There is a real lack of knowledge and experience when it comes to professional marketing services within the REALTOR® profession. After all, when it all boils down, aren’t REALTORS® simply marketers of real estate? Then why is cultivating the discipline of marketing not even on the radar for so many? Is wielding the power of MLS® really all that it takes to be a savvy real estate marketer? We don’t believe that for one second, and we hope you don’t either! Although the Black Dog Republic story has just begun, we believe it to be a story about challenging the status quo of the REALTOR® profession. We believe it’s a story about improvement and impact on the Saskatchewan real estate sector. We want to share this story with you, from the beginning…
As the old adage goes, “it takes all kinds to make the world go round.” I don’t know what makes some people tick, including myself at times. Some people like cooking, others like tinkering with vehicles & apparently some people enjoy more random diversions like the art of duct tape. Whatever floats your boat, I guess! It was in 2006 that I stumbled onto one of my own personal obsessions. It was the start of an exciting time for Saskatchewan real estate, and it was when my wife and I purchased our first home in Saskatoon. Instantly, I was hooked! Real estate became a personal obsession of mine, and I earned a few battle scars through my own investments, but for whatever reason real estate was never on my radar as a means to make a living.
After completing my business degree and entering into the work force, with no premeditated intentions at all, my career path slowly started to serendipitously gravitate closer and closer towards real estate. In 2011, I finally gathered up enough courage to hang my shingle as a marketing consultant. Who would have thought that within a few years of being out on my own, that the great majority of my clients would be Saskatchewan developers & builders? Certainly not me.
After wrapping up two successful community concept developments in the lakeland region, my phone began to ring with inquiries from stakeholders in the real estate industry. One of the community concepts that we oversaw from inception to launch sold at a record pace for Saskatchewan – 39 free standing cottages that averaged $402,000 per-unit were sold in 38 days. It was at a time when the recreational property market was sluggish, to say the least. The development’s success was enough to get the attention of national, high profile media outlets like the Financial Post, right down to local media vendors such as the Prince Albert Herald & CTV news. Not only were developers & builders calling me, but a significant amount of REALTORS® began seeking out my consulting services.
It was at this time that it made sense to reposition the company by taking our existing service offerings and hyper focusing them to meet the needs of Saskatchewan’s real estate sector. After all, real estate was clearly one of my passions. Plus, I had seen enough by this point to believe that there was a viable business model for such a niche company in our province. Although we had been in operation for a few years as a general marketing firm, in 2014 Black Dog Republic became Saskatchewan’s first full-service real estate marketing company.
When making the transition plans it became abundantly clear that there was an opportunity to improve on our value proposition. Our services ranged from market research to every marketing activity under the sun, right down to direct sales and customer service activities. Here is the kicker, although we had overseen the direct sales of millions upon millions of dollars in real estate transactions, no one on the team was a registered REALTOR®.
Now don’t get me wrong here, there are some extremely talented REALTORS® in Saskatoon, but they are few and far between. Many REALTORS® have one bullet in the marketing chamber, and it’s what they believe to be their MLS® silver bullet. Of course, If you’re reading this and you are a Saskatoon REALTOR®, I couldn’t possibly be describing you. I’m strictly talking about other REALTORS® that couldn’t hold a candle to your professional abilities.
Back to my point though, there was a reason Saskatchewan REALTORS® were calling us for help – There is a real lack of knowledge and experience when it comes to professional marketing activities within the profession. After all, when it all boils down, aren’t REALTORS® simply marketers of real estate? Then why is cultivating the discipline of marketing not even on the radar for so many? Is wielding the power of MLS® really all that it takes to be a savvy real estate marketer? Of course not! Marketing is a complex profession that requires study, experience and continual improvement. Especially, in todays rapidly evolving market place.
The fact that REALTORS® were contacting us for professional advice was a clear indication that there was a gap in the marketplace. It presented an opportunity, and we jumped on it! Recently, I became a licenced REALTOR® so that individual home buyers and sellers could benefit from the strength behind Black Dog Republic’s marketing services and experience, and now the added value of MLS®!
Today, we are proud to represent local builders, and are lucky enough to to oversee a number of unique community concepts that are currently in development. We believe that Saskatchewan has never seen the likes of them before! On a personal note, I have found the REALTOR® side of the business incredibly rewarding and engaging. I look forward to meeting new clients, and becoming part of their story by either helping them market their primary asset, or helping them make the biggest investment decision of their lives. It’s fun for me, and I’d like to think that I make it fun and easy for my clients!
One of the other passions of mine, outside of real estate, is investing time and financial resources towards protecting Saskatoon’s vulnerable youth. That’s why a significant portion of all property sale proceeds are donated to provide mentorship & impactful experiences to Saskatoon youth living in long-term foster care through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth in Care program.
As always, if you’re in the market to buy or sell a home in Saskatoon, I’m here to help! Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or general inquiries that you might have. Also, be sure to checkout the recently released Black Dog Bill Promotion. In a nut-shell, I’m helping pay my client’s legal closing fees when they use my REALTOR® services!
We have set a course and are striving for nothing short of excellent in the Saskatchewan real estate industry, and we anticipate a long but rewarding journey. As we grow, expect continuous improvements. We are on a mission to add significant value to stakeholders of the Saskatchewan real estate sector – and we have a lot of work to do! Stay tuned as we have big plans for our propriety property marketing tool that is currently in its beta stage. This platform is going to give consumers an edge when they use my REALTOR® services, or search out industry related information on their own! Plus, we’re launching all kinds of industry related videos that we hope you find fun & engaging – many of which have gone viral like our #SKHOMELOVE video. It received well over 3000 shares on Facebook within its first week. Finally, we have a Saskatchewan Real Estate Report in the pipeline that we hope will add value for both the casual real estate observer, and the seasoned investor.
We look forward to serving you, Saskatchewan!