Pain au Chocolat
All of the fundamentals skills and character traits of luxury real estate marketing professionals including negotiating skills, honesty, integrity, expert transaction engineering, and even local market knowledge are not enough to sharply differentiate one agent from the next. Yet, agents try again and again to use these in their slogans and advertisements to distinguish themselves.
Today, in the luxury arena, these traits and skills are merely the price of admission to the luxury real estate marketing game. In a sense, they have become commodities because everyone in the business is expected to have them. The important question is how can you wrap extraordinary value around these commodities and stand out from the crowd?
To understand the concept of commoditization take a look at the famous French pastry, pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) that can be found in Williams Sonoma’s online catalog. They come frozen. You thaw them out overnight, let them rise and bake them in the morning. Voila! Delicious breakfast pastries can be savored right in your home with very little preparation time.
Next time you are in Trader Joe’s market take a look in the frozen section. You can find the exact same frozen pastries, crafted by the same baker. And, T.J’s unabashedly tells you, right in their Fearless Flyer newsletter, that it is exactly the same as those offered in a “luxury brand catalog” for one-third the price! That is commoditization.
The same exact quality diamond that comes in a blue/green Tiffany box can be found for a fraction of the price at other jewelers. What is the cost of that box? It probably costs a few dollars at most. But, is has a tremendous emotional value to the recipient and scores big emotional points for the gift giver. In this case the commodity is wrapped in an emotion that offers extraordinary value. Think of ways you can de-commoditize yourself and add tremendous emotional value to your luxury real estate marketing practice.