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From Sarasota and Naples, Florida, to Hilton Head, South Carolina; South Hampton, New York; Austin, Texas; Prescott, Arizona; San Luis Obispo, California; and many other cities, the luxury real estate market is booming. Picture-perfect sunsets, sandy-white beaches and the allure of the wide-open spaces attract high-end market buyers, including affluent Generation X and baby boomers who are looking for second and third homes and millennials with money to spend.
Here’s how you can increase your market share at this end of the real estate market and add more clients to your real estate business.
1. Define the ideal client
Just as with any marketing strategy, you need to know who you want to target. The initial step in the process is to define the general characteristics of the group. While it’s important to address each individual’s unique personality, having a good handle on the group’s traits will help define your marketing strategy. This includes the media (brochures, advertising, videos, events, showings, social media, etc.) you employ to reach your target audience, the images you use and the language and tone of your content.
2. Make a list of the type of clients you want to work with
A broad range of affluent clientele makes up the luxury real estate market. This includes tech entrepreneurs from both established and start-up companies, individuals in the entertainment industry and C-suite executives in the finance sector, as well as sports figures and others. Decide if there is a specific niche you want to target, such as first-time or experienced buyers, international buyers or eco-conscious individuals, for example. Consider other factors like the price range of the homes and the type of homes (discreet vs. opulent) that will fit your buyer’s profile. Knowing this will help you in how you proceed to network with — and market to — the individuals with whom you want to work.
Have your team (or hire an assistant) help you in targeting your marketing materials and advertisements to people with behaviors and interests that are consistent with the types of clients who can afford the premium properties you represent in specific locations.
3. Build a sphere of influence
Develop contacts and generate leads from the network of people you know, including family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, business associates, classmates and social connections. Reach out and establish relationships with family offices and advisory firms that manage the wealth of high net worth clientele. The wealthy invest in real estate and could become potential clients in the future. Learn about each person in your sphere of influence and keep in touch with him or her on a regular basis.
In addition, network with other real estate agents who can help you connect to buyers and sellers.
4. Establish a consistent local presence in your newspaper
Although this may sound old-school, having a consistent presence in your local newspaper prominently displaying your business name and ad listings works. Spend the money to place a listing on a full-color, full-page or double-page ad on a regular basis so you can ensure people see it when flipping through the paper. Not only will this help you get buyers wanting to view the listing, but your consistent presence in the paper will reinforce your experience and credibility in the marketplace.
In addition, reach out to high-end local publications (print and digital) to feature your business. Offer your real estate expertise and write articles that are helpful for buyers and sellers.
5. Use your digital footprint
Conduct an audit of your website. Has the website design been updated recently, or are you simply having new listings added? If you haven’t updated your site in the last couple of years, it’s time to do so. Hire a professional to create a beautiful, contemporary, UX-based, state-of-the-art website that reflects who you are, your experience and successes (i.e. showcase previously sold properties), your staff and the locations and properties you currently represent.
Make sure the website also shines on mobile devices since everyone is connected to their phones 24/7. Hire a content writer to tell your story compellingly. Include videos, press announcements, and features. Let your clients sing your praises via testimonials.
Make sure the property search tool on the website is segmented by product (location, pricing, square footage and other filters), easy to use and delivers the expected results.
Write a blog about relevant topics of interest to high net worth clientele. Leverage social media to build your followers and sphere of influence and to market your properties. Assign someone to keep your website, blog and social media platforms continually updated and fresh.
Focus on growing your email list. It’s much faster and easier to reach out and connect with people or to announce a new property via an email blast. Clients, partners, developers and luxury real estate agents overseas can click on a link in the email to view the property on your website or via a digital storybook you have created.