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Marketing Luxury Homes to Buyers: Print Media vs Digital (WARNING: Ignoring This Can Cost You Thousands)

Lake Norman Realtor | North Carolina Waterfront Expert
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The Biggest Myth in Marketing Luxury Homes: Print Media

Real Estate Magazines & Other Print Media
Photo Credit: theseanster93

Fancy covers, colorful photos, and shiny pages. Do you know what I’m talking about? One of the biggest myths in Real Estate is the value of print media in the selling of your home. By print media, I’m referring to advertisements in luxury magazines, dedicated real estate magazines, and newspapers. The following is a quote for agents, pulled from a blog, on how to market to potential sellers to obtain high end listings.

“Most advertising, when it comes to luxury real estate, comes from custom regional magazines, luxury publications and other highly targeted sources. Why? Because one thing that luxury real estate agents understand is that hitting the wrong consumers will result in one big downside: they will end up wasting their time”

If this is true, then unless Realtors prominently display luxury listings in these types of magazines, a Seller shouldn’t even give them an opportunity to interview for the job of marketing your home or, worse yet, assume they don’t sell luxury listings at all.

You have heard about “The Magazine”

There is a much larger question to ask here if you’re a luxury Seller: What is the best way to market your home to qualified Luxury Buyers? I challenge you to casually ask a few of the neighbors who have recently moved into your neighborhood if they found their home in a magazine. I could almost guarantee they will say no.

Now if you ask if they have heard of, or seen, these types of magazines the answer will almost always be yes.

Who really benefits from these Magazines Ads?

Could it be that this form of advertising might actually be meant to target Sellers more than Buyers? Hint: Yes!)If potential Sellers see them all the time but they generate very little Buyer interest, how is that a benefit to you, the Seller?  Hear me out here.  I mean, after all, some of these house ads are very impressive and when it’s your home featured inside, it does make for a great conversation piece.  But the question remains: does it actually bring Buyers to your front door?

It’s a big assumption!

Would you assume the agent placing this form of advertisement is stepping up the marketing of your property?   Would it also be safe to assume if you picked up one of those magazines you might conclude that those agents who advertise the most in these magazines are the best at marketing luxury homes or are Luxury Specialists?  If that might be the assumption, then the “doing what everybody else does” approach to marketing and selling your luxury home is the way to go.

Telling it like it is!
If you have read any of my blogs or have seen me on video you know I am going to tell it like it is!  So here it goes, print media advertising is a better marketing tool for the agent to generate more luxury listing appointments than it is to sell your luxury home,

As a realtor, why not knock out two birds with one stone:

  1. use house advertisements in luxury house magazines to generate more seller leads and…
  2. make your seller happy because they assume this is a necessity for marketing luxury properties

Next, ask those agents, who are suggesting it’s a great medium for advertising, how a potential Buyer would actually find your home.  Being in a magazine does not place you at the top of the search engines for Buyers searching in your neighborhood.   Have you ever visited the sites associated with this type of advertising?  I would encourage you to do so and then think about how you would have ended up on this site in the first place without being directed to it.  Now replace yourself, with a 2 million dollar prospective Buyer.   Based on your observation, will their experience be a good one?  Is it easy to navigate? Can you find your home?  Keep in mind that if after 7 seconds, you have not peaked their interest, your million dollar Buyer has just moved on.

The Dawn of Digital Marketing for Luxury Homes

Digital Marketing of Luxury Homes
Photo Credit: Glenn3095

Have we forgotten where Facebook and Google are trading today since going public?  Think about how technology has changed the world we live in today.  I still remember thinking how hip I was with my new Motorola Flip Phone with leather cover and a battery pack about the size of a loaf of bread.  My point is, there are a multitude of different digital media platforms used today to search for “your” home as well as your competitors.

Think about how busy today’s Buyers are.  As a real world example, I need not go any further than my last five luxury Buyer sales – they were all from out of state and found properties on the Internet before calling.

You see, Erin and I believe in doing what 99% of other Realtors simply don’t do.  We know the ‘wow’ factor makes a difference when marketing Luxury Properties and, in our opinion, the absolute minimum for generating higher sale prices and garnering more buyer activity is Aerial Drone Imagery, Neighborhood Videos, full walk through Video Tours of your home and Dynamic Professional Photography. (see examples here)

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes for a minute.

Imagine for a minute someone looking at the listing of your home in The Peninsula from their laptop at a highrise in New York City. They flip through a few small images and their overall experience is…just average. Being “just average”, the New Yorker quickly swipes right past it and on to another.  Now envision this same Buyer discovering an aerial video flying over the Peninsula Yacht Club, with images of the Veranda at the Peninsula Golf Club, fly-overs of the tennis courts and pool area and some of The Peninsula’s beautiful Lake Norman shoreline.  Next he sees some golfers teeing off and then the perspective transitions to the front door of your home for a cinematic HD walkthrough video.  See where am I going with this?

Buyers today want to know about the specific neighborhood and lifestyle that is associated with the property.  Adding this high-value information does cost money–most will charge anywhere from $2,000-$10,000 to record, edit, and deliver a finished video.  However, with today’s fast paced, on-demand mindset people have – it is imperative to embrace today’s most advanced technology and it’s what you must have to compete in today’s Lake Norman luxury market.

No more desktop computers?

Last year alone Smartphone usage went up 394%, tablet usage is up a staggering 1,721%  and 92% of all buyers begin their home search online.   According to research done by comScore, Mobile devices will shortly exceed desktop computers as consumers most well-liked methodology of accessing real estate websites.  This is a sure indication that the technology train is leaving the station and, as a luxury home Seller, you have two options.  1.) Hire the Realtor who is building the tracks or 2.) hire the Realtor who is driving the train.

The Clear Winner Arises: Digital Marketing

Winner of print vs digital marketing of luxury housesIn summary, today’s homebuyers shop online and have thousands of options to search for real estate, regardless of where they call home around the globe.  In this new era of digital marketing, it is how your property is represented to these Buyers on each of these sites that will cause the Buyer to either want to schedule a showing or skip your home for the more savvy competition down the street.

I just touched on a few things in this post – There is much more to talk about, like Facebook and Google and how to use them to effectively market your home.  This does not just mean sharing your home to your network or posting a few pics on your business page!   Broker Wine and Cheese Socials – do these really help sell your home?  And another one of my all time favorite myths is the “open house”  or what I refer to as the “Hopin’ House.”

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter where I will continue to break down the “myths” of our industry and also receive my quarterly Lake Norman Luxury Housing Update, please sign up below.

This report is prepared specifically by myself and will give you key indicators of the health of our local luxury housing market.  I specialize in the Lake Norman area only so this report will be specific to our immediate area. I assure you, there will be no automated emails full of stuff that you will just delete anyway. This will be valuable information for those luxury homeowners who want to keep a pulse on the Lake Norman Luxury Housing Market.

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