INSIDER OUTLOOK: REAL ESTATE INSIGHTS FROM ROYAL LEPAGE

While Royal LePage’s roots in the Canadian real estate landscape may be traced back for over a century, their service is far from stuck in the past.  

We were lucky enough to sit down with two of Royal LePage's marketing experts: Director of Marketing and Partnerships, Alicia Omand, and Marketing Manager, Neils Mack.  

During our chat, we delved into strategies for enhancing property listings, Royal LePage’s long-standing partnership with BoxBrownie.com, and the innovative tech ecosystem that they provide their agents.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. First, what is Royal LePage’s philosophy when it comes to real estate?  

Alicia: Our philosophy is essentially to help Canadians at home. We are really proud of our ability to offer high-quality real estate services. With a focus on helping consumers, our website provides top-notch search tools and expert advice. 

 

BoxBrownie.com has been a Royal LePage Preferred Supplier since 2019. In what ways has our partnership empowered your members?  

Alicia: Part of what we love about the Preferred Supplier program is the ability to offer even more value to our agents, through vetted relationships with expert vendors and great pricing. With BoxBrownie.com, it’s easy to market a slick, user-friendly product, so we have a nice synergy. We like to encourage agents to leverage companies like BoxBrownie.com when they are marketing their listings, to ensure their listing photos look professional and that they have included a floor plan. Both are really important to a consumer in their property search. 

Neils: We also really like to encourage new and existing agents to receive training, so they know exactly how to leverage services like BoxBrownie.com to better showcase their listings. While we at Royal LePage head office aren’t directly marketing the properties, we are teaching and empowering our agents with tools to do it more effectively.  

 

What would you say to a new agent who might be struggling with achieving their property marketing goals? 

Alicia: A lot of agents struggle when it comes to having enough time and resources. They want something that’s quick, convenient, and cost-effective. Service providers like BoxBrownie.com definitely fit the bill. First, it’s fun to use. Second, there’s a low barrier to entry. It isn’t time-consuming and there’s no subscriptions – it’s pay-as-you-go. It’s been really easy for us to get agents engaged with it. BoxBrownie.com’s product is sexy – who doesn’t love a good ‘before and after’ photo transformation?  

Neils: It’s modern and instantly gives agents a solid command of technology, with zero learning curve. All they need is to snap some photos with their phone. Having BoxBrownie.com is like having their own roster of people on hand to help them make their listings shine.  

 

Let’s talk about photos. In Australia, the average property listing includes around 6-7 photos. In the US, the average listing is around 30-40. What do listings look like in Canada?  

Alicia: We would probably have an average of 30-40 photos as well. I’m also noticing a lot of lifestyle photos in listings, especially in luxury listings. 

Neils: In the Canadian market, there’s an expectation that you can see every room, if not multiple angles of the room. This helps buyers to get a sense of the layout without having to leave home.  

 

Do you notice many agents using smartphones to take listing photos?  

Alicia: It all comes down to accessibility. The beauty about smartphones nowadays is that the built-in cameras are so advanced – many rival DSLRs. Having access to BoxBrownie.com and SnapSnapSnap is making it a lot easier to achieve beautiful listing photos for those who aren’t able to access a professional photographer. With SnapSnapSnap, agents don’t have to be super techy – that’s the beauty of it. 

 

What are some of the things you think agents can do to make their listings more appealing?  

Alicia: I’ve seen the craziest things in listing photos, like gungey showers and inappropriate things hung up on a wall – things that would be so easy to remove with an Item Removal edit. Leaving things like that in a listing can instantly turn off potential buyers and ostracize part of your audience. With property marketing, you need to make sure you are marketing to your target audience, but as broad of a target audience as possible.  

Neils: Floor plans are easy to achieve and give the buyer great context of what the property’s layout is like.  

Alicia: BoxBrownie.com has made it pretty clear that all you have to do is sketch the floor plan on a napkin and you can make magic out of it.  

 

What is the biggest area for opportunity in the Canadian real estate market when it comes to property marketing? 

Neils: Technology can empower an agent to save time and market their listings better. It’s really exciting that we are going to be able to continue to empower Royal LePage’s network with the likes of AI and automated technology. 

 

What does Royal LePage do to welcome new agents and make their transition seamless?  

Neils: We have a heavy focus on training and offer it to whoever is joining the family, at all different levels. For example, we provide training to brokers and give them the tools that then trickle down to individual agents and set them up for success.  

Alicia: Our prime focus is to provide value to our agents. Whether you are a new agent or an experienced agent, there are so many different levels of coaching that we offer. We have a team that travels to brokerages across Canada for live training on tools and services that are designed to increase an agent’s productivity. 

 

One of Royal LePage’s core values is powerful technology. Does this directly influence how your agents are listing their properties?  

Alicia: It’s a definite influence. We have our own end-to-end technology platform: rlpSPHERE. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop that includes everything an agent needs, from their CRM system and their calendar to automated reminders for lead follow-ups and a Marketing Centre. Essentially, it’s everything they need to complete their workday, in one place.  

Neils: It pulls all the data in, so with one click of a button agents can make sell sheets, postcards, a website, and social posts. When we feed it with great visual content and copy leveled up by AI from BoxBrownie.com, it makes a huge difference. Royal LePage can empower agents with great tools that give them amazing content.  

 

That sounds like a great platform for new agents! 

Alicia: It is. Around 80% of new agents leave the industry within two years. That can happen if they don’t feel supported and they don’t have access to the right training. The biggest thing Royal LePage offers new agents, in addition to training, is support. We want them to succeed. 

 

Lastly, what do you think real estate professionals, buyers, and sellers love about Royal LePage?  

Alicia: We rank high on trust and reliability, and a family-like culture of networking and collaboration that we value greatly. Our agents give back to the communities in which they live and work through the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation – which supports local shelters for women and children escaping domestic violence. To date, the Shelter Foundation has raised over $41M.  

 

The partnership offers Royal LePage agents who sign up to BoxBrownie.com $40 credit and 4 transformative photo edits – all for free! Agents can use BoxBrownie.com’s free AI Copywriting service, which helps real estate professionals optimize their marketing with compelling listing copy that can be written in seconds.  

Interested in partnering with us? Contact our Partnership Manager at [email protected] for more information. 


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