Friday Photo: A Restful Moment

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The four of us sat by the river that flowed beneath the deck.   It was a long restful moment filled with laughter.  We watched ducks take flight, the water flowing fast and furious, and we were at home with nature.

"What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn't have any doubt - it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn't want to go anywhere else." 

Hal Boyle-Pullitzer Award Winning Journalist

Be Nimble, Be Quick! - Out-maneuver Your Competition

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FROM AARGH! TO AAH!

Luxury real estate marketing professionals who work with or own an independent real estate firm have a tremendous advantage over the national brands if they are willing to be nimble and quick.  However, it is necessary to demonstrate this strategic differentiator, consistently.

Recently, we needed to book a hotel room in Portland, Oregon for just one night after traveling outside of the area where Internet connectivity and cellular service was spotty at best.  We wanted to call the hotel directly to make the reservation rather than book online.

After waiting on hold and listening to nauseating music for over 17 frustrating minutes to book with a big brand hotel chain we hung up. Luckily, our friend was able to get right through on her phone to the Kimpton Vintage Hotel in downtown Portland and make a reservation. But, in order to get free Wi Fi we needed to go online to sign up before arriving. AARGH!

Upon arrival at the front desk we courteously complained about the inconvenience of having to sign up for free Wi Fi when that is a commonplace feature at most upscale hotels.  The gals at the front desk immediately apologized and offered not only to comp us on the Wi Fi, but also to upgrade us to a beautiful suite! AAH! The luxury of extra space! Because they were quick and nimble and were obviously empowered to think entrepreneurially, we were instantly won over.

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After settling in our suite, there was a knock on the door.  We were presented with a bottle of local pinot noir, some delicious chocolate truffles (two of our favorite things in life) and also a delightful handwritten note from the gals at the front desk (See below). WOW!

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We have been very impressed with Kimpton hotels in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Denver, and also here in Santa Barbara, primarily because their restaurants are top notch. The contemporary design in most of these hotels also make them stand out. But, being consistently nimble and quick in customer service is Kimpton’s competitive advantage over the typical big brand chains.  We will definitely book here again on our next visit to Portland.

Handling our rough start by being quick and nimble made our stay with Kimpton Vintage Hotel in Portland remarkable. As an independent real estate brokerage company or agent, how can you consistently be more nimble in handling the challenges that come up in your real estate practice?

Branding Moments With Print: Enchantment Realized-Objects Come Alive!

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In yesterday’s post we discussed the windows of Hermes in Beverly Hills.  And the picture above is part of their print campaign.  It suggests enchantment, magical moments, and dreams realized.

We marveled at the concept and the genius it took to create this fantasy world on a piece of paper.  There are so many subtle details: the orange brand color featured in the horse mounting aid (pictured on the left), and the stirrup shaped perfume bottle Galop d’Hermes, galloping away with an invisible rider.  This is no doubt a salute to the brand’s origin as saddle makers to royalty!

With this play on magic, they are reaffirming their luxury standards, and why they rank as one of the best global luxury brands.  When objects are well made, they have a pleasurable quality as you touch them or wear them.  You can feel the craftsmanship and revel in it.  And that is enchantment realized!

Branding Moments: Selling With Breakfast at Hermes In Beverly Hills

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We are always intrigued by the window displays of the big brands. It is the expression of how a brand maintains its visibility with the public.  Hermes always captures our attention with their creative approach to displaying their merchandise.

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As with everything Hermes does, they hire the best people for every aspect of their merchandise, as well as their marketing.  We have watched how they hand sew their purses stitch by stitch, and admired the workmanship on ties and scarves with their hand rolled edges that are also fastened by someone’s skillful hands.

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We study brands like Hermes, because they inspire us with their creativity and attention to detail.   Whether or not this display is appealing, it certainly gets your attention.

Are You Maintaining Your Visibility In Your Marketplace?

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If you are interested in achieving market leadership in your local marketplace think of yourself more like a celebrity and think of your luxury or other real estate marketing business more like a media.  It may seem like a big stretch, but those who make this shift in thinking will be the big winners for years to come.

Create a plan to parlay your reputation and personal brand into celebrity status. Here are the three keys to the plan:

  1. Develop a celebrity/media mindset
  2. Build your audience, consistently
  3. Gain and maintain visibility

Your Mindset: You need to think of your business not only as luxury or other real estate marketing practice, but also as a media with your brand as the star. This is not about pretentiousness; it is about becoming a savvy marketing expert.  How can you expect to win trophy and otherwise listings if you cannot demonstrate to the sellers, through your personal marketing, that you are the superior choice over your competition?

Instead of being what we call a “transaction engineer”, you must become a marketing company who also processes transactions professionally. This is the metamorphosis that most agents are unwilling to do, which is why it represents such an outstanding opportunity for you, if you do it right.  High net worth clients expect you to have integrity, local market knowledge and excellent negotiating skills, just like your closest competitors. But, how will you stand out from the pack?  How will you gain top of mind/celebrity status?  Those are the questions!

Your Audience: The best way we have found to quickly increase your sphere of influence and leverage your personal brand is through a buzz-worthy blog. Blogging is a vehicle for self-publishing. As your own media, you do not need to answer to an editor. It puts you in control and enables you to capitalize on the primary promise of social media: rapidly amassing a sizable audience of raving fans.   

Do not forget to include print marketing, postcards as part of your visibility. When your sellers insist on print advertising look at it as an opportunity to promote your brand.   One of our clients bought the cover page of a magazine, and her seller was so delighted that she took magazines to other sellers in her community to show what “her” agent had done…The return on investment to our client was 5 new listings in the community.

Your Visibility:  Managing your reputation, maintaining your star power, and staying visible in your marketplace are essentials. When you achieve high visibility you put yourself in position to parlay your celebrity status into additional revenue streams

Monday Musings: A Reflection On Recent and Past Events

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Ron and I have been discussing as to why it takes disasters to bring the best of humanity out of people.  When we lived in Los Angeles, we remember how friendly and concerned people were when the big earthquakes happened.  There was a wonderful spirit that manifested itself.  We were all in this together.  And then the same people that smiled or were concerned a few weeks before, no longer cared to be friendly.

 

The same phenomenon happened on this day in 2001.  And last month, it was Harvey, and this week Irma.  Do we really need to have disasters to remind us to show our true human spirit?  What would happen if we focused on what is right instead of what is wrong and that was the premise from which we began?

2017 Brand of the Year: Wagner Family of Wine – Part 2

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Recently, we visited our local wine store, here in Santa Barbara to select an Argentinian Malbec from the Mendoza region. A bottle of Red Schooner (pictured above) captured our attention solely because of its stunning old world label. Upon closer inspection we saw the red banner in the sky containing the words “Wagner Family” from Napa Valley.  We were so impressed by how well the label told the brand story that we chose Wagner Family of Wine as The Language of Luxury 2017 Brand of the Year. Here is why:

Credibility & Heritage:

We already know and love Caymus, owned by the Wagner Family of Wine in Napa Valley. Caymus is the only winery in the world to have received the prestigious “Wine of the Year” award twice by Wine Spectator for its legendary Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon.

As a four-generation family-owned wine business, the Wagners have successfully created several other sub-brands such as Conundrum, the popular fruit-forward blend of white wines. The choice of the brand name, Red Schooner and the vintage graphics amplified this brand dimension of “heritage”.

Transparent Use of Technology

Red Schooner is made from grapes grown in the Andes Mountains, but shipped chilled to Napa Valley and produced with the same techniques as their Caymus Cabernet.  Delicately handled and kept in cold stasis the grapes arrive in California in pristine condition.  The use of this technology is completely transparent to the consumer.

Turning Labeling Constraints Into a Brand Story

Most of the world best Malbecs are produced in Argentina. But, Red Schooner is not a Malbec produced in Argentina. Nor, is it a Napa Malbec because it is produced with grapes from Argentina. Falling outside standard labeling rules, it does not include a vintage date but is known by the voyage from which it was produced (Voyage 3 is the 2012 vintage). Hence, these labeling constraints were turned into the core of the brand story. Brilliant!!!

Winemaker’s Notes: A Malbec with a California twist. Floral, Chocolate and creamy rich like the Caymus Cabs! We loved it!

What are the branding lessons you can apply here in your luxury real estate marketing practice?

2017 Brand of the Year: Wagner Family of Wine – Part 1

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As a luxury real estate marketing professional, standing out from your competition is of paramount importance. Done right, your personal or company branding accelerates the decision making process for home sellers to consistently choose YOU to list their home. 

But, what if you are the current market leader known as the expert in a specific niche, how do you expand into another niches where you have not yet achieved top-of-mind status? Studying how the world’s best brands, in other industries, have successfully created sub-brands, can offer tremendous insights that can help propel your expansion into additional luxury real estate market niches.

In the very crowded wine industry it is extremely challenging to introduce a new brand that stands out from the crowd.  Without a recommendation from a trusted friend, or from a trusted purveyor of fine wines, or from an article written by a trusted source, how do you choose a wine that is just right for you, without first tasting it?

While it is true that you cannot judge a book by its cover, the same applies to judging a wine by its label. However, with so many bottles of wine vying for your attention a stunning label or a distinctive bottle can be the first step in standing out from the crowd.  To hold the attention of the consumer you first have to capture the consumer’s attention. 

And, that is what great packaging, labeling, graphics and a compelling brand story can do. Just check out the photo above of wine bottles without labels. Do you have any clue whatsoever that can help you decide to purchase one of them?

In this article series, we feature Wagner Family of Wine, who became famous for Caymus, one of Napa Valley’s finest Cabernet Sauvignons. As a four-generation family-owned wine business, the Wagners have successfully created several other sub-brands.  For this reason we have chosen Wagner Family of Wine as The Language of Luxury 2017 Brand of the Year.

Watch for Part 2 and learn how to expand into a new market niche.

Do Clothes Make Brokers & Agents? Fall Fashion Windows In Beverly Hills

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Not long ago Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® asked this question in the Q&A Section of Active Rain: "Clothes make the real estate person?"  

In the spirit of research and desire to share the latest and greatest fashion for Fall 2017, we took time to acquaint ourselves with the latest and greatest fashions.  These photos are from the Gucci windows.

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Floral prints are in for women, which in our humble opinion replicates a Victorian room.

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And this photo illustrates what the well-dressed man will wear this autumn in 2017. We can attest to the fact that we know several successful male agents who do wear this type of garb which includes short pants, white socks and slim fitting jackets.  This fits their image in their marketplace.  It does not in other marketplaces.

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If you are wondering what the heck was the designer thinking?  We can answer that. This is the "new" street chic look" aimed to grab the attention of the millennial generation!  Yes, some of them have money to spend on these looks which includes paying $95.00 for the right white socks to wear with these shrunken pants.

What do you think? Do Clothes Make Brokers and Agents?

Great Branding Gives you Muscle (& Mussels) In Your Marketplace

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Great branding enables you to adroitly communicate your extraordinary promise of value through a distilled message expressed verbally, through symbols (your graphic brand identity) and through your actions. It instantly tells your target market that you are the answer to their prayers. Consistently communicating your brand’s distinct message gives you muscle in your marketplace.

That is exactly what the owner of Hope Ranch Mussels has done. Discovering an uncontested market niche at the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market they are the only purveyors of local mussels in the market. The brand’s association with Hope Ranch was an excellent choice for the company’s name.

Hope Ranch is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Santa Barbara. Although, it is a gated community the gates are open to the public.  It is the only Santa Barbara community with a private beach.  Naturally, the brand’s name is associated with quality.

Last weekend we had a craving for Moules Marinières (Sailor-Style Mussels), a recipe that we associate with several wonderful trips to the Provence region of France. Our friend at Hope Ranch took the time to share the entire process of growing and harvesting his mussels and gave us his instructions to prepare them.

Garlic, leeks and shallots in a butter wine sauce brought out the full flavor of the mussels. We grilled slices of a French baguette for dipping purposes, opened a bottle of Santa Barbara Winery’s best Chardonnay and we were transported to Nice!

Hope Ranch Mussels now occupies top-of-mind status in the category of purveyors of mussels in our minds and many, many other locals who appreciate this type of seafood. The brand name is easy to remember, too. Great branding gives you muscle in your marketplace!

 

Branding Moments: Does Your Ad Communicate, Or Is It Just Ho-hum?

If you are going to spend the money on a print ad, make sure that it is not just another ad for a home.  Don’t leave the onlooker wonder or just turn the page.  Unlike the public at large, we pay attention to ads because it is part of what we do for our clients.  We want to make sure that the message is communicated clearly and succinctly.

 

As we look at this Richard Mille ad, at first glance, we see a tube of lipstick holding up a watch. Or is it a red bullet based on the “caliber RM 037” notation.  After some research we discovered that it is the name of the watch, “Red Bullet Caliber RM037.  Leaving room for misunderstanding creates friction and barriers in the purchasing process. Worst of all, it leaves a ho-hum impression.

What Is Missing In This Picture?

In England and other Commonwealth countries judges and barristers (lawyers) still wear powdered wigs, as part of their formal attire, to bring a sense of formality and solemnity to proceedings. In French there is a saying that perfectly describes people who copy or parrot others without a foundation of knowledge or research, just to impress others: It’s “wearing the wig without the brain”. 

In this day of fake news and faux journalism, jaded opinions and paid social influencers, it has never been more important to get your facts accurate when blogging or conversing with your luxury real estate clients. Otherwise, they will begin to ask themselves, “What is missing in this picture” and the answer will be YOUR BRAINS!

Recently, we heard about a listing of mansion owned by a very famous American family. Three agents were interviewed. Only one knew the difference between the Monet and Manet (two renowned, original impressionist artists). The other two agents relied on their respective company’s brand and affiliations with British auction houses to impress the seller; they personally had no clue about the famous Impressionist paintings in this home. They had the wig without the brain.

Had the other two agents taken the time to research the coffee table book published about the art and furnishings within this mansion they would have had a better chance to win the listing.  But, alas they were dismissed on the basis of lack of research alone!

The moral of the story is ask yourself what is missing in your knowledge base whether you are selling a luxury home or anything else.  Your value as an agent will continue to appreciate over time if you do.

How Differentiating Yourself With Features Becomes So 5 Minutes Ago

Using features to differentiate yourself from your competition is an invitation to be imitated. Dig deeper to discover what makes YOU inimitable.

Features like drone photography that add drama to listing videos or 3D photography of interiors can be copied immediately. What initially helps you to stand out and impress your target market becomes old news, fast.  We say these kinds of features have a shelf life of 5 minutes before everyone who loves to copy and hop on your bandwagon, jumps in.

The picture above is of two pairs of sneakers designed by Valentino named the Rockstud Genuine Mink Fur Sneaker.  It is priced at $1245.  Not to be outdone by Valentino, Givenchy, another luxury brand has a similar shoes with genuine mink for $950.  Moncler, the luxury ski clothing brand, has genuine fox-covered sneakers for $670. 

For those who prefer “faux” fur for a fraction of the price, designers such as Sam Edelman and Steve Madden have come up with sneakers with faux fur priced at $55.00 to $90.00.  You can also buy an assortment of faux fur shoe clips for $15.00 each or real mink fur balls for $22.50.

Do not pin your hopes on just using features to distinguish yourself from your competition.  Work on expressing your unique promise of value in a way that cannot be imitated.

How To Find The Under-Served Market Niche!

We are often asked how does one find the under-served market niche in order to dominate in your chosen marketplace?

First, you need to identify what category your competitor is. Here is an example of how we found an under-served niche for one of our clients. At first glance, it looked like her three competitors dominated the luxury marketplace, and all three had stellar reputations.

The first competitor was working with historically established “old wealth” families like her own.  They all belonged to the same country club, lived in the same neighborhoods, shopped in the same stores, and went to the same private schools.

The second competitor was politically connected through her work in raising funds for politicians as well as her husband’s legal firm.  This group of people lived in the same neighborhoods, and they were connected through similar interests and business ventures.

The third competitor had a background in international business. Her clientele was international buyers. She was known for only taking listings that were priced at $4million and above. 

All three had what is known in marketing speak “an unfair advantage” based on established connections. Unless we could give our client a personality and background transplant, she did not have a chance to compete in these luxury segments of this marketplace.

Second you need to thoroughly research your marketplace to locate the under-served niche.  It can be based on psycho graphics as illustrated above by the competitors.  This is just one way to identify an under served market niche.

The under-served niche was the emerging entrepreneurial wealth.  They were creators, innovators, iconoclasts (those who challenge established beliefs), and hip nerds looking for luxury homes in areas that were different.  Her personality, core values and love of modern art fit like a glove with these new path blazers.  We called this category, “hip luxury.”

The third step is to develop a strategy. From this a brand statement emerges.  Now you are ready for a logo, which encompasses images, fonts, colors that are all in harmony with the brand statement and strategy. 

The first day her marketing materials came out, our client gave a brochure to her dermatologist.  That afternoon, the dermatologist’s friends called.  They wanted to sell their home and move up.  Fifteen years later, she is still prospering in this niche.

How To Identify & Cultivate Common Ground

If you want to be the market leader in your area or a niche therein you must become an expert at identifying and cultivating common ground with as many potential clients and referral sources as possible. All too often, we hear people say, “I have nothing in common with certain people”, and by that very statement, they dismiss a cornucopia of business opportunities.

Identifying and cultivating common ground is a two-step process.  Each step requires a specific skill.

Step One: Identification

To identify what you do have in common with others you need to notice more about them and their personal environment. You also need encourage people to tell you about what interests them.  Then, keep an open mind instead of shutting down after your automatic critiques and knee jerk reactions. By doing so you no doubt will see others in a new light. 

Rather than letting your critique become front and center in your mind, we would suggest that, when you meet someone for the first time, you immediately zero in on what is pleasing about them to you, or their environment.  This creates an opportunity to identify common ground.

With practice you will find that an open mind becomes your new automatic response. That is the skill that separates the good agents from the best agents. Here is an example:

We wanted to meet an influential individual in the real estate industry, and somehow he eluded us with the usual excuses: time constraints and being ultra busy.  At a NAR meeting, we noticed him trotting down the hall heading somewhere. We started trotting with him.  Our first remark other than hello was: 

“You need a new picture for your profile, you are so much better looking than your present photo!”   This was the start of a great mutually beneficial long-term relationship. He soon had a new photo taken, and thanked us for the suggestion.

Step Two:  Cultivation

In order to be fluent in the art of cultivating common ground, you have to keep educating yourself, and not just in Continuing Education Units for Real Estate.  Become savvy in a variety of subjects to cultivate a connection. Life-long learning is the other skill worth embracing.

An agent friend used her knowledge of gardening as a means to cultivate a common ground with potential sellers.  She listed the home of a couple whose pride and joy was their Japanese garden. Although, Zen gardens are not her personal preference she was fluent on the topic. The listing required no pitch whatsoever, because none of the other competing agents appreciated what was so important to the couple!

Become a master at identifying and cultivating common ground. Go forth and meet as many influential people as possible. Then, watch your garden of business grow.

How To Appreciate Diversity in Values

To be truly effective as a luxury real estate marketing professional it behooves you to become fluent in all facets of the luxury mindset especially those facets that do not particularly resonate with your own values. Appreciate diversity in values.

One of the most important facets to understand is the concept of “status”. Owning an expensive home in the “right” neighborhood clearly telegraphs, to those who are likely to be impressed, the price of the home and thus it signals wealth.

You might scoff at this because it does not resonate with your own values.  But, you must appreciate how important it is to many potential luxury homebuyers, if you want to do business with them.  For the status conscious consumer, the luxury home is much more than a house; it is a status symbol.

Having worked for 20 years as broker-owners of a commercial real estate firm in Beverly Hills, where we specialized in high-end retail property sales and leasing, we came to truly appreciate this particular luxury mindset.  Although, it was not our own mindset, we were able to capitalize on significant opportunities to work with status conscious clients to build a highly successful real estate practice.

We often marveled at the status conscious consumers in West Los Angeles because we are not among those who are overly impressed with wealth. We are however, always impressed with achievement. Keeping that common value in mind we get along quite well with just about everyone in these circles.  Oddly,  some of the biggest achievers are also insecure.

Many status conscious consumers are pretentious.  But, living in their unique “bubble”, we noticed that, in LA at least, they are often genuine about their pretentiousness. It is a place like no other on our planet. And, we enjoy co-existing with them.

Get Fluent, Get Affluent!

Do Not Imitate Your Competition: Become Inimitable

As a luxury or other real estate marketing professional, if you want to challenge the market leader in your area the last thing you want to do is imitate the incumbent.  This is one of those branding traps that even some of the biggest brands fall into and get nowhere as a result.  Originality and distinctiveness is the route to market leadership.  As a challenger, one of your best bets is to take the opposite position as the market leader or else "own" (excel at) the attribute that represents your competitor's greatest weakness.

Imitating your competitor is a declaration to anyone observing that you have no imagination whatsoever.  You look like a “me too!” And what is worse than that is that their way of doing things may not suit your personality or your way of doing business, or the marketplace that you are seeking to gain. 

One of our clients is known for her incredible system of staying in touch with her clients.  People love to hear from her and look forward to her distinctive mailings as well as her annual calendar.  A competitor decided to challenge her with a similar campaign, and the headline of her marketing promo read:  “I am not Valerie, I am Suzie!” (fictitious names).  Her campaign produced no results whatsoever!  What she did is strengthen our client’s hold on this community.

Beware of the temptation to imitate the market leader. It is the sure path to failure. Find out what you stand for and don’t be afraid to be inimitable!

Are You Standing Out In An Ocean of Me Too?

We often talk about the imperative of personal branding, in the highly competitive world of luxury real estate marketing. Now, with social media leveling the playing field your website is accessible more than ever before, and the need to stand out is mission critical.

Having the best “packaging” is often the determining factor in selecting an agent online because consumers are pressed for time and they have the power to quickly move on to check out your competitors in a single click. Even those who are referred to you by trusted sources will check out your website.  They want to be assured that you know how to market yourself.  If you do that well, they are assured that you will market their home well also.  Furthermore, this will indicate to a buyer that you know the marketplace and will take time to understand therm.

Recently we were in a bookstore. Alexandra was looking for a book and I snapped this picture of the “Women’s Interests” section in the magazine racks. The layout of the covers on just about every magazine in this category looked almost identical. With the exception of one magazine, every cover had a picture of a model surrounded by words intended to hook buyers. Doesn’t this remind you of the plethora of agent websites with head shots that look so much alike? Like the myriad of magazines, the content is the same.   

Statistics show that most books and magazines are selected solely based on the cover, the graphic imagery and the messaging. It is the same online. Think of your personal brand as your book cover or your magazine cover. Certainly, there is much more to your brand than this. But, if you are looked over because you blend in like the majority of magazines in any given category your shelf life is going to be limited and you will not have a chance to deliver your valuable service as often as you would like.  

It is important to understand that in blending in and looking like everyone else in the luxury real estate arena you are not demonstrating your marketing savvy. More than ever the luxury and other real estate seller/buyer is looking for the individual who understands the importance of standing out in an ocean of me too. Are you standing out in an ocean of me too?

Branding Moments: When Less Is Warmer

Getting your messaging right is perhaps the most challenging step in the personal or company branding process. It is the opportunity to convey to your target market, with brevity, essentially what makes you different and better than your competition. Yet, most luxury real estate marketing professionals pay little or no attention to their messaging.

To get an idea of how brilliantly distilled messaging can help you to quickly win over your target market check out UNIQLO LifeWear, a Japanese apparel company. Their HEATTECH turtlenecks, for example, are relatively inexpensive and come with an extraordinary promise of value stated with an economy of words.

ABBREVIATED MESSAGE:

“Less layers, more freedom”

“One thin Heattech layer gives you warmth without weight”

“HEATTECK: Less is Warm”

Catchy phrases alone cannot help you if they are not congruent with your core values. For branding to be truly successful everything must be aligned. UNIQLO’s Japanese values of “simplicity, quality, longevity” and also “continuous improvement” are their guiding principles in everything they design and manufacture. Here are some examples of their expanded message.

EXPANDED MESSAGE

“We are constantly innovating, bringing more warmth, more lightness, better design and better comfort to your life. It never stops evolving because your life never stops changing. Simple apparel with a not-so-simple purpose: to make your life better. UNIQLO LifeWear. Simple made better.”

If you get your messaging right and communicate it consistently to the right target market you are almost guaranteed a spike in business. If you are truly bent on reaching more ideal clients we can help you to identify and articulate your unique promise of value, then distill it to its essence. 

Just Mind Your Own Business!

Identifying and then dominating an uncontested or under served market niche requires laser sharp focus.  That means systematically minding your own business and eradicating anything from your consciousness that can distract you from your task at hand. 

Minding your own business is a tall order for most luxury real estate marketing professionals.  But, that is the good news, because gaining and sustaining market leadership is not for the faint of heart.  And, that significantly reduces the number of players in your competitive landscape.

Recently, we have noticed quite a bit of chatter online from agents about the “evils” of Zillow,  and others like them, who are syphoning off business.  We even heard rumors that Amazon may get into the real estate fray. 

For those of you who are bent on gaining or sustaining market leadership in your chosen niche, these topics along with the new commission discounters should come under the heading of “big distractions”. Let your competition get distracted while you stay on course. 

Just mind your own business!