BAM + Google: Here’s how we’re setting ourselves above the rest

Hey there. We’d like to take a moment to give ourselves a big pat on the back. Today, we are very excited about Google AdWords – particularly after our amazing Quarterly Business Review with the good folks at Google.

Here in the BAM digital department there are plenty of things that get us excited. After all, we place a premium on digital advertising and praise its efficacy as a channel for new home and condo sales, so we quite literally live and breathe digital. We want to have the best ads, the best performance, and the cheapest clicks, so that we can convert those efficiencies into profitable new home sales.

Over the past 3 quarters BAM’s digital advertising team has worked tirelessly with new Google technologies, web development teams and clients to streamline the advertising process from start to finish. Efficiency is the name of the game, and BAM has innovated in ways to capitalize on efficiencies.

Quarter-over-quarter, BAM has reinvented the way it utilizes AdWords as part of the home selling process, and the results have started to pour in. Over the past 6 months, we’ve seen our overall account clickthrough rate on ads quadruple. From an average clickthrough rate of 2% in March, we’ve managed to up that figure to 8% through the end of Google’s Q3 in October.

Is that good? For comparison, other advertisers in our industry have seen modest increases from 2% to 3% in the same timeframe, which gives BAM a 172% advantage. When you see that kind of comparative improvement, excitement ensues. Check out the infographic below to see how BAM has upped its game with AdWords the past few months.

Augmented Reality: Bridging The Gap

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This past weekend, we saw the digital world explode after the thunderous launch of the much-lauded Pokémon GO. Its footprint was so massive that four days in it surpassed a billion dollars in value, and bested Twitter for daily active users. It’s also a hyper example of how quickly the general public can adopt AR technology, and the possibilities it offers both brands and consumers. For those unaware AR refers to augmented reality, a playful interaction between the game/software and the real word; in the example of Pokémon GO, Pokémon appear on your phone’s display, overlaid into the real environment as captured by your device’s camera.

Ikea has recently been playing with AR. They introduced new technology that allows you to use their catalogue and app to overlay furniture into your home so that you can see exactly what it looks like in your space. You can even snap photos to share with family and friends to get their opinion. It’s this creative use of AR that should be of particular interest to our industry. Whether it’s allowing you to visualize flooring samples in the actual space, or give more depth to a home’s layout while still at the framing stage, the technology is widely available and requires less learning curve [for users]. As well, unlike VR, it doesn’t need any third-party hardware to enjoy it, which is especially important if your client or customers are at home, instead of at your site. They can grab an app and press go.

Augmented reality could change the way we visualize presentation centres and model homes. Imagine using oversized custom screens to explore the space, or perhaps supplied glasses, not unlike those you’d find at a 3D film. If Pokémon is any indication, the floodgate for AR is about to burst; now is a great time to ride the wave.

Next Level Townhome Sales At Triumph

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If you’ve been following BAM over the past year, you’re aware of the strides we’ve been taking to help change the way buyers purchase homes. Earlier this year, we introduced a revamped Pine River website that included an online home reservation system that allowed potential buyers to choose the home and lot of their dreams and place a hold on it. Well, we’ve kicked things up a notch with the newly redesigned Triumph Phase 3 website for our client Highmark Homes. Not only did it let users book their appointment for the grand opening, but it featured an option that allowed VIPs to skip the line, and secure a home (for a nominal fee).

Buyers who were serious about starting a new life in one of Highmark’s stylish, modern townhomes in central Whitby paid a $500 fee – using PayPal – to become part of the VIP Advantage program. This allowed them to reserve their choice of home and lot online before the public, view, and lock-in, preview pricing, access a private VIP Advantage Event (with no line-ups) and view/download the APS and condo docs ahead of time. Now that’s next level. The program was a huge success with 20 customers selecting the option, and 17 making a purchase!

We’ve since extended the program, although customers no longer have to pay. They can visit the website and lock in their choice of a lot and home design online, similar to the Pine River site.

With the success of the launch, we can easily see this becoming a standard when it comes to launching new communities here in the GTA. Not only does this make the experience even more seamless for buyers, but also it’s a giant step closer to facilitating an entirely online purchase. We couldn’t be more excited — or proud!

BAM at The BILD Awards

Untitled.pngLast week, the BAM team was dressed to the nines and in attendance at the 36th annual BILD Awards, which recognizes excellence in sales, marketing, design and construction of new homes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). As we had previously written, we were excited – and honoured – to be nominated for Best Digital Marketing Campaign — for three of our most exciting projects to date, in addition to Best Sales Video and Best New Community, Planned or Under Development for Queensville.

We were ecstatic to join our clients Zancor Homes and Lancaster Homes on stage to accept the Best Digital Marketing Campaign award for Pine River, which was one of our most ambitious digital projects to date. In fact, if you haven’t explored the website – complete with online reservation system – you can learn more about it here. We were also excited to join builders Countrywide Homes, Aspen Ridge Homes, and Lakeview Homes, on stage to accept the award for Best New Community, Planned (for Queensville). Queensville is the largest and most ambitious new project in Ontario, and we couldn’t be happier with what we’ve achieved there. Especially since the project recently sold out its first phase.

The results we’ve helped our clients achieve over the past year is something we’re very proud of. We’re lucky – and grateful – that they see our vision, trust, and allow us to take the risks we do. These awards are just icing on the cake. They’re truly a result of the hard work the entire BAM team has put into these massive projects.

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Wood Mid-Rise Is On the Rise

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Last week, BILD held a seminar to discuss the technology, challenges, and benefits of 6-storey wood construction. Architects and builders have been grappling with some of these issues since the amendments to Ontario’s building code to allow mid-rise wood frame building took effect in January of last year. It’s without question a huge improvement in our industry, as building similar structures using concrete is both expensive and grossly inefficient. Mid-rise structures are desperately needed along many of the major streets here in Toronto. Currently, many younger families are forced to move outside of the city to find affordable homes.

Wood is natural, strong, durable, renewable, and – of course – greener. 99% of every tree is used in the manufacturing process, and it takes much less energy to manufacture, meaning a reduced carbon footprint. Challenges, though, include logistical construction issues, concerns around fire, and some of the physical properties of wood. For example, wood shrinks over time, which could cause potential issues with the structural integrity of the building. However, these concerns haven’t stopped developers such as FieldGate Urban and Hullmark, who are behind Heartwood The Beach, Toronto’s first wood 6-storey residential building located in the Beaches. Curated Properties and its top-tier architecture and design team are also developing a similar project called Cabin, located at 45 Dovercourt. Both of these projects are currently featured in the Spring 2016 issue of Toronto Builder Magazine.

With Cabin now 70% sold, it’s clear that the demand for affordable mid-rise homes in the city is real; it’s only a matter of time before more developers begin to line the streets of our city with funky, innovative, 6-storey wood designs.

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