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A History Worth Celebrating: Southeast Venture (commercial real estate)

Using videos to tell the story of Southeast Venture’s rich history and community impact

Situation

In 1981, a real estate professional from Atlanta and one from Nashville—Dick Sorenson and George Volkert—had the vision to establish a diversified commercial real estate and design services company, which they called Southeast Venture. If they hadn’t, Middle Tennessee would be a much different place today.

  • Cool Springs wouldn’t be named “Cool Springs” (and it may still be just a bit of rural countryside south of Nashville).
  • MetroCenter wouldn’t be one of Nashville’s most successful commercial real estate submarkets.
  • And Brentwood’s “Flagpole Property,” so named for several flagpoles that could be seen along the Highway 65 corridor, would still contain nothing but flagpoles, as Mallory Park would have never been rezoned and the business park extended.

A full-service brokerage, development, architectural and interior design and property management company, in 2011, Southeast Venture celebrated its 30th anniversary and called on the Bradford Group to tell the story of its rich history and community impact.

Actions

We first delved into Southeast Venture’s history by interviewing Founder Dick Sorenson and the company’s current six principals to develop a timeline of key projects and economic events.

Outline in hand, we brainstormed different ways and mediums to convey Southeast Venture’s history to both internal and external audiences. Our ideas ranged from a photo installation in Southeast Venture’s offices that mapped out the firm’s defining projects to self-publishing a coffee table book.

In the end, the Bradford Group and Southeast Venture decided to use video as our medium. We chose video because 1.) Its visual nature would best convey the historical arc of the business in the top officials’ own words, 2.) Video is the most consumed form of online media, guaranteeing limitless exposure once posted on Southeast Venture’s website and social media channels, 3.) It could be easily edited and parsed for different audiences and occasions.

We created three videos for Southeast Venture: one internally facing and two externally facing. We used the Bradford Group’s onsite video studio tape each of the company’s principals who talked about joining Southeast Venture, key events, interesting projects and defining characteristics of the firm.

The purpose of the internal video was to onboard new employees. This video includes the personal stories of each principal, advice to new staffers and a photo slideshow of informal (and downright funny) photos from throughout the years.

The two external videos explain 1.) What makes Southeast Venture different from other regional commercial real estate firms, and 2.) Key projects, which are presented chronologically so that unfamiliar audiences can easily follow Southeast Venture’s progression.

Results

Since they succinctly tell the firm’s history as an organization and as a positive economic force, these videos have been a great marketing tool for Southeast Venture. But don’t take our word for it, check out the Southeast Venture Difference and Southeast Venture Oral History videos for yourself!

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