It took just 6 months working in Mayfair to find the missing piece to my puzzle

Dominic Marcel - Director at Lion Estates
Dominic Marcel - Director at Lion Estates

Throughout the previous 11 years of my career my biggest bugbear had been the ‘quality’ of property marketing. I couldn’t understand why agents would work hard to win new business, boast how many websites they advertised on etc to then spend what looked like 5 minutes on the actual marketing. Was it arrogance? Lack of training? Or was it simply not being paid enough to care? Either way, it simply wasn’t good enough.

I left my Regional Director role at a corporate agency in September to train, coach and mentor estate agency owners in Prime London. It became immediately apparent that there wasn’t just a higher standard here, it was a whole different ballgame. I thought that working at the largest estate agency in the UK meant we used the latest technology available. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The reality is that there is a plethora of ‘PropTech’ available to enhance marketing. But of course, this calibre of estate agency is going to be present in Prime London. After all, the average property price is well over £1m so naturally the clientele demands it. The market in Mayfair just isn’t comparable to Milton Keynes is it? I disagree.

Coming from humble beginnings, I know that it doesn’t matter how big or small your home is, it’s your pride and joy. Estate agency isn’t about property; it’s about the person behind the property. Whatever stage of life you are at, you deserve to be represented in a way that maximises your chances of selling/letting for the most amount of money. Yes, the properties in Prime London are astonishing, but the reality is that they are all owned by humans. And I was brought up to treat all humans equally, regardless of how much money they have in the bank. That’s why I brought Lion Estates to Milton Keynes.

So, what does this enhanced marketing at Lion Estates look like? For starters there is ‘lifestyle’ photography. This means more than simply standing in a corner and taking a photo of a room, it’s about highlighting key features in a property. I learnt from a very young age that people don’t decide on a property based solely on the bricks and mortar; it’s about the lifestyle living in that property brings you. That’s why it isn’t enough to just talk about the property like an inanimate object. You must show and describe the soul of a home and the community it sits within, that’s what people want to see and hear. Language is so important.

Photos don’t just stop there. Everyone knows properties look better occupied so we virtually furnish vacant properties. Have a property that is ripe for renovation? We’ll create a CGI mock-up to show what a refurbishment would look like or knock down walls to show a modern open-plan opportunity.

Then there’s the pièce de résistance – a full 3D scan of the property creating a fully immersive virtual experience. Photos are great, but they still don’t give you the ‘feeling’ of a home. Our 3D scanning technology allows you to walk through the property and feel its layout, lighting and practicality all from the comfort of your own home. With more and more people relocating to Milton Keynes with work or to commute to London, these virtual tours are essential. It means that by the time someone views the property they already feel like they know the property. I’ve literally had a case where someone viewed one of our homes and told me that they had been using the virtual tour everyday until the viewing. That motivation and excitement led to them telling me that the viewing was simply a formality so they could see where they were buying with their own eyes! It doesn’t get much better than that.

Lastly it’s about exposure to the widest possible audience. Property portals are great at advertising to people who are looking to buy, but when’s the last time you bought something unintended? I bought my current home because I was bored and went on Rightmove. Within a week I had sold my house and was buying a new property. True story. But I use social media more than Rightmove or Zoopla. That’s just the way of the world now, so how many viewings are you missing out on if your property isn’t advertised on social media? And I don’t mean just sharing a Rightmove link on Facebook! We have a complex data suite which gives us detailed demographics on postcode sectors. This means we can determine the most common age and household profile as well as the most predominant industry of employment within an area and create highly targeted social media adverts to the people most likely to buy or rent a particular property. Scary stuff, but what an edge for a marketer to have.

Pride. Power.

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