Updated September 21, 2023
As much as the luxury real estate market has been affected by fluctuations in the larger economy and the aftermath of the pandemic, we seem to have settled into a new norm. Mid-year updates suggest that compared to the second half of 2022, real estate professionals are more upbeat about what remains of 2023. There is now a steady demand for luxury properties from both domestic and foreign buyers favoring a seller’s market that is expected to continue into 2024.
This all means that there are lucrative opportunities for luxury real estate agents and, as always, a need to distinguish yourself from others as the agent of choice.
What follows are seven actionable and unique ideas for marketing luxury homes you can use to set yourself and the homes you list apart from the competition.
1. Feature listings in the newspaper
Why, you must be wondering, in a blog that promises unique real estate marketing ideas, would I suggest you use newspapers?
In the province of real estate marketing ideas, everyone is going digital. It’s a necessary strategy and certainly one you need to use as well. But with everyone occupying the digital space, joining in the fray doesn’t do much to raise you above the noise.
Enter print media, and in particular, prominent and respected national and international newspapers.
Those who occupy the highest rungs on the social ladder typically still enjoy their morning cup of coffee and paper. A double-page spread in their newspaper of choice featuring your luxury home listing will absolutely capture attention.
And if you don’t go with color, ensure the photos you select still have the desired effect in black and white.
2. Develop a single property website
In some ways, ultra-wealthy people are like the rest of us. In addition to putting their pants on one leg at a time, they also enjoy being made to feel special. However, since they are paying ginormous commissions, they expect to be treated as special.
A website designed exclusively to showcase a single luxury property can tell a property’s story in detail. Opulence, romance, rustic glory, or sophisticated elegance can all be communicated using the highest quality images and video.
High-end real estate marketing has been elevated to new heights with the use of drones that can capture expansive aerial views.
Imaging technology combined with sophisticated AI allows you to capture 3-D scans on your iPhone that can be turned into walking tours. Asteroom and Matterport both offer 3-D tools and services, while Get VRLY offers 6-D renderings.
A dedicated website replete with stunning images, mesmerizing video, and eloquent copy allows prospective buyers to engage virtually with properties in ways that make them irresistible.
3. Shake up your direct mail strategy
There is an overwhelming amount of research that proves the value of direct mail marketing when it’s done the right way.
Most attempts at direct mail advertising by real estate agents read like a resume. Agents include their licenses, certifications, listings, years in the business, blah, blah, blah, me, me, me. Then they play the lottery, hoping they hit someone who needs to buy or sell a home at the precise time they receive whatever it is an agent sent to them.
In the meantime, recipients care relatively little about these things, and the odds of hitting a buyer or seller at the exact time they need you is, well, practically nil. So, into the trash your direct mail goes.
To correct for this bias, your direct mail needs to be F.I.T.:
- It’s got to be sufficiently frequent so that you become familiar.
- It’s got to make an impact and to do that it must provide value.
- And it has to build trust. The more you focus on building a relationship with your clients, rather than being solely concerned with the next transaction, the more trust you’ll garner.
But luxury real estate agents need to go another step further. You, dear agent, must be especially concerned with the distinctiveness and quality of your direct mail, which is why we recommend our clients send one of our personally branded magazines. Each impressive, coffee-table quality, bimonthly issue is branded with your photo, business, and contact information, ensuring it looks like it came directly from your desk.
What makes these 48-page professional publications especially impressive is how you can personalize them to your individual clients.
- Use the Front Inside Cover to send a personal letter. Include unique messages that acknowledge special occasions or achievements or simply express appreciation. Among the many possibilities, agents have used their letters to congratulate clients on a move-in anniversary, wish clients a festive holiday, communicate market updates, and share news of an expanding team.
- Choose from four different magazines. Select content that matches each client’s interests. From health and lifestyle to home and garden to business and travel, our magazines cater to diverse tastes.
- Promote your message on the covers. Many clients customize the Back Inside and Outside Covers with an exclusive home listing or other promotion. When clients see their home on the back of your magazine, you can be sure they’ll be impressed and recommend the same concierge-level service to their friends and colleagues.
- Engage with Tear Out Cards. The two Tear Out Cards in every issue, adorned with your branding, are highly shareable and offer additional opportunities to connect with your clients. We have hundreds to choose from featuring delicious recipes, fun crafts for children, home improvement projects, and much more. We’ll also customize them to meet your needs.
Page after page, you’ll find gorgeous photos and engaging articles, and we mail them to your exclusive list of addresses, which means no other agent can mail to your list. Recipients view these magazines as gifts, prominently display them on their coffee and kitchen tables for up to 10 weeks,* and share them with family and friends. Request a free sample, and we’ll immediately send a PDF copy of our most recent issue to your inbox. (There’s no obligation.)
4. Hire a professional copywriter
You hire a professional photographer, a professional videographer, a professional stager, so why wouldn’t you hire a professional copywriter with expertise in real estate or luxury home marketing?
Copywriters understand the psychology of decision-making (people buy with emotion and justify with logic) and are trained to write in ways that elicit the appropriate emotion and provide comforting reasons.
A professional copywriter will write to your ideal buyer as if they were in a direct conversation with them.
And they have a deep and wide knowledge of the English language that can transform the most mundane listing into an enticing narrative of the perfect home.
But shop around. Copywriting is one industry where you really do get what you pay for.
5. Create a digital storybook
Not surprisingly, digital storybooks typically increase engagement. A professionally produced digital storybook can be compelling, immersive, and highly emotive—especially when coupled with audio.
Additionally, for national and international buyers not in the local area, a digital storybook is as close to a walkthrough as they can get. This fact alone makes digital storybooks a practical necessity when courting this type of buyer.
6. Host an event
You probably already know to skip the open house. People who don’t qualify as serious buyers will attend merely because they are curious. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have a plentiful and pleasant gathering to view a home.
I found the idea of hosting an event on Key Real Estate Resources and fell in love with it—particularly the idea of making it a charity event for a cause the sellers support. You invite your high-net-worth contacts and the sellers invite their high-net-worth contacts and voilà—you have a house full of qualified prospects. The suggestions at Resources are creative, but you can certainly come up with your own:
- Host an art show for up-and-coming young artists in the community. You could decide upon a donation, a cover charge, or have the artists agree to donate a portion of their proceeds to the cause.
- Host an upscale “prom” for nostalgic adults with a cover charge to raise money for local schools. This is a great way to show off entertainment spaces like expansive terraces and wide-open spaces.
- Host a gala where attendees can explore opportunities to sponsor the eco-maintenance of locations around your area. Ideal for showcasing an eco-friendly home.
7. List slightly below market value
Listing below market value is certainly not on the top of recommended strategies, but before you dismiss the idea, sit with it for a minute.
In an area where there may be several luxury properties for sale, a reasonable dip below what the market is supporting may be just the thing you need. You’ll cast a wider net that still includes qualified buyers, and you might be able to stir up a bit of competition that could launch a bidding war if the property has sufficient appeal.
It’s a luxury property marketing strategy worth keeping in your back pocket for the right situation.
You’re a resourceful agent and likely have your own list of creative and unique ideas for marketing luxury homes and properties. Add these ideas to your toolbox and you’ll have more options you can choose from.
*2023 GfK MRI-Simmons reader survey