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Farbman Group

ABA11 Winner / How to Enter

Company: Farbman Group, Southfield, MI
Entry Submitted By: Marx Layne & Company
Company Description: Founded in 1976, Farbman Group is a leading full-service real estate organization handling all facets of real estate transactions, from property management and leasing to acquisition and disposition.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Low Budget (Under $10,000)

Nomination Title: Farbman Group and "I Love Detroit"

    Tell the story about this nominated campaign since January 1 2010 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

        Farbman Group invested in restoring a historic downtown Detroit building into
the luxury Garden Court Condominiums, and despite a downturn in the economy that
slowed demand, the company was not about to slow down marketing efforts.  The
company hired a director of sales for the property, Carrie Cohen, who had a
background in multi-family real estate in upcoming hipster communities like Ann
Arbor, Royal Oak and Ferndale, and forged ahead with the seemingly daunting task
of working to sell units and lease space in areas for those expected to move to
downtown.

        With minimal funds remaining in the budget after the building restoration, Cohen
had to think creatively and devise a strategic marketing campaign to raise the
visibility of the property, set it apart from the other condo developments in
the downtown area that also were vacant and, ultimately, reach the desired
buyer, which was young, hip movers and shakers.

        The campaign conceived was dubbed “I Love Detroit,” and it was a chance for
participants to highlight why they love Detroit and showcase how fabulous it was
(or would be) to live in Detroit, all for the opportunity to win a free one-year
lease on a Garden Court Condominium unit.  The contest called for participants
to create a short video exploring why they loved the city and upload it to a
website dedicated to the contest.  Best of all, it would cost Garden Court
Condos very little.  The campaign was based largely on word-of-mouth marketing
and leveraging regional enthusiasts.

        Cohen had the website built for next to nothing using a Ning platform, and
leveraged Twitter, Facebook, social media groups and interested bloggers to
spread the word, raise awareness and generate excitement about the contest. The
owner of the submission judged to be most innovative would receive the grand
prize of the free one-year lease, and the other submissions were shared online,
which served to remind people why Detroit and its people are special.

        The contest not only benefitted Garden Court Condominiums, but it also became a
marketing campaign for Detroit as it spread goodwill about the city itself. 

        To further raise visibility of the property and engage prospective homeowners,
Cohen and her sales associates booked local musical acts to perform during lazy
Saturday afternoons.  A young up-and-coming artist, Katrina Carson, had her
first music video shot on-site, as did national recording artist, K’Jon.  K’Jon
was so pleased with the opportunity, that after filming, he agreed to do a
complimentary CD signing at the property for his fans. Both video shoots were
followed with celebratory parties and the video content was shared through
online channels, vastly increasing visibility of the property.

        The marketing tactic resulted in hundreds of people touring Garden Court
Condominiums, those who likely would not have done so otherwise, and a recent
$300,000 condo was sold. Cohen’s efforts helped to place the property in front
of the new owner!

 

    List hyperlinks to any online work samples, news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:

        http://gardencourtvideocontest.com

        http://www.freeismylife.com/2010/10/free-garden-court-condo-happy-hour-1118.html

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z-8xZ5h4GA

        http://detroit.metromix.com/events/essay_photo_gallery/i-love-detroit-wrap/2040180/content

        http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2010/06/video_brandi_kay_raps_her_love.html

    Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the team that carried out this campaign:

        Carrie Cohen, serves as sales director for Garden Court Condos in Detroit. She
is a certified Michigan Realtor and attended the University of South
Carolina.Prior to joining Farbman Group/Garden Court Condos and other
residential projects throughout the region, Cohen was employed as a regional
sales/marketing manager for Morningside Group, Quicken Loans and BKS Advisors.