June 2020

Creating a Buzz: Hilton Head Home Group of RE/MAX Island Realty takes modern approach to marketing

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: M.Kat Photography


The Hilton Head Home Group
(from left to right): Stephanie Cauller, Melanie Smith, Kate Oliva and Janice Ross.

Buzz is something that everyone who has something to sell wants to generate. In real estate, creating buzz around a property means getting it talked about, whether that is through word of mouth, viral marketing or other techniques. The agents at Hilton Head Home Group of RE/MAX Island Realty understand this and are using cutting-edge digital marketing skills along with their personal connections and real estate savvy to provide clients with the most efficient, effective and enjoyable real estate transactions possible.

Meet the team
In a sea of nearly 1800 area Realtors, Hilton Head Home Group stands out, much of their success attributable to the fusion of skill sets they each bring to the table and their ability to keep properties moving.

Janice Ross, a Pittsburgh native and former school teacher, moved to the Lowcountry from Los Angeles, California. A full-time Hilton Head Island resident since 2015, she brings 30 years of real estate experience along with The Ultimate Life Tool®, a multidimensional human assessment instrument that recognizes and regards individuality. As a Level IV certified life coach, she has deep insight into helping people reach their maximum potential and find the perfect home and neighborhood to fulfill their every desire. She also offers clear perspective on the many benefits of island life to out-of-town buyers, retirees, or anyone looking for a more peaceful existence.

Stephanie Cauller, also a former educator, relocated to Hilton Head Island from Malvern, Pennsylvania. She brings years of real estate marketing and digital strategy to the team as well as national television experience.

She spent seven years as an on-air guest on QVC and currently works as a show host on local television station, WHHI-TV. She recently was invited to interview the builder, designer and architect of the HGTV Dream Home in Windmill Harbour. Cauller provides Hilton Head Home Group with their own “in-house” marketing company, which benefits their selling clients by decreasing time on the market and benefits buyers by exposing them to the properties that most closely match their needs.

Katie Oliva, a true local from Beaufort, S.C., brings both passion and personal knowledge of the area to the team along with an unmatched dedication to customer service, gleaned from experience working in her family’s restaurants. Growing up on St. Helena Island, Oliva attended The University of South Carolina in Columbia where she got her first real taste of life beyond the Lowcountry. After graduation, she returned to the area and later moved to Hilton Head Island. “This place just pulls you back in,” she said.”

Oliva was a property manager for a long-term rental company before taking the position as director of marketing at RE/MAX Island Realty. Two years later, she joined Hilton Head Home Group as a licensed sales associate. She prides herself on being able to offer firsthand neighborhood information and insider knowledge of the area not easily found on the internet.

Melanie Smith, born and raised in West Palm Beach, Fla., headed north to experience a change of seasons in the Carolinas. After more than 25 years in Charlotte, N.C., she relocated to Hilton Head Island, thrilled to be oceanside once more. Smith has been a licensed broker in North Carolina for over 15 years, working in all facets of the real estate business, from new and custom home sales to designing, decorating, and staging model homes and resale homes for maximum potential value. “Staging and professional photography can make all the difference in maximizing the sale,” she said. Smith’s staging abilities, attention to detail, follow-through, and dedication are qualities that set her apart in a crowded real estate market.

Getting the job done
Advancements in technology have changed how we do just about everything, and that includes buying and selling real estate. According to Cauller, Hilton Head Home Group is embracing the digital marketing world to a far greater extent than the average real estate team.

“Most Realtors are using social media today,” she said. “But how deep and how skilled are they at what they are doing with the new trends in marketing?”

Cauller started a marketing company in 2003, transitioning to digital marketing in 2008. “We are a marketing team with real estate skills,” she said, pointing out the substantial edge this gives them. “It’s not 1997. Relying on MLS and postcards in the mailbox is not going to get it done in today’s world.”

According to Cauller, 90 percent of agents are not using digital media to its fullest capacity. The Hilton Head Home Group team understands how to optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and re-market to people who have already taken some kind of action on their website, thus pumping up the focus and the visibility of properties they represent. Buzz-generating tactics include effective use of social media, instant texts, and driving traffic to their website via their exposure on HGTV. (Hilton Head Home Group has made two appearances on HGTV’s Island Life, Season16/Episode 14 and Season 17 Episode 3).

But it’s not enough to be on top of today’s trends. “The digital marketing game is constantly changing, and we are staying current with algorithms,” Oliva said, citing digital marketing seminars, webinars, trade shows and workshops as their lifeline to all things new in the world of high-tech communications and marketing. “If you aren’t green and growing in this business, you can fall behind quickly in terms of best serving your clients’ needs,” she said.

“It’s a whole industry in itself to have to master in addition to understanding the real estate end of it,” Cauller added.

But don’t worry if technology is not your thing. Hilton Head Home Group meets you where you are, tailoring their communication to your preference, whether it’s email, instant message, video conferencing, text, tweet or an old-fashioned phone call.

“Some of us didn’t grow up in this digital age. We can meet the needs of buyers and sellers at every stage of life and connect in a way that works for them.” Ross said.

With their years of real estate experience, area roots, attention to detail, and up-to-the-minute marketing strategies, Hilton Head Home Group, along with the support of RE/MAX (No. 1 in global real estate sales), has an expansive network and all the tools they need to reach potential customers in the U.S. and abroad.
“Give us a shot, and we’ll show you what we do differently,” Cauller said.

Hilton Head Home Group of RE/MAX Island Realty has offices on Hilton Head Island, in Bluffton and in Sun City. For more information, visit www.hiltonheadhomegroup.com or call (843) 415-7738.

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