In marketing, perception is reality and today’s affluent home buyers are driven to get more value for the money invested
The high-end of the real estate market, especially those priced $750,000 and above, is where the action is in today’s home market. A recent study of the new housing market from the Census finds that sales of homes at the pricing pinnacle are up 31%, while sales of homes in the next price range of $500,000-$750,000 are up only 14% from 2013-2014.
But while the market for those most expensive new homes is growing fastest, it remains a highly competitive market, since only 5% of all new homes are in that exalted price range. That means real estate agents that sell to the highest end of the housing market face enormous competitive pressures. It calls on agents to raise the bar on their marketing to the affluent customers to whom they sell.
Today’s new home-buying customers with new needs and new expectations require new marketing ideas and strategies. It all starts with understand the mindset of today’s more value-focused luxury home buyer.
Real estate agents must market those million dollar homes with a marketing strategy worthy of the price. And it doesn’t necessarily mean spending more advertising, but investing in more effective marketing. Here’s how:
- Word-of-mouth is the most important marketing tool – Manage it effectively
In survey after survey of real estate agents, they report that word-of-mouth advertising is by far the most effective marketing tool in their arsenal. Yet too many believe that word-of-mouth just happens. Rather it must be strategically planned and managed. There are many tools to help agents use WOM more effectively. Books by Andy Sernovitz Word of Mouth Marketing and Mark Hughes Buzzmarketing are good places to start.
- Internet is the number one way buyers find homes
National Association of Realtors surveys consistently find that prospective home buyers start their search for a new home online. That calls on real estate agents to put all their best marketing efforts online. They need to be masters using social media, blogs, emails and online listing services. If you are not, hire an internet marketing firm or bring in an internet market expert to maximize the exposure and effectiveness of all online efforts.
- Don’t just describe, tell stories about living in the home
Most home listing, even for million dollar homes, are purely descriptive. They give prospects the facts and figures about the house, but they don’t tell them anything about what living in the home would feel like for the buyer. Online listings should tell stories about the experience of living in this home, filled with all the descriptive details, facts and figures that will bring the experience to life.
- Brand name drop
Brand names are American consumers’ shared cultural currency. Top-of-the-line brand names speak to the value and quality of a top-of-the-line home to a prospective buyer. Take an inventory of all the brand name features in appliances, fixtures, materials, contractors, builders, designers and others. Make sure those brand names are liberally sprinkled throughout the story-based listing. Brand names give substance to the style so add brands to every listing.
- Hire professional writers
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but make those thousand words really sing. And you can do that with the assistance of a professional writer. Real estate agents wouldn’t think of doing their own photography or video tours. They hire a professional. So too should they hire a professional writer to weave lifestyle stories about the home into the descriptive listing. A million dollar home deserves a million dollar story listing and a professional writer can deliver that. And think how much more effectively you’d be selling a $500,000 home with a story listing worthy of a million dollar home.
- Understand the mindset of today’s luxury home buyers
Most importantly, selling to the affluent requires that the agent understand the new mindset, values and priorities of today’s home buyer. That all has changed post-recession, with affluents more focused than ever on getting the absolute greatest return for their spending investment.
It’s been seven to eight years since the recession hit and new home sales today have yet to recover from the recession. The marketing strategies that worked back in 2005-2006 before the recession don’t work anymore.
Here’s a trend report that will give you the real story on how to market in today’s value-focused high-end real estate market. Entitled Marketing Real Estate in New-Luxury Style: A one-size-fits-all strategy won’t work, this report is filled with eye-opening statistics, powerful analysis and spot-on take aways about today’s high-end consumer and how to thrive selling to a new more value-oriented next generation home customer.
To understand the luxury home real-estate market, you need three perspectives:
- Demographics of customers who can afford to buy luxury homes
- Purchase behavior of those ‘qualified’ buyers
- Consumer psychology reveals how to talk and communicate with each special luxury home buyer segment based upon their special needs and desires in their homes.
This report provides all three. Plus, it includes a special section devoted to the next generation of luxury home buyers – the Millennials – and their aspirations about the homes they have in their future.