How engaging the community provides long-lasting benefits for small business
There are many reasons why an organisation might choose to publish a book – to strengthen a culture; to capture a family legacy; to promote experience and longevity, to name but three – but underlying all of them is one thing: engagement.
Love Real Estate has been selling houses in Melbourne’s northern suburbs for seventy years. They’ve got culture, legacy and longevity nailed, but when they engaged Bounce Books to put together a book for them, the engagement factor was really interesting. Instead of publishing a book about them directly, the idea was to produce one about the area in which they have operated since 1945.
Love the North documents and celebrates not so much Love Real Estate’s history (although there’s a bit of that, of course), but the history of the northern suburbs, going back far further than seventy years to include stories, facts and photographs that conjure up a different time, a different way of life. The stories of today celebrate the vibrant, colourful and multi-cultural aspects of the north, and demonstrate just how much appeal there is to living in the area... or at least spending a day cruising the unique boutiques and eateries of High Street, which stretches in one long, continuous shopping strip from Westgarth all the way to Thomastown. In fact, it’s the longest continuous shopping strip in the country – one of the many facts you’ll find scattered throughout the book.
Love Real Estate are being generous with their book because they know it’s a powerful marketing tool – they’re giving it away to anyone who sells a house, buys a house, enquires about a house, or even just wanders in and asks for a book. You’ll find copies taking pride of place in cafés up and down High Street, and one Love staff member tells me she even overheard one person in a local eatery (who was reading the book as she ate her breakky) say, ‘I’ll have to come back for brunch on Saturday so I can finish this book.’ Of course, she tapped the woman on the shoulder and told her to pop into the Love office two doors down to grab her own copy once she’d finished eating.
What a great compliment, and what a lot of good will this publication is already generating for Love Real Estate. The company has invested in the concept of creating content for their customers and along the way is reinforcing their experience, expertise and knowledge in and of the area. Clearly, if you want to buy or sell property in Melbourne’s north, you’d go to the experts. You’d go to Love. Because they love the north.
‘We are here to serve customers and we’ve been doing it in this area for three generations of our family, so we really do know and love the north,’ says Michael Love. ‘This project has been a great way for us to connect even more deeply with our community and our market and we expect it to have a long-lasting benefits for our business.’