A Raleigh real estate marketing firm has doubled its reach in the industry by acquiring and rebranding a South Carolina competitor.
Earlier this year, Raleigh-based Publicus Community acquired high-end hospitality and real estate marketing firm Real Living Productions. The deal closed in the spring, but the company held off on a formal announcement as it built up branding for Real Living Productions. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Publicus provides advertising and marketing services to resorts, hotels, real estate developers and residential real estate companies.

“It’s been a very exciting opportunity all around,” said Peter Dayot, founder and managing director of Publicus Community. “Over the past couple months we’ve rebranded the whole thing: logos, website, videos. On top of that we’ve managed their existing client projects as well as working with the incredible staff.”

Both companies will continue to operate under their existing names and offices – Publicus is headquartered on E. Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh while Real Living Productions has offices in Greenville, South Carolina. Altogether, the firms employ around 45 staff members, Dayot said, with a roughly equal split between the companies. Publicus had around 22 employees before the acquisition.

Dayot, who earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at East Carolina, launched Publicus in Raleigh in 2011. Previously, he’d spent years working in real estate advertising and marketing before his employer, IMI Worldwide Properties, saw business dry up amid the Great Recession. The company was downsizing, and

Dayot decided it was time to strike out on his own.
He picked Raleigh and made sure to maintain his relationship with IMI.

“When I started on my own they were an ardent supporter of the things we did and we collaborated with their team,” he said. “As years went on we saw success.”

IMI also had a real estate marketing and advertising group, Real Living Productions, which was a competitor of Publicus. Ultimately however, the company began moving away from that side of the business and began looking for buyers.

“IMI shifted their priorities, they wanted to focus more on the sales aspect and not necessarily the day-to-day marketing and advertising,” Dayot said. “I was approached by their team in January last year to consider an opportunity to acquire Real Living Productions.” Dayot said the initial slowdown after the start of the pandemic also gave his team a chance to focus heavily on the newly acquired firm. “It’s been a challenge given the fact that Covid changes things more than we expected it would be,” he said. “But it gave us the opportunity to align everything properly.”

Eventually, the companies began to see business return, particularly amid a boost in business from developers and residential real estate clients.

“There’s been a dramatic shift in the real estate industry,” Dayot said. “Many people are looking for live-work-play lifestyles, homes that may be larger or more private or in the suburbs. Many of the things we represent are in fact those second home communities, those private gated communities, resorts where you can get away and stay there an extended period of time.”

Meanwhile, even as the hospitality industry continues to struggle under the impacts of Covid-19, Dayot said they continue working with clients who have been able to keep business humming or who are preparing for when business picks up post-pandemic.

“It depends on what the draw of the area is. A ski resort is pretty busy,” Dayot said. “Much of what we’re focusing on is in a wind-down period, simply because it’s a holiday season.

Client:

Cabo Luxury | Cabo San Lucas

Project:

Website

Description:

Real Living Productions took Cabo Luxury’s iconic sea horse in a new direction a brand refresh, and a user friendly website. These clean, classic designs raise the bar in defining the luxury rental and concierge provider’s brand.

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Client:

Three Bridges | Salem, Utah

Project:

Rendering

Description:

Real Living Productions offers an array or rendering capabilities. From artistic watercolor renderings to ultra-realistic animated residential fly thru rendering—our team is always pushing the boundaries of rendering capabilities. Real Living Productions colorized floorplans and a created a realistic rendering for Three Bridges, to help prospective clients visual the residential offerings.

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Client:

Estates at Banyan Cay | Palm Beach, Florida

Project:

Video Renderings

Description:

The Estates at Banyan Cay utilized fly through renderings to drive sales in the early stages of development, allowing prospective buyers to preview 5 different floor plans before construction had even started. These renderings are Incredibly detailed and customized, from the color schemes to the appliances, and a great tool for bringing a new project to life.

Client:

Monarch Realty | Raleigh, North Carolina

Project:

Digital and Print Brochure

Description:

A collection of print and digital brochures were created for the client to use as sales tools. The information was clearly presented and allowed our client to showcase their expertise in the local market.

Client:

Hartness | Greenville, South Carolina

Project:

Digital Newsletter

Description:

In an average month, Real Living Production designs, programs and deploys 20-30 digital newsletters for communities across the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. We work carefully to create newsletter content that is relevant and user-friendly for database leads, brokers and key influencers with whom our messaging resonates.

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Client:

Four Seasons Anguilla

Project:

Digital Banner Ads

Description:

Real Living Productions created a variety of digital banner ads to be strategically placed across the internet. These banners reinforced branded messaging and provided direct links to custom landing pages and the client’s website.

Client:

Frederica Estates | Sea Island, Georgia

Project:

Digital Banner Ads

Description:

Real Living Productions created a variety of digital banner ads to be strategically placed across the internet. These banners reinforced branded messaging and provided direct links to custom landing pages and the client’s website.

Client:

The Reserve at Sea Island | Sea Island, Georgia

Project:

Gift Box

Description:

With great marketing, comes great gift sets. This is envisioned as a gift for the most select of clients. A bespoke, matching bowtie and earring set from Brackish that carries on the client’s colors and brand.

Client:

Tropicalia | Dominican Republic

Project:

Leather Book

Description:

These hand-sewn leather books with large landscape format Tyvek pages make for a stunning sales presentation tool. Both durable and luxurious, the leather books make an impactful first impression during property tours.

Client:

Trailhead Condos at Suncadia | Cle Elum, WA

Project:

Condo Rendering

Description:

Real Living Productions offers an array or rendering capabilities. From artistic watercolor renderings to ultra-realistic animated residential fly thru rendering—our team is always pushing the boundaries of rendering capabilities. These interior renderings created for our client show how the interior of their residences will appear when complete. Renderings are especially beneficial for our clients pre-development.

Client:

Red Ledges | Heber City, UT

Project:

Brand Video

Description:

This short brand video was created for the client to use as a YouTube commercial. The video matched the messaging and branding that was used on the print advertising campaign.

Client:

Quivira | Los Cabos, Mexico

Project:

Video

Description:

This video encapsulates the beautiful scenery, culture and history of Quivara. The stunning aerial video paired with John Sather's description of the area, and the vision behind the architecture, allowed our team to share a meaningful story with prospective buyers.

Client:

Utah Company

Project:

Commercial Rendering

Description:

These conceptual renderings are for a project in Utah that has yet to begin construction. They are a vital part of our comprehensive plan to support their sales team and engage potential prospects during the reservation and pre-sale process.

Client:

Hartness | Greenville, SC

Project:

Email Campaigns

Description:

In an average month, Real Living Production designs, programs and deploys 20-30 digital newsletters for communities across the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. We work carefully to create newsletter content that is relevant and user-friendly for database leads, brokers and key influencers with whom our messaging resonates.

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Client:

Tamarack | Donnelly, ID

Project:

Lead Generation Landing Page

Description:

Real Living Productions specializes in online marketing campaigns that include ads, lead generation landing pages and nurture campaigns that get results with high precision. We are experts in identifying qualified audiences, encouraging them to request information and nurturing the lead to purchase.

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Client:

St Regis Los Cabos

Project:

Website

Description:

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Client:

Falls Tower Camperdown | Greenville, SC

Project:

Website

Description:

Overlooking the iconic Reedy River waterfalls in vibrant downtown Greenville, SC — Falls Tower Camperdown is among one of the newest residential offerings in the city. Real Living Productions, in collaboration with the sales and development team, helped propel this project to total sellout at they highest “price-per-square-foot” in the history of the city’s downtown.

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Client:

Atara Desert Color | St. George, UT

Project:

Website

Description:

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Client:

St Regis Residences Los Cabos, Mexico

Project:

TriFold Insert

Description:

A cornerstone in branded resort residences, St. Regis is known far and wide. Real Living Productions partnered with the development and sales team to create an aggressive lead generation campaign that included a series of thoughtful printed inserts. These collateral pieces were placed in Wall Street Journal newspapers throughout the western United States as an opportunity to introduce a key target audience to the property.