An interview with Tina Quillan - Marketing Director at The Beverly Hills Estates

Tina is the Marketing Director at The Beverly Hills Estates, focused on luxury real estate in the westside of Los Angeles. Tina tells how she's able to maintain a good direction with their marketing initiatives as a brokerage and for their sales associates.

Tina Quillan

Marketing Director at The Beverly Hills Estates

My name is Tina Quillan. I'm the marketing director here at The Beverly Hills Estates. And the bulk of our focus is luxury real estate on the westside of Los Angeles. And we just make things run down here, everything from digital marketing to print advertising and anything that the agents need, listing, presentations, branding, property marketing, agent marketing.

Luke:
What's something that you do consistently in your marketing and communications day to day that's extremely important and key to your success and the team's success.

Tina:

I think to be business specific, the number one thing is knowing the status of every property because we're here to sell properties. And a major aspect of that is knowing the status of the property when it's going to be open, if it's in escrow, if it's sold. 

And the other thing, the other day to day task is almost like a project management task of knowing who's doing what and what systems. Every day we talk about what systems we can implement to make it more efficient, run more efficiently. And that's why when we started with MAXA, I was looking for a solution to template that we could use and to give us and the agents more time to focus on bigger projects rather than the day to day stuff that we reuse every day. But it's pulling up heavy software and making it super customized when it doesn't need to be in it. And that's when I found out about Maxa and we put so much of our collateral into Maxa and it elevated it because when you're in the day to day, you're not really thinking about changing and elevating and focusing on the design, you're just focused on getting it out the door.

And what happened was this book for us, it elevated the design part of it and it also is going to make our job a lot more efficient.

Luke:
Fantastic. Thank you. What would you say then off the back of your comment, is your favorite feature on the MAXA platform or what do you find yourself using the most?

Tina:

My favorite feature is that it has the capability to lock layers. So you can lock certain things, you can leave certain things unlocked, you can lock all of it. That's one of my favorite features. I think it's because it forces everybody to comply, which is very big, and maintain brand standards and have everything look cohesive and the same, especially when it's on the Internet, social media that gets shared and the whole world almost sees it. That's my favorite thing, and forgive me, what was your other question?

We also use the social posts templates a lot. We get a lot of requests and oftentimes your brain is kind of I don't know what to do for this one. And it's really nice to have a library to choose from and to be able to use one post for many different things, whether it's a property agent, promotion, whatever, maybe. So the social posts have come very handy to us.

Luke:
Why would you say it's important for any company or brokerage and their sales associates to really stay on top of their marketing initiatives? And I asked this because you mentioned before and alluded to how busy sales associates are, how busy brokerages are, how important is it that they try to keep a focus on their marketing initiatives?

Tina:

I think what's happened over the last couple of years I've been in real estate for almost over 15 years on the marketing aspect of it, and what I've seen happen over the last ten years or so is this blending of you're selling homes. It's this blending of lifestyle, luxury, and especially in certain markets like La and San Francisco and Miami and parts of Austin, you're seeing realtors acquire more of a celebrity aspect. And a lot of them are very well known, and a lot of them get pulled into other industries like technology or fashion, and a lot of them are writing books. So you have this mixture of it and when you're that when there's so many eyes on you, your marketing needs to be on par. It needs to be top of the line. It needs to compete with if you're selling luxury homes, it needs to be on par and on standard. With luxury products, they go hand in hand. So that's why I think MAXA is so important because a lot of brokerages don't have the bandwidth in house to create this super designed or super thought of marketing campaigns or assets and collateral.

And it's just a lot like using the same thing over and over again and time goes by and you look back and you're like, oh, this looks like David, or this isn't relevant anymore. And I think if you bring a company like MAXA in, you really maximize on manpower and have a different set of eyes on it which is always good. You want different minds and people from different backgrounds because it's very important. Like I said, it's like a lifestyle. You're almost a lifestyle. So it can't just be super corporate real estate.

Luke:
Yeah, I understand that. What's something that you're working on right now that you're really excited about or something coming up in the future.

Tina:

What I'm really excited about, I am working on our digital presence, and that includes redoing our website, putting more dollars into digital advertising. And a lot of what's interesting is a lot of the design that I'm incorporating is designs that we work on MAXA with, which is really cool. So the digital aspect of it, I think is really interesting. For me, I was always a bit of a different person, but then you have to morph. And once I crossed over and I saw all the capabilities and everything else that digital offers, I did everything I could to learn about it and get to a place where I know what's good money spent and what's not or what's working and what's not working.

Luke:
I think that's really interesting, what you just said. So I'd love to know, where do you see, I'm not going to say intersection, but where do you see print and digital moving in their own channels in the near future for sales associates and brokerages? Because you said you came from that print side and now you're focusing on digital. There still needs to be elements of both. Like how do you see that moving forward?

Tina:

I think print will always have its place in all sorts of advertising and marketing because when I think about print, I don't just think about like a print ad and a magazine. I think of print as packaging, displays, billboards, all of that is print. And I think where they're going to live together, in my opinion, in the future print is going to be an extension of the digital. And I think digital is for the masses, obviously. And then print is going to kind of go into almost like a personal type product that brokerages or, I don't know, brands are going to provide for their clients. So that's where I see it going. I think print advertising in regards to magazines, like high end magazines, whether they're on private jets or the hotel rooms, airport lounges, whatever it may be, I think that will always have its place. And I think that's not necessarily going to sell a property or sell a product. I think it's more just we all know it's just like brand awareness and hi, we're still out here, type of thing. But in terms of a mass print type thing, I think it's going to move into that direction.

People are still going to spend a lot of money on it, but it's going to be a more elevated product and it's going to be something that's more specialty, like coffee table books. That is such a big business because you see a lot of nice books that are very expensive of worth $10,000 that people purchase. It almost takes on an art form, I think.

Luke:
Good. I love that. I love that. Going back to what you said about you diving into digital and now you're really excited and focused on the new website build. You mentioned how's the direction of that going to be? Is it just really updating or is it moving the branding company forward?

Tina:

It's a little bit of both with mostly updating what we already have and it's taking the build with more optimization, optimizing the SEO and optimizing the aesthetic. The web changes so fast and what you see out there changes so fast in terms of design and aesthetics. So I think it's a little bit of both. There's elements of our website that I think we're going to keep and there's things that we're going to add, but a majority of that focus is going to be on SEO and give us the option to market against it, buy ads against it, all of those things.

Luke:
Where do you see or how do you see tech apps, CRMs, APIs? How do you see that being an important or key role in marketing, whether that's now or in the near future?

Speaker2:

Well, now, automation is key and the more you do, the more you need help and CRMs are great. It's almost like having five assistants on one platform. So much of everything is automation now and I look at platforms like Canva, like MAXA, and I see that as automation because it takes up a lot of steps in between. 

I think a lot more platforms are going to focus on making it almost like you don't have to think about it. And the more your business grows and the more you do, the more you need to be on top and be organized and especially just manage the feedback you get and manage what you're doing in terms of is it working, is it not working? So that's really where I keep going. Even with social platforms like Sprout Social, it's automated. So everything I think is more and more going towards automation. Look at just how we access any type of application that you need to log into on your phone. It's automated. If you're not really ever putting in a password and username anymore, that whole stuff is taken out.

Luke:
I would love to hear one piece of advice or a tip that you could give for other brokerages or sales associates that they could take and use in their day to day, whether it's in marketing or anything else they do.

Tina:

This is a really hard question. I had to come to this place. I was not always like this, my mindset was not always like this. But I think it's not big and it's not profound. I think it's very useful in terms of time management and focusing on what the bigger picture is, don't build it from the ground up if it doesn't need to be built from the ground up. So use what you already have. Not everything needs to be custom, and not everything needs to be turned into a few days worth of a project. 

I struggled with it years ago because I thought, I have to put everything into this. But you have to look past the project and say, is the time that I'm spending worthwhile? Or can I take from what I did on this other project and reuse it on this one and make it cut out a couple of hours a day or two of my time and make it as good, but not spend that much time on this? I still have to think about that every day. It's like, okay, we did this. Can I take pieces of this and reuse this for this? Because how much of an impact is this going to have? Is it short lived? Are people going to see it for a really long time?

Luke:
That's great advice. I love that time management, for sure. We could all do with focusing on that last on! Is there any brand or company or any other industry that you look at that inspires you in your day to day work in the real estate industry?

Tina:

I think being in higher end real estate, and I've been on the other side, too, but being in this space, I think looking at, like, entertainment and fashion has been very helpful. In entertainment they go out of the box all the time, and we can't go there. But there are some things that are like, that's pretty cool. I think I can implement part of that. And then with fashion, especially in luxury real estate, you have this parallel that's also been very helpful to look at and see a lot of fashion plays with different patterns and layering and all of that stuff. And when you think of real estate, you're thinking about some text and address and a photo. So to be able to pull from fashion and entertainment and see how they compliment each other. My commute is along all of sunset blvd and all of Hollywood, and I drive through West Hollywood, and we're at the edge of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. So it's billboard central here, and you're just in traffic and you're looking at all these different billboards, and you see how different lines play. It's very interesting and it's very inspirational. And some things you just like, yeah, I saw that on that billboard, and that's really cool. And it's not like no name, kind of like whatever. They're all very high caliber. It's like an art gallery, almost.

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