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We’re proud to announce the relaunch of The Staten Island Board of Realtors website, boasting a brand-new redesign by BlankSlate.

The Staten Island Board of Realtors wanted to offer an online experience that was more complete and authentic to their community than what a national real estate listing site can offer. Our solution was to turn their site into a destination that includes real estate listings but also deep local and neighborhood information that is continually updated.

We started by redesigning their branding and website, with a clean, modern, and responsive design that looks great on all devices. Next, we will help with creating content for their blog, which we will keep fresh with posts written by writers from our publisher network.

At the moment, the change is mostly cosmetic, but over the coming months, we will be introducing a suite of exciting new features for the site, including a revamped real estate listings section, real-time sales and rental market trends, and complete local business listings.

Our goal is for SIBORRealtors.com to become a trusted neignborhood information resource, offering more ways than ever for people to explore what it’s like to live in Staten Island.



BlankSlate is a digital marketing agency that specializes in forging local connections between brands, businesses, publishers, and audiences.

We understand that every community is different. People in Brooklyn have different lifestyles than people in Dallas. Manhattan real estate buyers see the world differently than 20-something D.C. culture mavens. Brands and their agencies understand this, too, and they come to us to help them with their local marketing activation.

Potential customers respond to messaging that aligns with their interests and provides them with value. Messaging that teaches them something, makes them laugh, or opens a window of opportunity. With those goals in mind, BlankSlate has dedicated itself to making great content, and finding the most efficient way to deliver it.

It’s an exciting time to be working at BlankSlate. We’re moving into new communities, new technologies, new opportunities—and we need great people to join us in the journey.

Positions
Operations Manager – Open
Content Marketing Sales Executive – Open
Senior Web Developer – Open
Manager of Content Marketing – Open

If you’re interested in hearing more about these positions, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.





roa-newburgh

Newburgh, NY, is a town on the Hudson not far from New York City — and not so far from Brooklyn.

As is the case with many former industrial towns in Upstate New York, Newburgh has its share of large commercial buildings that are standing empty. Its “A River of Opportunities” initiative was instituted to attract industry back to Newburgh. So it was only a matter of time before they set their eyes on Brooklyn and its surplus of creative entrepreneurs.

A River of Opportunities developed a series of video profiles of various businesses that had relocated to Newburgh, and looked to BlankSlate to promote this series to the right Brooklyn audience.

BlankSlate approached a local Newburgh blogger from our Publisher Network to write a series of sponsored posts, which were in turn edited by our editorial team.

These posts, supported by a display advertising campaign, were distributed across the BlankSlate Publisher Network of influential Brooklyn blogs.

Following are some examples of the work:

We hope our Brooklyn neighbors won’t blame us for any ensuing mass exodus to Newburgh.

To learn more about how we can support your economic development initiatives, please don’t hesitate to contact us.



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When a magazine or newspaper covers an art exhibition, film, play, or other cultural event, they usually employ one of three different approaches. There’s the review, of course, which depends on the taste (and possibly mood) of the reviewer. There’s the profile, focusing on the history and personal life of the artist and only peripherally about his or her current work. And finally, there’s the “angle” feature, which often lumps one or more works of art together as examples of some trend or other cultural phenomenon, real or invented.

All very entertaining to read, but what if the presenter wants more control of the message?

Sponsored posts allow cultural institutions to tease their events in an editorial environment while ensuring that all of the specific elements of their message come across to the reader. They are written to be as entertaining and interesting as they are useful.

The tried and true BlankSlate approach to sponsored posts:

  1. Work with the agency or client to develop concepts for the campaign
  2. Find the right voice for the message, avoiding any approaches that might come across as a sales pitch
  3. Draw upon the talents of the most talented writers and editors in BlankSlate’s publishing network to craft engaging posts, geared towards different segments of the audience
  4. Strategically distribute the content across the various properties that make up BlankSlate’s publishing network
  5. Extend the reach of the content to desired level through paid and organic engagement across social networks

BlankSlate called upon this process when working with Mindshare on a marketing campaign for New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Following are examples of posts about featured exhibitions and events at MoMA, crafted by our stable team of writers and editors and distributed across our publishing network.

And working directly with BRIC, the Brooklyn arts and culture non-profit, BlankSlate conceived a series of sponsored posts that ran across our publishing network, announcing the opening of the new BRIC House arts and cultural center:

For more examples, or to learn more about how we can help your agency or cultural institution, please contact us.



1000 Dean - Image4

Brooklyn has become a world capital of the “maker culture,” where a generation of artists and entrepreneurs combine new technologies and classic craftsmanship to remake the world around them on the neighborhood level.

In that spirit, Brownstoner, BFC Partners, and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group decided to develop 1000 Dean into a creative hub for the up-and-coming Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights. Formerly a Studebaker service station, this 1920s concrete structure is becoming a suit of creative offices and studios with a 9,000-square-foot food and beer hall operated by the Brooklyn Flea.

BlankSlate was brought on to oversee the branding and web presence of this pioneering new project. To paint a picture of  creativity and sophistication, we conceived a design that was clean and modern, inspired by fashion and design magazines. We started with a simple, elegant logo design for 1000 Dean. For the website, we selected a color palette and typography that complemented the building’s cool, minimalist loft spaces.

Photography plays a key role in the design. The spaces were shot to look more like fashion photography than what you would normally see on a real estate site.

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BlankSlate Real Estate now includes real time local market trends for sale and rental listings. Market trends can help buyers and sellers and owners and renters make informed pricing decisions by seeing how prices are changing over time (e.g. ‘where are we in a seasonal or macro-economic cycle?’) and also by comparing prices in one place versus another place (e.g. ‘how does pricing here compare to there?’).  BlankSlate Real Estate Market Trends is also a valuable tool for real estate brokers, who can gain greater insight into the communities they serve and share them with their customers.

Here’s how BlankSlate Real Estate Market Trends works:

We receive feeds from listings sources throughout the day. Listings are checked to ensure they have complete and valid addresses and can be placed on a map. If they don’t have complete information, we try to complete it using various web services.

We analyze the location data and pass the listings thru map boundaries to aggregate listings by geography. The map boundaries are developed in conjunction with BlankSlate’s publisher partners, to really define the neighborhoods in the way locals understand them. For example, here is the neighborhood map of DC that listings for Popville are passed thru.

BlankSlate-Real-Estate-Washington-DC-Neighborhood-Boundaries

Next, we generate statistics — like average and median price, and price per square foot —  based on the compiled location data.

For urban environments, the outcome is detailed pricing information by neighborhood.

Here is Washington DC’s sale pricing by neighborhood for today.

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#Real Estate Market Trends#Real time real estate trends


If you really want to give voice to your business and tell your story, you should consider sponsored content. A sponsored post is one that is written and created specifically for an advertiser. It is displayed right in the main editorial column of a publisher’s site. The posts are treated like any other post you’d see on a website: they are uploaded, published, and tracked through a site’s analytics. Since they take the shape of a regular post and can fit seamlessly into a blog, they are a great choice for delivering the exact message that an advertiser wants in long form, supported by text, photos, video, or other forms of media.

Traditional advertising can certainly be effective – for example, take a look at the celebrity endorsements for Pepsi and Coke shown here. But these advertisements explicitly “sell” a product, and that’s not what our team is after when we create a sponsored post.

coke-pepsi

When they are done well, sponsored posts do not sell or even have an advertorial sound (unlike the celebrity endorsements above). After all, readers are smart and can sense when content isn’t genuine; people prefer to read posts that are interesting and hopefully entertaining — but most of all, people prefer posts that are not directly selling something to them. By writing quality sponsored posts, an advertiser has the opportunity to leverage the voice and trust of the site to its maximum benefit. If an audience already trusts the blog, the sponsored post will fit right in. Sites that serve a community and often feature what to do in the neighborhood – such as Brooklyn Based for Brooklyn or PoPville for Washington DC – are natural fits for these kinds of posts.

Sponsored posts are unique in content, but have a particular form: they contain a native ad unit under the lead image for the advertiser’s logo, link and byline, as well as multiple target links in the body of the post itself. The posts contain social media buttons that are built in, which enable readers to easily share the content. The posts are optimized for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. It is of utmost importance that it can reach an audience, regardless of where the content is viewed.

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#native advertising#sponsored posts


BlankSlate just completed the new Red Hook Waterfront site and the results look great.

redhoot-waterfront-homepage

This is not your typical commercial real estate site. The website belongs to The O’Connell Organization, a family owned and operated real estate development company that is behind many of the large Red Hook warehouses. The company has a substantial presence in the community, participating in many civic and economic development activities. Their marketing approach mirrors their business approach: accentuate the neighborhood’s unique attributes and focusing on the community while also promoting the role they play. The website has a key role in this strategy, acting as a place to display available commercial listings, while also serving as a blog for the community.

Red Hook Winery - Unique and Distinct

BlankSlate was engaged to create the site and on-going content for the site’s blog, as well as to promote listings and raise awareness of Red Hook by placing in-blog ads and syndicating the site’s blog content on other well trafficked Brooklyn sites.

The listings on the site are comprised of retail spaces, offices and warehouses that can range from $1,000 to $25,000 per month. The listings pages are filled with photos and include all the expected property information. All of the fields are customizable in the site’s admin, enabling listings to be showcased as needed.

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#Commercial real estate#O'Connell Organization#Red Hook#Red Hook Waterfront#Website design#Wordpress


Swamplot is the newest site to join the BlankSlate network, leveraging BlankSlate’s inContext WordPress Theme and ad sales capabilities.

Swamplot, founded by Gus Allen, is an uncompromising blog about Houston real estate.

Swamplot Logo

From the site’s about page:

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in Houston real estate, buy Houston real estate, sell Houston real estate, invest in Houston real estate, dream about Houston real estate, or simply live in Houston real estate, . . . well, here you go. You’ll find informative and entertaining stories about Houston real estate here at Swamplot.

Swamplot dredges up and spills out news, leads, and information about Houston homes and commercial property for sale, home design, home renovation, architecture, landscape, and Houston neighborhoods. The site covers the entire Houston real-estate pyramid, from the con men who founded this city to the newcomers you’re hoping will buy your home for far more than it’s worth.

Swamplot uses BlankSlate’s inContext WordPress theme. One of the advantages of using inContext is the ability to customize and style everything from the header to the colors to the fonts in the WordPress admin without coding — and when we say ‘everything’ we mean a site gets automatically formatted for desktop, tablet, and mobile. That being said, if custom features are needed, inContext can be easily modified. Swamplot had some features that  it wanted to carry over from its previous site, and a Wordpress developer was able to make these features in a couple of days work.

Follow Swamplot on Facebook and Twitter for news and updates to the site. To learn more about advertising on Swamplot thru BlankSlate, click here.

#Houston#Swamplot


Dan Silverman PoPville

We’ve written this post before and we’ll probably be writing it again in the future. PoPville, founded and run by Dan Silverman, was named the best neighborhood blog by the Washington Post. Earlier this year it was named best local blog/blogger for 2013 by the Washington City Paper for the second year in a row.

The Post notes, “Dan Silverman may have discovered the magic formula for writing a great neighborhood blog: several posts a day on real estate, restaurants and development … with cute animal pictures thrown in.”

We don’t want to give away any trade secrets… But if you’re looking for some tips, write about the things people care about, such as…

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#PoPville

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