If you’ve ever bought a home, you know how stressful the process can be -- even when everything goes smoothly. Your realtor leaves you spinning, as they throw around terms and conditions you’ve never heard before, while you’re signing stacks of legal documents that (hopefully) don’t require you to give up your first-born child.
Now, take the complexity of that scenario and quadruple it -- then you can begin to imagine what it’s like to do the same for a commercial property for your own small business. It’s terrifying.
Similar to a personal home purchase, however, you’d still have hundreds -- if not thousands -- of questions about how the process will work. So, you would want a great source of information that spells out everything you need to know in layman’s terms, and not jargon-ladened “legalese.” That single source of truth should answer all of the questions you have about buying, leasing, and renting commercial property in a way that’s simple and easy to understand.
And that is exactly what Aquila Commercial set out to become when they embraced a true culture of inbound.
About Aquila Commercial
Aquila is a commercial real estate company servicing property owners, investors, developers, and even tenants with their commercial property needs in Austin, Texas. However, as a small startup that began in 2006, Aquila has always struggled to compete against a number of larger firms that also operate in their area.
“We’ve always tried to look at deals a little differently than some of our competitors,” explains Aquila principal and co-founder, Bart Matheney. “Our competitors are buying up other competitors, and we’re trying to compete, even though we’re just a local startup.”
So, How Does Digital David Compete with Goliath-Like Competitors?
They play to their strengths. In Aquila’s case, they’re local to the Austin area, whereas some of these other companies are not. And in their own words, bannered across the homepage of their website, “No one knows Austin better.”
This gives them a critical advantage in their local market. But how? For that, they turned to IMPACT partner Marcus Sheridan’s philosophy of They Ask, You Answer.
Kendall Guinn, Aquila’s chief marketing officer and self-proclaimed “fangirl” of Marcus Sheridan, had been following Marcus’ career for some time. From attending his keynotes at conferences to listening to his podcast and watching his YouTube videos, Kendall knew the They Ask, You Answer approach to inbound and content marketing would work for Aquila.
The Problem Was Getting the Rest of the Company to Catch the Vision
“When the idea (of content marketing) was first presented to us, I was definitely hesitant,” admitted Aquila principal Jon Wheless. “I had done our sales process one way my whole career and it seemed to be working. I thought, ‘Why change something that isn’t broke?’ Over time, I was proved wrong.”
Kendall persisted and worked hard to prove to her company that an inbound culture workshop would help them see what she already knew.
“I tried to get others to watch his videos on YouTube, but it just wasn’t the same as seeing him in real life,” Kendall reflects. “We hired Marcus for a one-day workshop. Almost overnight we saw people in our company change – people really got it. Everyone was on board to try and make They Ask, You Answer part of our strategy.”
Shortly after the workshop, Aquila hired IMPACT as ongoing consultants on their new strategy. They followed our consultants’ curriculum on content marketing, video marketing, and HubSpot software to a tee, so the Aquila team could become the best educators for anyone wanting to unpackage the intricacies of commercial real estate, with a heavy focus on the Austin market.
“We learned the basics of SEO, how to write blog posts, how to put together YouTube videos that would rank well. It was an incredible education,” Kendall says. “It changed how we approached our process of content marketing, and how we were going about executing it.”