4 unconventional marketing tactics that really work

Two top agents share their ideas on how to market outside the box

Picture this: you’re invited to an open house at a penthouse in Midtown Manhattan, but instead of a typical showing, this is a sunset soirée. You’re greeted at the door and guided to one of the home’s most striking features: a fabulous pool surrounded by the glittering lights of the NYC skyline — and brimming with guests.

It may sound like a scene from a film, but it’s not — this is just one of the spectacular open houses hosted by Lisa Maysonet, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor and Associate Broker with Sotheby’s International Realty. “I will say, the pool got people through the door and closed the deal!” she laughs.

Delroy Gill, Real Estate Advisor with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Denver, Colorado, agrees that sometimes, the best approaches break with tradition. “Today, real estate is about lifestyle and entertainment,” he says. “The core values of meeting people for coffee, making calls, and being visible in your community are still key. The difference now is how you approach your branding.”

Being creative with your marketing is effective for bolstering not only the properties you sell but your own relationship with clients and prospects. Here are four ways these two leading agents have made a memorable impression.

1. Envision an event like no other

Man pouring champagne

Photo courtesy of Delroy Gill

Truly effective marketing goes beyond the traditional open house.

When Gill and his partner were selling a listing in a historic clock tower, he knew the only way to market such a one-of-a-kind property was with a one-of-a-kind party. “We created a ‘secret location’ event. Guests needed a password to enter, Macallan Whiskey was onsite giving tastings, and no one got the address until twenty-four hours prior. We were able to generate over one million impressions on social media.”

For Maysonet, selling luxury properties in New York City is all about knowing the neighborhood — its character, its charm, and its quirks. “I’ve thrown a pet costume party for dog owners on East End Avenue at Carl Schurz Park to showcase a few of my pet-friendly listings in the area,” she recalls. “It was a great way for me to meet residents and for residents of the area to meet each other. The costumes were hilarious — New Yorkers do not disappoint!”

2. Leverage well-known brands to reinforce your presence

Marketers in other industries often rely on endorsements from famous individuals or companies, and these kinds of partnerships work in real estate as well. Name recognition can be extremely effective when selling homes.

“We sourced Armani Casa to be the interior designer for a new unit we were selling,” says Maysonet. “This tapped into a whole new realm of clientele, PR, and exposure for the listing, increased the sale price, and ultimately shortened the potential time on market.”

Being active online is what allowed Gill to collaborate with Macallan Whiskey on his open house. “I have been able to leverage my social media to build relationships with corporate brands: some of these partners are high-end liquor brands, suiting companies, luxury car dealers, and personal chefs. This gets me invited to events and into social circles I may not have access to on a normal day-to-day.”

And while social media is an asset to any agent, traditional media, such as luxury lifestyle magazines, can help bring extra attention to a home. “I’ve hosted events in beautiful listings where I have partnered with brands and publications,” says Maysonet. “This results in more eyes on the space and buzz around the property, and a whole new clientele.”

3. Produce marketing materials they won’t soon forget

LuxuRy home interior

Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

We all know that old adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. It may be a cliché, but Gill understands that some prospects will choose an agent based on how bold, stylish, or unique they come across when marketing themselves.

“I once woke up at the crack of dawn to I could take a photo of myself standing in the middle of the busiest highway in Denver, with the city behind me and no traffic,” says Gill. “When we got to the perfect location, traffic was flowing — and fast! We must have sprinted out onto the highway about ten times before we got the perfect shot, without my face looking like I was fearing for my life,” he laughs.

Likewise, Maysonet makes use of elegant visuals and narrative storytelling through video, showing that she’s a tasteful, discerning luxury expert with a nuanced understanding of New York.

4. When looking for inspiration, think like your clients

Where do these agents find ideas?

“Everywhere and anywhere around the city, including fashion brands, tech companies, or even menus in a restaurant; I’m always screenshotting inspiration, and drawing on those saved photos for new listings and new lead generation opportunities,” says Maysonet.

“Most of my ideas come from the fashion and music industry,” says Gill. “I like to stay relevant and cutting-edge, and these are two places that are super fast-paced and leading the way in technology and creativity.”

Today, marketing efforts in every industry are centered on personalization: creating experiences that speak to clients in novel and exciting ways. This is even more crucial in the luxury real estate space. Agents who pride themselves on delivering bespoke services and exceptional touchpoints for their buyers and sellers are those most likely to succeed; be sure to provide those thoughtful details in your marketing as well, when first impressions matter most.


About Sotheby’s International Realty

Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning clients of Sotheby’s auction house. Today, the company’s global footprint spans 990 offices located in 72 countries and territories worldwide, including 43 company-owned brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a franchise system. The franchise system is comprised of an affiliate network, where each office is independently owned and operated. Sotheby’s International Realty supports its affiliates and agents with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Affiliates and agents also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.

The affiliate network is operated by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, and the company owned brokerages are operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty Inc., both fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.