Vargha Akhtarkhavari, Personal Real Estate Corporation, Re/Max All Points Realty is realizing growth thanks to his marketing services provider, Steve Wilms of Minuteman Press in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Steve Wilms first brought his talent to Minuteman Press International as a designer for the franchise in Coquitlam, BC, back in 2003. During the five years that followed, he became an integral part of the small, underperforming franchise with the big name, working hard to help it progress and make gains. Yet, it wasn’t until he ascended from becoming a co-owner to buying out his partner 3 years later that he was free to show his client base and his community what a Minuteman Press franchise was truly capable of providing to them.
It was under his leadership, directly, that the business took off as he put it back on track with the proven system that has helped write so many success stories for fellow franchisors over many decades. From there, he invigorated his venture by carefully selecting new team members to create an environment that was both welcoming and rich with a wealth of technical knowledge, creativity and solutions, putting people in a variety of industries at ease when they need it the most. In these ways, Steve Wilms became the digital print, design and marketing oasis Minuteman Press is known to be, worldwide.
“Our approach to service and how our staff actualizes that approach is central to our development and it is an absolute advantage over any competition. We may have similar equipment and good pricing, but if you can select the best staff and create the best environment to connect with people and help them meet their goals according to a sound plan, that will make all the difference. We have gone through several employees because we do not settle on less than the best. The result is the fantastic team we have today and all of our clients receive the direct benefit,” Steve explains.
One of the most exciting things about being a Minuteman Press franchise owner is leading the modern printing industry and continually refreshing people’s perception of print so they can use it to their advantage.
Printing on paper is a must for marketing and always will be; but today, it is possible to print your company name and logo on virtually anything you can imagine and all of it contributes to the expansion of your brand and the effective broadcasting of your message. Steve thoroughly enjoys implementing the full range of products and services he and his team have to offer and is excited to educate the public about the increasing possibilities of print. He says, “We get to work with a great number of different types of people and it is plain fun to accommodate personalities of all kinds and companies of all sizes. There have been advancements and changes within the printing industry that have given us new capabilities. We have new equipment, new products and new services way beyond what anyone has had before. This means that new challenges are something we are excited to receive from our clients because we are ready to produce for them on levels they may not even realize until we present them with the final product.”
One of the largest names in real estate for the Coquitlam, BC area needs printed perfection every single time and he gets it from Minuteman Press.
Vargha is a most prominent realtor in the BC area and the real estate market is red hot right now, so a top realtor has no time to waste with substandard printing. He has been working with Steve Wilms and Minuteman Press since 2005, after walking into the center to inquire about a targeted mailing to promote his listings. “We produced 51,000 flyers for him and back in 2005 that was huge for us. We had yet to take on an order that large, so we had to explore offerings from our vendors, but said we could do it before we concerned ourselves with exactly how because we knew we would find a way”, Steve recalls.
It is with the behind-the-scenes advocacy of his franchisor, Minuteman Press International that Steve was put into a position to meet his clients’ timeline as well as his price point which launched a long-term relationship. He adds, “We were still a relatively new shop and our sales were not yet great, but we were able to take advantage of agreements with paper suppliers our franchisor, Minuteman Press International negotiated on behalf of its owners which resulted in great pricing that really helped us. We couldn’t negotiate rates like that on our own, but our franchisor helped in that regard so we could get the price point for the job where we needed to save our client some money and make it a good deal for all.”
In real estate, it is absolutely critical that targeted mailings are timely and that the printed collateral representing the houses and properties for sale look pristine in print.
“When a house comes onto the market, we have to get the word out there quickly and we need that postcard in the hands of the right people so they can get to that open house. Often, there isn’t a lot of time between the request for design and printing and the open house itself, but Vargha has discovered that we are always ready,” according to Steve.
With many realtors vying for the same listings, Minuteman Press continues to help Vargha set himself apart from the crowd. His potential clients see the most professional printed representations of what he has to offer, in accordance with his high standards. Since there are a limited number of ways you can make yourself stand out from the crowd, Steve advises wasting no time toying with DIY design and print. “We have top-of-the-line equipment, training and expertise to create the greatest tangible representation of these properties short of visiting them in person. What we produce is of highest resolution, clear and crisp with careful though to stock and design. As far as preparation for open houses, the same care must be taken so the properties look outstanding in the feature sheets produced for the event. The buyer will be taking it home and pondering it closely as they make the decision to buy with this realtor”, he adds.
Direct mail works, but only if the design and print does justice to the message.
“We all get poor quality print in our mailbox and it goes straight into recycling, doesn’t it? If you are not going to set yourself apart, ideally, with the help of an expert, you may be lost in this way,” advises Steve. Traditional mail is beloved only when it is outstanding and offers substantial value. Often, people unknowingly sacrifice the outstanding and the value by cutting their budget in a most critical area, believing they can save a few bucks with cheap printing. The consequences are as Steve described, a potentially good business idea winding up in recycling. He continues, “In the long run, trying to design and print yourself or doing it quickly and cheaply online is a major disservice to your business. Get a professional to enhance your image and you’ll have the best chance to experience growth. This is true for realtors and for all motivated business owners.”
As one of the most successful realtors in the business, VARGHA Akhtarkhavari, Personal Real Estate Corporation (Re/Max All Points Realty) is wise to the reality of proper brand representation in a hot, competitive market. Minuteman Press of Coquitlam, BC prints the following professional essentials:
- Business cards
- Feature sheets
- Branded notepads
- Just sold/Just listed cards
Steve talks about the importance of timing and content for particular mail campaigns he designs and prints for Vargha’s growing real estate business, “We address our attention to particular areas, depending on his activity or his desired goals. If he just sold a house in an area, we want everyone to know the details. We design, sort, bundle and prepare these mailings for delivery, so our client need not worry about it. Recently, we produced 240,000 postcards for him, highlighting all of his most important information designed for his intended audience. We do a big run like that every six months and are sure to send along notepads and individual postcard runs to announce every single house he sells. We govern the big runs as well as smaller, more targeted runs of 10,000 to draw attention to his most recent sales.”
In the beginning of what is now a strong, long-term partnership, Vargha asked for small jobs and quickly realized it was wise to do all of his design, printing and promotion through Minuteman Press. He explains, “I was doing my printing elsewhere, but the workmanship was not high quality. When Steve took ownership of his Minuteman Press franchise, his pricing was more competitive and he proved capable of handling the bigger runs, from 60,000 notepads to 240,000 flyers.”
And because the real estate market in his area is exploding and competition is intense, he is further relieved to have the greatest ally the modern printing industry has to offer, with the added bonus of a good friendship that he can always count upon. He continues, “The quality Steve and his team deliver is as fantastic as their service is accommodating. At this point, I consider Steve a partner in business as well as a friend. He is in the know and is always keeping up-to-date with what is available to me as we promote my business.”
Vargha never settles for inferior representations of the business that bears his name and he is relieved to know, even in a time crunch, superior results are coming his way. To that point, he concludes, “I recently called Steve and told him I forgot to place an order and they got it done perfectly, in time and as needed, even though there was no lead time. I never have to worry about the quality of the work I will receive. I know it will be excellent.”
He concludes, “I am very picky and have very high standards and Minuteman Press meets those standards every time.”