How to Market to the Luxury Buyer

May 05, 2015

The world of real estate has changed drastically, in order to stay competitive as a top producer you must do more than rely on the MLS. This, of course, is nothing new. You already know that good customer service is a critical component and that you must go above and beyond the call of duty to properly serve your clientele, but then there is marketing. How do you market to your luxury audience? While many agents are trying hard to reach this audience and compete for listings, only very few are successfully marketing their brand. With the return of the real estate market came the resurgence of the high-level vying with the need to become more strategic.

 

1. STOP advertising listings!

The best way to sell your listings? Sell the lifestyle. Forget everything you know about the right way to market. When was the last time that someone didn’t already come to you with information on the listings? That information is readily available, therefore they don’t need you to get it. So how can you convince them on a home? Sell them on everything else. This isn’t going to be easy. It is much easier to switch around listings on an ad and hope that it will sell the homes. It takes real marketing and branding know-how to create successful advertisements. If you are dedicated to taking your marketing and branding to the next level, you’ll want to start interviewing local marketing firms. Opt for a local company if you are looking for someone that has ample knowledge on the area you serve.

Several studies performed on the affluent buyer indicate that emotion is the most important purchase trigger for this audience. Emotion is followed by value, referral, expectations and need.

2. Build Relationships

With buyers relying heavily on the internet, having a strong network is more critical than ever before. You aren’t going to get anywhere if you don’t foster those relationships and make it easy for buyers to remember you. Display advertising, email marketing, and social media are all great tools for maintaining relationships. These marketing methods are not considered intrusive and are all cost efficient, however, they do require time and an authentic nature. If any of these methods are used to push overly heavy sales messaging, you will lose your audience.

Keep your advertising as authentic and organic as possible to make the most impact on your audience.

3. Offer Additional Benefits

The services that you offer have to extend beyond the transaction. This is a no-brainer, and as a top producer you are already doing this. You are already lining up and staging for your seller’s home before they have asked, you’ve gone the extra mile to show your buyers the best spots around town, and you’ve even signed up one of your buyers for the best Mommy and Me class available in the area. So what more can you possibly do?

  • Provide your buyers/sellers with insider knowledge- No one knows your area like you do. Providing them information on homes that may not even be up for sale is a great benefit. You know everything there is to know about every house in your area. Before a listing hits the MLS, you are armed with the knowledge.
  • Working with a marketing firm- If you work with an expert marketing team to sell their homes, let everyone know. Let the sellers know that their homes will each be given unique and individual marketing campaigns dedicated to their home, that all homes are not treated the same and each is given its own dedicated campaign.
  • Offering concierge services- Let buyers and sellers know that they can benefit from these additional services that you offer. They won’t have to be present for much, you’ll handle everything, including overseeing construction.
  • Access to the best vendors- If your seller or buyer needs any kind of service they know to count on you; you will gladly oversee any work being performed on the home they wish to sell. You know everything, plus they know they can count on you as a resource.
  • Privacy or publicity- Do you offer your clients privacy beyond reason so that no one will know that they are in the market for a home or selling their home? If that is the case, include it in your advertising. Or are they seeking publicity and know you can get them in the public eye? Either way be sure to mention the services that you provide.

Any benefits that exceed expectations should be mentioned and listed throughout your marketing. Include these benefits as part of your listing presentation, your website information, and your brochure.

4. Provide Valuable Information

Always serve as a resource to your audience; this means constantly and consistently updating your social media, blog, and providing the information they seek. Put out as much information as possible both online and offline. If you think of a good idea or something that could help keep your target audience, then write about it. Don’t just talk about the homes you’ve sold or the homes you have listed. While it is nice to trumpet that you are a top agent, it is even better to offer your target with valuable information. Good topics include local current events, news, design tips and more.

Go ahead and guest blog on other websites. Become a resource for the local papers. Feel free to let them quote you, and make yourself accessible. In order to get quoted by the media, you’ll need a sound media strategy in place in which you constantly reach out to the press to keep them in the loop.

Provide information in the form of videos. Don’t worry about making them perfect, just make sure that you get them out. If it is informative, short and interesting, people will want to watch it.

There are plenty of ways to share information online and offline, just make sure you are using these resources. You can even go as far offering information in exchange for an email. For example, you can offer potential leads information that is only accessible if they provide their information. If the information you have to offer is worth it, potential leads might be willing to give you their email for it.

5. Give them a brand promise

Your brand should speak to your audience. If your branding is unprofessional and lacks consistency, this is the message that you will put out and the message that will be perceived by your target audience. Perception is everything. A solid brand will yield a sound promise of quality. When you shop at Cartier, you know exactly what to expect. You want your target audience to feel the same way about you. Your personal brand is everything!

Not only will good branding send a clear message, but it will also make it easier for your target audience to become brand ambassadors. No one wants to show off a brand that isn’t professional or that isn’t at par with the quality that is demanded by the upscale buyer. People love showing off, but only when it elevates them and makes them look better. If your branding is not impressive, don’t expect anyone to say: “Oh look, this is my real estate agent,” when spotting your ad in a magazine.

Positioning yourself above the competition isn’t going to happen overnight, but there is a clear path that must be followed to succeed in the market. Reaching the luxury audience you seek requires a certain level of commitment to your brand, your marketing and your client. Serving the luxury buyer requires much more effort that targeting the average homebuyer, with reason since the returns are much higher. The level of service expected at the higher dollar volume should come as no surprise. To keep up with competition be prepared to invest not only in your marketing, but also in your brand.