The Wall Street Journal recently reported that sales of luxury homes has stalled, while the entry-level market is hot. They report “Housing has become a tale of two markets, brokers and economists said, with lower-priced homes selling quickly even as inventory of expensive ones piles up.”
With competition growing fast, real estate marketers aimed at the affluent don’t have the easy ride they recently did. They will have to up their game to position and market their high-end listings more effectively.
The secret: It’s not about more marketing; it’s about more effective marketing
To sell a million dollar house in a slow market, you don’t necessarily need more marketing or advertising, but you need more effective marketing and advertising. Here are some research-based ideas to help real estate marketers sell more million-dollar homes in a luxury housing market that has suddenly gone cold.
In today’s marketplace, luxury brands are cultural currency. They talk to the quality and value of a million-dollar home. Real estate marketers should take a full inventory of the brands reflected in the home, not just the appliances, but the fixtures, local name-brand architects, designers, and contractors that are reflected in the home. Luxury brands in the home testify to the luxury price tag, Use them.
Real estate listings are just that: fact-based objective listings of the home’s features. But such listings – square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms, baths, etc. – tell the prospective buyer nothing about the experience of living in the home. Story-based listings that weave the home’s facts and figures into the story romance the listing and make it come alive. Don’t just write a listing, tell a story about the home.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but in today’s internet-powered, social-media driven, content-marketing world, a thousand words need to go along with that picture. It means telling stories that engage the prospective home buyer and gets them to call to experience the home for themselves. Real estate agents think nothing of hiring professionals to do their photography and videography, yet they write the listing themselves. This is a huge mistake! Writers can take that fact-based listing description, including the extensive brand-name inventory, and tell a story about the home that will romance the listing and make it pop! Plus, writers are cheap. Put one on the payroll and see the difference it makes to sales.
A million-dollar home needs advertising worthy of its million-dollar price tag. That means advertising placements that attract the right high-value prospects. But too often real estate agents waste valuable advertising spending on newspapers ads that simply can’t deliver enough high-end prospective buyers. For more effective advertising placement, check out the Homes & Land magazine in your area which offers a separate magazine or insert section aimed for the luxury home buyers, called Estate & Homes. Plus they offer syndication services that get the million-dollar home listed in premiere media where affluents look for luxe homes, such as The Wall Street Journal, Robb Report, The New York Times, and the duPont Registry.
A builder wouldn’t put a million-dollar home on a street filled with $250,000 homes. Likewise, a realtor shouldn’t write an ad that puts a million-dollar home next to a $250,000 home. A million-dollar home warrants an advertising unit worthy of its price tag, so don’t try to use a single advertising unit to show a million-dollar home next to two entry-level priced ones. Invest in an advertising placement worthy of a million-dollar home.
In marketing, perception is reality
As a high-end real estate marketer, your primary responsibility is to create a perception of luxury for a home that becomes the reality and expectation of the potential home buyer. Creating that luxury perception becomes the key. It requires effective marketing strategies that draw the affluent home buyer.