What happens when you combine drones, Lamborghinis, actors, YouTube and multimillion-dollar mansions? You get incredible advances in luxury real estate marketing.
Many new luxury real estate listings are incorporating “movie trailer”-style videos in their marketing. If you haven’t seen them yet, trust me: You will.
Why is Hollywood invading real estate? Will YouTube be selling homes soon? Are the superwealthy drawn to this style of marketing?
Real estate agents must know their potential buyers
Picture a $10 million home. This imaginary property, how big is it? Is it located on a beach? Does it have an art gallery? Is there a vineyard on the property? Is it part of a gated community? The details of your imaginary $10 million home will depend entirely on who you are, what stage of life you are in and how you live your life — or would like to live your life. For the agent about to market this property, it is crucial that they can answer these questions for you, the potential buyer.
Luxury homes are very different than regular homes
“Regular” homes sell due to necessity — the buyer has needs that the home fulfills. Examples of this include growing families that need more bedrooms for kids or a husband with a new job who needs to live closer to work. We understand this; it is the world that most of us know.
On the contrary, luxury homes rarely sell due to necessity and are usually driven by want and desire. Understanding need versus want is an essential pillar of marketing.
Who can afford a $10 million home?
Buyers for a $10 million home will be ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals. Business Insider defines UHNW individuals as those whose net worth exceeds $50 million. Although these folks comprise only 0.001 percent of the population, it is a mistake to assume they are all the same.
Understanding the ultra high net worth individual
The super-rich do not all live like “The Wolf of Wall Street.” In fact, many multimillion-dollar mansions are priced as such due to their locational privacy and understated accents. Real estate agents must understand what kind of buyer their listing will attract.
Is the particular property going to entice a young self-made tech billionaire or an established fourth-generation oil family? Is the listing a Bel Air “look at me” home or a Montecito estate hidden behind 20-foot hedges? Ultra high net worth individuals are motivated by something — whether it is ego, convenience or solitude — so the key is to find out what it is and pinpoint the marketing.
Welcome to the future: lifestyle on a screen
Now back to the “movie trailer” marketing. Lifestyle videos are taking the luxury real estate market by storm. These videos include exotic cars, models/actors, aerial footage, and even plots and storylines. Although you might think this is a tad overkill, there are examples of $15 million estates selling merely due to a buyer watching the video online. Many never even visited the property before escrow closing.
The reason luxury real estate is heading in this direction is because lifestyle marketing is the epitome of selling “want” versus “need.” It tells us “why” rather than “what.” “What” marketing is what we see in real estate: three-bed/two-bath home on a cul-de-sac with 1,800 square feet. Can you imagine if you did that on a date? “Hi, I’m Dusty, and I am 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds; will you marry me?”
Luxury real estate marketing has to go much further than stating statistics of the property; it has to paint a picture that encapsulates the buyer and sweeps them into its story. It has to show the property in way that answers the age-old question of “What does it do for me?”
Remember, there is no “need” involved in these sales, so the marketing has to convey the added value that this particular home provides to the buyer. With the increasing number of real estate “movie trailers,” and the subsequent success stories, suffice it to say the future is now, and we should prepare ourselves to see Tom Cruise in a real estate video soon.
Dusty Baker is a high-volume real estate agent and established blogger.