Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on June 25, 2018

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Branding Luxury Real Estate with Matthew Leone

matthew leone

“We sell the communities as much as the homes that sit in them.” Buying real estate — buying a home — is the biggest purchase many of us make. Who we buy from is a big decision. This is magnified even further in the high-end real-estate market in New York. Matthew Leone, Chief Marketing Officer of Halstead, discussed all of this and more on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

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About Matthew Leone

Matthew J. Leone brings a fresh marketing perspective and extensive knowledge of web technologies & techniques to Halstead serving as the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer. Matthew oversees the 28-member MarTech division and is responsible for the creative brand direction. He is passionate about staying on top of the latest trends & integrating innovative solutions into all forms of marketing and technology, working as one of the first firms to embrace such forms as video, social media, drones, 3D, VR, wearables, co-branded partnerships, and many other ground-breaking approaches.

Mr. Leone also regularly appears as a panelist and speaker at Inman Connect as well as NAR Conferences, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Conferences, NYSAR conventions, and Luxury Portfolio Summits speaking on concepts that will shape the future of real estate industry. He also serves and teaches at the Real Estate Board of New York’s continued education course series. He currently serves on the Technology Advisory Council for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, regularly advising the global network on a variety of technology initiatives as well as the Inman News Content Advisory Board.

In 2018, Matthew was the recipient of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World’s prestigious President’s Award, which formally acknowledged his significant contributions and service to the organization. He has been routinely interviewed & quoted in media outlets such as The Today Show, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, AdWeek, CNBC, NY1, NY Magazine, Real Deal and many more.

Episode Highlights

“Make sure the consumer doesn’t smell your commission breath.” When Matthew uttered this phrase, I may have snorted with laughter. “Especially in high-end real-estate, they expect the white-glove service.” An example of Halstead’s world-class experience? They frequently offer home tours led by Broadway dancers.

Branding that builds on personal brands. When I interviewed Sean Blankenship of Coldwell Banker, he spoke of the challenge in building a strong central brand with independent agents on the front lines. “Independent contractors are their own business within a business. You have to build on that uniqueness,” Matthew shared. Halstead provides copywriters to help realtors find a signature tone for their writing. They also provide lifestyle photography resources showing agents in the community and at their favorite restaurants. “Real estate requires a lot of hand holding.”

“We have to be ambassadors of the neighborhoods we represent.” It’s all about finding the bigger idea behind your business. Halstead focuses on more than just the house. They think about the community as a whole and how they can best represent that. “We sell the communities as much as the homes that sit in them.”

Rebranding for everyone. In approaching a recent rebrand, Matthew knew that Halstead had to work for everyone, in all of the communities they serve. In looking for their greatest, over-arching strength, they arrived at culture. They built on this with their new tagline, “Move to what moves you.” This works both internally with agents and externally with customers. They also have a color palette with different colors for each community.

What brand has made Matthew smile recently? Matthew smiles “when you see ads taking a different spin on things.” Matthew loved the joint Super Bowl ad effort from Doritos and Mountain Dew.

To learn more, follow Halstead on Instagram and Twitter and check out the firm’s website. You can also follow Matthew on Twitter.

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my new book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!



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Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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