Are You A Worrier Or A Warrior?

Being a warrior in the game of luxury real estate marketing requires that you develop a deep, rock-solid trust in yourself. Worrying erodes the very foundation of self-trust and is the ultimate cause of failure.  Are you a worrier or a warrior?

Warriors may have an initial reaction to sudden, dismal external conditions, but they quickly regain their balance and adjust their approach. LeBron James made basketball history, winning the NBA Championship by coming back from a 3-1 deficit.  He said that he looked within and adjusted his “blue-print” for success.

And, that is exactly what luxury real estate marketing professionals need to do when they encounter volatility in global markets like Brexit.  Worriers cannot see the opportunities that a condition may cause, because they are too busy assessing the negatives.  Warriors look for the opportunities and adjust their inner blue prints.

On the real estate front, Knight Frank, global residential and commercial real estate consultants are focused on the silver lining. They view is that the housing market will not be seriously impacted. The UK has 60 million wealthy individuals, and a highly skilled labor force.  High skilled labor is always in demand.

British second home buying in Europe and in the US may slow down.  Real estate will continue to be viewed as a long-term stable investment.  Some of the ultra high end may languish on the market. 

It is worth noting that Starbucks is going to continue its expansion plans in the United Kingdom.  Since the United Kingdom is one of the largest consumers of French Champagne, Taitttinger called its UK distributors to assure them that they will make up the losses caused by the devaluation of the Pound Sterling.  The legal profession is no doubt rejoicing based on all the work generated by the Brexit vote. 

If you are concerned about market conditions, readjust your inner blueprint for success.  Are you going to worry or be a warrior? 

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 Be The Brightest Bulb In Your Marketplace

To win the competition for the attention of your target market, you need to consistently demonstrate that you are the brightest bulb with the most outstanding value proposition. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through laser-sharp messaging in your blog posts that quickly capture and hold their attention.

Practicing the discipline of concise blog post writing can help you to sharpen your communication skills in general. It requires that you assess the best way to get your points across with an economy of words.  This also frees you up to listen more to your clients and listen less to yourself

Capture attention by providing a photo that conveys your primary message or your punch line. It allows your readers to hold the overarching idea of your post in mind while they fill in the details by reading more.

Your title and your opening paragraph must peak your reader’s interest and tell them why your topic is important to THEM.  It should contain a single sentence with your central idea expressed with utmost brevity. Your last paragraph should restate your main idea.

Be the brightest bulb in your marketplace!  Practice laser-sharp communication by writing concise blog posts that convey your extraordinary promise of value.

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.

Don’t Shoot Yourself In The Foot: Use Communication Bridges

As a luxury real estate marketing professional you can stand out from your competition simply by having superior communication skills.  Being a good listener is the most important communication skill, however, the communication bridge can be your strongest differentiator. 

Recently we received two referrals (potential clients) for our strategic brand consulting practice.  The first person expressed great interest in working with us and asked us to call him back the following day at a specific time.  When we followed through, he was not there.  We left a voice message, and the following day, we sent a text message. We still have not heard a reply.

When we called the second referral, we left a voice mail, and received a text message from her indicating a time when she would be available.  That is an example of a communication bridge.  It gave us certainty and an immediate appreciation of this individual, because she respected our time.

When we called the second person back at the specific time, she was not available.  We left a voice message, and within a matter of hours, we received a text message that her father had passed away.  Regardless of whether or not we work with this second person on developing her brand strategy, we would not hesitate to recommend her based on her outstanding ability to bridge communication.

Although, we are always willing to give the benefit of the doubt, the first person could have left a much stronger impression simply by saying, I decided this is something I don’t want to pursue. Given the ease of all the communication channels we have at our disposal, there is no excuse for the lack of a communication bridge.  If you are too busy to handle the volume of communication, you need an assistant to help you. 

The difference between engendering doubt or certainty can mean the difference between getting, and not getting the listing, referral, or an opportunity to compete for the listing.  There is just no excuse for leaving someone in doubt.  It reflects poorly on that person and their communication skills.

What poor communicators do not realize is that good communicators will give negative feedback to those who referred them in the first place. In one gesture, this person shot himself in the foot losing two potential sources of referral.

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 Name Memorable Like Toast, Butter and Jam?

A great brand name for luxury real estate marketing, or any business endeavor, is one that is simple, memorable and ideally, instantly communicates its extraordinary promise of value. If your brand name is remarkable it will spark buzz, facilitates word-of-mouth advertising and sharply differentiate YOU from your competition.

In the crowded field of wines, wine brands have just a nano-second to capture your attention as you peruse the shelves and displays. If they do not capture your attention, the likelihood of your trying something new is somewhere between slim and none. Here is an example of  a wine brand that instantly grabbed our attention because of its cleverness and simplicity.

JaM (named for owners John and Michele) Cellars has just 3 offerings. They are all about “Easy to love everyday wines”, which is their value proposition distilled into only 5 words.   They named their Cabernet Sauvignon, JaMdark berries and plum flavors”, the Chardonnay- Butterlovely lingering finish” and Toast for their sparkling wine, “aromas of honeydew, white peach, and orange blossom."

There is no guesswork when it comes to picking out these wines.  The brand instantly tells you its identity, and it differentiates it from the pack!  Does your brand name sharply differentiate 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.

 

 

How To Get More Listings And Have A Great Time!

Several of our luxury real estate clients are natural athletes. Their strategies to get more listings involve sports. One of them was a ski instructor, and it was an ideal way to meet new people. Many of the students had season passes, which often meant they already had a second home in the area. It was not usual for them to want to up-size as their families grew. This was also an opportunity to sell them the larger home. This client now has an annual ski event to which all clients are invited.

Another client is involved in competitive skiing events such as slalom and mogul races. This individual also participates in bicycle races that are part of the lifestyle in their community.

Playing tennis and belonging to the tennis club in the community where our client is the market leader is an effective strategy. The membership dues are negligible, because the return on investment is substantial.   Another one of our clients surfs, and enters bicycle races.

One does it all and does it all well. This client’s athletic abilities are legendary.  Golf, surfing, paddle boarding, triathlons, and yoga are on the daily to do list.

Sports are a great way to meet people, connect and have a common interest. If you are a good sportsman or sportswoman you can really develop your "list to last" practice, and have a great time.

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 You With A Cookie Cutter Approach?

In marketing luxury real estate, a cookie cutter approach, in describing your extraordinary promise of value, will not cut it!  An emphasis on the emotional reasons to engage your services vs. logical ones will make the difference.

 

Luxury consumers use logical reasons to justify their emotional reasons and not the other way around.  Therefore, it is best to engage luxury consumers with an emotional/experiential story about YOU and/or your company. 

 

Take a lesson from luxury car ad companies.  When they are selling a Porsche, they talk about the “driving pleasure--experiencing the thrills of the road.”  Mercedes’ recent tag line is “the best or nothing!” 

 

The same type thinking has to be part of your messaging when promoting your services.  Your audience thinks in terms of the unique value experience and appreciates the inherent value of service. 

 

One of the top producers we have worked with tells her story simply.  She was a single mother working at a wig factory gluing hair at $8.00 an hour.  Within three years in real estate, she earned a high six-figure income and her son was going to private school.  Would you not want to work with someone of this caliber?

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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.

Making More DOUGH With Passion And A Well-Bread Strategy

Are you passionate about the luxury real estate niche you have chosen? If not, find a niche that you can become passionate about, because passion is what it takes to follow your dreams to fruition.

You may have heard the expression, “If you build it they will come”, from the movie, Field of Dreams. That is exactly what Bob Oswaks, marketing executive-turned baker did. He discovered his passion and calling to open a high quality, artisan bakery/restaurant and he had the guts to change careers and follow his bliss.

We recently drove north of Santa Barbara to the tiny, remote, Wine Country town of Los Alamos just to have breakfast at Bob’s Well Bread because the buzz was irresistible. We had heard exuberant, unsolicited recommendations from two friends on separate occasions; both were practically drooling when they described Bob’s hand-made, old-world style breads, croissants and other baked goods. And, the place was packed when we arrived!

Was it worth the one-hour drive?  Absolutely!  Bob’s almond croissant was spectacular; it had the perfect balance of crispy-crunchy crust on the outside and tender elasticity on the inside, and it also had just the right amount of sweetness. Our only disappointment was that we did not have room for the chocolate almond croissant. But, alas, this bakery is etched in our memory and a return trip is inevitable [i.e., soon].

Although it is best to eat your bread at the peak of freshness, according to Bob,  “From our natural fermentation, to our high-hydration doughs, Bob’s Well Bread is artisan bread that will last for many days (if you don’t eat it all!).”

Our hats are off to Bob for building his dream bakery, for changing careers and pursuing an uncontested market niche in California’s Central Coast Wine Country. The moral of Bob’s story: If you want to make more “dough", find a luxury real estate market niche that you can be passionate about!

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 Playboy Mansion Sale Versus The Lipstick Index!

In talking to various agents in the luxury market, we are hearing that some of the higher priced properties, above $3million, are not moving quickly. However, Wall Street Journal reported that Hugh Hefner’s $200 million Playboy mansion is in escrow.  As an aside, Hugh Hefner gets to live there until his death.

We checked our sources in the luxury goods industry and discovered that there has been a slowdown in expensive retail items as well. Louis Vuitton, a conglomerate of luxury companies, reported that consumers are no longer as eager to buy the larger luxury goods such as handbags.  However they are spending on personal care items, such as skincare, hair products, makeup and perfume. The beauty sector sale numbers noticeably increased.

This is not a new phenomenon. Chairman of Estée Lauder Companies, Leonard Lauder, coined the term “Lipstick Index”, in 2001.  His mother, Estée Lauder, had noticed that lipsticks were her best sellers when she was selling her beauty products door-to-door during the Great Depression.

During a sluggish economy, for those who specialize in ultra-luxury real estate marketing, it may be wise to diversify your listing activity as a hedge for your own cash flow purposes. Think, Lipstick Index vs. The Playboy Mansion.

Focus, Focus, Focus! Valuable Lessons Learned!

 

Focus, Focus, Focus! That was the most important lesson we learned as commercial real estate broker/owners in Beverly Hills and the adjacent areas. Our firm was small but mighty because we focused on doing just a few things really well, better than most anyone else in the marketplace at the time. High-end retail was one of our niches.

In assessing opportunities in our marketplace we spotted an important trend. Some of the cool, avant-garde retailers were seeking lower rents than the extremely high rental rates in the Beverly Hills Triangle that encompass Rodeo Drive.

When we received a call from Koala Blue (Olivia Newton John) who was interested in opening her famous Aussie blue jean store on Melrose Avenue, we knew there was a trend about to explode on this quirky retail street just east of Beverly Hills. Then, John Travolta was referred to us (they were working on a second movie together) and he wanted to open a workout studio there, too.

You can imagine the swarms of fans that stopped him for autographs as we were showing him properties.

Armed with the inside scoop (it often takes several months to build out a retail store) we approached investors and developers who were looking for new opportunities in L.A. and could close deals with all cash in 30 days.  Then, we launched a highly focused canvassing program, through which we contacted all of the Melrose Avenue property owners and started writing offers and closing sales. 

The international P.R. that Olivia Newton John received for the store also became P.R. for Melrose Avenue itself. This was indeed the tipping point for the popularity of Melrose and that accelerated our sales momentum.

We typically got the exclusive leasing listings on the buildings that we sold to our clients once they took ownership or developed the properties.  Some of the buildings were later listed with us for resale once the new value was added to the properties (renovations and increased income).

In some cases we offered to leave our initial commission in the deal in exchange for partial ownership of the property so we could participate in the upside potential of the investment. The rental rates on Melrose when we started this were $1.00 per square foot per month.  They quickly jumped exponentially to $4.00/sq. ft. as the trend took off.  We repeated the same formula on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, west of Beverly Hills

The bottom line here, literally, is focus your time energy and resources on an uncontested or under served niche that you can dominate in your marketplace.   This is the most valuable lesson we learned and is the primary advice that we offer our strategic branding clients in the luxury real estate arena.

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.

Discover the Biggest Marketing Secret of Our Time: Part 2

LeBron Or LeBrand?

In Part 1 of this article series we stated that people love to follow and “join” the brand with the best brand story. This is the biggest marketing secret of our time. 

Your luxury real estate brand story must be told authentically or it can backfire on you. Most people can see right through the hype.

LeBron James is arguably one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the sport.  But, when he chose, as a free agent, to play for the Miami Heat instead of the Cleveland Cavaliers, he turned off many fans with the TV show, “The Decision”.

LeBron was definitely heading in the right direction to maximize his personal brand so he could capitalize on it beyond his basketball-playing career. Certainly, Michael Jordan has succeeded in doing this. But, due to the way in which the decision itself was handled and told, he made several public relations mistakes.

Then, with savvy marketing advice and brand management, the torrents of negative press gradually reversed as he won championships and then returned to Cleveland with zero hype about the new decision. LeBron was “forgiven” as he genuinely lifted the spirits of his disappointed fans. Few people know that he also substantially lifted the local economy when he returned, which more than made up for his missteps in handling the original decision.

With TV commercials and the recent lifetime sponsorship deal with Nike (valued at $1Billion), LeBron has become a bona fide one-man-brand. We now call him “LeBrand” because he and his advisors have successfully taken control of the messaging of his brand story: The combination of his contributions to Cleveland’s local economy, his inspiration to young athletes and the joy he continues to give to millions of basketball fans.  Now, there is no question of his value.

You have one shot at telling your target market about your new brand story to achieve maximum impact without adverse repercussions. It pays to work with professionals to nail your authentic messaging the first time. That is what we do for our clients as brand strategists for the luxury real estate industry.

READ PART 1

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 Biggest Marketing Secret of Our Time

With huge commissions at stake in selling luxury real estate, discovering the biggest marketing secret of our time can help you achieve top-of-mind status and also capture the lion’s share of business in your marketplace. So, what is the biggest marketing secret?

Success in marketing luxury real estate is no longer a matter of just marketing the real estate because everyone, agents and consumers alike, has equal access to the same inventory; the information is ubiquitous. It is all about leveraging the right media channels to market YOU or YOUR COMPANY.

Talent, competence, integrity, and negotiation skills are essential to success. However, in the realm of marketing luxury real estate these attributes are just the price of admission for top professionals.

The agent or company who tells the most compelling brand story and consistently broadcasts it to the widest audience will win the battle for top-of-mind status!  Why? People love to follow and “join” the brand with the best brand story. That is the secret! The key is to take control of your messaging so that your brand story is authentic.

As brand strategists for the luxury real estate industry, we help our clients to craft their brand story and also help them take control of their messaging in the media (print, publicity, direct mail, web, social media presence, TV, radio, etc.). Telling a compelling brand story is no longer an option, if market leadership is your quest. If you default on this, your competition will tell a better story.

In Part 2 of this article series we look at just how important taking control of your messaging is when you amplify your brand story through the media. LeBron James is our case study for the next article.

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.

Focus & An Extraordinary Brand Story Are the Keys to Niche Marketing – Part 2

In Part 1, we shared that owning top-of-mind status in a local restaurant category is what leads to owning the lion’s share of business in that niche. The same brand strategy principles apply to luxury real estate marketing; it is all about focus and a great brand story.  This is especially important in a crowded field if you want to stand out. 

The wine industry represents one of the most competitive product categories in the world. Right next door to Wildwood Kitchen that we reviewed in Part 1 is Potek Winery. Here is an excellent example of a heart-warming brand story coupled with the focus of a clearly stated niche value proposition that makes Potek a standout.

“The name Potek is drawn from the story of the immigration of my great–grandfather from Romania to the United States. Berl Potek’s name was changed to Benjamin Potter as he passed through Ellis Island in 1917. His courage to search for a better life, and the immigrants’ experience of adaptation in a new environment inspires my approach to winemaking with traditional French techniques and grapes, grown in California. Potek Winery is built on generations of hard work and the constant search for better. We pay tribute to the bravery of exploration and strength in family.”

The clarity and brevity of the brand story and value proposition (traditional French techniques and grapes grown in California) is remarkable, memorable and easy to share via word-of-mouth advertising. Regardless of your views about the immigration challenges that face our country and what the best solutions may be, this story of courage and the search for a better life, reminds us of the value of living here in the USA.

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.

Focus & An Extraordinary Brand Story Are the Keys to Niche Marketing – Part 1

Niche marketing in luxury real estate is easy to understand if you think in terms of restaurants.  If you are in the mood for BBQ you “auto-sort” the entire list of restaurants in town. Thus, you narrow your search down to just one category.  Focus is the key to niche marketing.

When you need a recommendation, you ask someone which BBQ restaurant is best in class in your town within your budget.  The BBQ restaurant that comes to their mind first enjoys what we call “top-of-mind” status.  Whoever achieves top-of-mind status gets the lion’s share of BBQ business.  It is that simple!

But, to keep people coming back, you need to deliver the goods. And, you need a compelling value proposition that differentiates you from the pack. You need an extraordinary promise of value (EVP). 

Recently, we were referred to the best new BBQ restaurant in Santa Barbara: Wildwood Kitchen. We ordered the BBQ Sampler, which included Trip Tip, Pork Ribs and a homemade sweet Italian sausage. Everything was outstanding including the Cole slaw and pickles.

Our waiter kindly let us sample their homemade vegan chili that featured fresh beans from our local Santa Barbara farmer’s market. Absolutely delicious! We were compelled to take home two orders and feast on the chili for dinner.

In addition to Wildwood Kitchen’s fabulous food the restaurant has a wonderful brand story that makes it extraordinary. Restaurateur Justin West, wanted to pay homage to his father’s successful BBQ restaurant in Oregon.  The original recipes are the cornerstones of his offerings. But, Justin has focused on including as much local produce and other local ingredients as possible, which was not readily available year-round in Oregon.

Wildwood’s next-door neighbors are Potek Winery and Three Window Brewery. They share a common courtyard area in the back with seating that makes for a synergistic, convivial atmosphere.  Together, their theme is sourcing the finest local Santa Barbara ingredients and building a sense of community.

In Part 2 of this article series we will cover the extraordinary brand story of Potek Winery. It is extremely challenging to stand out in the wine industry.  That is why this winery’s brand story provides a great example for luxury real estate marketing professionals who need to distinguish themselves in a crowded market.

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.

 

 

 

Discover The Sand Between The Marbles!

If you have followed our blog, you know that we are proponents of niche marketing.   Our mantra for challengers of market leaders and rising stars has been, discover and dominate an under served market niche. It is one of the first items we address, when we start working with our clients. 

No one person or company can do it all and do it well, regardless of his or her claims.  In looking over agent and company profiles, we are always surprised to find how many specialties they list for themselves from REO to commercial and industrial real estate.  And, the worst statement is when someone says, “I will sell anything that can be sold!’’

A niche is specialized market segment or a particular market “space”.  An example of a niche in luxury real estate would be historic homes. When we were in commercial real estate in Beverly Hills we specialized in high-end retail and the entertainment industry.  One of our jobs was to find potential tenants for retail stores and shopping centers that we represented exclusively in the Beverly Hills Golden Triangle, or surrounding areas.

We found an excellent analogy for niches by Ray Wert on his Jalopnik.com blog.  He referred to niches “the spaces between the marbles in a Mason jar that is full of marbles”.  The Mason jar represents the overall real estate market.  The marbles represents the dominant players. If you were to pour sand in the jar it would fill those spaces and there would be a surprising amount of room for the sand. The niches exist in those spaces between the marbles that the sand fills.

To be successful in luxury real estate, you must first identify an uncontested market “space”.  The next step is to insure that the niche is financially viable and fits your interests and strengths.  Here is an example.

One of our friends loved historical homes.  She had bought a historical home and rehabbed it from top to bottom restoring to its original splendor, and then bought and sold several more.  This was her passion.  She promoted herself legitimately as a historical expert with a proven track record of sold properties.  Anyone in her area who was interested in buying or selling historical homes knew whom to call. She had found the sand between the marbles, and dominated the historical niche in her 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.

An Alarming New Technology May Signal the Endgame for Privacy

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Have you ever wished that you had telepathic abilities so you could immediately know if a luxury homebuyer was truly qualified, or if a home seller was not being completely forthright in disclosing defects in the house, or if either are stating their bottom line for the purchase/sale price?  Be careful what you wish for!

A seemingly innocuous TED Talk about sensing when kids are lying, reveals a new lie detection method based on a facial recognition technology that can spot a liar in person, on TV or even across the globe on Skype.  It is called Transdermal Optical Imaging.

Apparently, when someone lies, blood rushes to the nose and away from the cheeks.  This technology can sense the movement of blood just under the skin regardless of how good the subject’s poker face is. It can be done non-invasively, inexpensively and remotely.  And, it is currently accurate up to 85%!

If you think the disruptive technologies that will comprise electric, self-driving cars or virtual reality are going to be game changers for the transportation, education or medical industries, this relatively simple lie-detector technology may just create a Titanic shift in the game of life itself!  If you are concerned about your privacy on social media sites that pales in comparison to the magnitude of this technology’s implications for privacy.  It may very well signal the endgame for privacy, as we have known it!

Imagine if you could detect when a politician is lying when you watch his or her speech on You Tube.  Perhaps, witnesses in court cases will be scrutinized while they “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.  It may eliminate jury duty altogether. Say goodbye to surprise parties and phony compliments! 

All you need is your Google Glass eye glasses or contacts wirelessly transmitting, to the cloud, a streaming video of people with whom you are conversing.  Moments later you see a little indicator on your lens letting you know who is telling the truth. 

This gives a whole new meaning to the idea that “Big Brother is watching you”. Everybody will be watching you! Santa Claus will not be the only one who knows if you have been naughty or nice.

A brave new world of “telepathy” awaits us.  Perhaps the human race is just evolving to be more like the Betazoids in Star Trek who are empathic and telepathic.  How do you suppose this will affect the game of luxury real estate marketing? 

How will Transdermal Optical Imaging affect your life?  Watch the TED Talk and let us know. 

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.

Anecdotal Evidence VS Truth In Advertising!

When you make claims relating to your expertise or your results in terms of your real estate marketing prowess, be sure you adhere to the “truth in advertising laws,” as set by the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers are getting more and more skeptical of real estate anecdotes-scanty evidence that is questionable.

Anecdotal Marketing is claiming that results based on what one person did, (sold in one day) could work for others. How do you feel when you see an ad claiming that you can lose 10lbs in one week? Or, how do you feel when you read claims by a lead generating firm that by following their system you can get 17 leads per day, like one of their clients achieved? This is known as “cherry-picking” evidence.

Those who adhere to the laws of truth in advertising will add a disclaimer that “these results are not typical or the norm”. Usually this is in fine print.

Think of your website as an advertising media about YOU. If you claim to be a expert in marketing land, for example, having ample proof of your results in the form of your sold portfolio on your website will give you added credibility and truth in advertising.

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.

To App Or Not App, That Is The Question?

Quite often, when consulting luxury real estate professionals, we get asked, “should we have an app developed?”  Creating an app should not be about having one for bragging rights. It should be about engaging the user, because it has value.

An app should give the user a transformative experience, something that the web site cannot do. For instance, Ford Motor Company has an app that can remotely start your car.  This is particularly useful on a hot or cold day.  

Paying with a smartphone is transformative.  You do not have to take your wallet out, hand someone your credit card, watch him/her run it through the machine, and then put it back in your wallet.  It saves steps and time, while keeping your credit cards safe.

So far, in our experience of working with two different app applications in real estate, neither one got off the ground successfully. No one downloaded it or used it.  They both were just another way to view the website.  Now, with responsive design, where the content format responds to the screen size of various devices, there is no need for an app.

We have erased most of the apps we have downloaded. We just did not use them. In the case of the airline apps, they did not work well and had annoying glitches.  Unless you can develop a transformational experience that cannot be had on your website, the answer is to the question, “to app or not to app” is NO.

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 I Only Had A Brain!

Say good-bye to mindless luxury real estate blog posts! Google has a brain! Now it can differentiate between worthwhile content and self-congratulating posts or mind numbing real estate information.

Google does its best to match the best answers to its users search queries, and then displays its most relevant ads.  Last October Google added RankBrain, an artificial intelligence system that helps it evaluate search results. Offline, the system teaches itself the best answers to historical search queries. Then, it compares new articles and blog posts to its own answers. This form of artificial intelligence is Google’s answer to real estate agents’ artificial intelligence.

According to Google’s senior artificial intelligence scientist, Greg Corrado,  “In the few months it has been deployed, RankBrain has become the third-most important signal contributing to the result of a search query.” That is number 3 out of 10,000 signals and sub signals used to make sure the results match the question.

How does this change affect you and your online activities?  The answers are still the same.  Fresh Original content still ranks high preferably with photos, videos and maps if appropriate.  Here is an example:

This morning as we were researching the Wizard of Oz to find Scarecrow’s picture, Google displayed a blog post we had written in  December of 2009, titled, Luxury Real Estate Branding: Branding Is Like The Wizard Of Oz.

Say hello to brain food for thought in your blog posts.  Google’s AI (artificial intelligence) is on to real estate artificial intelligence.

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 Hiding Behind Your Computer?

When search engine marketing and social media marketing first gained traction, pundits touted it as a “river of gold” for luxury real estate marketing professionals. The gold rush commenced and Google became its pied piper and the rule maker of the game, dangling a powerful carrot in front of agents. Actually, it was the holy grail of real estate that they used to seduce an industry: buyer leads generated online without ever having to leave your computer.

A colossal amount of money has been poured into optimizing real estate websites. Real estate professionals have spent countless hours hiding behind their computers in order to make connections with people online, instead of meeting face-to-face.

Sure there have been many big winners at this game. But, without witnessing winners in Vegas the gambling allure would not be as potent for the majority, who are losers or marginal winners, at best.

This is a wake-up call for those luxury real estate marketing professionals who are still addicted to the notion that business is going to flood in while hiding behind your computers and mobile devices. REAL ESTATE IS A HIGH-TRUST RELATIONSHIP GAME! The more high-trust relationships you create the more money you make because people refer business more consistently than Google does. Whoever, creates the most high-trust relationships, wins!

SO, GET UP OFF OF THAT “THING”. COME OUT OF HIDING. GET OUT THERE AND MEET MORE PEOPLE!

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 Green With Envy?

Is there a luxury real estate marketing team in your marketplace that is just “knocking it out of the ball park”? Are you “green with envy” or are you inspired by them to excel in you own practice?

Envy can be a strong motivational force that can either spur you on to greatness or hold you right in place. There is nothing wrong with feeling jealousy or envy, providing that you do not hold on to those feelings too long. Instead, just move on as quickly as possible. Make a rapid transition from being motivated by envy to being inspired by your competition.

One symptom that you are holding on too long to envy is attempting to copy your competitor’ moves. If you are a basketball fan you may have noticed that more and more players are attempting to copy Stephen Curry’s (Golden State Warriors) remarkable three-point shots from well behind the three-point line.

The real secret to the success of GSW, including Stephen’s personal achievements, is the team’s esprit de corps. GSW ended the 2015-2016 regular season with the best record in the history of basketball. Having fun and getting all players engaged takes a higher priority than individual accomplishment. It is from that ground of being that Stephen has soared.

Those players who attempt to copy Stephen wind up playing “hero ball”. Fixated on getting admiration from others, which they think is the prize, these heroes try to take their entire team on their shoulders to save the day.

The funny thing about GSW is that their team spirit is inimitable! If you are able to duplicate it, you make it your own in your own way. This is different from copying the moves of other teams.

The only other team that has this philosophy in the NBA is the San Antonio Spurs. It is very likely that the Western Conference will be a battle between the Warriors and Spurs. You may prefer one to the other. But, true basketball fans will be thoroughly entertained and richly rewarded simply by watching basketball played at its highest level in that playoff series.

There is no scarcity of admiration for these two teams or their individual players. They have both transcended the need to fan the flames of hero worship. The respect for each other is high because each of the members of these teams know the secret that esprit de corps is more important than playing hero ball.

Remember; if you find yourself feeling green with envy in your luxury real estate marketing practice, quickly make the transition from being jealous of your competitors and worrying that they are getting too much admiration, to being inspired by 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.