s important to remember that the videos on Facebook, and some other social platforms (like Instagram and Vine), are muted by default. This means that unless a user chooses to turn on the sound, you’ll be telling a silent story. Hence, you’ll want your video to have the ability to convey the messaging and call to action visually. This way, regardless of the user’s choice to hear your video, dependant on a number of factors, they’ll get the gist of what you’re saying – and if interested, react appropriately.


Although users statistically spend around 1-2 hours a day on social networks, they do so in chunks, over the entire day. You’ll want to keep this in mind when choosing an appropriate video length. Most research suggests that anything more than 30 seconds begins to lose attention. Most networks actually cap your videos at 15 seconds. If you have multiple messages/services/products, or want to really make a strong impact, you’ll want to consider creating a series of ads – à la Old Spice. Production value should also be considered, as videos with crisper, smoother, more emotionally provoking production and sound generally get more engagement.

Facebook “suggested video” advertising, much like their messenger for business platform, is still in its testing phase, and likely won’t see a full (worldwide) rollout for a little while, but it’s not too early to start integrating elements of its specifications into your campaigns, as they will very soon be the new standard for the way we consume video adertising online.

People Don’t Buy Products – They Buy Ideas


People don’t buy products. Sure, they go into the store, talk to someone who works there, choose the colour/model, and they make a purchase; however, there is more to it than that. People buy ideas, and a community. There are a few excellent examples of this. The most obvious is Apple. The product itself – generally – tends to take a backseat to the overall vision of the company, and the feeling that owning a piece of that vision gives you. Fitbit is similar, in that owning one makes you part of a community focused on like-minded lifestyle and fitness aspirations.

It seems like a given that all products would be marketed this way – except that it isn’t. It’s not something that is practiced across the board. Understandably, it isn’t easy to create a brand that “transcends” the products they sell. Few consumers purchase a Dell computer because they want to be part of a larger movement they represent.

So how does this concept translate to the real estate world? Well, purchasing a home is more than just buying a physical structure. It’s about buying a place to raise your family. A place to make new friends, experience monumental life events and live your day-to-day life. Elements such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors are great things to offer, but they should always take a backseat to the macro concept of what homebuyers are really buying.

As marketers, we’re responsible for helping to sell dreams. We’re selling the promise of a better life – something that we all want for ourselves, and our families. When it comes to real estate, we’re directly responsible for helping to connect the people with builders, by focusing on the things that – at the end of the day – matter the most. That’s something to be proud of.

Personalization: The Key To Increasing Email Engagement


Over the past decade, we’ve seen an enormous growth in the overall usage of e-communication for, well, pretty much every industry possible. In fact, popular eblast management tool Mailchimp reports that they have over 8 million clients who collectively send billions of eblasts monthly – and they are just one of the many services out there. The question is – are your eblasts working for you? Here’s a great starting point: Mailchimp reports a benchmark for real estate of 22.11% as an open rate, and 2.22% as a click through rate. If you’re not achieving results as good as this, you’re likely off the mark and will want to rethink your strategy; however, if these numbers seem to be in your ballpark, you may be wondering how you can take your campaign to the next level. The answer may simply be to get more personal with your audience.

Personalization is more than just using a tag to add a name to an email, it’s about building a relationship with your audience, and delivering customized content that generates engagement, clicks and – best of all – more qualified leads. There are a few ways you can do this. One is to understand the current status of your recipient. Are they a new recipient? Are they a long time registrant? Using a great database management system will help you to properly organize your registrants and build customized content around that. Another option is to track their experience on your website, and then use that data to help build personalized profiles. Having registrants fill out a survey during their initial sign-up can also allow you to further segment your emails. Ideally, based on the information you collect, you’ll send emails that contain content and messaging that speaks to their interests, which is more likely to keep them engaged than a standard email that you send to your whole list.

While it can be a bit more work to develop the variations of your campaign’s messaging and content for different groups, it definitely pays off. A recent personalized campaign we ran, which had only 4 different personalized groups, had an open rate of over 70%. The proof is in the pudding, personalization reigns supreme.

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