AgentMarketing

5 marketing techniques for high-end listings

The word luxury has become commonplace, use these tips to reach wealthy buyers
  • A recent poll revealed that luxury clients said they don't like the word "luxury;" they prefer adjectives such as "prestigious" or other descriptive markers such as "estate" or "gated community."
  • Although the cloud, mobility and digital are a given, in addition to online exposure, print media is still appreciated -- and, surprisingly, expected -- when marketing high-end properties.
  • When considering copy for a luxury listing, focus on your target audience and resist the temptation to generalize, which diminishes its impact and appeal, shifting the focus to the mass market.

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As the managing broker for a real estate firm that specializes in luxury properties, I’m often asked, “What can we do to make a significant impact from a marketing perspective?”

When a home is priced in the multi-million or million-dollar price range, you must market to an unique niche audience — high net worth individuals, or HNWIs.

To the dismay of many, luxury has become the new go-to adjective in all things marketing. Yet in the process, the term has become ubiquitous and predictably pointless.

Today’s market economy defines luxury as relative to the demographic benchmarks of HNWIs in the U.S. and globally. For example, a luxury home in one market might fall seriously short of another that reflects HNWI thresholds.

In other words, price alone does not define luxury. However, the techniques an agent uses to market either home might be similar.

We’ve learned and recognized a few tips along the way for marketing high-end homes that can help in marketing any luxury listing — regardless of the price range.

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1. Wording is key

A recent poll revealed that luxury clients said they don’t like the word “luxury;” they prefer adjectives such as “prestigious” or other descriptive markers such as “estate” or “gated community.”

So reject the luxury tag altogether. Rarely do high-end buyers ask to see luxury homes.

2. HNWIs expect exceptional marketing

Although every listing benefits from an appealing property brochure, consider how the presentation might stand out with a clean, crisp layout, a thick card stock, full-color printing and high-resolution photography.

These details make a significant difference and could help rev up broad interest from like-minded buyers.

3. Print is a priority

Although the cloud, mobility and digital are a given, in addition to online exposure, print media is still appreciated — and, surprisingly, expected — when marketing high-end properties.

Remember to choose publications carefully, and stay with those that share your targeted demographics and high-production standards. Bad advertising (contrary to many who say all publicity is good publicity) is just that — bad advertising.

4. Storytelling is the name of the game today

When considering copy for a luxury listing, focus on your target audience. Resist the temptation to generalize which diminishes its impact and appeal shifting the focus to the mass market.

Visualize the buyers and emphasize those features of the property that reflect their lifestyle. Where do they shop or enjoy their morning coffee? Are schools an important consideration?  How do they like to entertain? Is freeway or airport access essential?

Listing oh-so-standard features such as granite countertops is a put-off. And remember, buyers today have already researched listings online and are familiar with the particular features of homes they are interested in.

5. Video marketing is not optional

Video is the new gold standard in visual marketing. Think about the popularity of YouTube and Instagram. Consider creating a video with high production standards to showcase the home’s unique features and selling points.

Incorporating drone photography is also essential to seamlessly visualize the property, neighborhood and local lifestyle attractions such as beaches, parks and open spaces. It might even be viewed as a negative to some discerning buyers if passed over. And please don’t attempt photography or videography on your own.

When it comes to high-end listings, always go the extra mile. High-quality photos, compelling story and marketing featuring video and social media are musts. Your client will thank you when just the right buyer comes along — and at the right price.

Have any tips that have helped you seal the deal on a high-end property? Please share in the comments section below.

Bud Clark is Executive Vice President and Managing Broker for Willis Allen Real Estate, headquartered in La Jolla, CA. You can find him on LinkedIn or follow Willis Allen on Twitter.

Email Bud Clark.