It is not surprising that luxury home buyers have much higher expectations compared to mainstream home buyers. It is about the amenities and the enhanced lifestyle which comes with the property in an upscale neighborhood. Those buyers also prefer a new home which is in a move-in condition and has an open floor plan alongside a fully automated home environment. Wealthy home buyers also remain attracted to high-end real estate because of a strong perception of value and location.
Another important factor to consider is that luxury home buyers are becoming ever more interested in holistic experiences.
Mainstream vs premium vs a luxury home
Most homes for sale are considered “mainstream”, or “conventional.” Their standards differ from country to country subject to local traditions, construction criteria and bylaws, cost of living, and other economic indicators. These type of homes includes basic amenities for the average population and considered affordable for the working class and middle class.
Premium homes are a better alternative to mainstream homes. They are larger, more attractively designed, built with finer materials, include many upgrades, as well as additional comforts. Moreover, part or the entire home can be custom built as per buyer’s personalized wishes.
As for “luxury” homes, they have it all – location (neighborhood, schools, affluent community), imposing and attractive architecture, high beamed ceilings, plenty of lighting, quality millwork, top end materials throughout, perhaps even a gym, movie theatre, temperature controlled wine room, indoor garage space for at least three to four vehicles, as well as an elaborate layout with a great deal of living space. In some cases, unobstructed views and high-tech home gadgets. Above all, they possess elegance, quality, integrity and are distinct with no expense spared. The threshold for a property to be considered luxury is at least $1 million depending on location. Large urban condominiums are also included into this mix ─ most notably penthouses. Generally speaking, luxury is considered “exclusivity” and what separates an ordinary house and an extraordinary house ─ with classifications such as a “villa”, “mansion”, a “manor”, “estate”, or even a “ranch.”
The art of living – going beyond beautiful homes
Luxury real estate projects should be marketed in similar fashion to what Cartier, BMW or Rolex are achieving. This marketing approach is based on demographic and psycho-graphic analysis which equates to extreme attention to customer experience and demands; integrated marketing across every touch point. The formula is straightforward: the right designer and appliance brand, the right location, the right product, and the right ambiance for the luxury customer. A custom luxury home is incomparable which is designed specifically for a client and explicitly for the location chosen or owned by the client. It resonates with the client’s personality.
Understand what your home offers which is unique to its competition. There is an emotive component of any luxury purchase. Create a display area on the property that allows your potential buyers to have the emotional experience of what living in the residence would be like. It is all about evoking and engaging the potential new owner. Creating a sense of a desirable lifestyle. Seduce and dazzle your clients with the emotional “wow” factor. Create an experience. Very good examples of this are the marketing techniques applied by luxury real estate brokers Sotheby’s International Realty, Christie’s International Real Estate, Savills (U.K.), as well as New York City luxury condominium project maven, Michael Shvo. The theme is the same: dazzle them and emphasize “lifestyle.”. This helps in spreading the word. Associate the property with renowned names/brands/designers as part of the cachet. That’s what helps trigger a sale and at prices beyond what one would expect to pay for the property.
“Irreplaceable Property Marketing” ─ Unique & Hard to Emulate
Make the look and experience authentic with the impression that it’s irreplaceable. People want to feel they own something that has a personality and a story. This entails more than just the usual appliance upgrades or other high-end amenities. It is also the staging of the appropriate furniture making the prospective home buyer feel at home and envisioning himself or herself what it feels like living there. Doing so requires applying the art of elegance, art, culture and design along with a touch of pizazz. The key to a successful sale with a high-end property is to offer something the buyer is not able to find elsewhere.
New developments and modernized properties should be design conscious and unique – able to cater to the discerning as with single detached residential homes. They ought to be promoted and presented with panache, flair, and hype but tasteful. A professional marketer, with refined brand image skills and savoir-faire in the luxury real estate domain, can develop and execute a strategy that will make the project and its identity speak on its own. Branding is not a logo, it is a perception in the mind of the consumer about the personality of a company and what it stands for. With a favorable brand name, which in essence is “reputation”, attracting and making the sale requires less effort.
Seductive marketing: Demonstrating the properties by unconventional methods
New York City entrepreneur, luxury real estate broker and diplomat Paolo Zampolli applies novel methods of promoting and selling his listings while offering his high net worth clients the first-rate treatment. He hires former fashion models as his assistant agents touting exclusive properties ─ or taking them onboard his yacht, by way of the Hudson river, for clients to view their potential properties. His creative mind takes it one step above, literally, as he hires a helicopter to give the prospective buyer’s spread a bird’s eye view.
Raymond Bolduc, the top real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty in Florida, believes that closing a deal requires throwing a party. As a means of advertising and promotional exposure, he creates attention by hosting lavish social events at his multi-million-dollar home listings to lure in prospective buyers. He does so with panache complete with luxury cars ─ and yachts if it is a waterfront property.
The following marketing channels should be considered to increase the exposure of the properties for sale.
- Global websites
- Glossy print campaigns
- Newspaper inserts
- National media coverage
- Advanced social media platforms
- Mobile technology
In the end
Since luxury home buyers are inherently wealthy, they should be approached and sold to differently. That said, property consultants/real estate agents should be well trained and very knowledgeable in sales, marketing, as well as thoroughly familiar with the unique properties they sell. They also retain client confidentiality and avoid conducting typical open houses to ward off the curious public since multi-million dollar homes demand pre-qualified buyers only.
Luxury home builders and real estate agents should focus their marketing activities to well-heeled and tech savvy Millennial buyers who seek turn-key homes that are eco-friendly, smart wired and cater to their busy and connected lifestyles.
As Lew Geffen, the Sotheby’s International Realty partner in South Africa, states in its marketing collateral, “Property marketing is essentially ‘Show Business’ but Sotheby’s International Realty has aimed at ‘theatre’ ─ with all the levels of drama and passion the brand is fully capable of carrying.”