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Simon Jenns

Simon Jenns on fresh perspectives in property promotion

By Simon Jenns

Founder - Antler Property Marketing

Subliminally inspired by his architect dad and a childhood witnessing the magic of buildings come to life on a drawing board, Simon Jenns has combined creativity with building knowledge to establish a unique marketing agency for the property sector.

An agile agency, fully immersed in the sector, combining an unrivalled understanding of the property market with forward-thinking marketing vision, Antler Property Marketing is spearheading a new era for property promotion with Simon at its helm.

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What's your creative process for producing property brands that stand out from the crowd?

I think the big thing for us is the best marketing communicates something unique, very succinctly.

Many products have so many great functions, features, or solutions, that you end up trying to promote all of them and not honing down the proposition as precisely as you could.

When a client comes to us with a new project, it's all about determining what is unique, individual, and special about that development or brand. Identifying ultimately what at the core makes them stand out and working out how to demonstrate that both through storytelling and visually into what becomes a compelling proposition for the end home buyer.

It’s a matter of truly understanding what’s special about that product – it could be the location or the architecture or spec – and then building a whole identity and campaign around that unique proposition.

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"Social media presents an alternative opportunity to market properties in a world where house builders are getting frustrated with property portals."

You’ve got an inspiring portfolio – are there any projects that you’re particularly proud of?

We’ve got lots that I’m proud of. A recent one was for Metis Homes and a development called Meon View. We proposed an alternative route to bring the development to market in a new product that we created called Hybrid Brochure – a property brochure in a superior digital format. It went amazingly well, and they sold everything off-plan. The feedback for Hybrid Brochure was fantastic and all the data and intelligence we got out of it was great for them and great for us.

It was a small development in a country village in the South Downs so the USP of that brand was all about living the country dream. We built the brand and the story around that, and it was very compelling. It’s a great case study because it demonstrates everything that we can do from CGI through to social media ad creation and placement.

Is there still a place for traditional printed marketing materials in an increasingly digital age?

Up until we had Hybrid Brochure we would have argued yes. But now we’re pitching Hybrid to all our clients from small developers to large nationals. With very few exceptions, they all agree that they don’t need printed brochures anymore. 95% of buyers undertake their initial research online so printed materials are rarely required. We’re only producing one printed piece at the moment, which is a coffee table book for a brand, but if we do one a year I’d be surprised.

What impact do you think social media is having on the property sector?

When you’re looking to sell property, there are two types of buyers.

The first are active buyers who are motivated to move house – they’re actively looking for properties and it’s naturally best to connect with them on property portals like Rightmove.

Secondly, there are passive buyers who are on the fence. If the right house comes up, they might move but they’re not necessarily going to move particularly fast and they’re not actively looking.

The great thing about social media is that we all spend a lot of our lives on those platforms now, and if you can present the right property to the right person in the right way, then you’ve got real potential to convert.

We’ve sold millions of pounds worth of properties through social media advertising because it can be so targeted. The cost per sale for social media is far lower than what we’re seeing from property portals.

Social media presents an alternative opportunity to market properties in a world where house builders are getting frustrated with property portals because the costs on them are abhorrent.

"I'm fascinated by how brands are evolving, particularly with social media, and the need for brands to be engaged in two-way conversations."

Simon Jenns - Founder, Antler Property Marketing

As a marketer, which brands do you admire?

One of the disruptive brands that I admire is Gymshark – the way that they’ve come into what seemed to be an impenetrable sector and been so successful.

The type of brand that appeals to me is those conversational brands. I’m fascinated by how brands are evolving, particularly with social media, and the need for brands to be engaged in two-way conversations.

I love how a lot of supermarkets, particularly on Twitter, are all bantering with each other and realising that they have to become part of the conversation and stand for something. I find the conversational element fascinating, particularly in property – there aren’t many house builders that are doing that because traditionally our sector is so behind and archaic. There are very few property brands that are brave enough to embrace that opportunity. I find watching other sectors inspiring because inherently in time property will catch up and follow which will be really interesting.

What do you like to do when you want to focus on your creativity?

Just being outside. We’re all so used to being tied to screens with constant distractions of alarms and alerts that there really isn’t the opportunity to be creative. I think it’s something that we will have to recognise, regardless of what we do, that constantly being in that world just isn’t healthy or productive.

For me to be creative, it’s normally when I’m out walking the dog or outside in nature and my mind is just whirring with ideas and inspiration and not focused on other things going on.