AN INTERVIEW WITH DINA BRANNAN - CENTURY 21 AWARD

We talk with Dina to find out her insights & strategies for marketing and how she helps many sales agents maximize their potential with marketing too.

Dina Brannan

Vice President

Hi, I'm Dina Brannan, Vice President of Operations at Century 21 Award.

Luke:
Okay Dina, your brand director at MAXA said you and your team are a great example of clients who really understand marketing and how to provide all of the right systems in the right way to your agents, creating a stand out and sophisticated Century 21 brand and using the MAXA design & marketing tools to the fullest.
So how important is it for any brokerage and their associates to stay on top of their marketing initiatives?

Dina:

It's critical to the survival of a company in this day and age. I think that when the market, as it is now, it's transitioned into a more stabilized, lower market. And this is the time you double down on marketing. Yes, you have to cut costs when you're cut down from record high revenue, but at the same time, you have to reinvest. You need to re-look at what's happening. And this is what I tell our agents. This isn't the time when you shy away from marketing. This is when you go forth, because when you get busy, marketing gets put on the back burner. So do it while you're slower, while you have the time to be methodical, but you build out a strategy. Start now and get that done. And then when you are busy, it becomes just a habit like clockwork. I need to schedule my listing, I also need to schedule my marketing appointment. So there's things like that that need to happen when we start seeing a market like this.

Luke:
That's really refreshing to hear. And do you have company wide campaigns that help your sales associates?

Dina:

Yes, for every transaction, for every listing they get, we auto create templates that we store for them on the portal. We drop new content every single week that lives on our portal. And so every single week we're creating something new, whether that's holiday social posts, whether that's listing presentations, whether that's just listed graphics, whatever it may be. We're dropping something new every single week, which allows agents to use this on a broader scale. And we provide multiple designs, that way everyone's not looking cookie cutter in the same. And so we dropped that as a campaign for our agents and we really promote the heck out of that.

Luke:
What would you say is your favorite feature on the MAXA platform?

Dina:

I love the app and whether agents use it or not I'm still not 100% sure because we don't get those analytics. But what I can tell you is just having that puts us in a different conversation. Yeah. So we're up against big companies, and this puts us in those conversations so people can't say we don't have the tech to go with the times, because we do. We have our own social media design app.

Luke:
What is something that you do consistently and I'm talking specifically about you, that you do consistently in your marketing and communications that's extremely important to your success.

Dina:

I think the weekly drops is a very consistent thing that we communicate that we are creating content every single day or every single week for our agents. And the reason why that is important and when we do that, by the way, we also broadcast on our app too, so it shouts out to them that, hey, there's something new that dropped, we posted on our social media. The reason for that is we want to show us using the platform. We're not just preaching, you need to use the platform, we're using it as well. And we're providing content on that. So that becomes our hub. And so that consistent drop every single week. We can tell people are starting to log in on Wednesdays when we do a content drop, whatever day we drop it, there's people we can see an uptick in logging in when that happens. And so for me, the analytics behind it is proving that what we're doing makes sense, and it piques people's curiosity to get in there and start doing things. And then the other thing too, is we do a training probably once a month on the marketing design portal for agents. We refresh them. We tell them when something is new. We do training whenever we get a new feature on our platform. So we're very consistent with training on the platform as well.

Luke:
It's great to hear how proactive you are. And there really is no excuse then.What are you working on right now in marketing or communications that really excites you.

Dina:

We are working on Studio A Academy, it's a hands on training course for our agents. Every single week we have a zoom training for our agents. But this is going to be an in person training event. It's a max of ten to 15 people, and each of our team members are assigned a person. So if we're going to teach something about YouTube, for instance, you're walking away with a YouTube channel, not just how to do one, you're walking away with it because you have someone there walking you through it.
Our first training that we're launching for Studio A Academy is we are going to be teaching our agents how to best use their iPhone or Android for do it yourself content. So we are going to show them the difference between good lighting on an iPhone or an Android versus bad lighting. Good sound quality versus bad sound quality. How to get the best angles, where to position yourself for a live, how to walk through an open house, how to do a self generated video, introducing yourself. Those are tools that we're going to show our agents how to use and get the best use of their phone.
There are amazing cameras on phones nowadays. So there's zero excuse. You don't need a $5,000 camera to create great content. And I think content creators have shown us that. So we're trying to get the best out of what you have and show you how to use it so that you can continue to level up. But it starts with where you're at first.

Luke:
I really love that, for me the basics are just normal because I've been in marketing for so many years now and I've seen the progression through technology and that excites me because of how quickly it changes. But it's easy to forget that perhaps a sales associate or an agent who's selling properties wouldn't know that because that's not what he or she does.

Dina:

Right, for sure. And things change constantly. Every update there's something new and so it's important to show them that this is the way that things are done. And so it's really important.

Luke:
Personally. How do you stay on top of trends in marketing, especially in the industry?

Dina:

You know, social media, Googling, I subscribe to multiple platforms and newsletters and it's just a constant education of going through social media. I'm not a big poster on social media, but I am on it constantly, looking at trends. What are people doing on their own? What are people doing with big companies? What's new with HubSpot? What's new with Linktree? I'm constantly looking at those things to better position ourselves and to help our agents. So I get education on a daily basis. Sometimes people will be like, you're on TikTok, but it is work related. Believe it or not, it's entertaining too. But it is work related, I promise.

Luke:
What would you say are the top benefits that you get from working with the MAXA Marketing Design platform?

Dina:

We serve the masses, so to me that's really important. So we have the capability to do what large companies do, but we also have the home stock feeling to do what small companies do. For instance, I know agents who are not making a lot of money, but they still need help and that's what the platform provides. It's a hub for them to get free content. And what I tell them is, this doesn't replace everyday content, but when you don't know what to post, just go on the portal. You'll find something, I guarantee it.

So for those days when you're not feeling creative and you want to stay consistent, our portal serves as a hub for them. They can find something at any given moment at their fingertips, and if it's not there, all they have to do is request it and we'll make every effort to get them taken care of. And that's just the way we work on these types of things. It allows me to have the time to customize for the people who want something so specific, but then also allows me to serve 80% of the other agents that just need something to post on a regular basis or a new listing presentation that they don't need customized.

They just need something in their hands. And this allows us to do that.

Luke:
Can you give us some advice or a tip for other brokerages and sales associates to implement into their marketing and branding? You don't have to give us all your secrets!

Dina:

Yeah, absolutely. So I'm a huge sports person, so obviously I gravitate towards Nike.One thing that I love about what Nike has done that I am trying to incorporate in the mortgage space is with Nike - they are the brand.But they highlight their athletes as a spokesperson and each athlete has a different message or brand to them. And they're able to, even though Nike is one brand entity. They're able to elaborate and express each athlete's uniqueness or authenticity. And I love that because ultimately, when you think about Michael Jordan, you may think about the Nike Jordan shoes, which I love. But they do such a phenomenal job standing behind their athletes and being able to advertise them. And I really do think that's what's missing in the mortgage industry. And that's what kind of sets our brand apart, is we want our loan officers to truly be the stars. Using their main image and likeness and being able to use us as a backup. So Nike is a really inspiring brand for me.

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