In Part 1 of this article series we looked at a key strategy to reinvent yourself as a luxury real estate marketing professional by refocusing your practice where sales are brisk. In Part 2, we identified the “mindset of resiliency” as a pre-condition to being able to perceive new opportunities that may not be obvious to your competition. Here in Part 3 we cover an important skill if you want to gain or sustain market leadership: Go fishing where the fish are GOING to bite, the arena in which the next “feeding frenzy” will occur.
Gain the perspective of a trend spotter. Anticipate the direction in which the marketing is heading and become the “first mover” in that new market.
We recently interviewed a successful luxury real estate marketing professional whose previous business was retail. She owned a chain of women’s clothing stores and was the only retailer in her marketplace that specialized in carrying top designer labels. Then she began noticing a trend that was a potential threat to her business. The designers were beginning to open their own retail stores.
When the local major shopping center announced that an entire new floor of the center would be devoted to these high profile designers’ stores, she knew it was time to close her business. Certainly, the shopping center owners anticipated this trend and went fishing where they could predict the fish were going to bite. The shopping center is one of the most successful in the country.
Bur, instead of being immobilized by this setback she leveraged her strong base of high net worth customers as potential referral sources and launched a boutique brokerage firm. Analyzing the market, she decided to specialize in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in her marketplace, where “the fish were biting”.
Then one of her young affluent buyers indicated that he and his family were interested in a more remote area. Proximity to the popular amenities of the city was not a priority. Privacy, informality, more open space and sandy beaches were their priorities. After extensive research she was able to find this family the perfect home in a beautiful neighborhood that was not on the radar because of its distance to the center of town.
In the process she understood a very important trend. For those younger entrepreneurs who operate their businesses via the internet, or primarily by phone from a home office, proximity to the more densely populated city was not a necessity nor was it more desirable.
She proceeded to expand her target market by adding these more remote neighborhoods as to her area of focus before her competition wised up. As a result she is the dominant broker in that niche which continued to appreciate in value as more like-minded buyers began to move there.
Anticipating trends is an essential skill for market leaders who want to maintain their position. When market leaders become complacent, they are vulnerable to challengers who see opportunities that their competition ignores. There is nothing like a setback to sharpen ones focus, the prerequisite for recognizing where the next “feeding frenzy” will occur. And, there is no fiercer challenger than the one who is bent on staging a comeback. Never underestimate a first mover, a challenger who has identified an untapped or underserved market niche that he or she is determined to dominate.
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