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It would be an understatement to say that Stephanie Anton knows a thing or two about marketing. As the president of Luxury Portfolio International, the 17-year real estate marketing veteran guides the company’s strategic direction and oversees the day-to-day operations that includes a network of more than 200 affiliated companies.
Beyond her role as LPI’s president, Anton travels around the world conducting research and sharing insights about how to connect with today’s affluent buyers and sellers using cutting-edge tools and data.
Here’s what Anton has to say about what’s in store for luxury marketing in 2020 and beyond.
The luxury market always seems to be operating on the cutting edge, especially when it comes to marketing. What are some ways luxury marketing has grown over the past year?
It’s all about data. The opportunities for the typical agent to incorporate data in their everyday business is just spectacular. We have the ability to understand how much equity someone has in their home, the value someone has in their home and how to market. Now you have tools where you can predict who’s going to list their home in the market or in a neighborhood based on how long they’ve lived in the home.
I’m also excited about virtual staging and what you can do digitally with photography today. I’m a big believer that for any home to put its best foot forward, it has to look spectacular, and sometimes that’s not always possible. Digital staging gives us the opportunity to do something really cool.
Lastly, I’m still excited about video. I think it’s cool to see more resources, and more ways to make it less expensive for people. In luxury, it’s all about storytelling and video enables luxury agents to tell phenomenal stories. In the last year, we’ve seen a lot of agents embracing doing things that are quirky or funny to get people’s attention, and I think it’s smart.
We released a White Paper a few months ago that focused on the way the affluent consume media, and one of the major findings was that people are pressed to consume so much information visually every day. One of the best ways to cut through the noise is to be funny, be creative and show your brand personality.
If you’re an agent, show who you are.
It’s interesting that you mentioned data. I’ve been reading and writing about the growing tidal wave of consumer data coming our way as technology advances. How can agents make sure they’re not just collecting data, but making it useful?
The agents that can understand how to use it, and do something different with their business as a result, will have a competitive advantage. For example, let’s talk about predictive analytics.
We have a reporting tool on the backend of our site that shows agents who’s looking at a listing, what language they’re looking at the listing in, what country, what currency, what state, what city.
The really smart agents will say, “Hey, I have a listing in San Diego or L.A. that’s been looked at by people in Dallas 50 times,” and they’ll do a digital band around re-targeting people in the Dallas marketplace or in a specific zip code because they can look at the analytics and see there’s an interest [in their listing].
Speaking of digital advertising, what are some of the ways luxury agents can effectively use social media to grow their business?
They need to understand that it’s not just millennials on social media, although that’s the primary group that’s focused on it. But it’s important to understand the differences between various age groups and how they consume media, what they use and why.
For example, people under 40 tend to use Instagram more than they do Facebook, and part of it is because they’re looking to project themselves to the world versus Gen-Xers who are a little older, are having kids, and tend to be more private. Gen-Xers use Facebook because it’s closed and more connected to your [individual] community versus Instagram, where you can be public.
If you can understand the psychology behind why people are using what they’re using, you can understand how to leverage those tools a little better.