Bill Almon Jr., CCIM, has always taken the quality of his brokerage’s marketing seriously. But as the Designated Broker of Almon Commercial Real Estate, he found manually designing marketing collateral to his standards often took his attention away from other critical work.
Fortunately, he found Buildout, which empowers him to design custom-branded, eye-catching marketing documents—without sacrificing too much time.
“It used to take me four to six hours to create a high-quality marketing flyer. Now, it takes me 10 to 30 minutes on the high end,” Bill said. “Buildout has been a total game-changer.”
Because Bill is a high-volume listings broker—with 30 to 50 active listings at any time—that time-savings adds up. In fact, Bill typically creates one to two flyers every week for new listings, meaning Buildout saves him up to 11.5 hours every week or up to 598 hours each year.
And Bill’s putting that extra time to good use.
“Buildout has freed me up to be a better broker and better manager,” he explained. “I’m more present. I’m not closing my door for hours to make a single marketing flyer. I’m free to focus on my clients, my staff, and my other brokers.”
But Buildout doesn’t just save Bill time, it also helps his brokerage compete with large brands in nearby cities.
“We’re a small, boutique brokerage in a very small market,” Bill said. “A lot of property owners in the area think they need to go to a brokerage in Seattle or Portland, but we can do what they do just as well. We need to demonstrate that with our marketing. We have to have branding that is just as good—if not better—than the bigger guys from bigger markets. Buildout helps us do that.”
Because each of Almon Commercial’s brokers are responsible for creating their own marketing materials, consistent branding was a challenge prior to implementing Buildout.
“Some of the other brokers shared my vision about the need for high-quality marketing, and some of them didn’t,” Bill explained. “So, we’d sometimes have half-hearted marketing materials put out by some of the other agents.”
But thanks to Buildout, every broker now has the tools to maintain Almon Commercial’s brand standards with ease.
“With Buildout, they can easily make high-quality marketing materials,” Bill said. “We now have a consistent look across the brokerage—and it’s better than 99% of what other brokerages have out there.”
The consistent look and quality are largely due to the support Buildout provided during implementation.
“The Buildout crew spent an enormous amount of time with me, but they were super easy going about it,” Bill recalled. “At first, I thought they’d never get everything how I wanted it, because I’m so particular. They quickly proved me wrong.”
Bill was also surprised that the consistency Buildout brought to Almon Commercial’s marketing collateral didn’t come at the expense of flexibility.
“I still struggle to grasp how there’s so much flexibility in the flyer design template,” he said. “You can manipulate things so easily on the fly—the grids within the flyer, the font, the photos, the various plugins it has with aerial databases. It’s incredible. The font manipulation alone would take me half an hour in Illustrator.”
And best of all, having high-quality marketing materials available on short notice has allowed Bill to take joy in his work again.
“Buildout removed my anxiety,” he explained. “I used to think, ‘Uh-oh. I’ve got five new listings I have to take on. How am I going to budget the time to create the marketing flyers, to do all of this the right way, and actively manage my brokerage and other listings and deal flow?’ That’s all gone.
“That’s been the biggest benefit for me—the loss of all that anxiety,” he added. “I’m not worried about the logistics of getting it up and on the market and done the right way. A listing is back to being fun.”
When Bill discovered Buildout’s Property Inventory Plugin—which allows users to showcase active listings on their website—he was immediately impressed.
“I spent probably a year and a half with my web designer trying to figure out how to seamlessly integrate our listings with our website and have them look the way they do in Buildout,” he said. “It’s just a fantastic plugin.”
In addition to simplifying the process of adding listings to their website, the Property Inventory Plugin also reduces user errors that previously led to missed opportunities, additional rework, and frustrated staff.
“If we have 75 listings, and we’re constantly uploading new ones, things get missed. It could be as simple as a formatting issue. Maybe instead of five spaces, someone would just add three spaces. Then, as you’re looking at the listings on our website, the price on one is here, on another it’s over here, and on another it’s somewhere else,” Bill said. “With Buildout, that’s not a problem.”
And using the Property Edit Form, Bill and his team can ensure their listings—and marketing documents—are always up to date.
“Whenever we need to update a listing, we go to Buildout and make the edit,” he said. “That automatically updates it on our website and in the flyer.”
“Anything that Buildout puts out, I’m interested in,” Bill explained.
“Five, 10 years ago, I was trying to figure out how to get us to look like Buildout has made us look today,” he added. “Buildout truly is the best bang for the buck in the commercial real estate industry. It’s the best investment we’ve ever made.”
Interested in finding out if Buildout is the right software partner for your brokerage? Contact us, and we’ll set up a call to learn about your business needs and identify the tools that can help you achieve your goals.