Category Archives: Interesting Takes

Understanding the Mind of a Luxury Buyer

shutterstock_114018187For generations, we have seen people climb slowly to the top of the success ladder with sweat and tears, sometimes lining their pockets with cash as they go. Today, we see a shift of the high-income earners, who increasingly span a wider range of countries and ages. These individuals are self-starters and want lovely luxury items as the cherry on their success. The Luxury Portfolio, a summation of studies done by Dr. Jim Taylor and Chandler Mount of YouGov, states that affluent buyers have increased their spending from 2013 to 2014 by 12% on their primary residence, meaning this is a growing niche market to learn about. Let’s take a deeper look into the mind of the luxury buyer.

Sought-after home features

According to real estate news site inman.com, the features wanted in a luxury home are often seen as similar, despite the widespread origins of wealthy buyers. Location is important, with buyers seeking out high-end areas with retail and restaurants to match their luxurious style. The details of the home are also important, with buyers searching for things like custom walk-in closets, saunas, infinity pools, home theaters, and updated chef kitchens. These buyers know what they want and they intend to get it in their purchase. The same Luxury Portfolio also states that these buyers cut out the “flowery language” in their search and stay focused on their desired amenities.

A new generation

Interestingly enough, we are now seeing luxury real estate buyers at a younger age. These are the people who grew up with smart technology at their fingertips. They are well versed in the internet and higher end technologies, not only because they can afford it, but also because it’s what they’ve always known. As you find yourself interacting with the luxury buyer, be prepared to use mobile apps, interactive websites, videos, professional photography, and social media as your main tools.

Having the right Realtor is important

These high-end buyers are looking for a real estate agent to accompany them on the journey of their home purchase. Reputation and respect within the community go a long way for the real estate agent wanting to win over the luxury buyer. The Luxury Portfolio goes on to say that 87% of these buyers expect a real estate agent to protect them from risk during their transaction. When asked what makes an agent the most valuable, these affluent buyers had various answers, such as assisting to make the buying process enjoyable, showing interest in understanding the luxurious lifestyle, and being well equipped with knowledge and wise counsel throughout the process.

Understanding this growing group of prosperous buyers is valuable knowledge in today’s market. With some insight into lifestyle, technology, and locations, a rewarding transaction could be well within reach.

 

Sources: inman.com, Luxury Portfolio on media.mcguire.com, myfirstclasslife.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Industry Articles and Trends, Interesting Takes

Ask for just 5 minutes

Real estate trainer Jared James takes on the task of converting seller leads in a recent post for RealtorMag. Among his three suggestions to help you get in the door with a hesitant homeowner: Ask for 5 minutes. The time limitation reassures the homeowner that you won’t eat up much of his time, and there’s no big commitment.

Jared starts the conversation: “Would you be offended if I came by to do a quick five-minute onsite price consultation?” Get the homeowner interested by explaining that automated online estimates are often inaccurate. A local agent will know better.

Read the article

Leave a comment

Filed under Interesting Takes, Marketing Minute, Working Tips

The Right Moment

You might be waiting for things to settle down. For the kids to be old enough, for work to calm down, for the economy to recover, for the weather to cooperate, for your bad back to let up just a little…

The thing is, people who make a difference never wait for just the right time. They know that it will never arrive.

Instead, they make their ruckus when they are short of sleep, out of money, hungry, in the middle of a domestic mess and during a blizzard. Whenever.

As long as whenever is now.

— FROM SETH’S BLOG, BY AUTHOR, ENTREPRENEUR AND MARKETER SETH GODIN,
sethgodin.typepad.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Interesting Takes

What Every Agent Should Know About Marketing

There is an overwhelming amount of information about the “best practices” of marketing. Classes are taught about it, books are written, and coaches pitch their programs. One of the most important tenets of marketing, and often the most forgotten, is that successful marketing requires patience and persistence.

This can be difficult for impatient real estate agents who want to see instant leads from short-term efforts. However, studies show consistent contact turns prospects into clients and generates a second wave of upcoming business. Your goal as an agent is to make sure prospects that are in the researching stage become convinced that you are the agent to contact when they are ready. Win them over through a well thought out marketing plan and determination.

It’s a well-known fact that real estate is a constantly flowing and changing business, as evident by the current market and the ups and downs experienced over the past decade. Successful agents, and anyone who advertises for that matter, grew their business during these cycles by staying in front of potential customers with the following three objectives.

Raise Your Visibility in the Market

Reach your target audience everywhere they might look. To be effective, reach them through multiple avenues: your website or blog, real estate search MM Graphic April 2013sites, social media, print advertising, and don’t forget direct mail. Yes, a combination of online and offline methods is best. Magazines and direct mail put you in front of prospects, eliminating the need for them to search for you. Simply asking for their business can make an impression upon a potential seller and resonate with them down the road.

Your goal is to be so high on the visibility scale that people immediately think of you when they think about real estate. In his book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Gary Keller said, “…buyers and sellers seem to have room in their minds for only one or two real estate agents. In the battle for real estate consumer mind share, you’re either first or second or you’re out of contention… So the big question and challenge is how to win those first two positions of real estate mind share with enough people.”

Earn Your Prospect’s Trust

Advertising when others are not can make you appear more stable than your competitors. How and where you advertise impacts whether or not you receive serious consideration. The real estate market, as an indicator of the overall economy, has been in the news so much lately that people are paying attention. All real estate is local, right? So where is the best place for people to get local market information? It should be you. Use market reports, testimonials and real estate niche magazines to provide information and enhance credibility. Consumers trust magazine advertisements and content over all other sources of media. Add to that word of mouth referrals and you’ve covered both the front end (credible advertising) and the back-end (happy customers) to explain why they should choose you. The more consistently prospects see you and your message, the more likely they are to trust and respond.

Stay Top-Of-Mind

To be effective, implement your plan no matter what the market is doing. That may involve budgeting ahead. When the market is hot, you need that Marketing Minute Sales Contact Graphic-01contact to prevent your competitors from stealing your visibility and therefore market share. When the market cools, the consistency is even more important. If prospects stop seeing you, they stop thinking of you. When others have put their marketing on hold, you’ll have gained attention and remain top-of-mind when things pick up.

This graph of time-honored statistics shows us that the decision to act is made not after 2 or 3 encounters, but after many, repetitive exposures. If you’ve ever engaged in a marketing campaign to promote your business, you probably have seen this to be true. If you haven’t reached your target audience at least 5 times, you may have quit too soon to win them over.

Go the distance. Often we’re tempted to give up without realizing how close we are to reaching our goal. An inspirational scene from the hit movie Facing the Giants  illustrates that we often create our own limitations based on what we see and not on our true potential.

Every step you take toward increasing your visibility, gaining trust, and holding that top-of-mind spot brings you one step closer to increased prosperity. Don’t lose your hard-earned visibility. Elevate your presence and remember patience and persistence will pay off!

Contact your Homes & Land marketing partner today to learn how Homes & Land’s integrated offerings can help you with your marketing strategy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advertising, Industry Articles and Trends, Interesting Takes, Marketing Minute, setting goals, Working Tips

Are You Influencing Your Sphere?

“But Mother, how could you? I am a Realtor!” 

One day Patti Ketcham was visiting her mother in the home where Patti grew up and her Mother said, “Oh, I keep meaning to tell you. I get these cards from this nice neighbor down the street about the value of my house. I have kept them all for years, so if you ever need them, you know where they are.” Patti Ketcham has sold real estate in Florida for more than 30 years. She also teaches and does agent training statewide. Yet, her own mother suggested she seek the advice of a “nice neighbor and Realtor!”

This is an interesting phenomenon that plagues many Realtors — their Sphere of Influence (SOI) does not think of them as a Realtor of choice. They will call on strangers rather than family or close friends to help them with a real estate transaction. How can you make sure your friends, family, and acquaintances remember not only what you do, but know how well you do it?

Keep these 4 steps in mind as you circle back and revisit your inner circles.

147051387

Make sure your sphere of influence knows what you do. Remember to ASK for the business. You cannot garner their trust and support if you fail to ask for the job. Many people have no idea how a Realtor is paid for their time and service. Talk to your SOI about the process and let them know you want referrals.

Secure new leads in your circles outside of real estate. Make a list of everyone you know: lawyers, teachers, dry-cleaners, friends and family. Use that list daily to nurture those relationships. You already have a core group in the places you frequent on a regular basis — the gym, your book club, your volunteer activities. Make sure this group knows you want and need their referrals.

In “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Get to know those in your sphere of influence a little deeper. Ask questions that could help you help them later on. People will feel good about the conversation (and therefore you) because you listened.

Family and friends also should be viewed this way – you can train them to think of you beyond the normal role they see you in, as relative, team parent, committee member, etc. Look for opportunity to educate them on the topic of real estate.

Remember to network and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE your knowledge.  Give freely of good information. Publish your expertise so your SOI can follow and share. Talk with your sphere about the current market. For instance: reduced interest rates, first time homebuyer incentives, and new homeowner’s insurance discounts.

DON’T FORGET your network outside your area. Share the referral or relocation process with them.

Network and share, but don’t over-use your personal social media with your business posts. A great attention getter every now and then announcing a special closing or a new listing is fine for reminding them of what you do; but, use a separate account for daily marketing of your business.

THANK YOU! Thank you can never be said too much. Gratitude is a powerful tool and should be used constantly. Write a note to thank friends and family for referrals – especially them. This reinforces your professional image in their mind over the casual relationship that is so familiar.

Fountain Pen with Thank You NoteA closing thank you gift to your clients is not only an appropriate gesture; it also reinforces a positive lasting impression with them. They will remember you for future business or refer you to their sphere of influence.

Above all, enjoy the process. It can take time, but when you make an effort to contact even a small portion of your SOI every day and ask for their referrals, you will begin to see new leads generated. Maybe your mother will even remember to refer you!

Leave a comment

Filed under Interesting Takes, Marketing Minute