Viewing entries in
Popular Posts

Differentiation in Branding: Confused or “Corn fused”?

As a luxury real estate marketing professional or any real estate marketing professional, if you are seeking additional market share and visibility, it is important to give a complete picture of how you are different without any potential confusion to the buyers or sellers that may seek your services.  Here is an example of confusion, which turned into more confusion or “corn fused!”

Some of you many have seen the Bud Light commercial during the Super Bowl.  This was an attempt by Bud Light to differentiate themselves from their competitors, Miller Lite and Coors Lite by stating that they do not use corn syrup, whereas the competition does.  This was an attempt to claim their unique selling proposition, and transparency. A spokesman for Bud Light as quoted in Forbes: “Bud Light’s Super Bowl commercials were meant to point out a key difference in Bud Light from some other light beers. This effort is to provide consumers transparency. We’re proud of what we put into Bud Light and what we leave out like – corn syrup, preservatives and artificial flavors”. 

In response, Miller Lite explained in a full-page ad in the New York Times, that they are proud to use they use corn syrup, and not high fructose corn syrup.  This statement creates more confusion for the consumer. The bottom line is that both forms of corn syrup are sugar.  The reason folks drink light beers is because they are concerned about their health which includes an intake of calories, especially carbs.  Whether it is high fructose or corn syrup it usually produced from GMO corn, which is another health concern for many consumers.  

IMG_3261.jpeg

Even this light organic corn syrup (pictured above) has 31grams of carbs in two tablespoons, and 130 calories. The American Heart Association recommends that most women get no more than 100 calories a day of added sugar from any source, and that most men get no more than 150 calories a day of added sugar. That's about 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

The Bud Light spokesman went on to say:” Some beers do use corn syrup and that’s fine. In fact, our value brands use corn syrup. We use corn syrup in these brands because it makes the beer less expensive to produce and is therefore offered at a more affordable price to consumers”.

That statement leaves us even more confused. As rare beer drinkers, we are confused or “corn fused”.  Next time, we will definitely ask: “does this beer have corn syrup?”  Will you ?

Happy New Year: Chinese Wisdom in the Year of the Boar Applicable to All!

dreamstime_xs_108263518.jpg

The selection of February 5, 2019 is based on the lunar cycle and today is the new moon of 2019. Two weeks later on the 19th, we will have a full moon, and that marks the end of the celebration in China. In our Qigong class yesterday, our teacher shared with us the wisdom of the Chinese calendar and the sage advice for all of us to follow in the year of the Boar/Pig, based on the Chinese philosophy symbol of Yin/Yang.


466px-Yin_yang.svg.png

Pictured above is the Yin/Yang symbol of Chinese philosophy.“In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.” (Wikipedia)

The boar is revered for its strengths and for being grounded in the earth. We did postures to strengthen the three human burner centers, our lungs, our heart and our digestive systems. It is what grounds all to the earth’s energy, the Yang energy.  Strengthening these systems allows the Yin energy from above to flow to us easily.  We balanced this out by also incorporating Yin exercises and postures. In other words, our wishes, dreams and desires are easier to fulfill from a grounded stance.   

The Chinese Zodiac is based on 12 animals.  The boar represents the 12th.  It is time to declutter the past 12 years, in terms of waning relationships (strengthen or discard), cleaning, and getting rid of unused things. This also a way to strengthen the Yang energy, and by getting rid of unwanted things releases attention units that can focus on what is needed and wanted.  

Wishing you all a wonderful Year of the Boar!

Monday Musings: Say Something, I am Giving Up on You!

dreamstime_xs_50605862.jpg

In our mastermind, yesterday morning, we discussed how often relationships suffer, fail or break down, because of our sole/exclusive reliance on the electronic world (text and email) to communicate.  We all had noticed how the reliance on email and text has created a reluctance to pick up our Smartphone and just call, often leading to failed relationships.  

The title for this post comes from the lyrics of “Say Something” written by indie band, A Great Big World.  The video expressed it beautifully. Sometimes, it is a question of swallowing your pride, and picking up the phone, if you are upset, or want to salvage a failing relationship.. 

Our mastermind partner is an executive coach. He mentioned a breakdown with the Skype session he was having with his client in Dubai.  He did not hesitate to call his client’s cell directly and spend the extra dollars for this long-distance call. Part of excellent communication skills is using whatever means you have at hand to maintain a relationship, whether it is personal or business.  We have called France directly, when Skype did not work, and now have an international conference call number as an added safety net.  

Recently, we had no response to electronic communications from friends.  Since they are avid off the grid travelers, we assumed they were off somewhere on the planet enjoying themselves.  We made another recent attempt via email. We received an interesting response accusing us of “ghosting” them, by having “snail” mail (Christmas card) returned, electronic messages, and texts not responded to.  Ron promptly picked up the phone, called and left a lengthy message.  He assured them we loved them.  As of this post five days have passed, and we had not heard back.  It must be our turn to be “ghosted”!

We had another friend’s Christmas card returned by the post office also.  She jotted us a note via email, and we promptly responded.  The US post office occasionally works in mysterious ways.  We are still waiting for a jar of honey that our graphic designer sent us from her beehives three years ago…The Internet is not fail-proof either, emails and texts disappear also, we experienced that last year with the fires, power outages and subsequent mudslides. Our friends picked up the phone!

We both like the convenience of email.  At the same time, we are careful of how we write our messages, because it can be misinterpreted on the other end.  We also enjoy texting also. We love seeing photos of our grand-nieces and nephews playing with their new toys.  Again, we use it mostly with close friends in fun discussions. And with our clients, we usually text when we cannot respond to a phone call immediately!.

Talking on the phone may expose how we really feel or what is happening in our world, whereas a text or email does not, even if it is full of happy face emojis!  Many are hiding behind their keyboards.  Meaningful relationships develop through verbal communications as well as face to face.  

Yes, in a verbal or face to face communication, we may be vulnerable, intimate and misunderstood, however the reward of a real meaningful relationship is worth a potential heartache.   And occasionally you may have to swallow your pride, and say something!

Friday Photo: Old Fashioned Social Media Marketing!

IMG_0065.jpeg


Not so long ago during the dark ages prior to the invention of the smart phones, this form of social media (now obsolete) was practiced with great success. Last week, as we were having breakfast at the Summerland Café, Ron pointed out this phone plug in for a land-line in our booth. 

There was a time when aspiring and famous actors and actresses as well as businessmen would tip the bellman at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Bel Air Hotel, and other posh hotels in Los Angeles (while dining at the restaurants, or sunning themselves at the pool) to announce over the intercom that they had a telephone call.  

Everyone would know that someone important was there.  Delighted to be "in the know” tongues would wag to spread the news.. This social media technique would occasionally benefit the "important" person.  They would be noticed for a part in a movie, or a deal would be signed.  

Gossip columnists would get a call, and have a scoop for their papers.  Then with great panache, the bellman would bring a phone on a silver tray, plug it into the wall.  And they would act reluctantly that they "just had" to take this call..  

When we were in the final negotiations in buying our home in Los Angeles, our friends took us out for breakfast at the Bel Air Hotel to celebrate the sale. Ron told the host who seated us, we were expecting a call. He also told him not to announce us over the intercom.  We were not out to make ourselves known to anyone there (not that we were even remotely famous), unlike our friends who were well known in the music industry.  Our friend was (and still is) one of the managers of the Eagles, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Christina Aguillera, and the songwriters of "Like A Virgin." This song put Madonna on the charts. 

As expected, the listing agent  called.  We have to admit that it was a thrill to have a phone delivered to our booth.  After breakfast we were going to her office to sign the final papers. He and his wife were thrilled for us, and ordered a bottle of Champagne to celebrate.

Happy Friday, wishing you all a great weekend!

Monday Musings At The Summerland Café: Stay Out Of Your Own Way!

IMG_3067.jpeg

We have recently rediscovered the Summerland Café.  They have great coffee and their fare is fresh and delicious.  As we were sipping our coffee, we talked about the best of our experiences in 2018...there were so many, and like we say every day, "we are grateful and thankful,and especially thankful that we stay out of own way."

Ron and I do not make resolutions, simply because a resolution is an invitation to contradictions. Contradiction is defined as: a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another. " The best illustration of this is the peak of membership gyms have at the beginning of the yea. By mid to late January all those resolved souls are no longer there.  Contradictions have taken over and rule the day!

Instead we set forth our intentions, and stay out of our OWN WAY! We don't repeat them daily, we don't write them down...we don't measure it, we don't judge it, we don't anticipate it or wonder when will it happen. These are some examples of contradictions. We just focus on the now.  What we have learned is that at the right time, the right circumstances, the right people show up and our intentions are realized...It is not magic, it is just staying out of our own way.

What Is in Your Half Empty or Half Full Glass: Nectar or Poison?

Skull.png

We have always answered the age-old question: Is the glass half full or half empty, and we say: it depends on what is in the glass.  Is it Nectar or is it Poison? We love maintaining a positive mindset— drinking nectar.

The most successful luxury real estate and other real estate niche marketing professionals have developed a genuine positive mindset. As a result, they attract more clients (sellers and buyers).  One of the ladies we worked with a young 78- year-old was thriving during the worst of the recession unlike some of the other agents in her market.  She knew without a doubt that there is always an abundance of business regardless of the economy and its fluctuations. Another one of our clients had one of her highest all-time years during the same time period.  Neither one focused on short sales, they just repeated their well-honed formula consistently.

We both grin with great delight and take it as a compliment, when s­­­­­omeone critiques us as being “too” positive or unrealistic when it comes to our approach to life and people in general. Some will tell us that we are ignoring the world’s tragedies and proceed to enumerate them.  On the contrary, we are aware of them, we just do not choose to dwell on them, and we take comfort in the fact that there are many wonderful people working on these issues, which are outside of our sphere of influence.  

We steadfastly have maintained an optimistic approach going in the worst of times.  We even give ourselves permission to moan and groan for all of 5 minutes.  We know that we can choose, how we decide to approach or feel about any problematic or disastrous situation.  We can dwell and rue about it and engender sympathy, or we can find the positive aspect and find a way to make it work.  This mindset has given us strength and inspiration in the best of times and in the worst of times.

Two weeks ago, in our Qigong *(defined below) class our teacher demonstrated the power of the positive mindset.   Using a simple muscle strength test, he used to measure one of the participant’s strength.  Now, he had us (50 students) say aloud, to this man, that he has many problems. Afterwards, our teacher went over to him and checked his muscle strength. It had markedly diminished.  Then he had the audience say, he is a wonderful problem solver!  The muscle strength test improved beyond the initial measurement.   

The second part of this demonstration was to ask several members of the group to stand next to the man.  They too had their muscle strength assessed.  We all repeated the negative mantra.  What was revealing is that the onlookers also lost muscle strength in the process.  The action of sympathizing with his dilemma created a weakening of their strength as well as he weakening of strength of the audience.  We all repeated the positive mantra and everyone’s strength was improved.

Wishing someone harm, bitching and moaning, dwelling on negative aspects of the real estate profession, the government, the leadership, your city, your family, your clients, and so on and so forth reduces your problem-solving capacity and inspiration. It impacts your health, your relationships, and your effectiveness in business. It is a bona-fide form of self-destruction.  This quote illustrates this, “resentment is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Ultimately, it is your choice!  What is in your glass nectar or poison?!

Qigong (pronounced "chee-gung," also spelled chi kung) is translated from the Chinese to mean "energy cultivation" or "working with the life energy." Qigong is an ancient Chinese system of postures, exercises, breathing techniques, and meditations. Its techniques are designed to improve and enhance the body's qi or( chi) . 

“In China, qigong is used n conjunction with other medical therapies for many chronic conditions, including allergies, AIDS, ,cancer, headaches, depression, mental illness ,strokes, heart disease, hypertension, asthma and obesity.”*,

A Spicy Pursuit: What Specialty Is Missing In Your Marketplace?

IMG_1202 2.jpg

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd in luxury or other real estate marketing is to find the underserved market niche, or filling a need in your marketplace..  In order to find it, one has to do quite a bit of research, because at first glance the market may look crowded. It is not unusual to assume that every niche in the real estate market is already taken.  Here is an example of a business that did just that.

In one of the markets we frequent here in Santa Barbara, the spice and seasonings aisle takes up over one quarter of the space. It is our source to find the rare spice or seasoning for a dish we are making.

Food experts advise that spices diminish in flavor over time. They are susceptible to heat, moisture and light.  Furthermore, they are sold in quantities that are too large for an average household to use up in a short period of time as they have at best one to two-year lifetime of flavor. 

Spicely Organics found the underserved market niche among the  biggest spice producers in the food industry.  Gelson’s Market added more shelf space to their spice aisle to accommodate them. Thanks to Spicely Organics you don’t have to go out of your way to assure yourself that certain spices may be a detriment to your diet because how they are produced. Everything is certified for every type of food concern. 

IMG_1201 2.jpg

Furthermore, they sell them in small batches, which means that you don’t have to worry about the shelf life of your purchase.  There is enough for two or three uses.  It may seem more expensive than that big bottle you are used to buying in terms of quantity, however, this beats the competition in terms of quality.  

In the realm of real estate, we have heard many success stories of agents who specialize in what may seem to many who will take any listing at any price crazy niches.  We can assure you that those who specialize in just condos, for instance, or just properties they personally like, or just historical properties, or just land are thriving regardless of the market conditions.  These agents researched what was missing in their marketplace and became experts, and the go to agents in those niches.  What  Specialty is missing in your marketplace?

Are You A Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of None?

jackofalltrades.jpg

The NUMBER ONE mistake that luxury real estate marketing professionals make is trying to be all things to all people.  We understand that it is challenging to narrow your focus and concentrate on just one niche.   The trick is discovering the right niche for you, the one that has the potential to provide the financial return you want if you were to give it your 100% undivided attention.

Watch this 2-minute video and learn how being a Jack-of-All-Trades is the biggest marketing mistake. Being a generalist vs. a specialist is the most common marketing trap

Get Real With Your Luxury Real Estate With Pull Marketing VS Push Marketing!

If you are tired of unwanted digital ads and unsolicited email marketing, join the crowd. Most of us do not like having advertisements or information “pushed” at us.  

The ideal marketing relationship between a customer or subscriber to a digital newsletter is “pull marketing” vs. push marketing”.  Keep this in mind when you think of sending out your own luxury real estate e-newsletter.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 2.12.06 PM.png

Pull marketing is information with advertisements that is sent to you because you are asking for it.  Sometime you ask for a “free report” and then you are bombarded forevermore with a daily, automatic “drip” campaign (as in Chinese Torture) chock full of unwanted information, products and services.  Where is that Unsubscribe button?

Can you think of an e-newsletter that you actually look forward to receiving regularly?  Here is an example of our favorite pull marketing e-newsletter from Santa Barbara Fish Market (pictured above). 

Every week we discover what has recently been caught right off our coast or what has been flown in fresh from around the world. There are always weekly specials and great recipes.

3cefc4d8-0170-4bb6-8001-26650e1a8355.jpg

 

We absolutely love to go down to our Harbor, breathe in the sea air, hear the sounds of the ocean and also pick up some seafood for dinner. Included is a recipe link for Black Cod with Swiss Chard, Olives, and Lemon, (pictured above).

Recently, we were thinking of going out for lunch and opted to purchase a couple of Maine lobster tails, instead. It may sound extravagant, but each tail was only $10 with our “members” discount of 10%.  We made a delicious lobster salad for a fraction of the price of going to a restaurant for a delicacy like lobster salad with tax and tip. 

85e9646b-5110-4b24-a9a6-118e64550c0a.png

Another “hook” that keeps us coming back is the “Fresh Catch Wish List”. We cannot wait to get our “wish fish”: Fresh Alaskan King Crab and lump crabmeat flown in from Louisiana. We are blissfully on the hook and we do not feel like we are “caught”.

The moral of the story is: get real with your luxury real estate email marketing. “Reel” us in with pull marketing!

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.

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: 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!

Sealing Your Energy Leaks in Real Estate & Life

In our last two articles series, “Avoiding the High Cost of Mindlessness” and “The Inner Game of Real Estate” we explored the advantages of achieving a state of relaxed focused concentration in your real estate practice.  The primary advantage, besides how great it makes you feel, is increasing the probability of manifesting your intentions.  Here is another piece of the puzzle that may be of help to you.  It certainly has been impactful for us:  Sealing Energy Leaks!

One of the components of our strategic branding consulting practice is advising real estate companies on recruiting agents.  The central idea here is to become so certain of your firm’s “brand signal” that you attract more like minded agents that are naturally on your brand’s wavelength.

Hiring agents based on their track record of high sales volume alone or recognizing them as rising stars does not necessarily insure that they are on your company’s brand signal.  The right fit is someone who shares the same core values as you.  If they act like prima donnas or cut corners on ethical matters, for example, they can suck the energy right out of your company. 

That is why it is of paramount importance that you clearly articulate and broadcast your brand signal to potential recruits. That way you can prevent energy leaks.

Your current roster of agents must also get the message about your brand signal. It must be made loud and clear to them as well, because you may need to let go of some agents to seal an energy leak.

On a personal level, you must seal you own energy leaks. Otherwise, they will weaken your personal power to realize your intentions.  Sometimes the best thing you can do to expand your real estate practice is to “fire” energy draining clients.

We recently sealed two energy leaks once we recognized how they were diluting the power of our own intentionality. One was cutting our cable TV, which freed up quite a bit of our time and energy. Now, we are much more deliberate about what we select as entertainment and also about how frequently we watch. 

Our other sealed leak is abstaining from energy-draining discussions or news articles about politics. It is not that we have buried our heads in the sand. We do want to know what is going on.  But, as soon as current events begin to distract us from our primary purpose of growing our business and enjoying our lives we practice the art of sealing the energy leak simply by changing the subject to energy-giving topics.

What energy leaks have you identified?  What actions have you taken to seal them?

Are You A Big Fish? Or Just Another Fish In Many Ponds?

Just because you have a real estate license does not mean that you should sell everything in the category.  What is important is to position you (your brand) in the minds of your target market by choosing a real estate niche that you love, and can satisfy your income goals. The idea is to become the big fish in that little pond.  

Brand positioning is one of the most misunderstood concepts in marketing.  Yet, it is, by far, one of the most important concepts for you to understand as a luxury real estate marketing professional, if your quest is market leadership.  

To accelerate word-of-mouth advertising, you need to make it clear to your target market exactly what category of services (or market niche) your brand stands for. The goal is to be the first brand name that comes to mind in your chosen category or niche.

Positioning your personal or company brand in the minds of your target market enables YOU to establish the brand category with which YOU want to be associated in their minds. If you do not make your brand position abundantly clear by staking a claim to a specific category, or if you try to be all things to all people, they will undoubtedly pigeonhole you in the wrong category.

We know a very talented real estate agent who dabbles in many categories including investments, single family homes, condos, REOs, fractionals, foreclosures, international, commercial, industrial, etc. She hops from pond to pond. To her credit, she makes a decent income by most standards.  But, she does not even come close to realizing her full potential as a market leader, which is easily within her reach if she were to focus on a single profitable category or market niche

In marketing luxury real estate you already have narrowed your category in the overall real estate field.  Now, narrow your category further. Position yourself or your company as the expert in that niche! 

Become the big fish in a smaller pond. Go for the lion’s share of a smaller category and “own” the category in the minds of your target market.  Only then can you capitalize on the amazing economic benefits of word-of-mouth advertising, because your brand comes to mind first in that category.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International specializes in the art of local niche marketing in affluent communities and they are the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  Working exclusively with entrepreneurs and professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership, they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Mid-Year Business Check UP: The Next Big Thing!

One of our biggest breakthroughs in 2016 was identifying the need for a complete paradigm shift in the field of luxury real estate marketing. At mid-year we are now in the process of creating and test marketing a very exciting new service and business model, based on this fresh perspective.

The paradigm shift that we are referring to is this:  The business of residential real estate is no longer a game of marketing real estate; it is a game of marketing YOU!  If you are intent on gaining or sustaining market leadership, failing to make this shift could mean the biggest missed opportunity of your entire career! It is far, far more important than the advent of social media marketing. It is the NEXT BIG THING!

Due to public access of real estate listing information via the Internet, everyone has the exact same inventory, with the exception of pocket listings.  That makes both the information and YOU a commodity, unless you can provide an extraordinary value proposition, i.e., create added genuine value above and beyond commodities.

Some agents are better than other at cultivating referrals.  But, few are doing what it takes to exponentially expand their referral base.  That means making it your business to consistently and continuously meet more people. 

Like most small business owners, real estate agents spend more time working “In” their business, as “transaction engineers” in this case, rather than working “On” their business as marketing experts. And, in this context, we are talking about the business of marketing YOU.

There are way too many excuses, for staying in your comfy chairs in your office instead of getting out and meeting more people.  In the new paradigm you must delegate or outsource everything that you absolutely do not have to do yourself. This will help free you up to get out there! After all, the game of marketing YOU is a people sport.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Are You A Worrier Or A Warrior?

Being a warrior in the game of luxury real estate marketing requires that you develop a deep, rock-solid trust in yourself. Worrying erodes the very foundation of self-trust and is the ultimate cause of failure.  Are you a worrier or a warrior?

Warriors may have an initial reaction to sudden, dismal external conditions, but they quickly regain their balance and adjust their approach. LeBron James made basketball history, winning the NBA Championship by coming back from a 3-1 deficit.  He said that he looked within and adjusted his “blue-print” for success.

And, that is exactly what luxury real estate marketing professionals need to do when they encounter volatility in global markets like Brexit.  Worriers cannot see the opportunities that a condition may cause, because they are too busy assessing the negatives.  Warriors look for the opportunities and adjust their inner blue prints.

On the real estate front, Knight Frank, global residential and commercial real estate consultants are focused on the silver lining. They view is that the housing market will not be seriously impacted. The UK has 60 million wealthy individuals, and a highly skilled labor force.  High skilled labor is always in demand.

British second home buying in Europe and in the US may slow down.  Real estate will continue to be viewed as a long-term stable investment.  Some of the ultra high end may languish on the market. 

It is worth noting that Starbucks is going to continue its expansion plans in the United Kingdom.  Since the United Kingdom is one of the largest consumers of French Champagne, Taitttinger called its UK distributors to assure them that they will make up the losses caused by the devaluation of the Pound Sterling.  The legal profession is no doubt rejoicing based on all the work generated by the Brexit vote. 

If you are concerned about market conditions, readjust your inner blueprint for success.  Are you going to worry or be a warrior? 

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Discover The Sand Between The Marbles!

If you have followed our blog, you know that we are proponents of niche marketing.   Our mantra for challengers of market leaders and rising stars has been, discover and dominate an under served market niche. It is one of the first items we address, when we start working with our clients. 

No one person or company can do it all and do it well, regardless of his or her claims.  In looking over agent and company profiles, we are always surprised to find how many specialties they list for themselves from REO to commercial and industrial real estate.  And, the worst statement is when someone says, “I will sell anything that can be sold!’’

A niche is specialized market segment or a particular market “space”.  An example of a niche in luxury real estate would be historic homes. When we were in commercial real estate in Beverly Hills we specialized in high-end retail and the entertainment industry.  One of our jobs was to find potential tenants for retail stores and shopping centers that we represented exclusively in the Beverly Hills Golden Triangle, or surrounding areas.

We found an excellent analogy for niches by Ray Wert on his Jalopnik.com blog.  He referred to niches “the spaces between the marbles in a Mason jar that is full of marbles”.  The Mason jar represents the overall real estate market.  The marbles represents the dominant players. If you were to pour sand in the jar it would fill those spaces and there would be a surprising amount of room for the sand. The niches exist in those spaces between the marbles that the sand fills.

To be successful in luxury real estate, you must first identify an uncontested market “space”.  The next step is to insure that the niche is financially viable and fits your interests and strengths.  Here is an example.

One of our friends loved historical homes.  She had bought a historical home and rehabbed it from top to bottom restoring to its original splendor, and then bought and sold several more.  This was her passion.  She promoted herself legitimately as a historical expert with a proven track record of sold properties.  Anyone in her area who was interested in buying or selling historical homes knew whom to call. She had found the sand between the marbles, and dominated the historical niche in her marketplace. 

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Did The Devil Make You Do It? Credibility On Social Media!

We have over 200 endorsements on Linked In, which we have not accepted.  We have had at least that many like requests on Facebook, which we have ignored. And, recently were asked by a real estate agent to recommend him, which we declined.  The common thread in all these endorsements, “likes” and recommendations is that there are credibility issues.

The endorsements on Linked-In are from people whom we have never met or with whom we have not done business.  We do not understand how they can recommend our services without really knowing about them. The endorsers expect us to recommend them as well under the same cirmcumstances.

The like requests on Facebook are equally puzzling.  The majority of the requests are from folks with whom we may be connected, but with whom we do not have a personal relationship. On the rare occasions we have liked a business on Facebook, the powers that be have inundated us with ads there.

The real estate agent who asked us for a recommendation is someone we have never met. Do we tell our actual friends to use this agent just because he is in our social media network? 

To paraphrase Geraldine Jones (pictured above), a character created by comedian Flip Wilson, “Don’t [touch me] endorse us, honey you don’t know us that well!”  And, we know the devil did not make you do it! 

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel- 

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

A Graphic Brand Identity Without Context Is Not A Brand!

When we craft a graphic brand identity as brand strategists for the luxury real estate industry, there is always a purpose behind the design.  The purpose provides the CONTEXT for the brand.   The purpose is threefold:

1) To express your unique personality, priority values and core strengths; 

2) To clearly state your extraordinary promise of value (in words and symbols) so that your target market instantly understands that you are the best match to their values and most pressing needs, and;

3) To SHARPLY CONTRAST YOU in relationship to your competition.

The process of designing the graphic brand identity is very exciting when you keep this context in mind.  Many talented people can simply create a a graphic brand identity for you. Without CONTEXT, it is not a brand. It most likely will result in an under performing graphic brand identity and thus, a colossal missed opportunity.

Taking our own preconceived ideas out of the equation, listening to YOU intently, and then staying true to YOUR essential nature (and the nature of your marketplace) is our guiding design principle. We practice this discipline by taking the time to quiet our minds and attune to Nature itself as often as possible.

We wanted you to have a visceral EXPERIENCE, right now, of this guiding design principle, not just an understanding of the words in this post. So, we went into our own backyard to photograph an exquisite transformation of Nature. The bottle-brush trees are bursting forth and putting on quite a show.  There is simply nothing on earth quite like this! Enjoy!

And, remember that your own brand, to perform its function to the fullest, must reflect the CONTEXT we define here. 

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel- 

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Which Comes First? The Logo Or The Brand, The Horse In The Cart?

If you are looking to developing a personal or company brand as a luxury marketing professional you need to know which comes first, the logo or the brand.   Some designers, advertising agencies, web developers, marketing firms, and public relations firms claim to do branding, when they are actually referring to logo design.

How can you create a graphic representation of a brand when you don’t know what the brand stands for, i.e., its brand position? A logo is not a brand.  It is like putting the cart before the horse.  You may wind up with a cute design or even an image you like.  But, the logo will not do its job as a definitive statement of your brand.

The brand statement is a distillation of an extensive discovery process to determine the extraordinary promise (EVP) of the company, or person. The process is a review of a company’s or an individual’s visions, core values, preferences, goals, and experiences. It also includes a thorough analysis of the market place as well as the competitive landscape.

Determining the nuances of a brand’s personality is another part of the discovery process.  This is one of the criteria used in choosing fonts and colors, which also have to be in harmony with the target market.  All these actions create a precise expression and impression designed to attract your ideal clients.   

When this process is finished and agreed upon this information is then relayed to the graphic designer with specific art direction.  The designer can then expand upon the concept that eventually becomes the logo that communicates what the brand stands for in the mind of the target market.

Which comes first?  The Brand And Then the Logo, The Cart And Then The Horse!!

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel- 

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.