Last week, we examined how to utilize public relations and why it is an invaluable marketing strategy in Luxury Real Estate.
This week, we will be exploring the paramountcy of video marketing when it comes to showcasing your Luxury Real Estate brand.
Promote Your Listings and Expertise Through Video
Videos can be incredibly effective when promoting a listing and ourselves conveying our expertise to the marketplace. This is because buyers love videos. In fact, about 86% of buyers search for homes through videos. They love to look inside a listing and inside the house.
Video Quality and Length
Make sure the videos have good to great quality.
When videos first came to real estate, they were made up of still pictures stitched together. There was no video camera even involved. Those days are, however, over. The bar is constantly being raised all the time.
In terms of video length, you want to keep it around three minutes, whether it’s a video about yourself, the market, or a listing. Three minutes is ideal.
Be careful how much you showcase in a video when promoting a listing or house. You want to give them enough, but not everything, so they will want to see the property in person. Click To Tweet
The content should be enticing enough that people will want to watch, view, and share with others. You achieve that by creating an emotional connection with them. You can also include a story in your video when you’re promoting a listing, such as any historical information or interesting events that occurred in or around the area.
It’s also important to have a solutions-oriented mentality in your videos. You can convey your expertise by anticipating problems or questions they may have and providing answers. For example, what’s the biggest problem my viewers have and how can I solve that? I’m not telling them how great I am. I’m showing them that I can solve their problem.
Identify the purpose of the video, and just focus like a laser beam on the purpose of that video. Before shooting a video campaign, ask yourself: “What’s the purpose of this video? What are we trying to get across here?”
Have a Strong Call to Action
Tell your viewers at some point in the video to do something:
come to the open house
send the video to their friends
Tell them what to do. Give them instructions in what they need to do next.
I’m a huge believer in videos for promoting myself and my listings. They provide engagement and exposure. It’s the wave of the future – embrace it!
Are You Using PR as Part of Your Marketing? - YouTube
Last week, we highlighted the critical importance of strategic and effective networking as a powerful way to grow your business.
This week, we will be discussing how to utilize public relations to promote your Luxury Real Estate brand.
Public Relations is an Invaluable Marketing Strategy
Public relations is the best marketing you can do or get because it's like a third party testimonial. Click To Tweet It didn’t come from you – at least that’s what people think – and it’s effective in establishing credibility and helping people to remember you.
The main goal, if you’re in Luxury Real Estate, is to get above or below the fold of the front page of a renowned print or digital publication. That’s the holy grail of public relations. Although it’s not always possible, when you shoot for the moon, sometimes you will hit something really high just as well. Thus, you should be implementing public relations campaigns all the time when you get a new listing or when you close a considerable sale.
Public relations generated from the local media in your area is great. However, The Wall Street Journal is as good as it gets. We try to get in there at least four times a year as an agent, and we’ve done pretty well. You cannot purchase article space and, in fact, most news articles – whether it’s a newspaper, periodical, or magazine – typically do not sell that space for article placements. Regardless, don’t discount this source for public relations.
The Press Release Hook
A staple element of public relations is writing a press release. When writing a press release, a captivating headline, or hook, is an important element in order to grab the reader’s attention. Look for attention-grabbing headlines or hooks for your press release by getting ideas from mainstream magazines. I always look at the titles of the articles in those magazines because I know they’ve been focused grouped and researched. I will then just change a couple of words when I apply and convert it to my press release.
Numbers in Your Headlines
When you have a number in your headline – for example: 7 Things Every Luxury Home Seller Should Know About Photography, or 5 Trends Every Luxury Home Buyer Should Be Aware of This Upcoming Year – it will generate more interest because it makes the reader incredibly curious and intrigued. Try it and see the results you get!
Last week, we examined why postcards are surprisingly important in Luxury Real Estate.
This week, we will be exploring how to effectively and strategically network.
First and foremost, networking is critical to business success. 94% of all business men and women think that networking is imperative to their success, leading to a myriad of opportunities and possibilities.
FORDing is a fantastic way to network and connect.
The “F” stands for, “how’s your family?” The “O” stands for, “how are things at work – your occupation?” “R” stands for recreation. And “D” stands for dreams. I have never gotten to D before because I don’t want to talk about people’s dreams, but what you’re essentially talking about is the future. What are you going to be doing next week? What are you doing this winter? What are you planning for next summer?
Set Networking Goals
It’s paramount to always establish networking goals. How many people do you plan to meet at events? Who’s going to be there? Who are the specific people you want to meet? How many people do you want to add to your list at the end of that evening? Have an idea of who’s going to be there and do some preliminary research on them via online.
The Four Levels of Networking
1.) Business network: For example, going to a chamber of commerce. This is one of the easiest venues to network because everyone’s there for the same reason. No one is going to shut you down.
2.) Knowledge network: An example would be going to your professional association. It is also a receptive networking environment because they’re all like-minded people and they’re not going to reject you as much.
3.) Social networking: This is when you’re at the yacht club, golf club, or a social function. A charity event or a charity auction is a prime example. This is where the risk of rejection is higher because individuals are more reticent or reluctant to participate. This is again where FORD comes in.
4.) Online networking: People hate rejection. We all do. And it’s hard to feel rejected online as it is in person, which is probably why online networking is incredibly widespread today.
Give Without Expectations of a Return
Always give without expecting to get anything in return. In fact, a great goal to have when you go to an event is to give a number of referrals, rather than get. Click To Tweet And if you go there focused on what you’re going to give rather than what you’re going to receive, you will be surprised to find out oftentimes you’ll get way more in return than you ever thought possible.
How Postcards Can Be a Powerful Selling Tool - YouTube
Last week, we highlighted the crucial role of newsletters in Luxury Real Estate.
This week, we’ll be examining why postcards are surprisingly important when it comes to Luxury Real Estate personal marketing and branding.
Why Postcards Are Important
Postcards are an easy way to market yourself. They're small, quick to do, beautiful, and they can convey a message in an instant. Click To Tweet And, if done right, potential clients will keep them. Why is this important? They’ll remember you and they’ll know how to get in touch with you.
Include These Three Important Elements
Some important features to include in your postcard include:
Make it simple and easy to read. Even though the individuals you send it to will only spend a few seconds with it, you want to ensure quality and that you are conveying a particular message. Thus, it’s incredibly important to give a lot of thought towards strategically developing your postcards.
Beautify it with local art. I’ll sometimes integrate a picture of our office to my postcards, but often times, I’ll just go to a local art gallery and buy a painting from the gallery owner. More importantly, in the course of buying the painting, I’ll ask the owner for the right to reproduce the painting on a postcard. If they say no, I won’t buy the painting. However, I have never experienced an artist saying no. Why? Because I give them credit on the other side of the postcard’s fine print area. What people really like about these postcards is that it’s a local scene. It’s a local artist. They put them on their fridge and bulletin boards. They hold onto them – and that’s the whole point.
“Eye-bite” Sentences. I have this concept called an eye-bite. How many bites does your eye have to take of an image to take it all in? Ideally, the message should be in one eye-bite – two at the most. So if you write a whole paragraph, people are not going to read all that information. Less is more, especially with postcards.
Be Strategic in the Deployment of Your Postcards
You can’t wake up tomorrow and impulsively say, “I think I should send a postcard,” and then expect your marketing plan to be effective. You need to plan these out a year in advance. Get yourself a schedule and make a spreadsheet.
Last week, we underscored the often overlooked importance of business cards in Luxury Real Estate.
This week, we will be discussing the pivotal role that newsletters play in Luxury Real Estate personal marketing.
How Important Are Newsletters?
Newsletters should be part of your marketing plan. They provide an opportunity to convey expertise and value, and help you to stay in touch with your clientele or your potential clients. Click To Tweet Paper
The higher you go in price range, the nicer it is to market using paper. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do an email version of the newsletter, but a tastefully designed newsletter can convey luxury in a way that email cannot. I suggest printing and mailing the newsletter as well as electronically distributing it.
Conveying Your Expertise
Think about your average client, your typical client, or your perfect client – the person you really want to serve and the problems you really want to solve. What do they want to know about real estate? They want to know how to improve their homes, what’s going on in the marketplace, the rate increases, and the real estate values of a particular market. If you can answer their questions in the form of a newsletter, you’re demonstrating your knowledge as a luxury real estate expert.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Wrong
Creating newsletters can feel intimidating because of the fear of being wrong. When I’m wrong, I find that people call me to let me know. The whole idea is to have people call you. So when people phone to correct me, it’s helping to meet my goal to have conversations with prospects. It’s about your influence in your market. You can talk about things that are new to the market, new listings, and recent sales. Everybody loves to be a vicarious realtor now. They want to know what’s going on. Thus, the more information you can include, the more value you’re going to bring and the more service-oriented you will be.
Keep It Current& Concise
Ensuring that the information in the newsletter is current is really important. Just like with the business cards, you want newsletters to be concise. You don’t need millions of charts, graphs, and all kinds of stats. Focus on one thing. Keep it simple and up to date so people can read it in one glance.
Don’t make newsletters look different every time you send it out. It should look the same each time you’re sending it out because this helps to solidify the look of your brand. Have somebody create a template. Try to integrate a current picture of yourself, sales data, and some luxury listings.
One Last Reminder
If you’re taking other people’s content, you have to get permission. You could be paying big fines for stealing other people’s content. Thus, give credit and acknowledgment, or get permission to use it.
Underappreciated Branding Tool in Luxury Real Estate - YouTube
Last week, we explored how to leverage your personal brand in Luxury Real Estate.
This week, we will be examining how invaluable business cards are. Even in a digitally dominated world, business cards are still a tangible thing that’s very important in this business.
I travel all around the country, conduct seminars all over the United States, and people still hand me their cards – cards that are neglected and poorly constructed. Thus, I think it’s really important to cover some basics on business cards.
Always Carry Business Cards With You
Business cards are an important part of your business. This little piece of paper is coveted by many. They’re easy to carry and you can hand them out constantly.
My advice would be to go to your closet, where all your business jackets are lined up, and put a packet of business cards in every top pocket so that you’ll always have business cards handy.
Have you ever asked someone for a business card and they didn’t have one? Have you ever been asked for a business card and you didn’t have one? I’ve been that person. It’s not good. That’s why I seed my pockets with business cards.
What if you had a goal to hand out five per day? That would be around 1,200 a year. Do you think that your real estate business could be impacted by 1,200 cards being handed out per year? Even one percent can make a tremendous difference.
When it comes to incorporating your pictures in your business cards, my advice would be no picture since physical appearances change constantly, leading to potential confusion in the future. However, indeed, if you’re going to put your picture on your card, have a recent professional headshot taken.
Easy to Scan
Business cards need to be clear, concise, and especially easy to scan. Click To Tweet I’ve received business cards, put them through my scanner, and they don’t scan because the print is microscopic. If you want your card saved by a prospective client, make it easy to scan.
Additionally, since a lot of people are getting older, why not have bigger font on your cards? I have received business cards where I needed to use my glasses and a magnifying glass to read the email address. Make sure the font is easy to read, both in style and font size.
Another business card error I see are having too many initials after a name or too many phone numbers listed. Keep it to a minimal.
I also think it’s much more impactful when you have a business card that has a light background. Less is more. There should be lots of white space so that people can see it and read it. It’s also more aesthetically pleasing when there’s less on the card.
Over the next few weeks, we will be examining the various staple and creative marketing strategies to help you generate more clients, profits, and exposure in Luxury Real Estate.
This week, we will first underscore the importance of your personal brand.
Your personal brand should not be funny or scary – although some people in real estate can be a little scary. You also should not be too full of yourself or overconfident.
The goal of your personal brand is to convey expertise, add value, and differentiate yourself from the competition. Click To Tweet What Do People Think or Say About Your Brand?
People often think that a brand is just a logo or something that’s merely in print. Really, a brand is what people think about and say when they hear your name. That’s your brand. That’s the impact you’re establishing in the marketplace.
One thing that is critical to convey through your personal brand is trust. If people do not trust you, then you’re not going to last long in the Luxury Real Estate market.
Simply put, your brand is very critical. It is a carefully crafted persona that you have to work on. It’s not something that happens by accident.
It is important to be authentic, real, and truthful for a number of reasons.
In particular, the higher you go in price range, the more you’ll find wealthy individuals who are able to see right past one’s disingenuous facade. They can tell if you are excessively infatuated with money alone, and they don’t want to deal with someone like that.
You have to be yourself – be real. That’s easier to do than trying to be someone else.
Dress to Impress
Here in Cape Cod – a resort market – a lot of real estate agents think that since their clients are in flip flops and shorts, they should wear them, too. However, my advice is to dress like the other people they seek advice from. Who else in the luxury space are your clients talking to for advice, whether it’s medical, legal, or tax advice? How do they dress when they’re meeting with clients? Likely not in shorts and flip flops.
You want to be seen as a luxury real estate expert. Thus, dress the part, look the part, and be the part.
And now, after a long battle, the house is listed at the right price and at the right fee. Now, we need to get it sold.
These are fundamentals that I use to get the word out about my client’s listing:
Brochures are extremely important in the high-end markets. Most buyers of luxury homes are hiding in plain sight – I would say that 85% to 90%. When you market map you’ll discover who they are.
Very few people parachute into a nine million dollar house and buy that house without any connections to the area. It doesn’t matter if it’s a second home market or a primary home market. The higher you go in the price range, the more often you’ll find connections.
If you research where every single buyer came from in the last two years, over a million dollars or over five million dollars for example, you’ll find that every single one of them had a connection to someone who’s already living in the area. Therefore, having collateral material you can send to other people who are already there is critically important. A great brochure is indeed a fantastic start.
To create a great brochure, you must have great photography. Click To Tweet
You need to have a really good camera and a person who knows how to work that really good camera. For example, I have a phenomenal photographer. She knows every button, every dial, every readout, everything that camera does. That’s critical to getting a great shot. We know what makes the eyes of a buyer light up when they’re looking at properties online. We help capture the lead photo by looking through the lens for the cover shot to make sure it’s the perfect shot. We always tell the seller that it’s important to separate ourselves from the competition, and amazing photographs can do this.
Print and Online Advertising
Nowadays, even the older demographic pull out an iPad and start looking online.
However, print advertising is still important. Guess what it’s important for? It’s for finding other sellers. You’re not going to find many buyers with print, but you will find other sellers because many sellers will look at print advertising to see what’s going on in the marketplace.
Moreover, you have to be online. People want to see it and now they want to see everything there. Marketing online is critically important because even if prospective buyers have connections, they will want to do further research online. Therefore, be sure to integrate the web address on your printed materials so they can see more about the listing.
When it comes to video quality, the bar is being raised all the time. No more stitched together pictures and calling that a video. It has to be great. Two and a half to three minutes are ideal. More importantly, try to tell a story in the video. Find a way to convey a story or have some action in the video.
For example, I place GoPro’s on cars and boats. We’re doing everything to capture the story of a listing so people can imagine themselves there and are not just being given a dry recitation of what’s in the house. Convey a story. Tell a story. That’s an important part of video.
This week, we will be exploring the big one: getting your first listing.
An expired listing is an excellent opportunity for your first listing. Click To Tweet
People don’t understand how often expired listings come up in the high-end market because a lot of agents who get listings are well-connected and treat their business as an avocation rather than a vocation. A lot of them are unqualified and, despite having a good pedigree and a great Rolodex, they know nothing about the business. Simply put, they can get the listings just because of their connections. As a result, they rampantly overprice listings, causing listings to expire on a regular basis. When this happens, you have a great opportunity to be the second agent in.
Another excellent way to get your first listing is to find the maverick in your market. The maverick in your market is the person who wants to show people they’re different. They typically want to take a chance on a new person and they are the ones who are willing to go with an agent who’s new, fresh, audacious, and creative. That’s the person you want to go to.
For example, I was at a woman’s property that had a grandiose barn. She must have spent millions of dollars building this barn. The barn had heated tile floors, natural finished wainscoting, and a beautiful chair rail. It was just a breathtaking barn.
However, when I went to the area where the car was parked, I saw a deep metallic green Subaru Outback. She’s a maverick. She spends millions and millions, but when she goes into town, she goes in a Subaru.
This is where market research pays dividends. Knowing the individuals in your market will help you find the mavericks. They’re the ones who show up in town with a truck. I’ve shown multimillion dollar homes where people show up in a pick-up truck. They’re trying to throw you off track, but that’s the kind of person who will take a chance on an agent who’s new to the market, new to Luxury Real Estate, and new to a different location.
Gatekeepers and Appointments
We talked about gatekeepers a few weeks ago, and that’s the long-term path to getting listings. That is because all those gatekeepers – the attorneys, the CPAs, the trust officers at banks – know which clients are putting their homes on the market next. When you can provide value to them with your yearly valuation updates, they will provide referrals to you.
An Important Reminder
Moreover, I always tell people, on your first appointment, you want to diagnose before you prescribe. Salespeople can’t seem to help themselves. They go in and start blabbing away before really listening to their client’s needs or wants.
Think of yourself as a doctor. Ask them lots of questions. Ask them to show you the house and then go through on your own. I always have the seller show me their house and then I go back through with a recorder and a checklist. I laser measure the whole house and make notes. And then I execute my checklist while I’m there.
Very important: Never give them the price on the first appointment.
Even if I think I know what it is and they’re dying for the price on the first appointment, I try to create more mystique and a greater sense of value for the price opinion I’m ultimately going to give them.
When asked, you can say, “I have to see your house first to reconcile all the market data I’ve already collected around the property that I’ve just seen for the first time today. When I have enough confidence in my opinion that I can sign my name to it, I will tell you how much I think your house is worth.”
On the second appointment, you want to make your listing presentation. I like to give one in writing and also in PowerPoint. It can’t be some generic presentation. I do listing presentations that are up to 50 or 60 pages long, but I always have a three page executive summary in the front so that they don’t have to read the whole thing.
Good luck, Luxury Realtor, on getting your first listing.
Last week, we examined how paramount processes are when it comes to exceeding client expectations and breaking into the Luxury Real Estate market.
This week, we will be talking about overcoming the big “O”.
What Exactly is the Big “O”?
The big O is what keeps people on the sidelines of the Luxury Real Estate business. They are incredibly petrified of the big O and it stresses out agents before an appointment or during an appointment. Sometimes, they don’t even make an appointment because they’re so afraid of the big O.
If you haven’t guessed by now, the big “O” is objections.
It can take one of several forms or it can take all forms. It’s when a seller asks you:
“How many million dollar homes have you listed?”
“How many million dollar homes have you sold?”
“How many homes have you sold in my location?”
“How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood?”
I’ve been in the same market for four decades, but if I go to a new market elsewhere in Cape Cod—maybe 20 miles away—I’m subject to the big O. It is intimidating because you are asked a series of credibility questions. Indeed, in a move to a new market, sellers will inevitably ask you questions like, “How many homes have you sold in our area?” “How many homes have you sold over five million in that area?” “How many homes have you listed in that area?” Trepidation arises from questions like these because you know the answer to all those questions is the same: zero.
The Secret to Overcoming Objections
It’s integral to have a strategy for overcoming objections, and I’ve heard every suggestion in the book. Some of those strategies include bringing an older agent with you, sharing with another agent, or changing the subject.
I don’t advise any of that.
I say answer the question straight on with a completely and totally honest reply:
“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I have never sold a home over a million dollars in my life.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I have never listed a home in your town, your market, or your neighborhood ever in my life.”
You then tell them with confidence that you’re going to make your mark on the listing and sale of their property. In fact, tell the seller that you are going to be so obsessed with their home and selling it that it will be the very last thing you are going to think about before you go to bed and it will be the very first thing you think about every morning when you wake up.
Moreover, you can boldly tell them: “As a matter of fact, I am not going to take one more listing for a million dollars or more until we have an accepted offer on your house. Mr. and Mrs. Seller, let me ask you this: how does it feel to have somebody this dedicated, this driven, and this passionate about getting your property sold?”
I have found that most wealthy people, especially those that are self-made, will see a little bit of themselves in you when you take this approach.
Now, is it successful 100% of the time? Absolutely not. However, it dramatically increases your odds of overcoming any objections because you have a plan for doing it, and you’re turning it into a benefit. You’re taking a negative and turning it into a positive. And while other agents might have numerous listings they have difficulty keeping track of, you’re just taking one until it’s sold.
Everybody has to start somewhere, so don’t let objections stand in your way. Click To Tweet