A Real Estate Digital Marketing Company
doesn’t achieve success overnight, if at all. Our story has been in the making since 2011. It all started as the founder, Collin Yanez, was finishing up a Business Marketing Degree at Illinois State University. College was getting old & the material was getting repetitive. Many perceive a Marketing Degree as a “couldn’t decide on another major”-sort of degree; however, this was perceived as an open door to opportunity with endless possibilities. The Real Estate market was picking up, so a career as a Realtor® was at the top Collin’s list; and better understanding how to MARKET Real Estate services certainly wouldn’t hurt.
It wasn’t until Collin was nearing graduation that the power of Digital Marketing had come to light. Following the completion of one particular course, the class was scheduled to meet one last time in exchange for extra credit. The professor, Dr. Peter Kaufman had arranged a guest speaker to discuss Digital Marketing – which to the surprise of many had gone completely under the radar for as long as anyone had been there. Our fearless leader showed up to the final session (physically at least) and awoke from a slumber to hear about this new marketing channel – one that was beginning to sound much more practical versus everything else learned about thus far.
This presenter started by saying, “So we have the ability to look through real search terms, and use this data to put businesses in front of people already looking for their product or service”.
Mind-blowing stuff. How could this be? The next immediate thought: “How Can This Revolutionize Real Estate?”
The presenter finished up and offered to meet with anyone interested in learning more about Digital Marketing. Our founder immediately volunteered for the only available time slot – Saturday Morning at 8am in the College of Business computer lab. College-life was officially over, his final Friday night must be sacrificed for the future of Marketing.
After learning about, and digesting this new mentor’s Health-Supplement business online and how he was driving relevant traffic through this, among other Digital Marketing techniques; It was a whole new world, but it became the only thing that Collin had cared about from that point forward.
A couple of months later, it became very clear that the Real Estate industry needed to go Digital; Lucky for Us, Collin’s aunt was a Real Estate Broker and she loved to talk. One day this aunt was complaining about Wasting Money on Leads that didn’t convert – and that’s when it CLICKED.
A plan was devised: A hidden gem that would help his aunt, and make him money in the process. “Are you even showing up on Google?” he asked. “Of course! Well… I mean… I think? I should be? My website people say so anyways.” she replied.
I challenged her to a search, one that you may be familiar with by now: “Google ‘Homes for Sale Nearby’ & let’s see right now!”
- A Nation-Wide Third-Party Lead Provider
- Arrogant Competitor
- The same lead-provider she was complaining about
She was nowhere to be found. Collin told her, “you know, you could do this much better yourself and direct traffic to your OWN website… and I can even do this for you. The first month is on me, and if it works, $300 each month after that.”
DIGITAL MARKETING for REALTORS®. A winning concept was born, and Collin’s aunt was sold by the time the dinner plates were cleared. It should go without saying, but the same aunt remains a client today & she’d be happy to discuss her results with anyone.
As time went on, and school loans piled up, the decision was made to work for a more established company that would provide an opportunity to deliver more value to Real Estate agents and brokers when the moment arrives that Emereald would have to satisfy more than just one lead-hungry Realtor; and eventually stumbling upon a Digital Marketing position in Fort Myers, FL – the same city where his buddy was stationed as the newest member of the Boston Red Sox. The Digital Gods had spoken, deciding to move from Chicagoland to Southwest Florida was exactly what was needed to develop both personally and professionally. Emereald’s visionary went on to accept an offer to work among the Automotive vertical, at a Marketing Agency called Haystak Digital Marketing.
Within a year, SEM, Pay-per-Click, SEO, among other Digital Marketing techniques were becoming fluent; eventually earning a reputation as the go-to guru for Digital Marketing advice. More importantly, our founder learned a ton about how clients should be provided with premium customer service, 1 on 1 digital training, and transparency. Managing a team of 15+ Digital Strategists while undergoing a major acquisition was a mind-altering test of wit. Cox Automotive & AutoTrader had acquired Haystak while the learning experience continued to add even more tools to Emereald’s arsenal.
The Most Important Takeaway: Competition among Automotive Digital Marketing Companies was no walk in the park. The Haystak team was constantly fending off new start-ups on a month to month basis, which made it very clear…
REAL ESTATE, however, was not. How could no one catch onto this? Some tried, but weren’t very good at it. These companies that were offering PPC would run ads that portrayed exactly how NOT to write search engine advertisements.
Acting on Opportunity
Another internet marketing expert and Emereald founding father, Dennis Frolov, asked the question: “Why are you here? You know the Real Estate industry is calling, you talk about it religiously, and we have 5+ years of experience – just DO IT. I’ll help in any way I can.”
It was time to get serious, we created our own marketing material and started spreading the word in early 2015. Emereald became a hit, one that flourished quicker than they ever could have imagined.
Realtors® were Hungry. So we served up great ads that continue to generate highly-qualified buyer & seller leads… and with that:
Collin has over 10 years of experience in SEO, Web Development, and Digital Marketing analysis – with a diverse digital skillset
certified by platforms such as Google Ads, Google Analytics, Bing Ad Center, Yahoo Gemini, among many others.
Over the course of his career, he has helped literally 1,000’s of clients’ to increase their in-market exposure with a unique instinct for targeting and engaging brand new prospects.
Since discovering a passion for this industry in 2010, Collin began his professional journey as an account manager for an automotive start-up called Haystak Digital Marketing.
Within just two years, he was chosen to direct a department of 40+ digital marketing experts, 10+ digital marketing team-managers, and over 2,000 automotive dealership accounts – most of which subscribed
to services such as SEO, display, social, and Google/Bing ad campaign management. He also played a pivotal role in Cox Automotive/Autotrader’s decision to acquire Haystak Digital Marketing for roughly $29M in 2014.
Collin has since expanded beyond the automotive vertical and currently operates as co-owner of Emereald Digital, founded in 2015.
Dennis has 8+ years of experience in SEO, Web Development, and Digital Marketing analysis. He learned advanced SEO strategy & effective targeting techniques while working alongside Collin for the last 6 years. Dennis was eventually promoted before taking on a new role as the head of Valpak’s Digital Marketing division. He has since joined forces with Collin to pursue their mutual goal: Delivering the best results, and ultimate client experience!
A valued partner for a number of years, Manny gets technical when we run into bugs, design flaws, and messy coding. He is an expert web developer and designer that has yet to let us down. Whether a website suddenly goes dark, or we need him to custom hard-code an engaging website widget, we always know that Manny can AND will save the day for us!