Sometimes A Great Notion Just Does Not Work!

When it comes to innovative marketing ideas, we are all ears and all eyes for that matter at Napa Consultants International. The Net-A-Porter magazine ad pictured above captured our attention because it had a unique call to action that required the use of technology to delve deeper into the product offering. Although this seemed promising as a potential method to amp up the value of print ads in luxury real estate publications, it failed to live up to its promise.  Sometimes a great notion does not work.

Net-A-Porter is one of the most successful online luxury retailers. In 2014, they premiered a glossy magazine after discovering that women like to shop online while reading about fashion. What a great idea to bridge print advertising with the use of a smart phone app to spark impulse shopping!

When I (Alexandra) saw this ad in the Summer Issue, I decided to follow directions to view the video.  I had previously downloaded the Net-A-Porter app.  However, I had not created a password. It took 6 attempts, due to various inexplicable tech glitches. Then, all I had to do was scan the page to see the video.  Even though a 10-minute video may be an eternity to some, I was willing to learn.

Much to my chagrin, my iPhone did not have the required scanning capability.  I asked my butler (Siri with an English accent), and he had no suggestions.  I also checked the iTunes store to no avail. At this point I had invested over 30 minutes.

I concluded that, although this may be a good idea with potential for the luxury real estate industry, it fell very short of my expectations. I am happy to report that I have deleted the app and have sent Siri back to the Butler Academy Sometimes a great notion just does not work.

Do You Want More Referral Business? Follow Your Interests & Passions

Santa Monica Bay, A View From Above

Santa Monica Bay, A View From Above

Social media is fine. But, as many of us have learned since its inception it is limited in terms of return on time invested.  What does works without fail is meeting people face to face in your community.  All you have to do is follow your interests and passions outside the realm of real estate.

Recently, a friend of ours was selling her mother’s condominium. She had the right buyer who came to her directly with a great all cash offer.  When she consulted her real estate attorney she was advised to hire an agent to shepherd the transaction.

She knew just who to call.  Our friend loves to read and belongs to three book clubs.  In one of her book clubs was a real estate agent with whom she enjoyed talking about books.  It was a “no-brainer”. She hired her book club friend. 

Like our friend, the agent loved to read.  Her main reason to be in the book club was to read and learn.  She was not there to promote herself or network.  She was pursuing her personal interests and passions.  

One of our many passions is education and keeping the oceans clean.  When we had our commercial real estate firm, we saw an ad in the Los Angeles Times asking business owners to be a school principal for a day. The school that chose us was doing a project on keeping the ocean waters clean. We signed up! 

This led us to developing a massive expanded clean ocean project that grew from one school to a whole district and then morphed into 14 communities surrounding the entire Santa Monica Bay.  Several listings and many real estate transactions could be traced back to our association with this project.

Follow your interests and passions with the goal of learning more and fulfilling your desires.  You will be surprised at the bounty of business that will come your way.

IN BRANDING, “DISTILLING THE MESSAGE” IS THE NAME OF THE GAME – PART 3

AMPLIFYING YOUR EXTRAORDINARY PROMISE OF VALUE

One of the biggest marketing challenges that luxury real estate professionals face is identifying, articulating and distilling their Extraordinary Promise of Value. This is the message that sharply differentiates you from your competition.  

In our case study of the Santa Barbara acupuncturist, who simply calls himself Vishāl, we discovered something truly unique that sets him apart in his field.  Leveraging his medical knowledge and training, Vishāl has pioneered the system of utilizing Therapeutic Yoga & Massage both as a diagnostic technique and also as a highly effective alternative to traditional physical therapy.  

There is no other acupuncturist in Santa Barbara who is also a yoga master and employs yoga therapeutically in a wellness program. We amplified his uniqueness by including photos of Vishāl in advanced yoga postures on his website. Many patients have experienced rapid recovery times from illnesses or injuries with this comprehensive, integrated approach. (See the testimonials)

Additionally, Vishāl offers Personalized Wellness Programs either as your licensed, primary health care provider or as a complementary service to your current health care providers. The choice is yours! That is also unique in Santa Barbara.

When we work with luxury real estate professionals and companies we always travel to their town to get a thorough understanding of their marketplace and also get to know them up close and personal.  In the case of Vishāl we decided to experience, first hand, his expertise as an acupuncturist, an herbalist and also his extraordinary value proposition of employing therapeutic yoga and massage in this practice. (That is Ron in the photo below).

From our perspective, Vishāl exemplifies the active life that we also enjoy. He has an astonishing balance of superb physical fitness, centeredness, equanimity, composure, and also a great sense of humor, which we truly appreciate. His presence alone has allowed us to attune to a new, heightened sense of wellness and a zest for living.

Part 1 & 2

IN BRANDING, “DISTILLING THE MESSAGE” IS THE NAME OF THE GAME – PART 2

"Regain Your Balance, Strength & Youthful Flexibility...
                         Enjoy An Active Life!" - VISHĀL

In Part 2 of this Article series, a case study in “distilling the marketing message”, we will elaborate on the importance of knowing your target market. Your marketing message needs to speak succinctly to the specific needs of your ideal clients.

TARGET MARKET:  ACTIVE PEOPLE

Vishāl is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist, a Certified Yoga Instructor, and a Massage Therapist.  As a yoga practitioner, an avid cyclist, surfer, tennis player, dancer, and acrobat he realized early on that an active lifestyle was a top priority for him.

Active people are accustomed to feeling lively, energetic, vigorous and full of life. They strive to thrive, to maintain their vitality, to prosper; they expect to enjoy a long life. 

WHAT IS NEEDED BY ACTIVE PEOPLE?  PERSONALIZATION!

Vishāl understands that it is particularly frustrating for people on the go when they are slowed down, sidelined or otherwise impeded by pain or other medical conditions that diminish the quality of their lives.  He also understands that by developing and sustaining a balance between work and play one can create the foundation for a long and happy life. For this reason Vishāl dedicated his career to empowering his patients and students to cultivate their own version of wellness so that they can enjoy an active and fulfilling life.

To be even more precise, we defined Vishāl’s target market as active people who would appreciate a PERSONALIZED wellness program that was designed expressly for “me”. Thus, our primary marketing message was distilled to this:

Combining Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine with Therapeutic Yoga & Massage Vishāl Offers Personalized Wellness Programs for ACTIVE PEOPLE Like You.

In Part 3 of this article series, we will demonstrate the most important aspect of distilling the marketing message: Amplifying the Extraordinary Promise of Value.  See if you can guess how we did this by visiting Vishāl’s website:  

Visit:  VishalWellness.com

In Branding, “Distilling The Message” Is The Name of the Game – Part 1

In a time-starved world you only have a Nano-second to capture the attention of your target market and make an indelible, favorable impression about your brand. The first impression must convey the distillation of your marketing message, a message that immediately distinguishes you from your competition. If you are successful your target market will identify with your brand, want to learn more, and eventually want to “join your brand”. 

Distillation is the key to this process; it is the name of the game in personal or company branding in luxury real estate and in all businesses. In this article series we will explore the various components of a brand messaging and how the concept of distillation comes into play for each component including the brand position, the logo, the business card, the brochure, and the website.

Our experience as leaders in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry has yielded powerful insights that can and should be applied by any local service professional or local business owner who aspires to achieve top-of-mind status in their marketplace.  In the unabashed pursuit of market leadership you either stand out or bow out.  The key in all cases is to identify an uncontested or under served marketing niche that you can dominate.

Over 90% of our business is “out of town” and that requires extensive travel. Last year we decided to expand the scope of our own niche so that we could also work with other categories of local businesses here in Santa Barbara, thus eliminating out-of-town travel for those projects. Our case study in the distillation of the marketing message is centered on a Santa Barbara acupuncturist named Vishāl.

Follow us through this article series as we explain the steps involved in distilling Vishāl’s marketing message and see how you can apply the principles to your own professional real estate practice. What is your first impression of Vishāl’s logo, imagery and tag line depicted above? What does the message communicate to you without knowing any more information? Who do you think is the target market? Do you personally resonate with the message? Could you potentially be among the target market?

Brand Colors: How We Select Colors

Our prospective clients often ask us about color selection.  In some instances they like their existing colors, so we update it, or add a bit of contrast with a line or two under their logo, to get the logo to stand out.  Usually, we go through two separate questionnaires to determine the best colors for that logo.  These questions are focused on personal preferences and the theme or mood they want to reflect to their marketplace. 

We talk about their marketplace, and as Ron and I are touring the area we focus on the natural elements in that marketplace.  We take pictures of their environments as a reference. Sometimes, the light of the area is a clue.  If you have traveled to the Southern regions of Italy, you may have noticed that the light has rosy overtones, whereas in France’s Provence region, the light has a yellow tone.   Based on our studies, we prepare color palettes for them to review.  These color palettes are harmonious as well as contrasting.

The photo above was taken in Juneau, Alaska near the ice caves.  That boulder was a glacier deposit.  Notice the beautiful color palette, it has dark greys, blue greys, deep rusts (iron deposits), a myriad of pale gold and beige, as well as white quartz.  If these colors were the right palette for one of our clients, we would sample them, and convert them to the right ratios for use on the web and in print materials.

When we are working with a team or a company, all the individuals answers the questionnaire.  We want everyone to own the colors and be proud of their brand and logo.

Branding Moments: How to DEMONSTRATE What Your Brand Stands For

On a recent Alaska Airlines flight, we were very impressed with how the company demonstrated what their brand stands for.  Sometimes in branding, action speaks louder than words! But, the right words can also be very impactful.

The first was the smooth handling of boarding by the desk.  After they served us beverages, they came around to pick up the glasses and the complimentary little box of snacks.  We noticed that each box was flattened and carefully piled separately.  Then, each item was placed in its appropriate recycling bag. 

We complimented the flight attendant, and she told us that was one the reasons she loved working at Alaska.  As we approached our destination, they announced that if the baggage had not arrived at the carousel within 20 minutes, they would give you a discount on your next flight, or additional mileage points.

Just before landing, the lead flight attendant’s last words impressed us even further. He thanked the passengers for flying Alaska because, we were the ones giving him a job, and he loved his job.

In summation, Alaska Airlines stands for passenger care demonstrated by:  smooth boarding, caring for the environment, smooth retrieval of luggage with minimal wait time, as well as verbalized appreciation of the passengers.

Oh, and one more thing… They were ahead of schedule on each leg of our trip!

Does Being Ethical Differentiate You, Or Is It The Price of Admission?

Yesterday afternoon, I took this picture of a point of sale display at our local branch of US Bank.  They were named the 2017 World’s Most Ethical Company. As I stood there reading it, I wondered why they were so proud of that sign as it was placed in front of each teller’s partition and there was as a 5ft version in the lobby.

I have always thought that to own and run a banking institution ethics is the price of admission.  The same price applies to the real estate profession. As far as we are concerned, you are either ethical or your not.  Being the “Most” ethical implies that there are degrees of ethics. We have always felt that one is either ethical or one is not.  It is like being pregnant, you are either pregnant or you are not. You cannot be half-pregnant, or most pregnant.

The Ethisphere Institute is the Awarding Entity. It is a consulting group.  It was founded as an antidote to the banking corruption that was revealed in earlier years. As I researched their website, I discovered that they are a resource for handling ethical issues, compliance, corporate culture, and you pay for membership. It could be loosely compared to real estate governing entities like NAR, for instance.

Does it mean that every other banking institution is not as ethical as US Bank? Should we worry about our banks?  From a branding standpoint, this distinction does not differentiate them as a banking institution.   There have been ethical breaches in the banking industry as well as in any other industry.  This does not mean that all of them are unethical. Again, being ethical is just the price of admission into any profession or industry. 

A logo is not just a service mark.  It should be a trust mark. People either trust your brand or they do not.  There are other ways to stand out, and being ethical, because it should be a given, is not one of them.

The Two Faces of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) Marketing

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) marketing is a valid way to market as long as it does not taunt, tease or anger your target market. Here are the two faces of the FOMO story.

When Tesla announced its new Model 3 and opened it up for reservations we saw a line out the door in Santa Barbara of people waiting to give them their $1000 deposits.  Over 400,000 reservations came rolling in. The dynamic of FOMO Marketing was unleashed on the automotive scene as stories of this buying frenzy spread like wildfire throughout the media.

There was obviously a pent up demand for Tesla’s value proposition, offering ownership of an affordable model of this sustainable energy vehicle brand. Tesla brilliantly began as strictly a luxury brand with its $100K+ Roadster. By introducing an affordable model they effectively accomplished what Apple achieved as a brand, known for expensive computers, when it introduced the iPod. Everyone had to have one! No one wanted to be left out.

This morning, I (Alexandra here) called to cancel a credit card because we no longer wanted to pay the annual fee. The promise of value became negligible compared to a competing card that we subsequently acquired. 

Although the customer service representative was very nice, he explained to me that they would be downgrading us from the present “gold” card to the “bronze” card.   He also had me listen and agree to all the benefits I would be missing out on by having the lowly “bronze” card. And, then he added that I still had until July 20th to change my mind. 

When that bronze card arrives, we will put it in a safe place and not use it.  That is the “dark” side of FOMO. The taunting and teasing turned me completely off. It had the opposite effect. It must work on some people or they would not use it.

The dark side of FOMO marketing in real estate is evidenced when agents use the words “Too Late” instead of simply using the word “Sold”.  At the very least it annoys the potential buyers they are trying to attract.

The moral of the story: Do not rub it in! In doing so you will rub people the wrong way.

All photos are courtesy of Tesla.

When Is It Time to Update Your Brand?

APPLE'S FIRST BRAND IN 1976

APPLE'S FIRST BRAND IN 1976

There are objective markers that indicate when it is time to update or refresh your luxury real estate brand. It is better to refine your brand so that it reflects the evolution of your business rather than reacting to external market conditions.

One of the objective markers is when you embark upon an entirely new strategy or take on when a new niche becomes the focus of your company or professional practice.  Three of the companies we are working with are changing their business models.  Their existing brands no longer communicate the new direction and focus of the company.

Another marker that indicates that you should refresh your brand is when it no longer stands out, because the copycats have moved in and blurred what makes your brand distinct. While working with a company back East, we noticed an international franchise brand had changed their company colors to copy the market leader.

If you are a market leading company, and a new brand moves into town and starts recruiting your agents and your clients, take that as an objective marker that you should at least consider refreshing your brand.  It is easy to become complacent when no one is challenging your market dominance.  That is when you are most vulnerable. The new company can label you as stodgy and out of step with the times especially if they position themselves as the new innovators.

When Apple came on the scene they labeled the then market leader Microsoft as the stodgy brand to differentiate themselves as the cutting edge innovators. Certainly, the Apple brand has evolved over time as they surpassed Microsoft and all other tech companies as the most highly valued company in the world.

APPLE'S CURRENT BRAND

APPLE'S CURRENT BRAND

This year Apple will move into its new “spaceship” headquarter building and make a statement that will be heard around the globe:  We are still on the cutting edge, catch us if you can!”

 

How To Attract Affluent Buyers To Your Second Home Market Destination

When affluent consumers select a location for their second home they often base their decision on destination that can fulfill their dream of an ideal lifestyle. Luxury real estate professionals who work in tourist destinations should romanticize the vacation lifestyle in their marketing as a means of luring buyers to their marketplace from around the world.

One example is of a vacation destination that could make a great second home is the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain. Not only do the islands offers warmer temperatures during the winter months, but they also provide a vacation getaway for underwater adventurers.

One of the big attractions for divers and naturalists is taking a trip to Lanzarote, the easternmost island that is designated as a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. That means the area shows a strong historic connection between man and nature, and will be preserved in its natural state.

After building an underwater sculpture park off the West Coast of Granada which National Geographic rated one of the 25 Wonders of the World, Artist, Jason de Caires Taylor, British artist, naturalist and diver, had a vision to build an underwater museum right off the coast of Lanzarote.  The walls and gateways were built with environmentally friendly concrete.  These walls act as a natural reef to attract marine life.  To date, they have seen a 200% increase in marine life.

Over 300 life-sized human sculptures built of the same bio friendly concrete have become reef homes to angel sharks, rays and sponges. The sculptures are meant to encourage sea life as well as illustrate the connection of human interaction with nature and marine life. 

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One of the notable sculptures is named “Disconnected”.  It is a sculpture of a couple taking an underwater “selfie”.  This is Taylor’s critical commentary on the effect of mass tourism on the environment.

If you are luxury real estate profession in a tourist destination romanticize the best attractions in your area. You will attract more buyers if you do.

All photos courtesy of The Museo Atlántico

Opportunities Abound When You Have a Niche Mindset

In luxury real estate, market leaders often get complacent, especially if no one is challenging them. That is a great opportunity to offer the same target market a superior value proposition and find a niche that you can dominate. Opportunities abound when you have a niche mindset.

We say, “There are riches in niches”. To grasp the idea of the abundance of opportunities if you have a niche mindset look outside of the real estate realm and practice noticomg how other businesses have prospered in a commoditized market segment.

Potatoes are a great example of a commodity. The variance in the quality of potatoes is minimal. A sub par potato brand would not last long in an upscale market.  But, many consumers are wiling to pay extra for organic potatoes. Organic potatoes represents a niche in which the growers have offered added value to an otherwise commoditized food.

Recently, we noticed yet another niche in the potato category: Microwaveable potatoes, ready in just 5 minutes.  The value added is in offering time-starved consumers and alternative, plus they come pre-seasoned.

So think like a niche marketer, and discover under served or uncontested market niches that you can dominate.  It is all about adding value. Those consumers who appreciate value will gravitate to you vs. your. Give them something extraordinary and they will flock to you.

 

 

Happy Wednesday: Artistry With Cats, Crabs, Koi & Cars At The Santa Barbara Mission!!

On Monday, we both wandered through the chalk art festival at the Santa Barbara Mission.  We each went our separate ways and took picture after picture.  Ron spotted our Yogi friend, Adam.

He is also an artist.  We smiled at his title,"All my Zen Masters Are Cats."  We had to agree!.

We often see these crabs walking the beach at low tide.  They act fierce when you approach them, and raise their claws ready to attack.

koicorbu.jpg

Although the artist has not finished his work, the beauty and the talent is evident.  The Koi fish looks alive!

The red race car is a universal archetype.  We felt the motion and the joy of racing a car.

Happy Wednesday!

Simple Luxuries & Small Indulgences

Throughout our career as luxury real of real estate brand strategists we have encountered the misconception that luxury is only about the lifestyle of the rich and famous. But, that is just what gets the most press.  It is the simple luxuries, the small indulgences that represent the heart of luxury.

Memorial Day Weekend was the official start of BBQ season for most of the country.  However, here in Santa Barbara, California we are fortunate to able to BBQ practically all year long. Ours has a 13.5-inch grill that is perfect for 2 people when we also grill locally sourced organic vegetables, which we do frequently. Or, for 4 people when we just cook the main course.

Recently, we picked up some absolutely fabulous fresh swordfish at our local seafood store, Kanaloa, that was caught right off our coastline the same morning we grilled it for dinner. We were told that to enjoy the rich flavor of this firm pink fish to the max we ought to thoroughly clean our grill first so that the fish does not stick to the grill or taste like other previously grilled foods.

So, we brought it into the kitchen and proceeded to make a complete mess of the sink, the scrubbing sponge and our $10 kitchen gloves.  There had to be a better way for future BBQs meals!

The “light bulb” went off when we discovered that a new replacement grill only costs $10. So, it is scour-no-more for us. We went out and bought 3 of them and that should last us until next Memorial Day Weekend.

Spending $10 on a new grill is a small indulgence that saves us time and hassle. It is one of the simple luxuries in our life. 

What are some of the simple luxuries in your life?  What small indulgence can you partake in today that will make your life more luxurious?

How To Maintain Your Marketing Edge: Mona Lisa Winks In Beverly Hills!

If you want to maintain your marketing edge, it would be wise to study the big brands outside the realm of real estate.  They are constantly innovating and are a source of inspiration!

We often focus in our posts on what different brands are doing to market themselves, whether it is a wine brand, a luxury brand, or an everyday brand.  There are lessons to be learned for those of you who intend to the market leader in your real estate niche or marketplace.

A couple of weeks ago, we were in Beverly Hills.  We noticed innovative window displays at Louis Vuitton promoting at new line of handbags based on master artists.  Christian Dior had a different version.  Take a moment to view this one minute video, and you can see Mona Lisa winking in Beverly Hills.  Did This Spark Your Imagination?

Finding the Uncontested Market Niche

Achieving top-of-mind status is the ultimate aim for those luxury real estate marketing professionals who are bent on gaining or sustaining market leadership. One route to get there is identifying an uncontested market niche that you can dominate. But, uncontested niches are usually not obvious. If they were obvious, your competitors would be all over them.

Our focus, as brand strategists is helping our clients to out-think not out-spend their competition. By helping them identify an uncontested market niche they do not need to spend as much in marketing to reach their target market. Why? You can get to top-of-mind status relatively quickly because you are the first mover in a new category and your story becomes newsworthy.  Publicity is much less expensive than advertising.

The mega-hit Broadway Musical, Hamilton, is breaking box office records. It is the hottest ticket in town! Some weeks they rake in over $3 million dollars in ticket sales. 

Recently, Spamilton, a parody of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, reached its 300th performance.  Now, they are moving to a larger theatre to accommodate the demand for tickets.  This show launched with just a $130,000 investment and is now opening in other cities as well.

Spamilton is produced by the same people, who introduced the new category (niche) of shows referred to as revue-style spoofs, when they launched   “Forbidden Broadway” years ago.

So look for the uncontested market niche in your luxury real estate marketplace, a niche that you can dominate as a first mover. Think more, spend less when it comes to marketing!

How To Create Buzz: Buzzing With Bananas And Snow Plows!

Buzz marketing is a way of getting media attention by orchestrating an event that is unusual in nature and results in people talking. It often is less expensive than traditional advertising.  Buzz generates word-of-mouth advertising.  Here is an example:

A Community Banana Stand outside the Amazon headquarters in downtown Seattle is the brainchild of Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.  He decided at the end of 2015, that Amazon should offer everyone the public and its employees a free healthy snack.  Bananas fit the bill perfectly.  They don’t need to be washed, and all one has to do is peel and eat.  Recently, they added another cart.  To date they have given away more that 1,7million free bananas.

In real estate, they are many opportunities to create a buzz.  One agent we met had planned an open house in her New England marketplace.  An overnight snowstorm threatened the cancellation of her open house, because the city plows would not reach the neighborhood until the next day. 

She hired plows to clear the roads to the open house, and had an announcement broadcast over the local radio station.  This caught the attention of the local media, as well as the New York Times.  Her business grew exponentially as a result of this action.  And yes, she sold the house as a result of the open house.

How can you generate buzz with your marketing?

Are You “In The Know” When It Comes To Luxury? Can You Speak Goat?

Himalayan Tahr Goat

Himalayan Tahr Goat

We recently were asked by a friend to recommend an agent.  They wanted to make sure that we would recommend someone who can relate to a luxury buyer whose budget is $8 million dollars. Our friend specifically wanted an agent “in the know” when it comes to all things luxury.

There is so much that can be gleaned by luxury real estate marketing professionals in studying the finest products and services that money can buy. The more you know, the more you will have in common with your target market, the wealth of the world.

The more you have in common the faster potential clients or referral sources trust and recommend you. Being known as a luxury real estate professional who is “in the know” is one way to distinguish your personal brand of doing business.

Cashmere is a fabric that is associated with luxury. Although many assume that cashmere in a winter fabric, it can also be worn in the summer when woven with silk.

The finest cashmere wool in the world comes from the far regions of Mongolia and the Himalaya Mountains. Another type of prized cashmere is baby cashmere. Baby cashmere wool comes from a special breed of goat,(Himalayan Tahr Goats). The softest fibers are gathered by combing the kid goats.

To fully appreciate luxury, look at the variance in pricing if you were to purchase a kid cashmere shawl from a local merchant close to the source of the fiber.  To get to the Himalayas, where these prized goats are raised would take several days using primitive transportation modes-ox led carts, and the final leg of the journey would be made by walking for several hours. The shawl would seem to be a bargain, if you discount the price and the time it takes to make the trek.

A similar shawl at a Loro Piana boutique, (Loro Piana is an Italian clothing company that specializes in high-end luxury cashmere and wool products) in New York, Beverly Hills or Milan, Italy, would be priced considerably higher. The price would reflect the journey and the exquisite craftsmanship.  

Not all luxury buyers appreciate cashmere.  However, many appreciate the finest in products and experiences.   One gentleman we spoke to mentioned the ABC’s of luxuries, A for airplanes, B for boats, and C for Cars.  If you aspire to sell to those in the luxury arena, educate yourself to be “in the know”, on many subjects including being able to speak goat.

Branding Moments: How To Tell A Great Story in One Minute And Ten Seconds!

Photo courtesy of Aplle

Photo courtesy of Aplle

We usually push the mute button when commercials are on. We look away from the television set and resume reading our book, until the basketball game is back on. Even on mute, this commercial captured our attention.  It focused on the unique function of the portrait mode dual lens system on the iPhone 7Plus.

This ad tells shows people at a barbershop getting haircuts.  After their haircuts, their portrait picture is taken and displayed in the store windows and on the walls inside the shop. The video description is precise: “In Portrait Mode on iPhone 7Plus, you don’t just look good! You look fantastic!”

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, remarked that phone has been the most popular model plus model the company has released.  Apple released more than three-dozen how to videos tips for iPhone 7Plus owners.  

In our opinion, this was one of the best commercials we have ever seen.  It told a story about the brand and left an indelible impression. It took only one minute and ten seconds!

Real Estate Life: Class Versus Crass

Regardless of where your focus is in your real estate practice, developing class is of paramount importance if you intend to be a market leader or the first to come to mind in your marketplace.  Being friendly, generous and considerate will reap big benefits in that you will be known as someone with class: decent, gracious, respectable, and noble.   Just being focused on getting what you want will label you as crass: lacking sensitivity, mindless, ignorant, coarse, and tactless.  Here are examples of both class and crass:

When the brother of our client passed away, we took a half a day off to attend the memorial service and the reception thereafter.  Our assistant was instructed to tell our clients who called in where we were and at what time to expect the return call.  Everyone understood and respected our choice. Here is a contrasting example:

One of our friends had a different experience. His mother had passed away and he took the first flight out to be with his family.  His partner was left in charge. When their mutual client called in, the client could not understand why the mother was more important than she was.  The client proceeded to insult and belittle the firm. 

On a recent trip, we met with a luxury residential developer.  He went on a five-minute tirade about agents who called him on Sundays, leaving him 8 messages, when he was in the pool playing with his children.  He labeled them as crass, and as someone he would not ever do business again.

How do we define class in terms of real estate?

It is the agent who sits down with their clients and asks them: “how and when would you like me to communicate with you?  And then, follows through.  

It is the agent who kindly tells their competitor that they have a spelling mistake on their site, or their listing brochure, or a listing photo is out of whack.

It is the agent that returns calls, and shows up on time.  

It is the agent that listens and understands their clients’ woes and stories, and does not repeat them. 

It is the agent that other agents respect and go out of their way to work with them.

Class is not limited to real estate only.  It encompasses life and how you treat everyone around you. Class is being kind to everyone you meet, regardless of their stature in life.  It is also having the courage to drop out of your life and business those who enjoy berating others and acting crass.