What makes a premium or luxury brand? What are the elements that make you think quality, style and upscale when you look at a product, a website or a logo?
Is it the colors?
Is it the font?
Is it the location?
All of these elements can play a part in conveying the idea of luxury to potential buyers.
How does a real estate agent convey luxury, especially when he or she is marketing to the luxury home sales niche.
Setting plays a part. Home prices play a part.
But what else do luxury agents do to set themselves apart from the rest of the residential real estate landscape? What can you do to “upscale” your brand and marketing and begin making inroads with those higher-priced listings and buyer clients? How can you use luxury agent strategies to make your brand stand out?
I spoke with Miami luxury condo specialist Steven Seigel of The Luxury Team. With $20 million in luxury condos currently under contract, Seigel knows a thing or two about appealing to this sophisticated clientele.
He is a big believer in conveying the right image, and the good news is anyone can implement the methods he credits with helping him build his brand and his business.
1. Create a brag board
One of the first things you’ll see on the main page of Seigel’s website is his “As seen on” panel featuring publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines. Seigel says that clients are very impressed, and the panel gives him instant credibility.
What do you do if you haven’t been in Forbes magazine? Start looking for opportunities in your market. Is there a great local blogger? Reach out, and ask if you can do a “market update” guest blog once a month or once a quarter.
Is there a real estate section in your local newspaper? Find out the submission guidelines. If you want to be the local expert in real estate, you need to be featured in some local platforms.
Want a big name or two? Try HARO. HARO (an acronym for “Help a Reporter Out”) is a website where you can register as an expert source for reporters to interview and quote in their stories.
You’ll receive an email three times a day with current requests. Submit a quote for the reporter to use, and you could find yourself referenced in a national publication, written up in a book or featured on a podcast.
Create your brag board once you’ve gathered some credits, and include it on your website and in other marketing materials.
Use a graphic design tool like Canva to arrange the publications’ logos, then download it as an image and upload it to your website. It tells visitors that you are a force to be reckoned with and an expert in your field.
And, as Seigel noted, keep adding to your panel as you grow and get bigger and better opportunities for appearances or interviews.
2. Say the magic word
Seigel calls his team “The Luxury Team” because he is a believer in using the words “luxury” or “VIP” in brand names to differentiate from other agents or groups.
“This builds trust with the client,” said Seigel, who only sells homes in the $1 million-plus category. They know that he actually understands that market because his branding and marketing speak directly to luxury buyers.
Some agents who are working in the higher end of their market are reluctant to call themselves luxury agents or to appeal directly to the luxury market. If not all of their clients are in this high-priced category, they may feel they are leaving money on the table by narrowing their niche to luxury clients.
In reality, however, you’re probably leaving money on the table by failing to communicate that you know, understand and work with upscale clients and their properties.
Don’t expect potential clients to guess what your level of expertise is. Using the words “luxury,” “elite,” “VIP” or other niche indicators can help you better define and market your segment and your services.
This type of definition extends beyond the luxury niche. If you find yourself primarily working with military families, why not add that to your branding with a custom logo, or even indicate it in your team name or website URL?
Create marketing opportunities that give you the chance to showcase this important part of your client base. Stop worrying about going too narrow, and think about all of the people you can draw in with a really well-defined, clear brand identity.
3. Dress the part
Seigel always wears suits when meeting with clients as well as with other real estate agents and affiliated business representatives.
“You have to project that high-end brand,” Seigel said, and that carries through to the way he presents himself anytime he is doing business.
Although this used to be a no-brainer, the “casualization” of the culture means many of us have relaxed our standards when it comes to appearance.
In addition, many real estate agents may be trying to fit in personal and family time with a busy real estate business, meaning they’re not always dressed for success.
But to project a high-end image, you need to dress the part, not just at a client meeting but anytime you’re out and about representing your business. And as a real estate agent, you and your brand are your best advertisement, so looking your best is a must.
Take stock, and honestly ask yourself whether you are putting your best foot forward every day. If not, maybe it’s time to step up your game and upgrade your look.
After all, what better way to get into a conversation about real estate with someone than to have them ask, “Where are you going all dressed up?”
You don’t have to be in a glamorous market like South Florida or selling multi-million dollar condos on the beach to add some upscale to your brand. With these tips from Seigel, you can boost your glamour quotient and be the star of your local market.