Over the past few years smarthomes has grown rapidly. We have won lots of awards, taken on a lot of new staff and expanded across Solihull. With it being our 20th anniversary this year, we wanted to build on this growth by finding a new creative agency that could refresh our branding, take our marketing efforts to the next level, and free us up to focus on what we do best – sell and let properties!
Having known Glenn O'Connor at Hotlobster Design Ltd for several years and having seen the work that he had done for Lanes Estate Agents, we arranged a meeting at their office, which is just around the corner from our office in Shirley.
We were very impressed by the original ideas, social media knowledge and the enthusiasm that their team showed in the several discussions that we had. So, at the beginning of 2018 we decided to appoint them as our creative agency, and we have been very pleased with everything they have done for our business so far.
One of the first things Hotlobster did, was to sit down with every member of staff at smarthomes and ask them a range of questions. Not only did this enable Hotlobster to fully understand our business and provide an insight into the ‘day-today’ running of the business (insights which may not have necessarily arose during the initial meetings with senior staff); but it also proved to be a valuable opportunity for ourselves, to have a third-party anonymously report back to ourselves how our staff perceived the business and what they saw as our the strengths and weaknesses.
Straight away, their team of web designers based in Solihull began building our new corporate website, which had become rather dated, cluttered and was not performing as well on Google as we have come to expect. This process started with an SEO analysis of our existing website and our competitors. From here, we worked closely with their copywriter who worked with ourselves to create the copy for the website and our new marketing materials. Once they had also taken professional photographs of our staff and office, their web developers were ready to build and launch our new website.
After establishing our brand guidelines, their graphic designers began by rebranding our sales and lettings brochures; making them more concise, more professional looking and more customer-friendly.
Since then they have also created a wide range of graphic design work, including creating the branding for new departments, the designs for flyers & leaflets, as well as redesigning our newspaper listings and full-page adverts. They have also taken control of the printing and distributing of our monthly direct mail campaigns, as well as regularly sourcing new advertising opportunities for us to assess.
On top of all of this, they have also taken control of our social media marketing and helped to secure our position as the most followed local independent estate agents in Solihull. Over the past 6 months (in comparison with the previous 6 months) we have seen 284% increase in our reach on Facebook (including a 449% increase of our reach in Solihull), a 177% increase in the number of people engaging with our page, and an 86% increase in Facebook page likes. Visit the smarthomes Facebook page here.
It has been a breath of fresh air to work with a company that can offer a complete package in terms of marketing (both online and offline), web design, graphic design & SEO; and who we can trust to just get on with it as they know exactly what we need. It means we can just get on with running the business and trust them to market smarthomes on our behalf. We have been very pleased with everything Hotlobster Design Ltd has done for us to date, and we would have no hesitation in recommending them to other local businesses.
Director - smarthomes
HotLobster Design Ltd
(rear of) 385 Stratford Road, Solihull, Birmingham, West Midlands, B90 3BW