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Perhaps the most important business skill that you can cultivate as a luxury real estate marketing professional is listening.  This does not only mean giving your clients your full attention in order to understand their needs.  It also means listening to your own intuition and paying attention to the trends in the marketplace.  The danger of ignoring your client’s needs, your own intuition and market trends as a market leader can leave you vulnerable to sharply focused challengers.

One of the most dangerous liabilities that a market leader can have is the inability or unwillingness to quickly shift paradigms. A paradigm is a mindset, a pattern of thinking or a model for something especially one that forms the basis of a methodology or theory. 

Shifting from the printed MLS books to the online IDX represented a complete paradigm shift in the real estate industry. So profound was this shift that the IDX could be called a “game changer”.  It empowered consumers to search for properties on their own, eliminating the gatekeepers (agents) to this market information. Those brokerage firms and agents who understood the significance of this trend and jumped on the IDX bandwagon when it first came out had a definite competitive advantage over those who were stuck in the previous paradigm.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this article series we covered how slow Microsoft was to shift paradigms with the advent of “cloud-based” software, smart phones, tablets and the apps that can be purchased for them.  Research in Motion (RIM-Blackberry smart phones), was also slow to shift paradigms to touch screens with apps.  They had an enormous competitive advantage as the preferred purveyor of smart phones for business.   

Had RIM quickly come out with a touch screen version of their smartphone featuring the best business apps, plus consumer apps that could be “used on weekends”, i.e., double as a consumer device, they may have been able to stem off their very steep decline in market share. In 2009, RIM shipped 54% of the smart phones sold in North America.  Now, it is shipping an estimated 13% in the second calendar quarter of 2011.

Being nimble, that is quick to respond to trends, is the ability and willingness to shift paradigms.  One of the key trends in luxury real estate is downsizing. No longer is it particularly a status symbol to have enormous homes.  Less can be more.  Ask your clients who own large homes if they may be interested in finding a smaller one.  Listen to their needs carefully and you may find hidden business right under your nose.

Listen to your intuition and pay close attention to trends. This will serve you well in marketing luxury real estate.  Ignore trends at your own peril. 


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