The Problem With Most Estate Marketing is the Lack of Imagination

‘It’s all just the same, isn’t it?’ asks Pieter Verwey, more a statement than a question. According to Verwey, multiple award-winning Creative Director of Silver Fox a.r.e, most marketing today, especially in the high-end estate realm, are just cookie cut-outs of the same theme.

Some aerial shots – now that drones are all the rave. A scrolling website featuring a couple of photos, a little copy focusing on lifestyle (if you’re lucky) and lots of information about the house that you’re about to buy. It’s all so boring.

‘Where’s the effort?’ he asks. ‘What happened to spending time crafting something worthy of an estate valued at billions of rands?’ Pieter concedes that it’s not just the property market that suffers from this lack of imagination. ‘I call it a lack of imagination because now, more than ever, we’ve got the tools to create something truly spectacular. But it’s just not happening. It’s as though access to all this fantastic technology only made us more lazy.’

Nowadays it’s more about speed and costs than it is about doing a great job. Quantity over quality. Feeding the social machine. ‘It’s this idea that instant is what people want. I just don’t buy into that.’

That’s why Verwey and his partner in Silver Fox, Charl Swart, decided to get back to what sells. ‘It’s the sizzle that sells,’ he says, ‘not the steak.’ In other words, show someone the islands they’re going to visit on a luxury cruise – not the cabin.

‘I’ve always had this idea that blogs and websites can be better,’ he explains. ‘Here’s a medium that can handle sound, video, photos, music and writing – and no one’s using it to its full potential. Everyone’s treating it like it’s only there to convey information.’ He looks incredulous. ‘No one understands that it can also be art.’

That, right there, was the spark. A vision of a website, selling property estates, unlike the world has ever seen. A showcase if you will, where lifestyle, stories, art, award-winning photography and video all come together in a larger-than-life journey. The future of estate marketing. Something without ads flashing in the margins, distracting from the immersion.

‘It’s show, don’t tell, isn’t it?’ Pieter adds. He has a habit of asking questions as statements. Looking at the website, it’s easy to see why this concept is difficult to explain. It is immersive. It is art. It is unlike any other website currently on the market, giving you the full experience without having to set foot on the estate.

‘We chose the name Silver Showcase as an extension of our own brand,’ Pieter says. ‘And we were extremely lucky that the very first estate we’re showcasing offered us so much. It’s called Skuitbaai. You really do have to see it to believe it.’

Go see. Believe. It’s all there –

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