Mark Natale
Mark Natale

The Luxury Real Estate Marketing Mindset

At the onset of any large-scale real estate project, multiple ideas and agendas compete for attention and relevance. Architectural concepts, operational considerations, interior design finishes, sales trends, etc. The list goes on ad infinitum. As the project gets underway and the fog of this anticipatory excitement begins to fade, you will need to focus on what matters most…Selling this development for the most amount of money in the least amount of time.

Partnering with the right real estate advertising agency is critical to achieving this success. Often, though, it's not clear how the agency should prioritize its efforts.

Here are SEVEN AREAS OF FOCUS your real estate advertising agency needs to maximize your development marketing and sales effort.

1. Creation of product differentiation

This seems elementary, but we are surprised how many projects take a "me too" approach to product development. Yes, there are necessary elements that need to be incorporated into every project: Porte-cochère, lobbies, fitness centers, business centers, outdoor spaces, and so much more. These are all table stakes – must-haves to play the game. But can you think of a way to differentiate the offering and make it yours? Something you do differently from your competitors. Something that you can be famous for. The opportunities here are plentiful but are left primarily untapped. Working with a real estate branding agency will help identify and exploit the options available, the true essence of great marketing. Dezer Development did precisely this when they developed the Dezervator ™ – an incredible automobile lift system. Remember – it is not enough to be good. You have to be different!

2. A maniacal focus on target markets

We've seen many "target markets" without the ability or interest to buy the product. Don’t be fooled by supposedly low-hanging fruit. Frequently, people confuse geographic location with Ideal Target Market development, which is very different. For developments that will serve mainly as a primary residence, Target Market identification is more straightforward. But for resort-centric properties serving home collectors who spend different times of the year at the property, identifying target markets must be of primary concern. Properly defining target markets requires you to determine demand/desirability, familiarity with your location, high net worth individuals market size, direct transportation access to your location, and other criteria. Once identified, your strategy must account for the best marketing vehicles with maximum connectivity with your desired markets. Test and measure your efforts continuously throughout the campaign and realign your strategy as needed to realize the best ROI.

3. Create Scarcity

This is the genuine foundational concept of the luxury real estate market. Creating something so unique that it has no equal. Creating Scarcity requires more room than I have here to discuss, so I will keep this brief. You can use definite tactics to create Scarcity with your development:

1.) Limiting inventory 2.) VIP Access 3.) Location-Based Scarcity – all these tactics can help you generate more value through Scarcity. But, to create actual Scarcity that commands irrational pricing, focus on developing a truly remarkable product in every way (location, finishes, amenities, community), and then limit the production of it. If you are effectively targeting real estate connoisseurs, they will value the limited availability of the offering and pay strikingly for it.

There is only one statue of David.

4. Unequivocal renderings

Renderings should be crafted to look like an incredible photograph of an already-built product. Anything else is second-rate and uninspiring, and inspiring is your primary aim with renderings, followed by functional illustration. Notice that I said “incredible” in my description above. You should create renderings based on breathtaking views, not only of the built product but the surrounding landscape as well. This same concept applies to animated renderings. The days of the rendering film that looks like it was shot by a robot are numbered. Your rendering films should feel realistic, artistic, and cinematic, not machine-driven (which 99% do.) A great marketing firm should be able to develop renderings that include realistic architecture, interior design/furniture, exterior scenes, cityscapes, land formations, and weather. Anything short of that is unacceptable. It is always puzzling when a developer tries to sell multiple-million-dollar homes with $300 renderings. Cost control is vital, but there is a point of diminishing returns.

5. Being On Time vs. Being Perfect

Creative marketing firms have an intrinsic need to develop exemplary concepts. Compelling, never-before-seen concepts are considered the holy grail by some. And by definition, luxury real estate projects require singular, opulent experiences. But this pursuit of perfection, above all else, can be detrimental. Marketing initiatives are built around schedules, milestones, and goals, and perfection can be the enemy of these initiatives. This is not to say that your concepts, artwork, and creative strategy can be lackluster. That's not acceptable and amateur at best. However, the project has a specified timeline to best serve all stakeholders (developers, residents, team members, etc.) Your marketing firm needs to know Being On Time beats Being Perfect every time, so plan accordingly. Build the time required for the most breathtaking work, share the schedule with all involved, and never miss a beat. A missed deadline is not only inexcusable but also expensive. The best marketing firms prioritize and practice this every day.

6. Development of compelling and ongoing content for your prospects

Often, we see situations where the first point of contact (the inquiry submission) signifies the prospect's last marketing communication. As you know, the buying process can be extended, and it will require multiple, strategically coordinated touchpoints from both the broker's and marketing teams. These two teams should work together to create this schedule and its elements. Great content includes the Brand's Promise, Construction Updates, Happenings at The Property, Architect Interviews, and more. A great marketing firm will rigorously define the communication schedule for prospects once they submit their initial inquiry. These touch points need to be 1) Purposeful – have an actual relevant meaning for the prospect, not filler 2) Compelling – making them want to be a part of it 3) Progressive – leading them to either a sale or a fast “no.” Cull often.

7. An encyclopedic understanding of the prospect journey

Once that prospect’s journey has begun, how should it flow? Does your sales team have a     defined process to fully explain your offering? One that convinces the prospect of your singular offering and why your development is the only option? Or is your approach a bit more "take it as it comes," and let's see what happens. Many of these points lie with the sales team. However, a great marketing firm will work with that sales team to help define the process and learn about what is and is not working, enabling adjustment of their marketing efforts for a more substantial ROI.

The proper focus from the outset of a project means the difference between getting it right vs. getting it done. Most can get it done, but is that what you set out to do?
Mark Natale
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