This summer we’re looking at the state of the luxury agent and broker in today’s increasingly complex real estate market. In October, we’ll gather in Beverly Hills at Luxury Connect to share best practices, network and create a blueprint for the luxury agent/broker of tomorrow. Don’t miss it.
It is no secret that those defined as wealthy can afford to be picky when buying a home and usually don’t mind taking their time to find it. However, when it comes time to put their home up for sale, they want it sold — and they want it sold now.
It’s certainly understandable that a bigger payout should come with more hours of intense work. As an agent for luxury homes, you’ll have to go the extra mile to ensure that your client’s home sells quickly and for the right amount.
One way to ensure a smooth transaction is to invest in solid marketing and seize all available opportunities. Here are eight examples of luxury marketing opportunities you can’t afford to miss.
1. A luxury online experience
Don’t send your luxury buyers to a website that has them running for the hills. The online navigation process for homes should be seamless and easy to use. More than that, it should be worlds apart from the experience they get on Zillow.
This means building a site that caters to their needs, beginning with a beautiful landing page, and moving to an easy-to-use search component with filters that make the most sense for your audience.
How are they searching for homes? What do they want to see? Offer video tours and 3D tours of each home, as well as a digital brochure for the home. Match the digital experience as close as possible to the in-person experience.
Don’t forget to provide all the information on the home that is most important for them; the MLS might not do the home justice, so make sure that you do. Think Tiffany’s.
The technology is there — use it.
2. Use 3D tours
Although mentioned above, this requires some attention. The cost of creating a 3D tour is no where near as high as it once was, nor is it difficult. However, it gives wealthy buyers with busy schedules a much better perception of the home and also a sense of the space in the home.
For the seller, there is the added benefit that there will be less foot traffic in their home, so those who really show up are serious buyers.
3. Are you shooting video?
If you’re not leveraging the power of video, you likely live under a rock. Video is more popular online than just about anything.
Why aren’t you taking advantage of this medium and using it to put out videos of the home you have for sale? And don’t forget your intended viewers when you do; create something upscale that’s worth watching and engaging with.
4. Facebook Live
You’ve attracted the right followers on your social media platform, so leverage that. Announcing a sneak peak at a home that hasn’t even hit the market will spark curiosity, particularly if you put some dollars behind it.
Advertising your Facebook Live will get you access to a larger audience that fits your buyer profile. You can submit an email list of qualified buyers, or advertise to your already-vetted audience right on Facebook.
Letting agents and buyers have access to the home before it hits the MLS is a fantastic way to drum up interest from the right buyers. Give the target audience a sneak peak, but keep it short.
Be sure to continue to build the interest in the home by announcing that you will have a 3D tour and professional photography soon.
5. Social media ads
Once you’ve got that stellar photography, create targeted social media ads. Facebook and Instagram allow you to target a specific audience, so take advantage. It doesn’t cost much to advertise in this way, but you can get great results. Be sure your ads are effective — video and a carousel of photos might work best.
On social media, you can gather leads right from the platform or opt to direct them to your website. Do some testing to figure out what your audience is reacting best to.
6. Impressive (unignorable) direct mail
If you’re advertising a luxury listing, you can’t do it the same way that an average home is marketed. Sending a just-listed postcard isn’t going to have much of an effect with your buyer.
If you’re sending to a targeted audience, think outside the box. Send them something compelling that they must open, or something they’ll want to keep.
For one client, we sent booklets detailing a history of the area (including photography), and they got plenty of attention — people even collected them. For another client, we sent custom artwork of the view from the listing. This certainly got their attention.
Depending on the price point of the home, you’ll want to match the direct mail materials.
7. Print done correctly
Then there is print. This is nothing new. But again, you have to use your creative genius here and have it match the home you’ve listed.
Don’t run a classified ad with all your listings. That’s not impressive in a luxury market that thrives on personal attention and touches. First and foremost, print your ad in the correct magazines — those geared toward the affluent.
Print shouldn’t be limited to newspaper and magazine ads. Think of unique places where you could advertise your listing with beautiful photography of the home.
Are there any upscale stores nearby with available ad space? How about teaming up with luxury car dealers to have some of their brochures in the house while they put yours in the cars they sell?
There are so many ways to get in front of the correct audience — don’t be held back by the same old, same old.
8. A gala with a cause
As you have access to all the right people, send them a fancy invitation to a gala or event of your choice at the house. Team up with a charity and host an event at the home.
Who can turn down a night of fun for a cause? Send out those nice invitations and get your buyers to the event. If the house is still lived in, this probably won’t work, but it’s a great way to advertise the home and your favorite charity.
OK, so this might not all be “new” ideas, but you probably aren’t using all of them. There are so many opportunities to make a huge impact in this market.
Under-utilizing the tools available isn’t going to get you far. This market can afford to be picky, so you need greater exposure. If you want to prove to your seller that you have the right marketing to earn and keep their business, you’ll have to invest in their home.
Thinking of bringing your team to Luxury Connect? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy those tickets together too. Just contact us to find out more.
Laura Ure is the CEO of Keenability, a full-service marketing agency specializing in lifestyle and creative real estate marketing. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.