Luxury real estate marketing calls for a unique approach. There's more at stake financially, which leads to a longer sales process. On top of that, the average buyer of luxury real estate is well educated, Internet-savvy and detail-minded.
Combine all of these factors, and you can see the need for a unique marketing approach. Here are five fundamentals for success in luxury real estate marketing.
1. Lead Capture
One client in a hundred will call you and say, "I'm ready to buy. Where do I sign up?" The other 99% of the time, the process starts with a lead and escalates through a series of touches. But without a good lead-capturing system in place, the process is doomed from the start.
All of your marketing efforts should revolve around a central database. All marketing channels should also have a lead-capturing mechanism in place. Phone calls should be logged and added to the database. Same goes for walk-ins and emails. Internet leads should be collected and organized.
To really maximize your leads, you should incorporate information-request forms in strategic locations throughout your website. This encourages customers to request additional information via the web, at their convenience. Ideally, these submissions would be added to your database automatically, or would at least go into a queue for later review.
Make it a top priority to build lead capture into all aspects of your real estate marketing program. Without lead capture, you have no leads. Without leads, you have no business.
2. Lead Management
Lead management is just as important as lead capture. Lead management refers to the process of recording, categorizing, and taking action on a lead. It's what converts leads into prospects, and prospects into clients.
Lead management should be a "no-brainer" for you. If the process is difficult or cumbersome, you'll be less likely to adhere to it. At a minimum, your lead-management program should allow you to capture leads in a database, organize them by pre-determined criteria, and update them accordingly as a person moves through the sales process.
When setting up your lead-management system, you first need to determine your ideal sales process. How many touches do you want to make for each client? How do you want to categorize them based on purchasing timeframe or other factors? How will you track it all? A good lead-management program should address and simplify each of these things.
3. The Polish Factor
We've talked about the technical side of lead capture and management. Now let's talk about the customer-facing, aesthetic aspects of your marketing program. Let's talk about polish!
When people shop for and purchase high-end, luxury real estate, they expect certain things. They expect the sales office to be fancier than an "average real estate" office. They expect more personal treatment and finesse from their sales agent. And they expect marketing collateral with a lot of polish.
Your website, brochures and sales sheets are a direct reflection of your company, and your company directly reflects your product. People want a luxury home built with the utmost care and attention to detail. They want a home that makes them say, "Wow." Your marketing materials need to reflect this, especially when they're the first impression you make.
4. Online Visibility
People shop for real estate online before doing it any other way. It's an inescapable fact of modern real estate marketing. Statistics from a couple of year ago claimed that 84% of home buyers used the Internet for research. Today, I would imagine the number is closer to 90%.
Now here's something else to consider. If 90% of your audience is looking for luxury real estate properties online, but they can't find your website ... where does that leave you in terms of competitiveness?
In the future, real estate companies will sink or swim in large part due to their search engine visibility. So when building your marketing program, be sure you add search engine optimization (SEO) into the mix. Ask your marketing provider if they offer SEO services. If they don't, you'll need to find them elsewhere. Otherwise, you're letting a world of web surfers pass you by.
5. Total Integration
Another thing to realize about marketing luxury real estate is that a single channel can rarely deliver success. Maximum results occur when several marketing channels work together in harmony, complementing and reinforcing one another.
An example of this might be a direct mail piece that leads to a landing page on your website. The landing page has an information-request form, which triggers a confirmation email (and, ultimately, a sales process and continued dialogue).
When multiple marketing channels work together as one, they dramatically increase the number of ways people can find you, talk to you, and purchase from you.
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