LEAVING YOUR COMPETITION IN THE DUST!

If you follow our logic of our previous post, that marketing luxury real estate is really a matter of pricing the home correctly, you will see that there is very little strategy involved here beyond a pricing strategy. When motivated sellers are willing to price the home correctly, and the property is exposed to the max a qualified buyer will eventually show up.

So, what then is marketing strategy? First you need to know the goal of marketing. Then you need to know how to get there in the soonest time frame. 

Strategy is calculating how you can attain top-of-mind status for listing luxury homes in your marketplace, and swiftly leave your competition in the dust (your goal).

The more focused you are and the faster you can convey that your value proposition is superior to your competition, the faster you will reach top-of-mind status among your entire potential referral base. It is your CERTAINTY of your extraordinary promise of value that gets customers chasing after you instead of you changing them.

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.

Want to Get Ahead of the Crowd? Try Marketing You!

Let’s dispel the mystery of marketing luxury real estate.  The truth about marketing is pricing the home right.  Then showing it off in the best light.  That means providing the best possible presentation packaging and using those exposure tools to reach buyers and agents who represent them.

The real marketing challenge is getting the listing in the first place.  That means marketing you. It is doing what it takes to achieve top of mind status.  You, the brand, has to come to mind more frequently than anyone else. It also means doing what it takes to facilitate word of mouth advertising. And of course, you have to live up to your promise of value.

That way, they will be chasing you, not the other way around.

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.

Your Choice: Feel Old Or Feel Young!

Maintaining a youthful mindset is not just a frivolous notion.  It is essential to success in business, especially if you love what you do.

Since we are approaching Q4 we decided to check in on our January 2nd post in which we declared “vitality” as the focal point for 2015. One of the ways that we have chosen to stay focused on vitality has been to practice yoga consistently and take classes up to three times a week. It has really helped to manage our outlook and maintain a balance between business and life.

One yoga instructor mentioned a life lesson that he heard about staying young that was very inspiring to us.  So, we wanted to pass it along to our Language of Luxury community.

“Keep envisioning a future of growth and change and take action to move toward that vision”.

Innovation is the everlasting fount of new ideas. Even though yoga is centuries old there is still room for innovation.  Check out the video below on the latest expression of this ageless form of exercise and meditation.-“acroyoga”.  We do not practice this form of yoga. But, just watching it will give you a boost of vitality!

Keep innovating.  Taking actions that increase vitality and this will help to keep life in perspective.  Maintaining an expanded perspective keeps you alert to opportunities and also makes it easier to weather the bumps in the road.  That is the luxury of staying young!

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.

Mindless Mindfulness: Try It, You Will Really Like It!

Recently one of our good friends who is a highly sought after executive coach to the Fortune 500 companies, mentioned that the world of executive coaching is focusing on the subject of mindfulness as part of training successful management teams.

We have always felt that mindfulness is one of the most important aspects of developing and maintaining successful relationships, personal and business.  Real estate is a relationship business, and practicing mindfulness is of paramount importance if you intend to be the market leader in your community.

Mindfulness is the ultimate state of focus.   As defined in the book, You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment, and written by Thich Nhat Hanh (A Vietnamese Buddhist monk highly praised by the Dalai Lama for his work),

“Mindfulness is first of all the ability to recognize what is happening in the present moment.  It is simple recognition—without judgment or criticism, without suppression or attachment.”

Practicing this type of focus empowers you in a listing/listening presentation.  You are at the listing/listening table able to understand what is being said without the common filters of judgment or criticism.  What exists in that moment is your enhanced ability to really hear what the seller needs.  The same is true with a buyer you are working with. 

When you are with them, your thoughts stop.  We refer to it as a state of mindless mindfulness.   You hear everything, no details get past you, answer questions appropriately, and more often than not, you will get the listing and find the perfect home for your clients.

It is easy to achieve a state of mindfulness.  Like a muscle you have to exercise it daily.  It can be as simple as washing the dishes focusing on each moment, driving your car, taking a walk, pulling weeds all in a state of appreciating every moment of whatever you are doing.  It can be sitting down to mindfully breathe, fully filling your body with breath, and fully exhaling.   

Try it, You Will Really Like It.

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.

Localism: Take a tip from “CATstantinople” AKA Istanbul!

Writing blog posts on local stories that really matter to the locals in an excellent way to become known as a luxury real estate marketing professional who is a genuine human being. This is known as local journalism or localism.

Think like a professional journalist. Take a tip from this WSJ article to fashion your own localism posts. Here is a great story about cats in Istanbul (“CATstantinople) and how the people there revere them.

We call this a “peripheral” marketing strategy because it may not produce immediate results. But, over time peripheral marketing can pay off in big ways.  It allows the potential referral base in your area to get to know you in a role other than real estate professional.  It gives you a way to be multidimensional and approachable because you find avenues of common ground besides business.

Public relations could be defined as making yourself well known and well thought of in your marketplace. Peripheral marketing can accomplish that in ways that market reports and just sold post cards cannot do.  Use localism to connect with the locals!

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.

Localism Posts: Still Relevant or Outdated Marketing?

Santa Barbara Lighthouse on Butterfly Beach

Santa Barbara Lighthouse on Butterfly Beach

Recently, there was a lively discussion on the subject of localism.  Some of the participants felt it was a waste of time, because no leads have been realized as a result of the effort.  Others felt that Google liked seeing agents with different perspectives, and for the sake of Google, this is was a must.  Some did get leads.

We have always encouraged our clients to write localism posts providing that it fit with their overall brand strategy, if they wanted to have a blog.  We also suggest that if they are going to write localism posts, it has to be editorial rather than just reporting the time, and date of the event.

One of our clients loved the idea.  She embraced the concept and reported back that several of their clients came from reading their posts for one to two years.  They enjoyed their reports on the growth of the town, the restaurants, and the sporting events. 

Another client is an avid boater, and specializes in waterfront properties.  The localism posts were on the subject of boating, where to get supplies, and or repairs done, and the best places to dock and visit in their waterfront area, based on personal experiences.

There are several agents around the country who can attribute their success to their localism posts.  One of them writes about chocolate.  She is passionate about the subject, and shares her finds on local chocolate. In the same city, there is an agent who covers the local neighborhood scene where he works and lives.  His readers look forward to his newsletter.

Another agent is a master of marketing reports (a definite localism post).  He has remained highly ranked on Google for years.  His marketing reports are interesting reads for everyone who lives in the area, because of his point of view.  We even check out his reports, because they are a fun read. 

If you review a restaurant, eat there.  If you enjoyed the experience, write about it.  The same goes for an event that is happening in town.  Be sure you have attended it, enjoyed it, or else forget reporting on it.

In conclusion, if you are going to write about localism as part of your marketing strategy, write it from your experience.  Make it personal, make it interesting and make it a fun read. Otherwise, don’t do it.

You decide, Localism Post: Relevant or Outdated?

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.

Your Competition: Friend or Enemy?

In the competitive arena of luxury real estate, it is important to treat your competitors as friends and a respected member of the luxury real estate community.  If you want to maximize your longevity in your luxury real estate market, forget treating your competitors as an enemy.

Make a habit of congratulating the opposition for their accomplishments. This will often result in a circle of trustworthy professionals who can become a great source of information and a delight to work with.

One of our clients regularly sends listings to another agent in another company, when she senses the sellers/buyers would be difficult for her to work with.  She knows her competitor is perfect for this type of seller.  Her competitor also reciprocates, and they send each other referral fees.

In many of the high-end marketplaces, luxury real estate agents from different firms have formed an alliance where they share private listings (sellers who don’t want their homes on the MLS).

The lesson here is to treat your competition as a friend and a respected member of your profession.  You will be surprised by the positive results, which will come from this attitude.  It is more rewarding that treating someone as an enemy.

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 Up To The Task Of Finding Your niche?

                       © Lostarts|Dreamstime.com-Retro HDR Manila Skyline Photo

                       © Lostarts|Dreamstime.com-Retro HDR Manila Skyline Photo

Uncontested and under served market niches are usually not obvious.  That is why they are such outstanding opportunities for luxury real estate marketing professionals who want to dominate a niche.

Recently, we came across a relatively new outsourcing company called TaskUs headquartered in Santa Monica, California. The 29 year-old founders started out as a virtual assistant firm but later discovered an under served market niche that they could dominate. 

Today they provide the back office support and customer service support mostly for Internet start-ups and emerging internet superstars like Uber, Groupon, and even the hot, new online dating service, Tinder. This is not only an under served market niche but also an uncontested one. Most outsourcing firms target larger companies like big banks and telecommunication firms and would not consider working with start-ups.

TaskUs has a staff of 4000 people in Manila who speak fluent English and enjoy the same kind of relaxed work environment (with tons of perks) that has become the norm for Silicon Valley tech companies. This year TaskUs is projecting $50 million in revenues, up from $14 million in 2014. 

TaskUs just landed a funding round of $15 million to expand into yet another uncontested and under served market niche:  Spanish-speaking customers.  With an eye on tripling their revenue by 2016, they plan on opening new offices in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Columbia.

Start thinking like this startup, TaskUs and you to may discover an under served or even an uncontested market niche that you can dominate as a luxury real estate marketing professional.  Are you up to the task of finding your market 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.

 

Bridge Communication; Do Not Jump Off the Bridge

              © Alchena/ Dreamstime.com-Python Bridge In Amsterdam-Night Scene Photo

              © Alchena/ Dreamstime.com-Python Bridge In Amsterdam-Night Scene Photo

In marketing luxury real estate have you ever had the experience of prospects that do not return your phone calls after you have established what you thought was an excellent rapport? Or, have you waited in vain for a promised call from prospects that never materialized?  What about missed appointments without as much as a quick note via email or text?

It is always a good practice to give people the benefit of the doubt because something urgent may have became a priority.  But, now with just about everyone using smartphones there is little excuse not to provide some form of Communication Bridge to resolve the mystery.

Why is it so difficult for people to say, “I have decided not to avail myself of your services” or, “my plans have changed”, or “something came up”? Doesn’t this seem like common courtesy? If they do not provide a bridge of communication do they expect that you will just take the hint and go away? Why does it seem like common courtesy is a luxury instead of the norm? 

If it appears that common courtesy is in short supply in your world you may want to take this an important clue. It is a clue more about YOU than THEM. 

It may appear like there is a scarcity of truly courteous people out there. But, in reality the courteous ones are just as plentiful. You just have been spending too much of your attention on the non-courteous ones and too much time complaining about them. The unfortunate result is that your expectations have diminished and your self-esteem has most likely suffered in the process.

The good news is that this can be remedied! Decide that you deserve common courtesy at all times. Practice it consistently yourself in regard to others. Be mindful of providing communication bridges if you are not interested in services that others offer you or if you cannot keep an appointment.

When you do encounter the lack of common courtesy, do not jump off the bridge! Give them the benefit of the doubt. Do not dwell on the disappointment. Just write it off as quickly as possible and move on others who are more a match to your standards of courtesy. Remember they are looking for you as much as you want to find them.

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.

Does Your Brand Amount to A Hill of Chocolate Beans?

The purpose of branding is to accelerate the communication cycle between expressing your extraordinary promise of value and hearing your target market say, “I want it, I need it or I’ll try it!” Contrary to what most luxury real estate professionals think there is no salesmanship required here, whatsoever. To be really successful you just need to tell your clearly articulated brand story to enough of the RIGHT people, those who resonate with your unique value proposition.  

Luxury is a premium we are willing to pay for above and beyond a commodity.  Chocolate is a commodity.  You can buy a giant 6.8-ounce bar of Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate at Walmart for $2 (29.4 cents per ounce).

Being lovers of fine chocolate in its purest forms, we recently discovered Ritual Chocolate, a very small company located in Park City, Utah. They make handcrafted chocolate in small batches, from fair trade markets such as Ecuador, Madagascar, and Belize. Ritual sells a 1.5-ounce bar of dark chocolate from Ecuador for $6.75 ($4.50 per ounce). We feel it is the best 85% Cacao chocolate bar we have tasted thus far that is made in the US.

If you are a true chocolate lover, you will fully resonate with Ritual’s brand story that is depicted in the video (See below). Their goal is to “revive the focus on quality”. In the spirit of “farm-to-table dining” their slogan is “Bean to Bar.” 

Notice the use of vintage imagery of Park City Utah to create the feeling of a heritage brand for this young company. It emphasizes the traditional values of the chocolate making ritual. Also note that the wrapper has the batch number and the year the beans were harvested.

Paraphrasing Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, here is a question for you: “Does your brand amount to a hill of [chocolate] beans in this crazy world?” What is your brand story?

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 Your Marketing Campaigns Originals or Copycats?

There are definite guidelines in marketing a luxury real estate home such as postcards, print ads (newspaper and magazines), on-line distribution, social media, events, public relations, and word of mouth.  Just because your competition is doing it one way, does not mean you should copy their way of marketing because of their success.

It is of paramount importance to do an in depth market research to understand your target audience of buyers.   Luxury homes and estates are usually unique and distinct properties, and each home deserves it own custom marketing. 

Not long ago, we interviewed an agent who told us, that he did minimal online marketing. Early one morning as he was jogging through his target neighborhood, he noticed the local newspaper on every doorstep.  At that point, he shifted a larger percentage of his marketing dollars to print ads, which yielded a significant return.
Sometimes to attract the right buyer to the property, a public relations campaign may be the right place to spend marketing dollars.  At the end of May, Michael Jackson’s, Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, (Santa Barbara’s wine country) came on the market for 100 million dollars. 

The property is co-listed with two different real estate firms one in Los Angeles and the other in Santa Barbara County to reach a wider audience of buyers.  Given Michael Jackson’s fame, this listing became national and international news both on line and in print.   Postcard marketing makes no sense in this instance.
Don’t fall into the trap of just copying, think it through for yourself and be an original.  Original marketing gets noticed copycat marketing gets dismissed.

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 Leading Edge: Outdoor Eco Smart Evening Dining in Santa Barbara

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, it is important to stay abreast of the new technology that is evolving in the Green Eco Smart Industry.  Here is something we discovered yesterday, when were having lunch at Honor Bar in Santa Barbara.

The picture above shows the pedestal of one of the outdoor tables.  Not only is it a pedestal, it is also a heating element.  The heat naturally generated by their refrigeration units is pumped through these and provides warmth in the evening through the vents.

In addition the umbrellas have a heating element that is solar as are the lights strung on the umbrella.  We were impressed, because this technology is cleaner, safer and saves space unlike the outdoor heaters that are propane powered. 

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 Brand Fresh or Getting Stale?

As a luxury real estate marketing profession it is essential that you continuously refresh your brand in order to maintain top-of-mind status.  Often, this means updating your logo, your website and print materials. It also means continuously adjusting your marketing message to appeal to your target market as new generations of buyers enter the luxury realm.

Shark Tank, the American version of the reality television series that originally aired in Japan as Dragon’s Den, understands the importance of refreshing its brand as it enters its 7th season.  In the show aspiring entrepreneur-contestants make business presentations to a panel of “shark” investors.  This season, to appeal to a wider audience, Ashton Kutcher, music manager/CEO Troy Carter and Silicon Valley venture investor Chris Sacca (investor in Twitter and Uber) will be Guest Sharks. 

Another way Shark Tank refreshed its brand was adding an additional series called Beyond the Tank. This follows up on companies who have received an investment from the Sharks detailing what happens afterwards.

Is your brand fresh or getting stale? What are you doing to refresh your brand?

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.

Stay Tuned to Trends to Maintain Market Leadership!

Consistently practicing the fundamentals is mission critical to your success as a luxury real estate marketing professional. If you want to be a market leader you also need to keep abreast of trends.

As brand strategists we are constantly researching, not only what is currently trending but also what is about to go mainstream.  That way we are able to advise our clients to stay ahead of the curve.

Recently, we participated in a test of the mobile pay app for the Cheesecake Factory.  Their closest restaurant to Santa Barbara, in Thousand Oaks, (forty-minutes away) was the testing site for the app. You can download it in Google Play or the Apple Store. Participants were offered a complimentary slice of cheesecake.

We were wondering how restaurants were going to incorporate secure mobile pay options like Apple Pay or Android Pay because many guests like to split the check with their friends.  They thought of this, and also included a way to add a tip using a slide bar to increase or decrease the default 18% tip (no calculations needed). After a 3 second fingerprint scan on our phone (no signature required), a paperless receipt was emailed. Very cool!

Will every restaurant need an app to offer mobile payments, given the split check and tip component that is not part of purchasing other products or services? It is going to be interesting to see how this new trend unfolds. 

Tune into what is trending. Stay ahead of the wave if you want to be a market leader.

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.

Tune in to the Psychographics of Your Market or Go Out of Business!

When crafting your personal or company brand  and your marketing it is of paramount importance that you take time to understand the demographics (age and income) as well as the psychographics (Interests, activities, opinions and lifestyles) of your target market.  The psychographics are more important than the demographics. 

Luxury brands have for a long time focused on demographics rather than psychographics.  In September of 2012, we reported the closing of Louis Vuitton and Ruth Chris in one of Santa Barbara’s wealthiest neighborhoods, because they did not study the psychographics of the area.   At the end of this month, Saks Fifth Avenue is closing in Santa Barbara. 

In the eight years we have lived here, we have watched constant changes in their merchandise to more and more expensive brands.  We kept scratching our heads trying to understand their strategy.  Their shoe department was selling Chanel logo sneakers for $1,350.   What were they thinking?  The mindset of those living here is casual and relaxed.     

Make sure that you are constantly on top of the psychographics or your marketplace because it may change.  Last week, we revisited some of the places we frequented in our Los Angeles neighborhood.  We were surprised how the psychographics had changed and brand name stores had replaced the local merchants. 

Tune in to the psychographics of your marketplace, or go out of business!

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.

If You Think, No One Will Notice, Think Again!

Attention to details is what can easily set you apart from another luxury real estate marketing professional.  Studies have shown that our subconscious mind picks up on the details, and as a result we will most likely choose the item that exudes the aura of perfection because of the attention to detail and the craftsmanship involved.

What sets true luxury apart from everything else that is marketed as luxury?  It is in the details in the craftsmanship and design.  Knockoffs can definitely look the same, but when you look closely, you can see and feel the difference between a knockoff and the original.

When we work with a luxury real estate agent or company, we are extremely mindful of all the details, regardless of how minute they are. This past week we had identified two pantone colors for our client’s brand identity.  Pantone colors are the universal language of color, which are then translated into ink formulas for print formulas and web color formulas. 

One of the colors appeared darker in the print version than in the web version.  It was a miniscule difference, however it was not acceptable to us nor to our graphic designer. We kept at it all weekend eliminating the various possibilities of what could be causing this variation. 

Finally, we realized that the problem was with the Adobe suite of software (Photo Shop and Illustrator) our designer was using. For some reason the program was erroneous in the translation of the color formula for this Pantone color.  She was able to adjust it so that our client’s brand identity would be exactly the same regardless of what medium it was displayed on.

If You Think, No One Will Notice, Think Again!

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 Doing What You Do Best? Or Do You Do Everything Yourself?

We always ask our clients:  “What can you do better than anyone else in your luxury real estate business?  Whatever, the answer is, this is where you should concentrate your time, and leave everything else to the professionals.

Many agents have become photographers, videographers, web developers, staging experts, marketing mavens, and SEO Jockeys.  If you have time to do all that, you are not doing what brings business in.  These are secondary tasks, which undermine your value as luxury real estate marketing professionals.  If you think you are saving money, think again!

The broker owners of one of the companies for whom we recently developed a strategy, brand identity and web site decided to hire a photographer at their expense for every agent’s listing.  The owners felt that each home regardless of the price should be professionally photographed. 

They also have a web development company on retainer for their agents’ web sites.  All the marketing materials are professionally designed for each agent: online newsletters, CMA’s, yard signs, print ads, and all print materials.

Their agents’ time is freed up to do what they are best at, selling and listing homes.  Since we have worked with them, the company has grown attracting quality agents and has gained recognition as a leader in their market place and true professionals.

Are You Doing What You Do Best?

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.

Ultimate Travel Bucket List and Luxury Real Estate Markets

There is a strong correlation between the top luxury vacation destination and popular second home market places for high net worth homebuyer. Quite often, what is on someone's ultimate travel bucket list is also a second home luxury real estate market place.
While perusing the WSJ, we found "The Ultimate Bucket List Travel Guide".  Different destinations were discussed and the standout for us was Karen Maezen Miller's (A Zen Buddhist Priest and author of Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden.

She wants to visit the temples and gardens of Kyoto (also on our Bucket List). Her destination is Ryonaji Temple, which has a water basin for ceremonial hand washing.  Inscribed ion the basin are these words: "I am content with what I lack".  She remarks,  "so if I never make it to Kyoto or Ryonaji, I can still be satisfied."   These photos were taken at the Ryonaji temple.

Our research revealed many luxury real  estate companies that specializing in Kyoto, both local and international.

What is on your Ultimate Travel Bucket List?

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.

Will The Real Estate Profession Become The Next Jurassic World?

Some real estate industry observers have been predicting that the Real Estate profession will soon become extinct.  Others feel that attorneys will be in charge of the transactions and licensed assistants can show properties.  All this will result in lower commission fees or a flat fee and greater efficiency.

All but the best travel agents and stock brokers have gone the way of the dinosaur because the essential information required by consumers to make decisions is now ubiquitous via the Internet; it is a commodity that is free.  Real estate information has also become ubiquitous and many agents are becoming commoditized.  Most are fighting over the crumbs while a few are seizing the gargantuan share of business in their marketplace.

The agents who will survive are those who truly know their value above and beyond the commodity of ubiquitous real estate information and can readily communicate their extraordinary promise of value to their target market. They are the ones who have the antidote to commoditization.

If you think any of the following words represents your unique promise of value, or describe how you stand out think again. These qualities are just the price of admission to a viable luxury real estate practice:

Integrity, “Expert” (unsubstantiated), competence, market knowledge, ethical, honest, hard-working, negotiating skills, quality service, kindness, “unique” (unsubstantiated), reliable, trustworthy, friendly, “extraordinary” (unsubstantiated).

You must dig deeper to discover your extraordinary promise of value or risk becoming the subject of a movie that will scare the living daylights out of audiences of the future.  Will you survive the next Jurassic World flick?  Or, will your fiercest competitor become the next Tyrannosaurus Rex?

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 A Commodity or Do You Have An Extraordinary Promise of Value?

To stand out from the crowd of undistinguishable luxury real estate marketing professionals you must offer your target market an extraordinary value proposition. Otherwise, you become a commodity and your value diminishes significantly, not to mention your income potential.

What makes a value proposition extraordinary?  It is the ADDED VALUE above and beyond all commoditized services offered by your competitors. This can be a self-expressive value like the feeling of prestige that your clients may experience by being associated with your personal or company brand.  It can also be something that you do better than anyone else in the world (in your marketplace or a niche therein).

Roughly 1000 companies now make smartphones.  Apple sells only 20% of all smartphones.  Yet, Apple now earns 92% of the total operating income among smartphone makers.  Its competitors mostly use Google’s Android operating system, which makes it extremely difficult to distinguish their offerings. This has prompted the competition to duke it out for the middle and lower priced phones. Apple has positioned itself as a luxury brand, and dominates the premium smartphone market.

In the PC industry, prices have also plunged.  Apple’s Mac line only accounts for 6 out of 100 computers sold, according to Bernstein Research. Yet, Apple enjoyed over 50% of industry profits last year.

Superior quality, design and the best customer service on the planet justifies Apple’s premium price. This is Apple’s added value.

What is your extraordinary promise of value?  What added value to your bring to the luxury real estate listing table?

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.