Luxury Real Estate Marketing Essentials – Stay Focused and Be Consistent

As branding and marketing consultants for top producing luxury real estate marketing professionals throughout the country we have identified two of the biggest challenges that agents face when trying to build a high volume practice. The first challenge is discovering one’s winning marketing strategies, the best formula for lead generation. The second is staying focused and consistently repeating the winning formula.

One of our clients was earning about $15, 000 a year in another industry. Now, six years later, she is making close to $1 million a year in her real estate practice as the highest grossing individual agent in her marketplace. What is her success secret?

She discovered her winning marketing strategy. She stays focused and consistent. For one thing, she only goes “fishing” for business where the fish are biting. That is, she determined the neighborhoods where the homes were selling fast and started farming just in those areas. This is a simple but often overlooked strategy.

What made her what we call a “breakaway brand” in her marketplace was her consistency of direct mail to homeowners and her consistency in advertising her listings through media channels that proved successful. She became a master of marketing listings in particular areas.

Do you track where each of your leads are coming from? Are leads coming from referrals, phone calls from signs, advertisements, direct mail campaigns, or the internet? When you test a new lead generation method do you analyze what your return is on your investment? Experimentation with marketing strategies is very important. But, without measuring the return on investment, you are missing a very important step on your way to mega productivity. Discover what is working. then, keep working it.

Once you have identified your winning marketing strategies you must have the discipline to repeat them over and over again. This is very difficult for creative people.

After, Neal Simon, the famous Broadway play writer, rehearses his cast and the show opens he attends the first several performances to experience, first hand, how the audience reacts to his story and jokes. He tinkers with the script until he is satisfied that it is his best work-the winning formula. Then the show is considered “frozen”. The cast, the stage crew and lighting crew must repeat this formula over and over again to deliver a consistent experience.

Great brands are built by providing a predictable, reliable user/consumer experience. This holds true in every price range of products and services. There is plenty to be learned and applied to a successful real estate practice by observing the best practices of name brand products and services that have endured over time.

This is part of a series of articles entitled, Luxury Real Estate Marketing Essentials. It is dedicated to luxury real estate marketing professionals worldwide.

Don’t Overpay for Real Estate

Isn’t real estate fun? While the commercial and investment marketplace continues to trudge along without much hype and hoopla, the residential marketplace continues to make headlines. Today for example you’ll see the headlines “Stocks tumble on concerns over lenders.” and “U.S. Foreclosures soar.” I find it amusing that generally intelligent people seem to be surprised by these turn of events. They wouldn’t if they would just give it a little thought.

For months we heard about outrageous appreciation in prices, we learned of appraisers who inflate their values to justify the demands of real estate licensees and lenders. We see wild speculation in virtually every market in the nation. However, … we don’t see the population base increasing fast enough to absorb all the building going on and we don’t see incomes increasing fast enough to meet the demands of the higher mortgage amounts. Most people are like race horses, running with blinders on, keeping all that is going on around them out of sight and therefore out of mind.

Too often the real estate business is based on the “One greater Fool” theory. It is common for one person to pay too much with the intent of making a profit when the at least “One greater Fool” comes along and pays even more. Unfortunately, this works more often than it should. The residential single-family market has always been an emotional and irrational market, and it will continue to be. That is why it is difficult to use this market as a long term profit-oriented basis for portfolio development. Yes, intelligent investors will continue to benefit from this market segment. But they must be wise when calculating their entry and exit.

On the other hand, proper and prudent purchasing in the investment marketplace is still generally based on the ability of a property to produce income. The property that produces the most income is inherently the most valuable. It will serve any investor well to be familiar with the economic factors of both the market and the properties in which they invest. If they approach the business wisely, doing their legwork and running the numbers, they should consistently buy real estate that will produce long term revenue and substantial secure profits. Intelligence, education and hard work will pay off. If you have and use those things, everything else will fall into place. You can and should just sit back and smile when the headlines scream doom and gloom while your properties are chugging along exactly as they should because you bought as a professional and not as the one greater fool. The best way to make sure you don’t loose money on real estate is to not pay too much in the first place.

Luxury Real Estate Marketing Essentials – Become the Break-Away Brand

Whether you grew up with a Krispy Kreme Donut store in your neighborhood or you just tasted a delicious, original hot glazed Krispy Kreme donut for the first time you may be surprised to know that the company has been around for over 70 years! It all started in the late thirties. With steady growth it was sold to Beatrice Foods and later was bought back by a group of franchisees. Then, suddenly in 2000, Krispy Kreme went public, became a modern American icon and an international BREAKAWAY BRAND!

The Krispy Kreme story has important lessons for those luxury real estate marketing professionals who are determined to breakaway from their competition and pursue market leadership in their marketplace. Creating an indelible personal brand and sparking a chain reaction of buzz is challenging, but it can be extremely rewarding if it is executed effectively and sustained.

The word-of-mouth advertising about these premium, high quality donuts was like a shot heard around the world. Move over Winchell’s donuts, which opened their first donut shop on October 8, 1948. Winchell’s is the West Coast’s largest donut chain with over 170 units, in 12 states, plus locations in Guam, Saipan, and Saudi Arabia. Move over Dunkin’ Donuts, the world’s largest coffee and baked goods chain, with more than 7,000 Dunkin’ Donuts shops worldwide.

What Made Krispy Kreme Donuts the Breakaway Brand?

Fast forward to Melbourne Australia, 2006 for the grand opening of the first Krispy Kreme Donut shop in town. Hundreds of Aussies camped out overnight in the race to be the first through the door as the fast-food phenomenon arrived Down Under. One man parked his car four days ahead of the opening to be the first in line for the drive through window. He won a year’s supply of these tasty donuts.

Krispy Kreme attracts almost a cult-like following and raving fans. The opening of a Winchell’s or Dunkin’ donut shop usually does not have this kind of a reaction. Most fans agree that the taste of Krispy Kreme donuts is superior to the other brands. But, how much of this is the affect of hype and how much is really the special flavor and texture unique to the Krispy Kreme brand? How much is it a factor of the expectation of a superior experience?

The name Krispy Kreme itself can make your mouth water. The right brand name can play a very important part in creating a Breakaway Brand.

We are not particularly fond of donuts. However, like many consumers, we absolutely had to discover what all the fuss was about when Krispy Kreme donuts finally arrived at our local supermarket. To us, the ultimate donut experience can be found in a small café in Florence, Italy called Giacosa on Via Tournabone. In Italian, donuts are called ciambelle. Fond memories and pleasant associations can play a very big part in creating a Breakaway Brand.

iPod or ZUNE? That is the Question

Every year in the United States companies invest close to $300 billion in marketing products and services. A huge portion of this is spent on introducing new brands in the marketplace. The majority of these new product launches never get off the ground.

As home loan professionals, the size of your advertising budget does not guarantee your success if you fail to form a strong emotional connection with your target market, whether it be consumers or referring real estate agents.

Recently, Microsoft launched a new MP3 player brand called ZUNE to compete head-on with Apple’s iPod. Fortified with deep pockets Microsoft is gunning for Apple who has the Breakaway Brand in this space. iPod was actually a “Jonny come lately” itself as many other brands had tried to become the dominant MP3 player. iPod connected very deeply on an emotional level with its target market with its sleek design an ease of use for which Apple computers are famous. Zune was met with a lukewarm reception.

The iPod continues to gain market share as a mainstream consumer electronic product and as a music service with its ITunes website. Many iPod loyalists would rather fight than switch brands. Microsoft may be making some strides at chipping away at Apple’s market share. But, so far it is does not have enough distinctive features to overtake Apple as the next MP3 Breakaway Brand.

In the lending industry loan brokers have access to virtually the same products. In that sense these products have become commoditized. That is the very reason why a personal brand is of paramount importance. Good service and integrity are the minimum requirements just to be in the running. You must present a superior and unique value proposition to become the Breakaway Personal Brand as a lender in your marketplace.

The Five Keys to Become the Standout in Your Marketplace

Perhaps organizing a community effort to deliver Krispy Kreme donuts to some schools in your neighborhood can help you stand out from the crowd. Or, you may consider a starting with a contest for agents in your area in which you give away a red iPod to “Do the Red Thing” (Apple will donate 10% to help prevent the spread of HIV).

There are endless ways of becoming well known, well thought of and also creating buzz for yourself while breaking away from your competition. The keys to becoming the Breakaway Personal Brand and standout are:
1) Create the expectation of superior service;
2) Develop a compelling personal brand name;
3) Come up with a way to create pleasant associations with your brand that trigger fond memories;
4) Form a strong emotional connection with your target market, and:
5) find ways to be distinctive in your business methods.

This is part of a series of articles entitled, Luxury Real Estate Marketing Essentials. It is dedicated to luxury real estate marketing professionals worldwide.