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Marketing Luxury Homes: Target the Best Prospect Groups

Nov 14, 2010

Posted by

Laurie Moore-Moore

Laurie Moore-Moore is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, an international training and membership organization for agents who work in the upper tier. The Institute offers Read more

How do I market a luxury home? What should my marketing plan look like?” Unfortunately, there is no single “silver bullet” marketing plan. Although you might have a basic foundation or list of things you do for each of your luxury listings, your overall marketing plan should be specific to each luxury property just as your property “campaign theme” headline and copy should highlight the unique lifestyle each home represents.

Marketing Luxury Homes:  Target the Best Prospect Groups

How do I market a luxury home? What should my marketing plan look like?” Unfortunately, there is no single “silver bullet” marketing plan. Although you might have a basic foundation or list of things you do for each of your luxury listings, your overall marketing plan should be specific to each luxury property just as your property “campaign theme” headline and copy should highlight the unique lifestyle each home represents.

To create your custom plan, ask yourself what types of prospects might be likely buyers for the home you are marketing. The amenities, special features, and even the property’s negative features will help you determine the targeted prospect groups you might want to reach. For instance, a home with an eight-bay garage should attract a car collector, while a 1000-bottle wine cellar would appeal to a serious wine aficionado.

Find Best Approach

How might you best reach these two prospect groups? This type of targeting will help you determine your most effective marketing approach for a home.

For example, an agent who listed an historic 19th century North Carolina plantation decided to rent a mailing list of wealthy business people (within a two-hour radius of the property) who might wish to use it as a weekend home or corporate retreat. She also targeted people interested in historic properties by advertising in The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s magazine. After researching the history of the property, she developed a story idea sheet and approached the media about doing possible articles about the home.

When the seller told her the property contained one of only fifty antique camellia gardens in the world, the agent worked with the seller to determine how to target serious gardeners for whom this special feature might be a reason to buy. Sure enough, the buyer was someone who wanted the garden — the house was secondary — and was willing to pay a premium price to own one of the world’s few antique camellia gardens.

“When I listed the home, I didn’t even know what a camellia looked like,” the agent said.“But I was smart enough to know that the antique camellia garden might be a key reason for someone to buy the home. Part of my job was to determine how to reach that gardening prospect group along with several other groups of prospects.”

You’ll also want to evaluate whether your listing is newsworthy, celebrity-owned, or has another hook which might help you generate media coverage or other PR. Might the home lend itself to a real estate soiree or other special invitation-only targeted event? Are there opportunities to jointly market with other purveyors of luxury products and services?

Start with a List

Start your marketing plan development by listing all the positive features of the property. Then, make a second list of the negatives. These two lists will give you clues as to the prospect groups you want to try to reach. These lists will also help you develop the theme of your marketing. Sometimes the negative list is more important than the positive one in deciding on what copy you’ll use.

Recently, an Atlanta agent told me she was desperate for ideas on how to market a luxury property on a nearby lake. The challenge was that the drought in Georgia was causing the level of the lake to recede. What had been a wonderful waterfront property was now on a dry lake bed. This created a real marketing challenge. Someone who wants lakefront right now is not a good prospect for this home. But, might there be prospects for whom the low lake might be a reason to buy? Copy for the property brochure might start like this…

“Buy before the rain returns!  The price of this lakefront beauty will rise with the level of the water.

“The rains will come, buyers will rush back to the lake, and home prices will rise even faster than the level of the lake. Now’s your chance to make the buy of the year. The water level may be low, but so are interest rates.

“Enjoy this home’s fabulous inside features today. After the storm clouds gather, you’ll love outdoor lakeside living. Bring your suntan lotion, water fins, jet ski, and party boat — you’ll need them.”

(Go on to highlight the home’s specific features.)

You might end with the line:  “Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!”

Campaign Theme

Remember that your marketing campaign theme and specific copy should spring from your list of the home’s amenities and negative features. One key question to ask yourself is, “What is it about this home that is different from the properties with which it competes?” The answer is often a clue as to how you can differentiate your listing and find just the right buyer. You only need one!

In short, the key to successful luxury home marketing is finding prospects for whom the home and its lifestyle are a match. By analyzing the positive and negative features of your luxury listing, determining the lifestyle the home represents, and then targeting the most likely prospect groups, you can make your marketing more effective and get the most value from your marketing dollars.