Marketing real estate is an art as much as it is a skill, especially for luxury real estate. Speaking directly and engaging affluent clientele requires the right insights, the proper intel, and certainly a multichannel approach. We had the pleasure of connecting with Stephanie Anton, President of Luxury Portfolio International and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. She offers great perspectives on marketing in today’s luxury landscape.
Over the past 5 years, what has been the biggest shift in targeting the affluent consumer?
In the last five years, we have seen a sea change with the affluent. Five years ago, it was all about talking to a consumer who had made their wealth and hadn’t necessarily grown up with it. So, education was a large part of the process. Now, the affluent consumer is incredibly educated, has had wealth for a much longer period of time and in fact, is getting younger. So not only has the demographic changed, but so too has the mindset.
What’s the current profile of the luxury real estate buyer/seller?
Today’s luxury real estate buyers and sellers are incredibly savvy. They do their research. The know comparable sales in their area, they have opinions (educated) about what their home should go for, and they are able to and interested in being highly involved in the process. At the same time, even though they may feel like they can do it themselves, busy, successful, affluent people are also extremely service-oriented. They know how important a big real estate transaction is, how complicated it can be. When they find an agent they know, trust, and believe gives them access to insights and inside information, they are incredibly loyal, wonderful customers. The average luxury real estate buyer is also younger now than we used to see–closer to 46 years old, married and still has children in the home. They own multiple homes, love real estate, and deeply understand the long term value of investing in real estate.
How does a real estate company best cut through the media clutter to reach the right target and stand out from the competition?
We are constantly talking to our brokers and agents about how critical it is to understand the media behavior and preferences of the high-net-worth and specifically to understand how to leverage the media to reach them. We believe so much in this that recently we partnered with YouGov to publish a white paper entitled “The Media and The Message” in which we outline how today’s affluent consumer actually spends more hours per week consuming media than they do working. So what media are they focused on? It depends. For example, buyers and sellers, no matter their age, that are actively in the property market, report very high consumption of media. In fact, they report being online a similar number of hours per week as Millennials (approx. 19 hours per week compared to the overall affluent which are online just under 16). It’s not just a matter of understanding what media to use, but it’s even more important to understand and target the message appropriately. This same paper took a deep dive into understanding how Millennials, Gen X and Boomers are motivated and why and how messaging can be crafted to be more direct and relevant. In the age of Google and Amazon Echo when people are able to simply seek the information they want, it is critical that marketers can and should target their messaging specifically to an individual’s needs, otherwise, they are missing the boat. The entire paper is available for download on our website LuxuryPortfolio.com.
Is a multichannel critical to reaching luxury consumers? Why?
Ultimately, to be effective at marketing to today’s high-net-worth consumers, a thoughtful, strategically targeted message and carefully crafted multichannel media plan is required. For example, the power of an effective email marketing campaign and social media ads to drive awareness and consideration for buyers cannot be ignored. However, digital campaigns should run in addition to traditional media plans. Affluent homeowners spend an enormous amount of time engaging with content on screens, yet they report that magazines are still the most effective medium to reach them. In digital advertising, search is king. Display ads work well to drive high numbers of visitors to a website, but keyword search ads that appear alongside search engine results effectively attract visitors who spend more time and engage more deeply with the site’s content. And, effectively leveraging social media by integrating it into your strategy is a key way to target clients, keep in touch, position yourself as a thought-leader, and so much more. There is no way, today, to pick any one medium to do all these things.
In a digitally driven world, do you believe that print advertising is still important?
Print advertising, in some ways, for luxury brands, is now more important than ever. With so little attention paid to media and marketing by consumers, print remains one of the best ways to build a luxury brand and to be noticed because lifestyle is such a big part of the sale with luxury. When shopping for anything related to their lifestyle, affluent homeowners report traditional mediums like magazines and television are most effective for advertising. Millennials follow this trend, although they are less likely than Gen Xers and Boomers to report magazines as being an effective form of advertising…although the numbers are still surprisingly high.
MediaMax works with hundreds of real estate companies and agents across the country. If you’d like to get more information about how you can advertise in some of the world’s most iconic magazines in 100+ local markets and integrate with targeted digital solutions, let us know! Looking for some brief real estate case studies? Check them out here.