Viewing posts from : March 2016

March 31 / Marketing

What’s your VR property marketing strategy?

As we explained in our property marketing trends for 2016, VR is a big deal, and now, it’s becoming even more mainstream – just as we predicted.

Samsung has released the Gear headset, PlayStation are releasing theirs later this year and the leader of the pack, Oculus Rift, is just about to ship to customers this week. And, for those who can’t afford the £600 price tag (although, remember when they said no one would pay such an amount for a phone?), there is always Google Cardboard!

Simply put, it is affordable, accessible, and unavoidably on its way to becoming a mainstream product. In your bag will be your phone, tablet and VR headset. Perhaps even the headset element will disappear in the future too.

Now that it’s here. It’s time to talk about your VR strategy.

If you’re selling a planned hotel resort, wouldn’t you want to show clients around without having to vet every enquiry before sending them out. If you’re building an apartment block, wouldn’t it be great to ditch the floorplans and have investors walk through the rooms. VR can do this.

VR allows you to provide potential buyers with the experience they need to fully understand your product. Blueprints, images, video – they all play their part. But put them together in an interactive, realistic experience and you’ve got the most powerful marketing tool ever made.

If you work in a marketing funnel, let’s make this clear. VR will accelerate customers through the funnel. All the touch points you usually make will be made within the one experience delivered to them through the VR sensation. Sales will happen.

The possibilities really are endless. Any experience can be created. It is breath of fresh air too. Customers are seeing the same marketing everywhere – be the first to offer something different.

So, what’s your VR strategy? Not sure? Get in touch and see if we can help (we can).

Marketing Property Video Production
March 30 / Marketing

Video is not the future of property marketing; it is the present

If you rewind back to 2011, video was set up to be all the rage. At this time, YouTube had 112,764,000 unique visitors in the US for the month of January, and bloggers were raving about Flip Cams as the must have accessory for video.

Since then, all of our phones record HD or even 4K video, Wi-Fi and 4G speeds have increased, digital cameras offer professional quality for a reasonable price, the GoPro is a thing and 360 video has begun. And YouTube now has over 1 billion monthly active users, which is over a third of people on the internet

In fact, YouTube sees over 6 billion hours of video watched every month and Facebook has seen a sharp rise in video views, while Twitter created Vine and bought Periscope for short clips and live streams alike. Everywhere you look, every other web page or article has an embedded video somewhere.

It has become the norm. By 2017, it is estimated that 69% of all web traffic will be video. When it comes to marketing property, video is now essential.

The main marketing benefit is engagement. A video can auto-play and the moving images and sound can draw people in. They can stay on a web page for longer and let’s be honest, watching a video is easier that reading. In this fast-paced online culture which we live in, that is crucial.

Waterside CGI Property Video

A more engaged visitor is certainly one more likely to purchase or enquire. Which is why video is so important to the larger property market. It can open a dialogue between you and potential customers that a simple web page may not be able to achieve. People who watch can quite literally visualise the experience you are offering to them.

New developments, however, may not have anything that can be filmed. This is where CGI comes into play. At Elevation, we can create a building, or a guided tour, without the need for the building itself. Which is handy since our bricklaying skills are subpar.

Our experienced CGI team can put together interesting video content from scratch, give you a platform to show potential customers or investors what things will develop into. A vision of the future, in the here and now.

Not only is video more popular than ever, it can enable a realisation of a project before the project has even begun and in the hotly contested property market, that can be a crucial edge over the competition. Get in touch to find out more.

March 29 / Marketing

Q&A with Elevation Strategic Partner & Photographer, Pete Guttridge

In this blog post, we speak to Pete Guttridge, an Elevation strategic partner and seasoned photographer, specialising in video for high-end properties and luxury resorts.

First, Pete, tell us a little about the work you do.

My job is an intense yet immensely rewarding job, we get to work in some of the most beautiful properties in the most amazing locations around the world. Often though it’s in very difficult situations regarding accessibility, we need quite a lot of equipment to create these cinematic style films. Also, it’s nearly always very long days filming from dawn until dusk capturing not only the property but lots of support material including beautiful sunrises and sunsets. People often think you have been on holiday when working in these amazing locations but I can honestly say it can be some of the most challenging work we work on!

Peter Gutteridge

How long have you worked within video marketing?

We have worked in video marketing for around nine years now, and as a successful commercial photography studio for the past twenty years, as we saw the opportunity modern HD video allowed and moved into video in 2008.

Around four years ago we formed Villa Films, a bespoke brand set up predominantly to service the luxury realty and property rental markets. Our business remit is to produce high quality, engaging and emotive films to work hand in hand with the full marketing message for the chosen luxury property or complex. Over this time, we have worked across the UK, Italy and also worked in France, Morocco, Greece and the Caribbean.

Who do you typically provide your services to?

Our typical clients are marketing agents for properties or complexes, large agencies representing multiple properties over regions or countries and individual owners. The films we create are slightly different for the realty and rental markets with the former very focused on the building and grounds showing features and benefits of the property and slightly less about the surrounding area, most buyers already know about the area they want to buy. The latter also including more support footage of the surrounding area, a more emotive style video, giving a flavour of the full destination, not just the property.

How long does a typical shoot take?

A typical shoot creating a 2-4-minute video takes approximately 6-12-hours to shoot, depending on the size and how much support footage is required. This enables good footage of the whole property as well as either beautiful dawn or dusk footage or both if possible.

What has been your favourite place to film?

This is always a difficult question to answer. The Caribbean is up there as an amazing destination with its aqua blue seas and long sunny days, Morocco with its bustling souks and unique sounds but I think Italy would be where I would return again and again. Honestly, I think experiencing all the different cultures and architecture were ever we film is what makes this job so amazingly rewarding.

Property Marketing 3

Travelling the world and filming in luxury locations sounds like a dream job, but is it really that simple?

It does sound a dream job, but it is also immensely challenging. The hours are always long, the heat is often unbearable (mad dogs and Englishmen!) The travel is difficult; lots of very heavy baggage, customs questioning, searches and lost essential equipment to name a few challenges. The most challenging though can be the weather, the last time we shot in the Caribbean it rained for 3 days, they only had 7 days of rain all year! All of this is hidden from the task of creating effortless beautiful films, but I’m sure I will have little sympathy!

What would you say are the main benefits of using video within property marketing?

There are several benefits to using video within property marketing. First is the immediate emotion qualities of film, hearing and seeing footage quickly builds interest and engagement. To the viewer it seems more believable than still images and text, and gives a better feel of a property, you can also get a lot of information across very quickly.

Then the style of the film is important, consumers are used to seeing very high-quality video from the latest blockbusters to documentaries, just walking through a property waving a camcorder or iPhone does not cut it anymore. We use the latest equipment and technologies to create stunning cinematic style footage including professional aerial UAV’s (drones) when appropriate and possible. This gives a unique perspective of the property and its grounds.

Lastly, it is well documented that the SEO properties of video content are unquestionable. More and more video is being shared every day! We are not saying get rid of still photography and traditional marketing methods as I think hand in hand they complement each other.

Property Marketing 1

What is the typical feedback you receive from your clients?

Without exception, our clients have been thrilled with their films. They have seen direct results from using them in their marketing and are building the amount of film they are using.

Creating beautiful films is an additional investment in marketing and is not for every property it has to be weighed against the potential return from the property transaction. From a luxury point of view, it’s an extremely good return on investment. One week’s rental sale spread over the life of the video (about two years) will easily cover all costs, as for the sale of a property it’s a drop in the ocean!

Is video the future of property marketing?

I’m not sure about the future but it is certainly very much the present, if you are not currently engaging with your market through video you are behind the curve, your competitors are engaging and enhancing their sales!

March 29 / Design, Property

6 of the Best City Centre Office Developments in the UK

The UK is experiencing real growth in the property development industry at the moment. One sector where this growth is particularly high is office development.

Last year Deloitte Real Estate’s Crane Survey showed that a new wave of office construction was well underway in London alone. The capital saw a growth of 24% in the amount of space under construction for large-scale developments from late 2014 to mid-2015.

It’s not just London where this kind of development is high in demand. New office blocks are being planned up and down the UK and prospects don’t look like there’ll be drying up anytime soon.

Luckily for property enthusiasts like us, much of the office square footage currently being developed is a little out of the ordinary. We’ve gathered together 6 of the best city centre office developments for your perusal.

No.2 Capital Quarter, Cardiff

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No.2 Capital Quarter is an eye-catching seven-storey development right in the heart of Cardiff’s City Centre Enterprise Zone. We think the scale of this development is particularly impressive for a smaller city: it covers more than 85,000 square feet. It’s also designed to meet the technological and environmental needs of even the most discerning of business clients. The project was set for completion in late 2015 and was developed by award-winning team J R Smart.

More details available here.

11 York Street, Manchester

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11 York Street is currently a 1960s office building known as 40 Fountain Street. The team at Aberdeen Asset Management have put forward plans to transform it into a state-of-the-art uber modern new office development. This site is an interesting one as it sits on a traffic island. Architecture firm AHR are behind the stunning design of the redevelopment which includes a glass, stone and steel elevation and a fantastic double storey corner entrance we can’t wait to see. This development is still in the early stages and has no set completion date as yet.

More details available here.

Aldgate Tower, London

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Aldgate Tower is a truly modern skyscraper. It sits right in the centre of one of the capital’s most popular regeneration areas. This newly completed development has a range of features we think would make it ideal for an unbeatable corporate HQ. There are flexible floorplans and a huge range of interior facilities as well as panoramic city views, high-speed lifts and a large basement space. One of our favourite parts, however, is the brand new tube station entrance, built right at the front door! The project was developed by Aldgate Developments and designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects.

More details available here.

Paradise Circus, Birmingham

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If you’re on the hunt for a dramatic office development, there’s no need to look beyond Birmingham’s Paradise Circus development. This ongoing city centre project includes better road and pedestrian routes, new public spaces, and two new office developments. One Chamberlain Square has been designed by Ed Parry Architects and manages to honour its historic setting while still looking fantastically contemporary. Two Chamberlain Square was designed by Glenn Howell Architects and is strikingly modern. Both developments have ‘wow’ features we’re keen to draw attention to; number one has a roof terrace on the sixth floor and number two feels spectacularly bright and spacious thanks to floor to ceiling glazing. Both buildings are expected to be completed in 2018.

More details available here.

Broadway Two, Glasgow

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Titan Investors have set forward plans for a ten storey office development on the former city centre site of STV studios. Along with existing development Broadway One, Broadway Two will complete a full city block. In order to ensure the two developments sit well together, Cooper Cromar, the architects behind Broadway Two, have created an unusual stepped profile. And the impressive design features don’t stop there! Interestingly, the north side of the building will be finished in natural stone while the east side will feature transparent curtain glazing. No completion date has yet been published.

More details available here.

S1 Handyside, London

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S1 Handyside is an upcoming development phase in the capital’s new King’s Cross development. It will be a Grade A office building offering 175,000 square feet. This is the ideal development if top notch transport links are important to you: within a ten-minute walk of the building, there are six tube lines, two mainline stations and the Eurostar. We particularly like the environmental aims of the building: it’ll use thermal modelling, thermal mass and sun terraces to keep the interior cool. The building has been designed by Mossessian and Partners and is scheduled for completion in early 2018.

More details available here.

Are you involved in an office development project that’s a little out of the ordinary? Take a look at our services to find out how we could help get it the recognition it deserves.

March 23 / Design, Marketing, Websites

6 Stunning Real Estate and Property Websites

In the past, a property company’s shopfront was just that: their shopfront. The quality of a window display in an estate agent shop, showhome or sales office would be directly proportional to how successful that company was.

These days we are well into the digital age and though shop and sales office window displays are still very important, real estate and property companies now have a much bigger window to worry about.

We’re talking, of course, about the web.

Most property buyers, developers and investors will head to the internet to do much of their research. The standard of the websites they find there will have a big impact on how they view each property or real estate company. In other words… it’s never been so important to have a website that’s designed to impress.

Want to some of the best? We’ve hunted down six excellent examples of real estate and property websites.

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Here is an estate agent who’ve really got it right. Their website makes great use of bold sliding images, sticks to a consistent and distinctive colour palette, and makes it really easy to quickly find the information you need. We particularly like the handy ‘Property Search’ and ‘Property Valuation’ links right at the top of the page as well as the social media buttons down the side.

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There’s something special about Scandinavian style. This Stockholm-based estate agent has got it in spades. We admire their striking use of typography, their tempting aspirational images and their simple-but-elegant property listings.

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One of the great things about being in the luxury property market is that you’ll always have an abundance of gorgeous properties to advertise. This real estate company have really taken advantage of this by using their valuable home page space to showcase their top properties. In addition to this, we also think this website has a gorgeously simple colour scheme, straightforward navigation and a reassuring use of white space.

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It’s great when you see something quirky on a real estate or property website.  This estate agent website drew us in with their unusual navigation tool. Their homepage features an easy to use property search function surrounded by bold circular buttons for the most common requests. This website also has a fantastic ‘draw your own search area’ feature that works really well.

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This website looks really striking at first glance, but it’s not until you scroll that you get the full experience. We really like the use of high-quality images of the development, as well as the inspiring copy and personal quotations from the project architect, construction team and interior designer.

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We’ve saved our favourite example till last. It’s unusual that you see a property and real estate website that really breaks out of the standard mould, but we think this website for a New York property development has done just that.

This site helps to prove the theory that less is more. The team behind the development have created a digital sales space that features as few words as possible in order to really let the images of their development do the talking. The bold teal colour scheme and the stylised greyscale images come together to make something really eye-catching. The quirky contact form at the bottom of the page also seriously impressed us.

Have these examples motivated you to make changes to your own website? Get in touch to find out how we can help you create a digital window to be proud of.


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