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Next Step Helps Old Friends Promote Their New Venture


What do a new logo and branding, direct mail, literature, social media, a website, old friends and business colleagues, the holidays, and Southwest Florida have in common? 

Next Step Communications Inc. and The Hume Team, a husband-and-wife real estate firm serving Southwest Florida – specifically the communities of Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and Naples!

First, some history:  I go way back with the Humes, starting in the 1980s when I worked with Bill at KONA Corporation (Gloucester, Mass.) and lived about a mile from Bill’s family’s Christmas Tree farm in West Newbury, Mass.   I even worked weekends for a couple winters back then helping out at the farm. 

After starting Next Step Communications Inc. in 1996, I continued providing marketing support to Bill when he served as President of Synventive Molding Solutions, and later as General Manager at Lydall Affinity.  Mitch and I also both worked with Bill’s wife Laurie for several years, supporting her in her role as General Manager at Vitronics Soltec.

Fast forward to 2018: Bill and Laurie decided to move on from their corporate life, so they sold their home in North Carolina and moved to Cape Coral, FL to enjoy the lifestyle and start a new real estate firm, appropriately named The Hume Team.   And who did they call to help get them started?  You guessed it.

I told Bill when he called that we had never really done any marketing for real estate firms, but we’d give it a shot.  We were happy to help Bill and Laurie, they’re great people and I have no doubt they’ll be very successful in their new venture.  In fact if anyone reading this is thinking of looking at real estate in Southwest Florida, I’d highly recommend you give the Hume Team a call. 

For starters, Next Step produced a Hume Team logo, and then a series of direct mail postcards that were bulk-mailed to thousands of Southwest Florida residents and shared on social media.  This helped spread the word that there was a new real estate team in town.  The postcards were fun, featuring some custom cartoon illustrations with a ‘Snowbird’ couple anxiously looking to relocate to Southwest Florida.  After a few mailings these images are already recognizable and will be synonymous with Hume Team branding going forward.

Next came a combined pocket folder/brochure that will be used for presenting proposals.  And finally, a new website,, produced on the Squarespace platform, was launched in early December. was our second website, and our first was our own,, which we launched this past summer. Take a look and let us know what you think.  We don’t consider ourselves experts in website development or creation, but we are very comfortable with the Squarespace platform – comfortable enough that we’ve now added website creation as a service we can now provide in-house.  If you’re looking for an attractive, informational, and functional website without too many bells and whistles, contact us, we can probably help you out. 

Meanwhile, while the December temperatures in Kittery Point, Maine are in the 20’s, the Hume Team basks in the 80-degree heat in Cape Coral, FL, and ramps up for the busy winter season in Florida. 

“We are really happy with all the work Next Step has produced for us,” said Bill Hume.  “When Laurie and I made the move and decided to start up this new business, we both knew who to call to help us get our name out there.” 

Mitch Hannoosh