Founded in the early 1950s by Simon Spatz, Southwest Properties has changed the face (and skyline) of Halifax over their nearly 70 years in the real estate business. Long-known and trusted for providing quality apartments for residents of Halifax to call home, Southwest has expanded to become a leading regional real estate development company—operating in residential, retail, office, warehouse, and hospitality sectors.
When our relationship with Southwest Properties began nearly half a decade ago, they needed an intuitive website built with apartment-seekers in mind to promote their portfolio of over 1200 apartments. As their business evolved and they announced, broke ground on, and built numerous projects throughout Halifax, Southwest needed a digital presence to better reflect the expanded nature of their business and showcase their many new developments while continuing to support their existing portfolio and residents. Once again, they turned to Kula to meet their needs.
To help Southwest achieve their goals, we updated the aesthetic of Southwest.ca to reflect the evolution of the Southwest brand and its positioning, including adopting a simplified colour palette, sophisticated fonts, and placing an emphasis on images. We also restructured and expanded the on-site content to better accommodate the diverse aspects of Southwest’s business portfolio. The site features a logical layout which clearly showcases Southwest’s latest developments, their existing portfolio, and leasing opportunities throughout. Visitors searching for information about residential, retail, and commercial spaces can now easily access details on Southwest’s diverse portfolio across the greater Halifax area, as well as view blueprints and layouts of available spaces.
Southwest had recently adopted Yardi—a real estate investment and property management software—and we helped them integrate it within their new corporate website. This integration allows visitors looking for their new apartment to quickly browse featured listings or filter based on neighbourhood, price, number of bedrooms and baths, and even whether or not the space is pet-friendly. When visitors find the place that’s right for them, they can conveniently apply to live there directly online.
Kula has also worked with Southwest to implement digital marketing strategies to help with leasing and sales for several of their developments in Halifax, including:
- The Grainery Lofts
- Pavilion at South Park
These strategies begin by developing buyer personas which incorporate demographic information, motivations for moving, and identify the unique value and selling propositions for each development. With this information, we’re able to build captivating, mobile-friendly websites which showcase the information prospective residents are interested in and offer ample opportunity for them to convert based on where they are in their decision-making stage—whether it’s downloading a building guide or scheduling a viewing.
Our buyer persona research is also used to inform the creation and targeting of Facebook Sponsored Posts. Each element of these posts, from the copy to the images used, is tailored to personas and designed to encourage users to click-through to dedicated landing pages where they can then fill out a form in exchange for access to a building guide.
We also conduct keyword research to establish the amount and type of local traffic related to searching for a new place to live. This research takes into account qualifiers such as specific benefits and features unique to each development, as well as branded traffic. We then develop AdWords paid search campaigns which are informed by this research. Similar to Facebook Sponsored Posts, these ads direct readers to dedicated landing pages where they can convert on a building guide.
The contacts we generate from paid search and paid social efforts forms the basis of our list-building tactics. Because leads who show interest by downloading a guide are not always immediately ready to sign a lease, we use automated email nurturing sequences to highlight relevant selling propositions while simultaneously addressing any objections or concerns they may have—ultimately guiding them toward booking a viewing of a unit or model suite. We also use email campaigns to keep in touch with interested contacts and promote construction updates, new renderings, floor plans, information about model suites, and more.
The results of these efforts have been outstanding, in fact:
- The Grainery Lofts achieved a 100% occupancy rate shortly after opening its doors
- 90% of the Pavilion South Park condos were sold before breaking ground on the development
- Since opening in June 2016, the Maple Leasing Center has received an incredible response with many visitors signing pre-lease agreements ahead of the Maple’s scheduled Spring 2017 opening
We look forward to a continued successful relationship with Southwest as they provide more Haligonians with a place to call home.
- Google AdWords
- Facebook Ads