• Crown Point, Indiana-based brokerage Prime Real Estate brews its own beer for marketing, company events and closing gifts.
  • The company has released its third beer, a New England Hazy Double IPA called, "Prime-A-Peel."

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Best practices suggest agents leave notes in a client relationship manager (CRM) about leads and clients. For example, “Wants a view of the mountains,” or “Has not been pre-approved,” might be common notations.

But if you’re an agent with Crown Point, Indiana-based Prime Real Estate, something along the lines of, “Loves our porter” or “Bring a bomber of our New England hazy as a closing gift,” might be more common.

That’s because in addition to drip campaigns and yard signs, the independent brokerage has brewed up another method to unite employees and engage customers: craft beer.

Last week, the company announced the bottling of its third beer, Prime-A-Peel.

The New England Hazy IPA, a fruity, beach-ready double, is infused with sweet orange peel, citra, zythos and cascade hops.

The beer’s name is a tongue-in-cheek poke at competing brokerages.

The company’s unique private events and business tactics tend to attract the attention of more traditional brands worried about top agents being lured away by the fast-growing independent.

“We’ve heard that other local agents are encouraged to not ‘drink the Prime Kool-Aid,’ so we sort of jabbed at the market a bit when we named our newest beer Prime-A-Peel,” Director of Marketing Andrew Knies told Inman.

The idea to brew under the company brand came from the minds of Knies and company co-founder Joshua Lybolt.

Both are big fans of craft beer, and Knies said that the decision on what to brew “comes from whatever I’m liking at the time.”

“When we started, I was heavy into porters,” he added.

The company’s first beer, Primed Up Porter, is infused with Prime’s privately roasted coffee beans, also found in each of its five offices.

The brewing is a reflection of Prime’s unconventional business narrative, which promotes agent-focused marketing and coaching.

Instead of each office having a centralized broker, all Prime agents are assigned a performance coach to help them excel at various stages of development, from newly licensed to top producer.

The company is what’s called a “gypsy brewer,” meaning it isn’t licensed to produce, but it partners with companies that are, such as Crown Brewing.

The latest brew is also being poured by a couple of local bars, and as a result, the Prime Real Estate logo is displayed on large LCD screens that detail beer selections.

Different groups of agents participate in different stages of the brewing, whether its adding hops or being there for the boil. There’s a company-wide tasting event when each beer is ready, and the company provides 22-ounce bombers (large bottles) as part of their closing gifts.

With 152 agents all consuming what Knies and Lybolt are pouring, it’s no surprise that the company’s culture is as intoxicating as it is to local agents.

The company has a dedicated recruiting website, joinprime.com, that champions independence, support and lifestyle. And it also has brokerlife.com, a child-site focused on promoting a series of traveling, training and licensing events hosted by the company.

Whereas Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker and Century 21 are all-in on modernism and technology as the marketing messages of the future, Prime chose one of the world’s oldest traditions to recruit new agents and reach qualified clients.

It’s a smart, lighthearted move that stands out in an era of vague but definite industry upheaval.

We should all have another.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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