Location: New York City | Launched: 2009 | Number of agents: 30
An authentic view into the minds of agents working in New York City
Meier Real Estate, a boutique Manhattan-based real estate brokerage, was founded by Michael Meier in 2009. The founder’s vision is to provide full service to Manhattan’s luxury buyers and sellers, give them an authentic view into the work of their agents, and use advanced technology for marketing and transactions.
In the beginning, Michael hired professional photographers, models, stylists and makeup artists to create edgy scenarios within each property he listed for sale. The photos and videos were novel, fashionable and sexy — a far cry from the typical stock family or house image commonly seen in real estate advertising.
“The feedback that I originally got on this series was ‘wow, the models in your videos were so hot,’” Michael said in a recent interview about his brokerage. “But the serious buyers and sellers were focused on the historical and educational aspects of the videos.”
Today, it’s much easier to afford high-quality photography and videography, so it’s become more difficult to stand out using this method alone, according to Michael. “If you want to be different, it’s no longer enough to have sexy real estate videos,” he said.
Meier Real Estate now doubles down on marketing and coaching services to its agents, which allows them to be the best they can be. They use video more deliberately to humanize their agents and foster relationships with prospective buyers and sellers.
“People crave the personal relationship,” Michael said.
Every month, the company features its agents in a video series called Meier Talks, and gives viewers a closer look at their lives and careers.
“I ask them questions about the market, a rollercoaster deal, trials and tribulations they’ve experienced, and I even get them to talk about their failures,” Michael said. “It’s important for our clients to see that it’s not easy to be a great real estate agent. But when they get to see us raw and unfiltered, they trust us. They root for us. They want us to succeed. Who doesn’t want the good guy to win at the end?”
The transparency and authenticity in the videos have helped grow Meier agents’ reputations. Agents say they get a lot of positive response from interested buyers and sellers after they appear in a video interview.
In addition to videos with his agents, Michael also publishes videos on Snapchat, and airs a Facebook Live show once a week.
In the weekly Facebook show, Michael conducts live interviews of celebrities and influential real estate figures like coach Tom Ferry, Ryan Serhant from “Million Dollar Listing NY,” and Curaytor’s Chris Smith. Michael said the educational content has proven valuable to his viewers and enables him to share with the greater industry, not just his own agents.
One of the main differences between Meier Real Estate’s early videos and what they publish now is the interview format they use most today. The new interview style doesn’t require much production, but does require a lot more upfront preparation and research to find interesting guests and things to discuss. And the result, so far, has been more engaging, lasting content.
Outside of his own company, Michael values teaching agents how to use social media and video to build more relationships and close more deals. In addition to speaking at conferences such as the National Association of REALTORS®’ Tech Edge, he offers a Masterclass session each month for any New York City agent who wants to attend to learn how to use social media to grow their real estate business.
Manhattan is a competitive market and Meier Real Estate has had success in its approach of getting more personal and authentic in its marketing efforts.
In the last few years, the brokerage has focused on building brand awareness, which has helped get more initial meetings with prospects. Michael and team intend to continue to go strong going forward.