Michael and Christine Holowiecki have been partnering with local businesses since the inception of their independent real estate agency, Keeping It Realty, and have found that it has helped them to “add a point of difference”.
“We like to promote and support local businesses all the time and have done since the beginning of our real estate careers, just in the context of cross-promotion and sponsorship partnership,” Ms Holowiecki explains.
Mr Holowiecki emphasises that this practice helps to create brand awareness, both for Keeping It Realty and the businesses with whom they partner.
“Being a new company, we want to promote our brand, our name, and this is probably one of the easiest ways,” he says.
Which business to partner with?
When it comes to choosing which businesses to partner with, the Holowieckis select businesses that are closely aligned with their own.
“We definitely try and keep it local so we don’t like to team with multi-nationals. We want to keep it to local family businesses where we can,” Ms Holowiecki says.
She adds that their choice of business also depends on the promotion they are running at the time.
“We try to do it so it’s relevant to that particular promotion,” she says.
The Holowieckis aim to choose businesses that are connected to a current event.
For one of their promotions during Valentine’s Day, they approached a local restaurant owner.
“We offered to get him on board, and in exchange for that he would provide a candle-lit dinner for two, then people would receive notification via a DL flyer and in order to enter they would SMS through their details,” Ms Holowiecki says.
“We were looking at data collection – it was the easiest way to do it and we didn't have to pay for it because we got sponsorship from the restaurant,” she says.
“For Mother's Day, we tried to get a restaurant and then a florist on board, and then for Father's Day it might be something like a local hardware store, and offer a gift voucher there."
The couple have ongoing business partnerships with tradespeople from businesses that are useful for their customers during the process of buying or selling a house.
“We have a kitchen place that we work alongside too, and they offer, whenever a client mentions that they were a referral from us, they get free soft-closing hinge door units as an add-on,” Ms Holowiecki explains.
She also points out that people are more inclined to be receptive to receiving marketing collateral from Keeping It Realty when it is attached to an incentive or reward.
“It’s also a good way for us to measure the campaign too, on how successful it is,” she adds.
How to approach a local business
Before approaching a local business to establish a partnership, the Holowieckis say it’s important to match the business to the marketing campaign that you are aiming to run.
“When approaching that business, ensure that you put forward a detailed written proposal where it outlines what you’re looking at doing, what you hope to achieve from the promotional partnership, what you need from them and how it will benefit them,” Ms Holowiecki says.
She also recommends measuring the success of the partnership and keeping in contact with the business, either for an ongoing partnership or teaming up again for a campaign in the future.
“I think there's plenty of value in teaming up with other businesses for your point of difference in a crowded real estate market place,” she says.