Meet Model Turned Marketing Maven Tiffany Blake Fox
One thing that sets Summit Sotheby’s International Realty (SSIR) apart is our unrivaled marketing. One very impressive woman is behind all the marketing magic here: Tiffany Blake Fox. This talented Vice President of Marketing pioneered our in-house videography services, revolutionized our biannual Collections magazine, and continuously inspires us to go above and beyond in promoting our listings. We sat down with Tiffany to learn more about her path from international model to marketing maven here at SSIR.
What led you to real estate marketing and your work with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty?
It’s kind of a long journey. I had not done real estate marketing before this position. I worked at Park City Television as their Marketing and Creative Director—and team mom. I did everything from writing scripts to commercial production to actual marketing functions and set designs.
Summit Sotheby’s International Realty (SSIR) commandeered the assistance of Park City Television to build a 90-second commercial. I produced the commercial with zero budget and the outcome was spectacular—in fact, we won a bunch of awards. I stayed in touch with Kim Haskins [now SSIR V.P. of Operations] along with Thomas [Wright, SSIR President] and they stalked me until I came over in April of 2016.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job with SSIR?
What I love about our company and, specifically, the leadership from Thomas is the opportunity to create freely, to redefine the way that luxury properties are marketed. Anything we come up with creatively—no matter how out there it seems—he completely trusts our vision. To work for a company where you can say, “Hey, I want to put a fashion model on the cover of a real estate magazine and no one has ever done it before,” and have the owner say, “Go for it,” is huge. It inspires us to search for innovative ways to market real estate at all price points and share the lifestyle we have here in Utah with the world. The global platform is a huge component of that. We get to be creative and it gets to be displayed across the globe.
Do you have a marketing philosophy that guides your work?
It’s twofold. First, I believe in trusting your own behavior. When you’re watching a commercial or reading an ad and you feel compelled by it or you feel emotional, that’s a good marketing piece. That’s one of my mantras: pay attention to the things you feel drawn to—especially for our agents. Those are things you need to incorporate into your own marketing.
The other side of that is trust your artist. That’s more for our internal marketing. Trusting our guts allows that inner creative to thrive and to not be afraid to try something different. It’s okay to come up with something crazy. This is a safe space—that’s what I tell the girls all the time. We put it all out there and work to refine.
Of all the projects and marketing pieces your team has produced to date, is there one you’re most proud of?
Collections Magazine has definitely been the passion project for our team. The first one—where we put the model on the cover—was a big emotional moment for all of us because we had no idea how it was going to be received. I thought we would have a better opportunity to attract a wider audience if we put a person on the cover of our magazine instead of a home. If you look at the racks all around town, it’s a picture of a mountain or a home or interior design. There weren’t really any people on the covers of the magazines we were competing against so I determined it was a way for us to differentiate ourselves. We ended up having to do a reorder of the publication because we ran out. It was a home run.
The other thing is our in-house video program, which I started when I came on board. We’ve now won a Luxury Real Estate award for video marketing.
Speaking of magazine models, I heard you used to be one. What was your modeling career like and how did you transition to marketing?
I modeled for over 10 years. I was based in Los Angeles, but lived in Shanghai and Beijing and all over Europe. I was able to see the world and get a great grasp of a creative process from concept to casting to photographing to delivering the photo to putting it in an ad and then in a magazine. I immediately also recognized at that time how much art, fashion, and architecture are intermixed and inspired by one another. I met fashion designers who were inspired by buildings, so all of the sudden we’re shooting a dress in front of a building.
That definitely inspired some of the decisions we’ve made with Collections magazine—bridging that gap between all different facets of the creative space. There’s a lot of passion and creativity that goes into homebuilding. That translates into art and fashion and, of course, our tie to the auction house marries it up brilliantly.
So, how did you go from being a model to living in Park City?
I had been living in Shanghai and Beijing for several months. I was the only red-headed model in Asia at the time and I worked really crazy hours. I flew back to Los Angeles after my contract was over and felt like I needed a bit of break. I learned to ski at age three at Snowbird and I said, “You know what? It’s coming up on winter, why don’t I just go be a ski bum for a couple months?” I came out here and, as the story goes, I met my now-husband George. Basically, this kind of cocky skier bro walked in the door and I was enamored. After a couple months in Utah and meeting him and knowing right away that that was my person, I called my modeling agencies in Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, China, Japan, Paris, and London and cancelled all my contracts, retired, and moved to Utah.
Got any tips for real estate agents or homeowners for marketing and staging their homes to sell?
Taking a gander at Pinterest is a great idea to get your home ready. If you look at what’s trending, you’re able to see quickly what people are gravitating toward. Then you can capture a look or easy DIY stuff that’s also on trend to help your photography stand out. That would be one thing for homeowners.
Another thing is less is more. We all have trinkets and things we love, but a home photographs a lot better when it’s minimalist. It makes it look larger, clean, and luxurious. If you have all these things going on, you’ve distracted the eye and made the person feel uneasy—they don’t even realize they feel uneasy. It’s subconscious. But if you have a clean home that’s decluttered and open, it creates a more calming, serene experience for a buyer.
What are you most excited about for the Winter 2017-2018 season in Park City? Any big ski trips planned?
I’m totally stoked. Winter is my happy place. My husband competed forever and he is quite the monster skier. I always look forward to stepping up my game and being one of the badass big mountain ladies out there that’s not afraid to go out in the backcountry and drop a couple cliff lines. He always pushes me and it makes me more competitive. That helps my marketing as well—it gets my gusto up.
I’m trying to plan a surprise trip—I haven’t determined where I want to take the Fox. Maybe an Alaska trip or a heli skiing trip or going back over to Europe because the vibe there is just so fun.