Will Artificial Intelligence replace Real Estate Agents?

Recently there has been a lot of attention on the subject of Artificial Intelligence with all kinds of scary scenarios where artificial intelligence takes over and runs the human race.  In the near future will a real estate robot show homes, negotiate deals and close transactions?  Or will humans still reign over machines?

Social media sites are realizing that humans rather that algorithms may be the answer to curate users’ news feeds for accuracy and relevance. Content that is accurate brings in advertising dollars.

Facebook has had its share of mishaps, where their algorithms highlighted a sad event in a user’s life.  This has been dubbed Algorithmic cruelty.  Recently Twitter’s Discover made a blunder with its computer generated trending hash tag topics, which insulted feminism

Google’s experiments with a computer program of artificial intelligence created a database of movie scripts to teach computers to mimic how you a human brain works. This is known as cognitive computing. 

A recent conversation between human and machine at Google was reported in the Wall Street Journal, as “testy”, where finally the machine seemingly exasperated by the human’s insistence on defining morality/ethics/integrity lashes out the human, by refusing to talk further.

Will Real Estate Agent Robot get testy with the client or commit Algorithmic cruelty? What do you think will happen?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

How Do You Respond to Competition, Whine or Win?

What will be your response when competition shows up in your luxury real estate marketplace?  Do you take it as an opportunity to sharpen your focus and confirm your competitive edge, which would be a win for you? Or, do you complain and embark on a whining campaign.

If you follow business news, you probably heard about Uber (valued at $50 billion) threatening to dominate the taxi industry because of their great service and reliability.  Who would have thought that taxi customers were an under served market niche? 

In the hotel business, a similar scenario is happening with Airbnb, Inc (home-rental service). Their value, $25.5 million, is now on par with Hilton Hotels valued at $27.6 million.  Who would have dreamed that there was a need for travelers beyond the traditional hotel model?

The traditional taxi business has begun the whining cycle by looking to the government to help them out, instead of taking the opportunity to better or best the new entries in their market.  Likewise, Airbnb is facing opposition from local governments whose revenues are enriched with a hotel city tax.  Hotel chains are also looking to the government for regulations to stop this upstart.

We have long emphasized that by finding an underserved or uncontested market niche (like taxis and home-rental service) you can become a dominant player in a new market category.  This is exactly what Uber and Airbnb have done.

What will you do when new competition comes to town, whine or win?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Long Nose Or Long Tail?

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, when writing your blog posts, it is important to understand the value of long tail keywords that can attract your psychographic niche. These keywords can bring potential buyers who are interested in your topic. From a traffic standpoint, they are valuable when writing descriptions of homes. However, don’t stretch the truth; use long tail keywords accurately.  If you don’t, your credibility will be undermined.

In selling real estate, the words “Tuscan, Tuscany” referring to the architecture style of a home is almost a guarantee to bring readers to a Tuscan Style home.  Most often, these so-called Tuscan homes do not have minimal resemblance to the Tuscan farmhouses, nor do they have a Tuscany setting.  Originally, Tuscan farmhouses were two or three stories tall. The family lived upstairs and the ground floor was used as the stable for the animals, and not as a grandiose space.  Savvy buyers or sellers instead of being interested will be turned off.

Yesterday, I was reading about a vineyard for sale in France on a luxury site that sells everything from cars to real estate.  It described the vineyard being located in the Tuscany of France.  Having been to both Tuscany and France several times, I feel that France has its own unique beauty and does not resemble Tuscany.

French wines are considered to be superior to Italian wines by wine experts.  Using the word “Tuscany” is solely for the purpose of attracting people to this estate, because all things Tuscan have keyword value.  In fact, this belittles both Tuscany and France.  They each have their place in the world of wine and do not need to be compared to each other.

Truth and accuracy will build your credibility and your readership; the truth does not need stretched into a long nose for a butterfly to perch on. 

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Would You Read Your Own Blog Posts or Newsletter?

Photo by Americanspirit

Writing a blog or a newsletter as a means of becoming well known and well thought of is a viable means of marketing yourself as luxury real estate professional.   However, if you are going to adopt this as a means of being visible on the Internet, you need to make sure that what you write about is of value to your audience, and they would be eager to read your posts on a regular basis.

The most important rule in marketing is to understand the psychographics of your audience.  Who are these people you want to reach?   What are they interested in? Are you focused on sellers?  Are you focused on buyers?  Are you focused on existing clients? What would make someone want to follow your blog?  Does it have to be real estate related, or does it have to be focused on localism posts?

Then ask yourself, what do you like to read about? What are you interested in?  What can you write about from your point of view and from your heart?  For instance, when writing a localism post do you just give the facts of an event, or do you add your perspective of it?  The most popular blogs are those with a point of view, which is what makes them interesting, readable and compelling.

If we were to write a post about the Hollywood Bowl schedule, we would include more than just a list of scheduled performances.  We would write about the foodies who create special meals to share with their friends in their box seats: the china, crystal, silver and candlesticks that are included in their picnic baskets.  We would write about the magical feeling of a live performance under the stars.  This is an example of perspective and a personal view.

Would You Read Your Own Blog Posts or Newsletter?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

What Makes You Tick? Power, Prestige Or Money?

If you opted to join a luxury real estate company rather than being a “solopreneur” you most likely were attracted to certain self-expression benefits that comprised that company’s value proposition. By analyzing your decision making process, why you chose one brand over another, you may learn something about “what makes you tick”.

What is the most significant value your company offers you, personally? For most luxury real estate marketing professionals, the answer comes down to POWER, PRESTIGE, or MONEY.

By power we mean that the brand may help you open more doors.  There is power in numbers. So, a brand with a network of thousands of agents may mean more internal referrals for you. Or, if a brand has a significant market share in your area it may help you get more listings, by association.

Prestige comes down to gaining respect just by associating with the brand because it has a favorable perception in the minds of your target market.  Being associated with a European auction house, for example, gives you the benefit of its “halo effect” by association.

Money means a higher commission split or net commission at the end of the day or profit sharing with the company. It may also mean that you are able to win more listings (can close more sales) because of the brand power or the prestige of the company.

Power, prestige and money are very important factors in selecting a company. Which of these factors is most important to you?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

 

A Well Thought Out Marketing Campaign: And The Listing Goes To...

We constantly hear and read the refrain from many luxury real estate marketing professionals that print is dead and not worth spending the money on.  Not all print is dead in our opinion.  It remains a great marketing tool in many markets, which still enjoy reading the daily paper, or a magazine.  Print can definitely enhance your brand and visibility, and if done well can make a product or individual top of mind in their marketplace.

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Yesterday, in Beverly Hills, we noticed that our friend’s Los Angeles Times was delivered tucked in its own envelope.  This was unusual as it usually is delivered at this doorstep with a string around it, for easy tossing.  What was remarkable is that both sides of the envelope are promoting a television show nominated for an Emmy.  Concurrently, we noticed that all the buses on the Westside also had ads for the same shows.  This was a well-thought out campaign.  No doubt both entertainment trade papers, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety had the same ads.

How clever to come up with an envelope, since all award shows have an envelope in which the winner’s name is announced!    Will that name be yours for that coveted listing you were interviewed for?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Is Your Niche Too Narrow or Popped to Perfection?

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, make sure that when you research and identify a niche that it has the potential for growth as well as meeting your income goals.  Watch out for niches that are too narrow.

On our working visit to Naples, Florida we spotted a niche business, a store called, The Popcorn Cellar. Its slogan is “Too Good To Let It Age,” (a tongue in cheek reference to wine).  Popcorn Cellar offers 15 flavors of pre-popped popcorn, both sweet and savory. 

We tried a sample of Cinnamon Bun. It reminded us of Christmas gifts from corporate clients that came in big tin cans, that we promptly gave away to the garage attendants in our office building.  Although, we enjoy freshly popped popcorn once in a while, none of the pre-popped flavors appealed to us.   We wondered whether this establishment would last, because the niche is too narrow.

Our research into the popcorn industry revealed that the US per capita consumption is 52 quarts per person on an annual basis.  70% of consumption is in the home which indicated that most of the popcorn eaten was freshly popped, thanks to the microwave oven. Sales for popcorn (un-popped) are annually rising at 2-3%.

Gourmet popcorn falls into the “snack food” category.  Would you stop at a popcorn store like this, or would you prefer an ice cream store if you craved a snack?   Or would you do what we did, check it out, and then move on.  This may be a niche that is too narrow.  What do you think?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Cupid Marketing Or Stupid Marketing?

Niche marketing in the field of luxury real estate is very much like online matchmaking and dating.  The idea is to find your ideal clients. They are the ones who are looking for you, too, because of your extraordinary promise of value.  It is time to start marketing like Cupid and find more matches!

In real estate, the challenge is to identify the uncontested or under served market niche that is right for you, a niche that you can dominate.  The art of finding the best target market for you is your first step of could be called “Cupid Marketing”.  Wasting your time and marketing dollars without having the right target could be called “Stupid Marketing”.

For some matchmaking and dating websites and apps like e-Harmony 2015 will be a very good year for revenue.  But, the general category is getting extremely crowded.  Singles have become fickle about which sites or apps they use because they have so many choices.  Yet, if you were to interview them candidly, they would tell you they are frustrated about not finding their perfect match.

Does this sound a bit like the competitive landscape in your real estate marketplace? Without being presented with a sharply defined and clearly communicated value proposition that is the answer to your target market’s prayers they are clueless about which agent to choose.

Niche players have the best chance of making it.  There are now matchmaking sites for people of the same religion, sexual preference, age group and even racial preference.  This obviously narrows down the choices, but increases the likelihood of finding the right match.

We often hear real estate agents complain that, “there is not enough inventory out there”. This also mirrors the scarcity mentality that many singles have about finding Mr. or Ms. Right when they say, “all the good ones are taken”. Yet, if you were to see the overall stats in those “tight” markets you would still see that quite a few homes have sold.

You just need to gain a larger share of those homes that are selling to meet your personal financial goals.  You need to be the dominant player in your niche! Become Cupid Marketer!

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Who Are YOU? An Apple or an Orange?

Market leaders in luxury real estate, or any industry for that matter, do not have to brag about being better than the competition.  They simply need to clearly and consistently communicate their unique promise of value to their target market with an economy of words or actions.  The self-confidence of market leadership comes from instantly articulating the difference between your apples and their oranges.

Here, in two simple sentences, Apple differentiates itself from Google and Amazon (“the oranges”) without even referencing its competitors:

“You’re in control of your data. Searches are not associated with your Apple ID and not shared with third parties”.

Gender discrimination has been a hot topic in Silicon Valley as of late, given the high profile case against the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins. Today, at the Apple WWDC 15 developer’s conference in San Francisco, there was a balance of men and women presenting.  With market leaders, actions speak louder than words.

Even if you are the challenger and not the market leader, it is mission critical that you discover how you are different and better than your competition. You will find that there are many independent thinkers out there who will give you a chance to prove yourself if your value proposition is compelling enough. Underdogs have more power than they might realize.  ASSUME the self-confidence of the market leader and you will become one, too!

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

 

 

 

Google's Anthem: Every Move You Make, I'll Be Watching You!

For those of you who are concerned about how much information Google has been collecting about you this should be good news. Prepare yourself for an eye-opening experience!  Go to https://myaccount.google.com, log in and see everything that Google knows about YOU and what you now can do about changing all that.

It appears that Google is being proactive by providing you with access to what heretofore was behind the scenes. In light of their potentially costly European lawsuits and mounting global concern about privacy, this was a very practical move on their part.

After viewing your account you will understand why there is so much concern. If you want to change your privacy protocols and delete past content be sure to be thorough as you go through your options.

Here is what was most alarming to us.  From your new dashboard, you can now easily download ALL of what Google knows about you including contacts, email, and calendars, browsing history, bookmarks, on and on. That means if someone were to obtain your Google password they could gain all of that info from anywhere in the world.

We were shocked to see that Google had kept track of every You Tube video we had ever searched for and searched for and watched while logged in. While we had nothing to hide we promptly deleted all 250 of watched videos and turned on the no-tracking feature for this. 

Google knew that we were in Boston in May and from which device we accessed our account. Add that to an exchange of email via Gmail, the web pages we visited during that time, what browser we used, and the people we interacted with the most over one “free” Google service or another (all of their detailed contact information could be viewed as well).  

We love Google search; it is an essential tool. We would gladly pay a subscription fee for its use if it were ad-free. But, as for all other Google services, we have decided to opt out and replace them with paid private services.

It is not just that they watch every move you make. It is what they can extrapolate by cross-referencing all that data to better serve you [and their advertisers, of course].

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

The World's Happiest Country? The Coconut vs The Peach!

Understanding international buyers is an important subject to delve into, if you are marketing luxury real estate to those interested in your marketplace.  Knowing the difference between Coconuts and Peaches (as absurd as it may sound) is important.  It might make a difference in selling or listing a home owned by the Coconuts.

This morning, I read an article by Chantal Panozzo, an American working in Switzerland, explaining why she had to retrain herself not to smile in the World's Happiest Country.

The world's happiest country according to the 2015 Happiness Report states that Switzerland is the happiest country because the country has safe neighborhoods, low crime rates, high levels of employment, generous vacation and leave policies, excellent public transportation, and pension and health care benefits.  Unlike us (Americans and other English speaking countries) they value privacy.  They do not believe in publicly expressing it.

In a book by Margaret Davidson, Beyond Chocolate: Understanding Swiss Culture, Ms Davidson talks about the Coconut Culture (found in Switzerland, Germany, several European and Asian countries).  In those countries, individuals draw a distinct line between the people in their outer circles defined as neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances, and their inner circle: friends and family.  They share smiles and personal information with the inner circle only.

The Peach Culture individuals (Americans) do not necessarily make the distinction between their outer and inner circles. They are more likely to call each other by their first name and share personal information freely with everyone and refer to acquaintances as "friends".  

Apparently, our happiness is expressed on our outer layer, and smiling is not indicative of happiness according to psychologists. We tend to be dissatisfied with the government, crime rate, and employment.  We do not feel that the U.S. government "inspires trust and confidence!"

Our inner layer hides the peach pit.  The US ranks 15th on the happiness scale. We are viewed as positive people with an unfriendly government.  It has been suggested, that it is time for our government to have more compassion and inspire trust, friendliness, and confidence to its citizens.

We could not agree more.  Are you a Coconut or a Peach?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

How to Achieve Top-of-Mind Status, Instantly!

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, you know you have selected a great brand name if your target market and potential referral base can remember your name after a single impression.  That is, after the first impression!

Yesterday we were cruising up the coast in Santa Barbara on Highway 101 and noticed a car covered with images.  As we passed by, we saw a clever cartoon graphic of a bunch of dogs on leashes dragging a person.  It was obviously an advertisement. The name was “Who is Walking Who?”. 

Can you guess what category of product or service this company was advertising?  If you guessed dog walking and pet sitting you are right!

Now, we are not dog owners.  But, if anyone were to ask us to recommend a local dog walking service one name would come to mind. It was indelibly imprinted in our brain in just one brief impression. And, we had do trouble recalling it the next day to write this post.  That company achieved has top-of-mind status for us in this category, instantly!  No doubt you will remember it, too.

When selecting your own personal or company luxury real estate brand name keep this in mind: It is possible to achieve top-of-mind status, instantly, with the right name.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Why Should I List With You?

Has anyone ever asked you at a listing presentation, “Why should I list with you?”  There are many agents wanting to list my home.  If you cannot answer that question quickly with certainty, the presentation is over.  What a seller is asking here, is what make you different from all the other agents, I have interviewed?

It definitely is not about being the best.  Every top agent can claim to be the best. You have to claim something no one else can claim. Words like integrity, computer savvy, top 1% in the company, mean nothing to the seller, many can say claim it also.    It does not differentiate you.  It just defines you as more of the same. 

For example, focusing on a niche that is dear to you, like historical homes, and learning every aspect of this area of specialization will make you stand out.   This increases your likelihood of getting this type of listing, because you will gain the reputation as the expert.

You have to claim something that is going to stick in that person’s mind and want you to represent their home.  One of our clients is one of the top agents in her marketplace: she regularly makes the Wall Street Journal’s top 100 list, as do three other agents in the community.  She is known for specializing in a neighborhood, which others can claim also. When she is asked, why should I list with you?  Her answer is, “I have sold more properties in this neighborhood than anyone else in town.” 

Checkmate, the game is over.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Announcing the 2015 Club e-Luxe Summit in Paris

The 2015 edition of the Club e-Luxe International Summit will place on Thursday June 4th in Paris, France. With the theme "SMART LUXURY", event will focus on the latest and most relevant digital tools, applications and platforms for luxury to thrive in the world of digital media, innovation and new technologies. 

Created in 2006 by our Language of Luxury media partner, Club e-Luxe, it is the foremost executive club for digital luxury professionals that provides luxury brands with access to the most advanced strategies, knowledge, applications, systems and tools required for a solid positioning in the context of the internet, digital media and innovation.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Do You Know Where The Bones Are Buried?

If you want to be top of mind in your luxury real estate marketplace, you have to be the most knowledgeable agent in your area.   As we used to tell our clients, when asked why they should work with us and sign an exclusive representation, “we know where the bones are buried.” 

This meant that we knew how to find buildings that could be sold that had not been listed, because we had relationships within our marketplace.  These owners would happily sign a one party exclusive.

Not long ago, we met with a local agent who wanted us to see a magnificent estate that was on the market.  What impressed us most about the agent is her encyclopedic knowledge of her marketplace.  We mentioned to her that prior to moving North from Los Angeles, we had put in an offer on a house on one of the streets nearby.  With our brief description from 10 years ago, she knew the house and gave us the history of it.  She knew the improvements that were done to it, and who owned it now.

This past week in Boston, we met an agent who specializes in one of the up and coming brownstone neighborhoods.  He was giving us a walking tour of the area.  What was impressive about him is that he knew the history of each building.  He knew what was being remodeled in the area. 

He knew every park and the improvements that were made.  He knew the people that lived there.  He could tell us the psychographics and demographics of the buyers.  He knew every retailer on the street.  He showed us the new dog park, and knew the people and their dogs. 

Later on, we went to lunch at one of his favorite restaurants, where everyone knew his name and were delighted to see him.  We even walked in to a competitor’s real estate office and everyone there was happy to see him!

Do you know where the bones are buried in your neighborhood?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

What Makes The Millennial Generation Run?

Long-term planning is important to include in one’s business plan if you want to be the market leader in your luxury real estate practice/company.  It means understanding the new agents you hire, as well as those you will be selling homes to.  It also means knowing how important spare time is to the millennial generation.

Next year, 80% of the work force will be comprised of millennials. Ten to fifteen years from today, the biggest spending group in the world will be those individuals who were born between 1980 and 1995.   After researching and reading several studies, it is evident that what makes the millennial generation run is the insistence on having spare time to enjoy their personal life.

What is notable about this generation is that in the professional service section, (accountant, actuary, architect, dentist, doctor, engineer, lawyer, management consultant, and pharmacist, for example) a significant number of the millennial set have entered and left this type of career path after a short stint. They are unwilling to sacrifice their free time to work harder for the traditional lure to advance their career by becoming a partner, or making more money. 

What is this sector of our population looking for?

A work culture that promotes and emphasizes work/life balance

Geographical convenience (work closer to home without a lengthy commute)

Technology in the workplace, focused on promoting flexibility and efficiency, such as having access to the best tools for collaboration and execution.

Having a policy of transparency regarding compensation, rewards and career decisions.

A working environment that feels like a community and emphasizes teamwork, appreciation, and support.

Even though this characterizes a large segment of the millennial generation, no one size fits all.  There are those in this generation, who do not fit these values, and there are those of us who are not by virtue of birth date in this category who have the same values as today’s millennial group.  Spare time to enjoy one’s life is definitely a high priority for many of us.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Market Yourself Like Fine Chocolate

Being at the top of your game as a luxury real estate marketing professional requires being consistently remarkable and this includes your presentations materials. In Boston, on our first day there, we went on a walk revisiting the area where one of my best friends (Alexandra) lived.

When we returned to the hotel, we took a different street and discovered L.A. Burdick Chocolates.  They are known for their Single Source Collection showcase from different countries where chocolate is produced. 

We selected the Venezuela region, because it is one of our favorites.  The cacao content is 80%.  Single source chocolate is akin to estate wines, where the wine is made from grapes grown on the estate.  This is a growing trend in chocolate production.

Like estate wines, it is priced higher, because it is not blended with other chocolate.  It retains the essence of its terroir, (the natural environment in which the chocolate is grown, and the taste resulting from the soil composition in which it is produced).

We were also impressed by the packaging, which differed from all other chocolate packaging we have seen.  This one was remarkable as was the taste! 

Are you marketing yourself like fine chocolate?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Earn More by Expanding Your World Beyond Real Estate

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One of the characteristics of an excellent luxury real estate marketing professional is having a broad base of interests.  Those who can engage in discussions on topics beyond real estate have a greater chance of connecting with high net worth individuals and also of earning their business.  Embracing the fine arts can offer you an entire spectrum of potential topics that can help you differentiate yourself from the typical “one-dimensional” agent (We lovingly call them “uni-dems”).

In a world where we find ourselves spending way too much time in front of TV screens, movie screens, digital device and computer screens it is refreshing to go to a stage play.  Here, instead of being spoon-fed imagery, we actually need to engage our own imagination to fill in the details.

Recently we saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which received 6 Tony nominations (including Best Play of the 2014-2015 season).  The play was so good that I (Ron here) immediately read the mystery novel by British writer, Mark Haddon, upon which it was based. 

The entire story was told from the point of view of the main character, a 15-year-old boy, a genius with functional autism who is a mathematical savant. The staging was absolutely brilliant as it blurred the line between what was going on in the kid’s head and what was actually going on in the real world of the story.

Alexandra and I happened to be seated next to a woman who has an autistic boy.  During intermission she shared her own experience of coping with and ultimately embracing the gift of raising her son as a single parent. Her stories moved us to tears and enriched the experience of the play.  We wanted to give her a standing ovation like the actors received that evening.

Expand your horizons beyond your real estate expertise!  If you do, you will certainly see an increase of business and referrals.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

How to Avoid Becoming a “Go-for” for Your Clients

From time to time we hear about luxury real estate agents who think that offering “concierge” services will endear them to their clients and generate more referrals.  These “above and beyond the call of duty” services (for which the agents are not paid) include personally orchestrating service workers for such tasks as yard clean up, painters, plumbers, stocking the fridge, etc, etc.

We believe that kindness and good deeds go a long way. However, you may want to consider shifting your role from actively doing these things to becoming a resource, a communication hub, a switchboard to refer your clients to service professionals you can trust.  Do not fall into the trap of becoming a “go-for” or an interim “majordomo” (a person who makes arrangements or takes charge for another).

If you live in a major city you could even give your clients a list of the latest smart phone apps that can help them with their chores, shopping, cooking, cleaning, packing (and unpacking), shipping and more.  There is an entire “concierge economy” emerging. For example, there are services that will deliver liquor or flowers or meals in 10 minutes. Some offer pick-up and delivery from any shop in town.  

If you order goods via Amazon or other e-commerce sites there is even a service that provides a proxy shipping address, where they receive your goods so nothing is left at your doorstep. Then, they deliver the goods when you are home.

Think of placing a higher value on your own time and redirecting that good energy into drumming up more business for yourself.  Besides, you will gain more respect from your clients (and more referrals, too), by respecting your true worth as a luxury real estate marketing professional.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Know Your Local Schools

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In marketing luxury real estate to buyers it is important to tune into the concerns parents may have for living in proximity to the best schools for their children. The more you know about the schools in your marketplace the more able you are to help your clients make the right decision. The right school can sell your clients on a neighborhood.

You should also stay abreast about the latest innovations in education.  Here is an exciting example of the most leading-edge schools in the country.(Be sure to watch the video too!).

If you work in San Francisco, or Palo Alto, CA or Brooklyn, NY you definitely need to know about AltSchool that just received a $100M in VC funding from the likes of Facebook’s Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, and also an organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs.  AltSchool brings together top experts in learning development, in technology and also in design that create best-in-class personalized learning experiences that prepare kids for their future in 2030.

AltSchool believes that all children have their own unique path to learning.  They truly honor their curiosity. Here are some highlights:

  1. Rigorous academics
  2. Personalized learning plans
  3. Project-based learning
  4. Digital learning tools
  5. Low student-teacher ratio
  6. Social & emotional skills
  7. Foreign languages
  8. Yoga, sports & physical education
  9. Real world learning experiences
  10. Engaging and inspiring teachers

In terms of “customer satisfaction”, here is a testimonial from a 10 year old AltSchool Student that says it all: “This is the best day of my entire school life”

Help your luxury real estate buyers with young children make the right decisions. Know your local schools!

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.