Franchise giant lifts the lid on digital success

One of Australia's largest real estate networks reveals the secrets behind becoming the Digital Presence of the Year agency.

After being crowned the Digital Presence of the Year winners at last week’s Real Estate Business Awards, we take a look at how the major franchise ramped up their digital strategy to win the coveted award.

LJ Hooker CEO Grant Harrod said that while real estate remains a people-driven business, there is a growing need to be underpinned by world-leading digital support and innovation.

“Our industry is highly exposed to digital transformation, so I'm especially proud that LJ Hooker was awarded the Digital Presence of the Year at the 2016 Real Estate Business (REB) Awards.

“The recognition cements LJ Hooker as the benchmark in the digital arena and reflects our achievements in evolving the ways consumers absorb information and make real estate decisions,” he said.

Giving insight into the global brand’s digital strategy, Mr Harrod said it was all about keeping LJ Hooker relevant to people, no matter where they are in the property cycle.

“LJ Hooker has honed a two-tier digital strategy that connects with customers in two key ways; through organic content like e-magazines, research reports, and property infographics as well as an exclusive social advertising platform,” Mr Harrod said.

“This digital strategy is underpinned by the strength of our website, e-Communications, search engine optimisation, social media presence and video content to ultimately help connect our agents with customers.

“Every LJ Hooker office can take pride and ownership in this win,” he said.

Central to LJ Hooker’s digital strategy was the development of their ‘One Click Away’ program launched in March 2015. It is an automated, social media and search engine advertising platform, where property details are put into a purpose built website. From there it builds a comprehensive social media and search campaign for Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Bing.

The ad is built by LJ Hooker’s team of digital experts and offers access to analytics that shows how many people see and engage with the ad.

Andrew Rechtman,’s executive general manager – residential, commented on LJ Hooker’s award win: “All of the Digital Presence of the Year finalists were impressive, however the judges were really blown away by the impact of LJ Hooker’s digital strategy on their business.”

“In particular, their One Click Away program was a real differentiator, scaled across their franchise network, resulting in significant impact on their wider business,” Mr Rechtman said.

“Congratulations to the whole LJ Hooker team, not just for the innovation they’ve shown but also for the way they’ve approached building their online presence.

They’ve kept their customers at the heart of everything they do, remaining relevant and accessible to them across multiple channels,” he said.

The night was also special for who gave a sneak-peek behind some innovative new auction technology they’re currently testing.

The new technology, which digitises the penciller’s role at an auction, facilitated the charity auction led by the 2015 Real Estate Business Auctioneer of the Year, Damien Cooley.

It’s one of several digital innovations is testing at the moment that will enhance the property experience for agents, vendors and buyers.

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