When long-time agents Jeff Sands and Katie Hadden signed on to work with Artifakt Digital in late 2019, they had no idea what to expect. All they knew was that they were leaving Kingston after 15 years to focus on a new real estate market in Peterborough, Ontario. Although they were well known and respected in Kingston, they were now making a fresh start.
They were starting over from scratch with no established clientele and no digital marketing systems in place. It was the perfect opportunity for a total rebrand. There was only one problem. They didn’t know where to start. “I didn’t even have a Facebook account,” Jeff laughs, “I’m old school.”
Still, the couple and business partners knew they had to establish a presence within their new community and wanted to work with a company they knew would take the time to do it right.
Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with Jeff Sands to talk about his and his teams’ experience working with us.
Why Did You Choose to Work with Artifakt Digital?
“My sister-in-law is a real estate agent in Toronto. Working in such a competitive environment meant she had to be on the cutting edge of everything, technology, email, website, you name it. She had recently worked with Artifakt and had nothing but positive things to say.”
Jeff’s sister-in-law suggested he reach out to Artifakt to discuss a comprehensive strategy for building a presence in a new city. While at the same time, Katie was reaching out to several other companies for the same thing.
“Artifakt just seemed more efficient than anyone else. They were dialed in and made the process seem so effortless. Everything just flowed.”
Did You Have Any Concerns About Starting a Big Project with a New Company?
“There are always concerns when making such a big financial investment, and the world definitely did not seem to be on our side. Around six months after signing on for a total rebrand, the pandemic happened, and the entire world shut down.”
Despite the panic initially caused by the pandemic, Jeff saw it as an opportunity to double down. “We were starting to feel very worried about the financial commitment we had just made, considering all of the changes in the real estate market,” he said.
“All we knew at the time was that we couldn’t go out. We were told to stay home for the first time in my career. We couldn’t get out and sell real estate. We were really nervous about what would happen to our business. After thinking long and hard about the best course of action, we decided to double down instead. It was scary, but we knew a shift was happening toward digital marketing, and we didn’t want to wait any longer. We also realized that investing in our digital strategy would help us come out ahead in the long term.”
★ Want to learn more about working with Artifakt Digital? Have a look at these posts and resources:
- Click here to learn more about our client empowerment strategy
- Click here to have a look at our our latest projects and portfolio
- Click here to read some of our reviews and testimonials
- Click here to download our social proof and ROI eBook
New Ideas, New Approach, and New Way of Doing Business
Before deciding to work with Artifakt, Jeff and Katie were looking at different web options, but the selection was a little too limiting.
“We looked at all these different companies where real estate agents can buy a website for pretty cheaply, but they’re all identical, and they’re so cookie-cutter. Basically, they’re just a data distribution feed that allows individual agents to host the MLS® on their personal websites.”
These feeds had been the cornerstone of real estate websites for many years, Jeff was familiar and was certain this tech would play a big part of their new site design.
“At the time, I thought for sure we would have a DDF on our website as well,” he said. “But the pros at Artifakt wanted us to stand out. They wanted our website to be more personalized and tell our story. It was so smart because our clientele has changed so much over the last three years.”
“Ultimately, we opted to have only our own listings on our site, allowing us to connect better individually with our clients,” said Jeff.
“Soon after we started working with Artifakt, what really stood out was that the quality of our incoming leads was so much better and higher quality.”
What Were Your Expectations?
“We went into this project with a really open mind, and we honestly had no idea what to expect. At the very least, we would have a very good website, great content, and high-quality professional marketing materials,” said Jeff.
Real estate agents must deal with a constant influx of so-called marketing companies with promises of sending leads for a fixed amount of money each month. For Jeff, the difference between quantity and quality was one of the main performance indicators to the benefit of his new marketing and website performance.
“I’m not paying someone for a bunch of low-quality leads because that’s not the kind of business that we want to build,” he said. “Artifakt Digital was able to align with our vision and our values to help us really hone in on our message.”
“I never anticipated the quality of the relationship that we would end up building with our online viewership. All we know now is that Artifakt has far exceeded all of our expectations.”
What Surprised You Most About the Experience?
“Hands-down, the organization,” said Jeff. “Everything was so automated and just fell so quickly into place. It was almost intimidating for someone like me who needed to work on their organizational skills. We had to fill out all the surveys so that the Artifakt writers could take our message and run with it. It forced me to become more organized myself, which is a good thing!”
“And for the branding, the hardest part was deciding which one we liked best, because we loved them all,” he said. “They presented us with so many options that could all align with our business. They were so spot on.”
How Much Time Has Working with Artifakt Saved You?
Jeff and Katie trust Artifakt with a variety of their marketing tasks. From the initial branding, website build, print and digital marketing assets, and now content strategy, SEO, paid ad and newsletter consulting, and more.
“They have saved us so much time that I can’t even quantify it. And it isn’t even just about the time. We wouldn’t be able to do what Artifakt does because we don’t have the skills. I wouldn’t know where to begin.”
Working with Artifakt takes a lot of Jeff and Katie’s plate, allowing them to focus on what they’re best at–helping their clients.
“At the end of the day, we take care of what we do best. Katie and I help people buy and sell houses and we let Artifakt do the things they do well: branding, building websites and developing really good content that helps us grow our business. Without that, we would be lost.”
“Our results speak for themselves, and I don’t even have to think about them anymore. Our digital presence and our business has grown significantly. And whenever we go into projects now, we just say, ‘This is what we want to do. What’s the best way to achieve it?’”
According to Jeff: “We just have faith that Artifakt Digital will do a great job and have our best interests at heart. It has just all worked out so well.”