An Interview With Property Expert Sergey Toni

Why is digital marketing important during a pandemic? Hotel operators, office building managers and commercial property investors all agree – the pandemic has helped them focus on the long-term importance of marketing as a means to a successful recovery. We delve into the world of property with a seasoned expert.

Who is Sergey Toni?

Sergey Toni is a commercial and residential property expert with a proven track record of managing European property assets across a variety of sectors. With over a decade of experience, Sergey thought he had seen it all – until that is, the COVID-19 crisis hit. Here, Relevance interviews him about the importance of digital marketing during a pandemic.

What have been the biggest challenges to your business during COVID?

I work within a variety of sectors that during COVID have been affected in dramatically different ways. The hotel and hospitality sector has been particularly hard-hit. As a business, we are incredibly reliant on digital marketing to deliver a post-pandemic boost. Whilst investment in marketing will not yield immediate results, for portfolio managers and business owners, it’s important to understand the long-term benefits of increasing marketing spend in times where many competitors are looking to reign back their spending. 

The logistics businesses I manage have been altogether a different story. Demand for warehouse space is at an all-time high with the boom in online sales. We are finding that digital marketing is driving enquiries from new prospective tenants looking to expand their operations to meet the extra capacity that online shoppers have created.

Rumble and his team introduced me to the concept of omni-channel marketing – the idea that rather than having a tight focus on Google Ads, a business needs to explore different directions from LinkedIn to Facebook, embracing different media from traditional ads to viral video campaigns.

How does luxury digital marketing help property businesses?

We have found that working with Relevance has transformed the way we see marketing for our business. With the rise of Zoom meetings and working from home, it is especially important to differentiate your offering from that of the competition. Relevance has been able to advise on branding as well as strategy, which is something that was overlooked by our previous marketing agency. The value-add of a strong brand identity is undeniable when you’re working in the property sector. Where office buildings are concerned – tenants will only see their comfy sofa as an upgrade if the offering is branded. Think The Shard or the Walkie-Talkie. Think of the experiential offices created by WeWork. Relevance helped us see our marketing as an extension of that. 

What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

Know your product. Understand what makes you different and go with an agency who can convey that. Don’t under any circumstances try to do it yourself – you will spread yourself too thin and lose focus on the parts of the business where you’re most important. 

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