Now more than ever, we need to drum up new and exciting ways to showcase luxury real estate. Amidst the current COVID-19 environment, agents are taking all kinds of measures to safely serve their clientele — from shuttering offices, to limiting the number of people inside an open house, to having hand sanitizer readily available. But we still have to market and sell homes.
The buyers are out there. So here, I offer up a few ideas for what to do now and what to think about later, when the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
Hold a virtual open house
If you’re in an area where people have limited access to the property or having an open house just isn’t doable, make it a virtual event.
Inman reported on this idea years ago (and then again last week), but it’s an option that is becoming increasingly popular — especially amidst coronavirus concerns.
Top luxury brokers have tested the waters with this method when marketing to buyers overseas and achieved great success. So why aren’t you taking advantage of it too?
You can stream on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, so there is no excuse to not take this extra step. Doing so is all about meeting the buyers where they are.
Video and streaming are the easiest ways to present buyers with fantastic information on a great listing without the buyer ever having to leave home — which, let’s face it, is basically going to be our new normal for a while.
According to research from The National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of all buyers searched properties online in 2018. Just imagine how that number will soar in the future.
You are missing the boat if you are not engaging with them at every level. This means virtual tours and online open house events that catch their eye.
Launch with an art show
Here’s one you can file away for when the uncertainty is behind us. Recently, The File Group at Compass and California luxury real estate developer, Zac Eglit, coordinated an art exhibit featuring Daniel Maltzman to draw attention to his luxe listing. The event was a huge success! And the partnership? Mutually beneficial for both developer and artist.
Additionally, in light of the current challenges we are facing, the agents and developer are taking this a step further to do everything they can to give people the opportunity to see the home. So yesterday, they went ahead and built a virtual tour of the property. It’s now live to show prospects.
Not only does an event and virtual tour like this generate buzz, it opens up a world of content and contacts. An art show open house taps into the lasting benefits of experiential marketing and helps to extend the shelf-life of your product — in this case, a luxury home.
What would have been an ordinary property launch, is now transformed with the power of the art world. This includes the fans of the artist and their sphere of influence, too! And it’s a great way to enhance the perception of a listing, while drawing attention to the event, artist, future collaborations and more.
Remember to take your art show open house live. Facebook live stream the event to all of your followers, post about it on Instagram, and stream it on any social platforms you can, before, during and after the event. This way, you’ll get more eyeballs on your listing in record time.
Plan a charity-focused soirée
Once are on the other side of the crisis, people will be ready to get out of the house and socialize at events. While you’re stuck at home, why not start drafting up ideas for future gatherings, such as a charity-focused soirée.
Much like art, charity is a great way to bring people together for a cause to get your luxury listing sold, and post-coronavirus, there will be plenty of new opportunities.
Perhaps there is a local need or fundraiser that ties into the neighborhood? Do your research and see what makes the most sense in your area. Partner with the neighborhood bakery or a local chef, bring in a local band, auction off a luxury product such as a car, jewelry or tickets to an experience.
You could even get creative and make the whole event virtual. Plenty of real estate-related companies are figuring out how to shift their events online, which could pave the way.
By giving back and showcasing a great property, you can make an impact and generate leads at the same time. It’s a win-win! But you’ll want to be sure to maximize the pre- and post-event coverage to keep the momentum going. This means e-blasts, press releases, blog posts, social media blurbs and more.
Overall, the goal of marketing a luxury listing is to generate leads — whether it is for the sale of the current listing or the representation of a new one.
Think outside the box, get creative, don’t be afraid to partner up and embrace new technologies to get that property sold — even in trying times. It’s all about adjusting to the current environment to better serve your market. People still need a place to live, and there is always someone out there ready to buy.
Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker of The Address in Southern California. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.