When we approach any new brand creation and web build project, it’s really important to fully understand what the client wants to gain from their new website and also the tone or feel they want to convey with their branding. Having these initial conversations help us establish the creative direction and allow us to draw on past experiences to bring the whole concept together. When we were first approached by Jerry Hamlyn-Eastell and Toby Smith about their new business venture, we were excited to delve a little deeper into their ideas for their new estate agency and how they wanted to set themselves apart from the rest. We soon realised that by helping them bring their vision to life, we were going to create something really special for them.
Firstly we collectively brain stormed business names and after lots of trial and error, the guys settled on Hamlyn Smith. Having the name pinned down was an important step to help James with the creative direction as creating the logo and it’s associated brand would be the first step in the project. The brand needed to reflect their ethos, personality and aspirations for the future, the results of this stage dictate the style and direction of the web build. James created a mood board with colour choices, typography and other inspiration which helps to narrow down the end branding style and logo.
A logo forms the cornerstone of the brand, which will be designed and built around it. We optimise the identity to resonate with the target demographics and ensure the brand, website and photography are consistent and have a unified tone of voice.
As with any company, you need the brand to be trusted and, in time, your logo well recognised. Jerry and Toby have solid industry experience along with a relatable and down to earth approach and we feel this really comes across in their new website.
James follows a four step approach when it comes to brand design: Review, Research, Design and Refine
The review stage allows us to chat through the aspirations for the brand and the research stage sets the visual direction (there are no good or bad ideas at this stage). Next is when he transforms those ideas into sketches with 4-6 designs put forward for review, ending with the client feedback and their chosen concept for final development.
The primary purpose of the Hamlyn Smith site is to encourage enquiries from potential sellers and of course buyers. The new site successfully promotes their property portfolio and has created a professional online experience which reflects their core values. Quality design, considered functionality and attention to detail are paramount on a site such as this.
This project has been particularly fulfilling as we’ve been able to work with the client at the inception of their brand. It is even more rewarding knowing that we have been trusted to help create an impactful and well rounded brand which will be synonymous with Brighton and Hove real estate for decades to come. It has been a brilliant partnership and a project we are proud to have been a part of.
Toby and Jerry are not only highly knowledgable estate agents, they are progressive, passionate and dedicated to top notch customer service. You would be lucky to have them represent your property sale and you may even make some long term friends in the process. We know we have.
Q&A with Toby and Jerry
What made you decide to launch your own business during what has been a very tough year for many businesses?
Like so many others, the last 18 months gave us time to step back and really think about what’s important and how we want to spend our time. We’re incredibly passionate about property and have spent years witnessing the decline in customer service within agency. We had spoken about opening up on several occasions before but now seemed like the right time to share our knowledge and experience.
Your company statement is to provide a progressive, personalised and passionate service to customers - what sets Hamlyn Smith apart from your competitors?
For too long the traditional estate agency model has fallen far short of buyers’ and sellers’ expectations. Quick wins, lazy marketing, lack of local knowledge, and being passed from pillar to post have done the industry no favours. We do not want to just keep up to speed, we want to set the pace on what is expected from our role. We know how moving home can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety, so it is our aim to minimise those feelings at every turn. All instructions are handled by the founding directors from start to finish. It may seem obvious, but we believe ensuring the continuity of contact from initial listing to successful sale greatly increases the chances of a hassle-free experience for our clients.
We worked with you to create your branding and build your brand new website. Did you achieve what you set out to with the end result?
We couldn’t be happier with how things worked out. When you first set out to create a brand all the different ideas and opinions can be quite overwhelming. Fortunately, we had James and the team at Whitespace to bounce those ideas off and over time those ideas we’re developed and refined. I’m certain we weren’t the easiest clients but now we have a brand we’re extremely proud of and a website to match. The feedback we’ve had since opening has been amazing so I can’t recommend these guys enough!
Can you tell me more about the my Hamlyn Smith feature and how it will benefit your vendors?
One of the key drivers behind our business model is to embrace the introduction of new technology and the best online marketing. Amongst our armoury of tech is the my Hamlyn Smith portal which gives our clients 24/7 access viewing times, feedback, offers and when key milestones throughout the sales progression process are complete. We know how it feels to be busy, so this platform allows us to communicate with our clients accurately and efficiently, when it suits them.
What are your goals for the business over the next few years?
Our goal is simple…break the mould of the stereotype our industry is tainted by.