Photos Increase Readership: Get the Picture?

One of the oldest forms of communication is sharing pictures. If you want your blog to actually be read by humans, not just crawling Internet robots, start your posts with great photos. Let your primary photo convey the overarching theme of your post.

It is a well known fact that communicating with photos increases readership. Posts with photos are read 94% more often than those without them. That is because images are more likely to be retained in our memory, rather than abstract verbal ideas. 60% of consumers are more likely to contact a business when an image shows up in a local search, according to our research.

The photos in this post are images from the Lascaux Caves in France. They are thought to be over 17,000 years old. What is interesting about them is that they depict animals that existed at the time of the painting based on fossils found of such animals. Our ancestors were communicating their lives with us.

Flash forward! Snapchat (recently renamed, Snap, Inc.) gets the picture. They are coming out with a new "toy" called Spectacles. These are sunglasses that let you capture and share 10 second videos hands-free from your personal point of views, videos that will instantly disappear after they are viewed. The popularity of Snapchat demonstrates that pictures are used more and more as a mode of communication.

Can you see why a blog post without a photo completely misses the picture? After all, most of us learned how to read with picture books.

Great photos conveying your key message not only catch people's attention, they hold attention as your audience is reading your blog post. Take the time to select interesting pictures and watch your readership Increase.

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 Virtue of Single-Mindedness: A Case of "Cat & Chipmunk"

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We have often stated that focusing on an underserved or uncontested market niche, and doing so better than anyone else in your marketplace, is the key to successful marketing.  But, to pull this off you need to also have a particular mindset that we refer to as SINGLE-MINDEDNESS.

Before you even begin to embark upon the journey of niche marketing, you need to achieve a level of certainty that you have selected the right niche in the first place. You need to do your homework to assess the viability of the niche because it needs to have the potential to meet your financial goals. You also need to know if it is something for which you are personally best suited, that it plays to your personal strengths and passion. Only then should you take action.

But, once you are clear that you are heading in the right direction, you need to be absolutely single-minded about your endeavors.  The opposite of single-mindedness is being plagued with self-doubt or second-guessing yourself.

The single-mindedness mindset is what makes the difference between winners and losers.  Losers tend to forget that staying focused within the niche is essential. They think that they may miss out on business outside of their niche. Thus, they get distracted and dilute their concentration.

Recently, we were reminded of the importance of single-mindedness when a chipmunk (of all creatures) ventured into our garage.  It was game-on for our cat, Qunicy!  He became absolutely single-minded about his goal to capture the chipmunk.

At first, we had no idea what had captivated the attention of our intrepid hunter. He spent the entire night in the garage, hot in pursuit.  He was missing in action--a no-show for dinner and his favorite activity of the day, going on walks with his parents.

The next day the mystery prey was in the house and under our couch in the living room.  Quincy did not leave his post for hours, monitoring the situation. Only after lifting the couch, and seeing a bushy-tailed creature make a hasty retreat for our front hall closet did we recognize what it was. At that point we sequestered Quincy, opened the front door and managed to orchestrate the chipmunk's escape.

Take a lesson from Quincy. Nothing deterred him from his Chief Aim.  He had no second-thoughts or self-doubts. Nothing else seemed to exist for him during this game of cat & chipmunk. He was fully engaged in the here and now. The joy was obviously in his journey, more so than the end result.

Find a niche that you can dominate and stay focused. Become single-minded in the unabashed pursuit of market leadership in your marketplace.

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.

Change Your Perspective: Say Yes To More Business!

People see and interpret things differently. Your ability to shift your point of view and see things their way may just be one of the most important skills to develop when dealing with affluent clients in real estate or any service business.

One of our most memorable travel experiences and life lessons occurred while visiting the Vasarely Museum in Aix-en-Provence, southern France. Victor Vasarely was known as the “grandfather of op art”, the art movement that incorporates optical illusions in abstract compositions. 

Vasarely’s works included huge carpets that were hung on walls, sculptures and many two-dimensional pieces that give the viewer a sense of movement, camouflaged images, vibrating patterns, or of three-dimensional warping or swelling.

Vasarely’s compositions often shift perspective completely as you gaze upon them. One moment they are concave and then convex the next moment.  When we left the museum we literally had to sit down and get acclimated again to our normal surroundings.

The take-away that left an indelible impression for us was the idea that we actually craft our own realities in our minds as we view the objects “out there”. The same set of “facts” can take on completely different meanings given the context or worldview that each of us holds.

That is why it is essential that we have agreed upon ground rules to facilitate our interactions with each other. Yet, it is so important that we also understand that people see and interpret things differently.

In tennis for example, with multiple cameras triangulate impressions digitally, a ball is objectively either on the line or out (within a minute agreed upon margin for error). All umpires, players and fans agree upon this objective rule, which eliminates subjective disputes.

Apart from these rules, we need to champion diversity and creativity in perception.  That is the source of innovation and of invention. Practice shifting your point of view and appreciating other’s perspectives more often. You will find that you will attract more affluent clients when you do

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.

Meet More People Face-to-Face. It’s Better than Social Media for Business

Many agents are getting lazy about meeting new people face-to-face. They spend too much time in front of their computers on social media hoping to generate business or referrals. This represents an excellent opportunity for YOU to stand out from the crowd, if you are willing to venture forth into your community.

We always encourage our real estate clients to focus on meeting as many people as possible and doing so face-to-face. This should become an integral part of your brand strategy as well.  You may find that this strategy works better than Social Media and is a lot more fun! Inevitably the question that follows is WHERE do I meet these people?

We say, “FOLLOW YOUR INTERESTS!” There are many opportunities to get involved in the community. Find those that speak to who you are; follow your passions.

Do not participate with the hidden agenda of just drumming up real estate business.  Participate because you enjoy it. Business will come naturally, because people like to do business with other like-mined people.

An agent in San Francisco is a fan of the opera.  San Francisco happens to have a great opera house with very passionate patrons and fans.  This agent became a volunteer in the organization. Her strong support and enthusiasm led to direct business and many referrals.

In communities where the great outdoor lifestyle is key, some of our clients get involved in cycling events and races.  One of them has his real estate company sponsor him.  Another is a top-notch tennis player and has joined the tennis club in the community in which he works. 

Another client is a ski instructor.  She takes her clients on ski tours of the mountains that surround her community. Since her niche is ski-in/ski-out condos, this strategy works quite well, especially when showing this type of property.

Take a moment and write down your interests. Find out what is happening in your community that matches your passions!  Meet more people face-to-face and you will enjoy Social Media itself even more. 

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.

I’m OK. Are You Ok About That?

Good communication is essential to the success of any professional service provider who is interested in working with affluent consumers. It requires expressing yourself clearly and also listening attentively.  But, it also necessitates that you have a mindset of allowing people to have diverse or even opposing opinions without you shutting down the communication.

The best selling book, “I’m OK. You’re OK” was first published almost a half a century ago (1969).  Yet, it appears that humans are still struggling to achieve that conciliatory state of mind, the position on life that lets bygones be bygones and gives peace a chance.

Someone who exemplifies the “I’m OK. You’re OK” life position is Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski), head of men’s basketball at Duke University and also coach of three Gold Metal winning US Olympic men’s basketball teams.  We were very much moved by a recent WSJ interview with this wise man, a man who champions diversity.

Coach K was asked if he supported the NCAA’s boycott of North Carolina games over the state’s anti-LGBT bathroom law and also whether or not he would accept a transgender athlete on his team.  His answers to both questions were a resounding YES! 

Coach K has the courage to speak out against the law based on it being discriminatory. He feels that we need to embrace diversity and find the beauty in all kinds of people; just because some people are different does not mean that they are wrong. He advocates opening up and learning about differences instead of shutting down and saying no.

Take a page out of the playbook of Coach K in your business. The next time someone different than you say, “I’m OK. Are you OK about that?” be someone who can say YES!

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.

Winning Over “Undecided Voters” with Great Packaging

People vote with their dollars. Many “undecided voters” buy products based on the label when they do not have a recommendation from a trusted friend or other source. Great packaging or branding is also important in the service industry. It is definitely a key factor for local service professionals who want to seize the lion’s share of business especially in affluent communities.

The craft beer industry is growing at a double-digit rate annually.  The Brewers Association, comprised of small and independent craft brewers, has stated: “they now have a 12 percent market share of the beer industry.  Retail dollar value was estimated at 22.3 billion.” 

Competition is fierce. What we have been noticing is how many craft brewers are attempting to stand out with simple yet memorable branding.  One example of a memorable brand name is Swami’s IPA Beer. 

Swami’s IPA beer is made by Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA. This is the home of Swami’s Beach.  It is a lovely beach where the Self Realization Center has its temple, and also where surfers and beach lovers enjoy the Pacific Ocean.  

Among the experts who rate beer Swami’s IPA rates 97. It has become a best seller for the company who started brewing this beer in 1987.

Pay close attention to the quality of your packaging. That is, if you want to win the “undecided vote”.

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 Luxury of Appreciation

Anonymous watercolour, 19th century: Scene from Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro  

Anonymous watercolour, 19th century: Scene from Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro

 

In the Language of Luxury there is no sweeter word than APPRECIATION. It is well worth becoming fluent in the many wonderful meanings of this word.

Obviously, appreciation in real estate represents an increase in property value.  But, for many it may mean the ability to appreciate life more fully later in life due to increased financial security.

Appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something. It can also be the full understanding of a situation.

Recently we attempted to purchase an album featuring the highlights of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, from our usual music provider. In anticipation of seeing the live performance in October, we wanted to gain a greater appreciation of the music and the libretto. Oddly, there was an error message that appeared and the purchase was aborted. So, we decided to purchase it from Amazon, instead.

As a subscriber of Amazon Prime we discovered a treasure trove of music of all genres that is included for free in the Prime service. WOW! To our surprise we found what we were looking for and it was included in our subscription.

There is so much to appreciate about this $99/year service, which pays for itself on savings from shipping costs alone. For us, anything else like movies, TV shows, or music included with the Prime subscription, is a bonus.

As we are writing this post we are playing The Marriage of Figaro on our wireless smartphone and it is being picked up on our wireless speakers. Can you imagine what Mozart would think about this level of luxury?

With so much content for free or for a minor cost compared to just 10 or 20 years ago, it is amazing how much we all tend to take for granted. Our lives our enriched beyond what we were even able to imagine.  It is good to take the time to appreciate this form of wealth!

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.

Successful Marketing VS Flash In The Pan Marketing!

Successful Marketing is a long-term strategy that inspires your target market to become raving fans and loyal referral sources.  Flash in the Pan Marketing is a short-term strategy that fails to deliver anything of value, despite a showy beginning. It ultimately disappoints because it lacks continuity. It will be remembered for “5 minutes” and not help you sustain top-of-mind status.  

A successful marketing strategy evolves from knowing that your core values are a match to the values of your ideal clients. Here is an example of a successful marketing strategy, based on the principle of continuity that has created a continuous flow of referrals from loyal clients in a metropolitan area.

At a talk we gave on Successful Marketing, we met a real estate agent mom with two young children.  In analyzing her customer base of buyers and sellers, she noticed that her marketplace was composed of families like hers.  They could easily relate to her and she to them.

She had a passion for the arts and was a docent (volunteer guide) at the local art museum.  When the museum launched a monthly children’s arts program, she invited all her sphere of influence and their friends to join her for the half-day program and bring their children.  Given her docent status, the admission fee was waived for all. 

This win-win strategy was a resounding success with the children. Many of the parents became members of the museum.  Regular monthly visits kept this agent visible, which resulted in a continuous flow of referrals.

Marketing based on the premise that people like doing business with people like themselves, is successful marketing.  When you know who you are, and know your target market well, marketing can become easy and fun.

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.

 

 

Think Outside of the Shoe Box: Switch Your Niche!

The Tony Award winner for Best Musical in 2013, Kinky Boots, was based on a terrific 2005 film by the same name. The film, which we highly recommend, was based on a triumphant true story of niche marketing.

A three generation-old, struggling British family business, selling finely crafted men’s dress shoes, ran into financial trouble because cheaper shoes were flooding the market from foreign manufacturers.  To reverse this trend of commoditization, Charlie, the young, strait-laced owner forms an unlikely partnership with Lola, a drag queen, to save the business. The plan was to totally retool the factory to produce custom footwear for drag queens.  In the process of turning around the business together, the two men discover that they are not all that different, based on their character and core values.

The moral of the story is this:  When you are faced with commoditization in your business, and your competition is blurring what makes you distinct, it may be time to switch your niche!

Stop spinning your wheels in your current niche. Stop introverting and finding fault with yourself.  There is nothing wrong with YOU. Market conditions are always changing. Instead, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, and find an underserved or uncontested niche that you can dominate.

Think Outside of the Shoe Box: Switch Your Niche!

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 Winning Formula: Competence Plus Responsiveness1

Whether a lead comes your way via the phone, the Internet or through a personal referral, your rapid response may determine if you get the new client or if they move on to someone more responsive. The old adage still holds true that the early bird catches the worm.

Recently, our Squarespace (SQ) web developer, with whom we have worked for seven years, moved on to a different career. And, we needed a Squarespace expert to make two immediate adjustments on our own company website that is built on that platform.  We work both with SQ and Wordpress (WP) web developers depending on the scope of our projects.

So, we sent out invitations to establish a new business relationship (plus instructions to address the 2 items that required immediate action on our site) to two SQ developers that were recommended by the company itself. Neither of them responded within 24 hours.

The following day we sent out 10 additional invitations to SQ recommended developers.  Within a few minutes we received a response from one developer who could not take on our work immediately but kindly referred to three other SQ developer friends who could.

Co-incidentally, one of her recommendations was the one who responded next, as that firm was also on our list.  We had a brief conversation with this developer, who instantly established credibility with us, and within 20 minutes they took care of our immediate needs at a reasonable price. Although, the terms of payment in their invoice stated “due within 30 days”, we paid them within the hour by credit card because we appreciated their responsiveness.

We received three other responses later that day. Two of them noticed that the changes had already been made and the other one said they would call us the following week.

The early bird caught the worm! And, we look forward to working with this company on future projects based on their responsiveness.

Do everything you can to be more responsive than your competition.  Competence alone is no longer enough to assure others that you are worthy of their referrals. COMPETENCE + RESPONSIVENESS is the WINNING FORMULA!

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 Stand Out From Your Competition or Do You Do What Simon Says?

If your goal is to stand out as a luxury real estate marketing professional, it is important that you identify that which makes you unique among your peers.  Doing what everyone else is doing is what we refer to as “Simon Says Marketing!” Unique marketing comes from the heart and soul of your brand.

Simon Says is a children’s game for 3 or more children, where one child becomes Simon and gives instructions: Simon says: Hands up, and everyone raise their hands!  Simon says: Lie down and everyone lies down.  There is an abundance of Simons in the marketing arena each claiming that they will help you stand out from the competition. 

This morning, someone asked if we had heard of a new form of mobile engagement that will bring more business. When we researched the web site, we were amused to hear that buying this technology will “allow you to differentiate yourself from your competition and stand out” Did that mean the company will only sell one to you, and not to your competition?  How will they make money?  Perhaps if you are the first adopter of this technology you will stand out for a week at best.  And then, the word will be out, and everyone will follow suit and conform.

Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to what individuals perceive is normal in their society or social group.  Many people feel the pressure to conform by the Simons of this world rather than taking the risk of standing out.  This is good news if you want to become a market leader. That means fewer bone-fide competitors. What is the heart and soul of your brand?

"When you're just like everybody else, you've got nothing to offer other than your conformity"  Wayne Dyer

And we say, "Forget Simon Says Marketing, Stand Out or Bow Out!" 

Ron & Alexandra Seigel

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.

Source More Referrals: It Is Only Coffee!

Can you think of a single luxury real estate marketing professional who does not love getting referrals? Based on the law of reciprocity, generating referrals begets receiving them. The more you give the more you get. Yet, few agents make it their business to source referrals to non-competitive business owners or service professionals.

What if you deliberately set out to generate referrals to others as a primary brand strategy for your real estate practice?  The more people you know the more matches you can source.

Eventually you would become known as a “referral hub” someone who connects others in such a way that it leads to more business for all.  If you master the art of giving referrals you would emerge as the MVP (Most Valuable Professional to know).

Engaging the law of reciprocity begins by getting into a frame of mind of abundance.  It is a shift of focus away from scarcity and looking out only for #1. This does not mean that you need to become selfless and place the needs of others above your own.  An abundant mindset means that you simultaneously consider the needs of others AND yourself.

When you have achieved this abundant mindset you do not have to keep score about receiving referrals back from the very people to whom you have given them. Leveraging the law of reciprocity will often attract referrals “out of blue” from the most unexpected sources.

A great way to begin engaging the law of reciprocity is simply to invite more people to meet you for coffee.  The more you get out and meet people face-to-face the more opportunities you have for new business and also for building long-term high-trust relationships. We say, “whoever has the most high-trust relationships WINS!” because those that do create the most opportunities for referrals.

So, next time you find that you are hiding behind your computer or stretching out the busy work that you could easily delegate to others, pick up the phone and invite someone for coffee. Reach out, get out of the office and spread the love. Show people you care about their success.  And, they will start caring about yours. It is only coffee!

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.

 

Going For Gold & Fun: The Competitive Advantage of Precision Teamwork

As a luxury real estate marketing professional you have a distinct competitive advantage if you operate as a team. However, the secret to winning the game is to develop PRECISION teamwork and that requires the total alignment of purpose among all team members. Those teams who win medals in the Olympics are shining examples of precision teamwork.

Whether you are a solopreneur with a support staff, a partnership, or a group of professionals each individual member of the team has his or her own purpose. It is essential that you discover the chief aim of each person, then, communicate that explicitly and openly. Only then can you clearly see how your purposes actually can align.

In selecting a partner it is wise to find someone who has the same level of ambition as you. As a husband and wife team who has worked together in several businesses, we have truly experienced the power of precision teamwork

We have a rule that everything we pursue together must be what we call a “hell yes!” If one of us disagrees we usually drop the idea, and take no action. But, this does not represent a subordination of individuality. We are both strong individuals on our own and very effective persuaders. We often laugh at each other’s clever persuasion techniques. It is fun because we trust that our overarching purposes are identical and totally aligned.

Our mutual purpose is to individually experience the certainty of our ability to make our dreams come true. This transcends the importance of any particular goal and makes our mutual endeavors more like a game that we help each to win.

Nothing is more important than maintaining our relationship of trust as a team. With that in mind, together, we are always bigger than any obstacle that can arise.

If one of us feels particularly strong about some pursuit, we support each other by encouraging the other to trust their intuition and see how it plays out in the realm of action. We trust that the stronger willed partner will either expand our horizons or jettison the idea entirely.

In a group, however, not everyone has the same level of ambition. This does not diminish the power of each individual’s contribution to the overall aim of the team. Role players can make or break a team.

When we owned a commercial real estate firm we were a small but mighty group of five. By creating a small, high-powered team we were able to more quickly dominate our niche in high-end retail development and leasing, and also corporate relocation for the entertainment industry, in Beverly Hills and the adjacent areas.

Like a gold metal winning Olympic team, when your purposes are aligned, precision teamwork flourishes. More, importantly, from our personal perspective, you simply have more fun!

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.

Muumuu Marketing: Does One Size Fit All?

We are constantly asked about marketing strategies and advertising channels from luxury real estate marketing professional nationwide. We say, beware of muumuu** marketers who tell you that one size fits all.  Here are some of the questions:

---Should one advertise in the local paper, luxury real estate magazines, online, on social media, send postcards (how many and how big), or produce videos? 

---Should one buy a drone, a video camera, an expensive camera or leave it to the professionals? 

--What about SEO or SEM (search engine marketing) or the long tail? 

We are not being evasive, when we say no one size fits all.  It depends on the marketplace, the lifestyle, and what the target market responds to. In other words, muumuu marketing can be a colossal waste of your marketing dollars.

The best ad agencies spend time on the ground researching the marketplace. They address both the demographics and the psychographics of the target market.  These agencies understand that what works in Boston may not work in South Bend, Indiana, even if the demographics are the same in each locale.  The psychographics, i.e., mindset and values, may be vastly different.

Here in Santa Barbara, where we have well over a dozen billionaires and a healthy population of ultra high net worth consumers, there are no Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maserati, or Ferrari dealerships. Why? These automotive companies apparently did their market research.  Some Santa Barbara homeowners may own them and drive them here, but they purchased them elsewhere. Conversely, the new Tesla dealership is taking orders like hotcakes for their newest model, and we see many of their luxury sedans on the road that were purchased in Santa Barbara. 

Beware of muumuu marketers! Or, you will find yourself trolling the beach with a metal detector looking for spare change instead of raking in the big bucks! 

**(Muumuu is defined as a long loose-hanging dress worn by Hawaiian women and those wanting to hide a multitude of sins.  Origin of the word "muumuu" is expand.)

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 Better You: Not Just Me, Myself And "I"!

In a previous post about our Mid-Year Business Check Up, we mentioned a very important paradigm shift that is now required if you are interested in achieving market leadership in your marketplace. There seemed to be a bit of confusion about this topic, so this post is intended to make this crucial point even clearer.

The paradigm shift that we are referring to is this:  The business of residential real estate is no longer a game of marketing real estate; it is a game of marketing YOU! 

Due to public access of real estate listing information via the Internet, everyone has the exact same inventory, with the exception of pocket listings.  That makes both the information and YOU a commodity.

Here is where the clarity is needed. By YOU we mean your unique brand of doing business. We have to assume that most competent agents have knowledge of their marketplace, good negotiation skills and have integrity. Can you see that even these fine qualities become commodities? In this context what makes YOU stand out?

That is why it is so important to identify what you can do better than anyone else, express your unique promise of value is just a few words, and then BRING A BETTER YOU TO THE GAME by doing the following:

 

  1.     GET OUT THERE AND MEET MORE PEOPLE FACE-TO-FACE THAN YOUR CLOSEST COMPETITION. BE INTERESTED, NOT INTERESTING.
  2.     COMMUNICATE YOUR UNIQUE PROMISE OF VALUE TO MORE PEOPLE THAN YOUR COMPETITION
  3.     BE MORE VISIBLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY THAN YOUR COMPETITION
  4.     CONSISTENTLY STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR EVER-EXPANDING REFERRAL BASE, AND DO SO BETTER THAN YOUR COMPETITION
  5.     ASK MORE PEOPLE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO MORE PEOPLE

 

That is what we mean by marketing YOU, a BETTER YOU, not just me, myself and I.

 

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.

Mid-Year Business Check UP: The Next Big Thing!

One of our biggest breakthroughs in 2016 was identifying the need for a complete paradigm shift in the field of luxury real estate marketing. At mid-year we are now in the process of creating and test marketing a very exciting new service and business model, based on this fresh perspective.

The paradigm shift that we are referring to is this:  The business of residential real estate is no longer a game of marketing real estate; it is a game of marketing YOU!  If you are intent on gaining or sustaining market leadership, failing to make this shift could mean the biggest missed opportunity of your entire career! It is far, far more important than the advent of social media marketing. It is the NEXT BIG THING!

Due to public access of real estate listing information via the Internet, everyone has the exact same inventory, with the exception of pocket listings.  That makes both the information and YOU a commodity, unless you can provide an extraordinary value proposition, i.e., create added genuine value above and beyond commodities.

Some agents are better than other at cultivating referrals.  But, few are doing what it takes to exponentially expand their referral base.  That means making it your business to consistently and continuously meet more people. 

Like most small business owners, real estate agents spend more time working “In” their business, as “transaction engineers” in this case, rather than working “On” their business as marketing experts. And, in this context, we are talking about the business of marketing YOU.

There are way too many excuses, for staying in your comfy chairs in your office instead of getting out and meeting more people.  In the new paradigm you must delegate or outsource everything that you absolutely do not have to do yourself. This will help free you up to get out there! After all, the game of marketing YOU is a people sport.

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.

Branding Lessons in Beverly Hills: Parking Meter & Pavement Plaques!

We love all aspects of branding, and we enjoy sharing them with our readers.  Our intention is that it may spark creativity in promoting your brand of doing business.  Brilliant examples inspire us, and we hope they will inspire you in marketing your luxury real estate practice.

We met Bijan the year he opened his store in Beverly Hills on famed Rodeo Drive.  What we learned is that he was a passionate men’s clothing designer.  His fame grew because of the quality and fit of his clothes, and his list of customers ranged from royalty and presidents to high and low profile business people, as well as celebrities.

He was a great marketer of his brand, and to this day his son continues his legacy.  He has expanded to include women’s fragrances, accessories and jewelry. He maintains the brand’s visibility with two billboards across the street from each other on one of the busiest thoroughfares in West Los Angeles. This street leads to Beverly Hills and is flanked with high profile office buildings.

Today with moments to spare prior to our appointment in Beverly Hills, we noticed a brilliant branding addition in front of his store.  This is a branded parking meter, and on the sidewalk two plaques marking his contribution to Rodeo Drive.

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.

Sharply Focused Niche Marketing: A $1 Billion Idea!

The power of focus cannot be emphasized enough if you want to dominate a luxury real estate market niche in your area.  A single strategy that is sharply focused can make you rich while all others are faced with cutthroat competition!

Five years ago Mike Dubin launched an online business through which he sells razors as a subscription service, shipped by mail. His company, Dollar Shave Club in Venice, California, has been sold to Unilever for a cool $1Billion. 

His strategy is simple:  A great shave for a few bucks a month.  His slogan is precise, stating the unique promise of value in just 4 words:  “Shave Money. Shave Time!”

Knowing his target market’s psychographics inside and out, he got away with a big fat claim, using taboo marketing: “OUR BLADES ARE F**KING GREAT!

The Dollar Shave Club rapidly gained popularity with a You Tube video that went viral. It was viewed almost 23 million times. Check it out below!

A single strategy can make you rich if you have the right niche! Hopefully, this will help to dispel your fears of choosing a niche that is too narrow, providing there is a large enough target market that can potentially satisfy your financial goals.

To learn more about niche marketing click here: Which Niche Can Make You Rich? 

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 We Really Need To Watch What We Say?

Respect for diversity in humanity is something that is the responsibility of every human.  In marketing luxury real estate, we should naturally respect diversity in our clients.  The Equal Housing law requires us to see no differences and watch what we say. That should not be necessary!

On the other side of this equation, we all have learned the rules of how to practice political correctness. The very fact that one has to carefully select their words when meeting or talking to someone who is not like us exaggerates the differences and essentially forces us to focus on the differences.  In our opinion this exacerbates the problem rather than solve it. 

Friday, we read an article in the WSJ titled, “Gender Equality Comes to the World of Emoji”. It was subtitled, “Emoji for 11 new professions such as welder and scientist, will be available in male and female forms.”

On July 14th, the Unicode Consortium in which Google is a “full member with voting rights” approved these and will have 33 more professions in both genders by the end of 2016. Earlier this year the Unicode Consortium added interchangeable skin tones.  It is worth noting that the real estate profession is not represented among existing emojis.

We think that all emojis should be represented in gold, then the only thing humanity would need to practice is the golden rule, and not have to watch what we say.  

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.

Are You Marketing To Make It Rain, Or Just Selling Umbrellas?

There is a distinct difference between marketing and selling.  Selling is short-term thinking. Marketing is building a business to last.

An example of selling is the guy on the street who hawks cheap umbrellas to those who forgot theirs that morning. His business depends on the forgetful and on the weather. When the sale is complete, he does not have a long-term customer nor does he have a referral source to capitalize on.

Marketing means standing out in a sea of sameness by distinguishing yourself though the way you do business.  It is based on a plan that includes creating a loyal customer base. When you are thinking long-term, you are able to focus more on your clients than on your immediate personal need to close a quick deal.  Marketing comes from a mindset of self-confidence, rather than being driven by fear and insecurity.

Jan’s ski store in Deer Valley, Utah, is the only place we buy ski equipment. When the resort first opened, we came in with ill-fitting ski boots that we bought in Los Angeles.  They went out of their way to make our boots comfortable without charging us.  They also invited us to try their demo skis without charge.  This was long range thinking and marketing at its best.

At the end of that ski season, we bought new boots and skis, and have remained loyal customers ever since. Recently at Jan’s, we noticed that a customer sitting next to us, who was being fitted for boots, needed to take an important phone call.  His fitter took off the boots and handed him a plush pair of slippers to wear, so that he could take the call in private.  The guy was dumbfounded and said, “Why are you are giving me slippers to wear?” The fitter responded, “Because, that is Jan’s way!”

Marketing is demonstrating your long-range thinking, which should be your distinctive brand of doing business, if you want to stand out from your competition.  Stop selling umbrellas and waiting for it to rain!  Instead, start marketing and become a rainmaker!

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.