July 09, 2021
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Luxury Real Estate Marketing
When it comes to luxury real estate, you’re selling more than just a home. You’re selling the idea of affluence, a status that most luxury home buyers are seeking. As a luxury home builder, it’s crucial to understand what motivates these buyers, how to speak to them, and how to put your homes and communities in a place they will be seen.
While there are definitely opportunities to thrive in the luxury market, there are still many challenges home builders will face when targeting this specific home buyer segment. This guide will introduce the 10 most important components of luxury real estate marketing so you can reach and communicate with the right people throughout your advertising and marketing efforts. Skip to a specific section below, or download the whole guide here.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Luxury Is Booming
The luxury home market didn’t just survive COVID-19 — it expanded to new heights. Even more, experts estimate that the boom is not finished yet and will continue throughout 2021 as more and more buyers seek larger properties, less crowded communities, and lavish features.
With more families working from home — a trend that will at least remain in some fashion — Coldwell Bankers reports that 55% of home buyers list more square footage as their top priority. Luxury buyers also prioritize the home office (27.5%), demand for a second home (22.5%), and the desire for a single-family detached home (22.5%).
The numbers don’t lie — people are turning to larger homes in more exclusive communities, opening the door for you as a luxury builder to flourish.
But how do you ensure your homes and communities are being seen by the right buyers?
What needs to be included on your website to prove you’re the right builder?
And how can you combine traditional and digital tactics to optimize your success?
Let’s get started.
1. The Psychology of Luxury Real Estate Marketing
In order to be successful in the luxury home building space, you need to intimately understand what it is your customers are really buying. In other words, you need to understand the psychological factors that motivate them to make such an important purchase.
While the finishing touches, expansive space, and luxurious community amenities are certainly important, luxury home buyers are buying more than something physical. When you understand the psychology of luxury real estate marketing, you understand the secondary (and sometimes even primary) reasons these purchase are made:
- Buying a Dream — luxury homes are often a confirmation that someone has accomplished the lifelong dream of affluence
- Status and Image — luxury purchases of all kinds double as status symbols, and homes may indicate wealth more than any other purchase
- Exclusivity — luxury homes allow buyers to have something that nobody else has, often a motivating factor in their purchase decisions
Once you understand these key motivators, you can more clearly market to your buyer’s aspirations.
2. Luxury Real Estate Buyer Personas
We’ve discussed at length the importance of buyer personas for every home builder, but considering the investment behind luxury homes, they become that much more important for luxury builders.
Luxury real estate personas take into account the psychological factors that encourage people to buy luxury homes. The problems that you are solving for these buyers are vastly different from other home buyer demographics. If your persona development does not take these unique needs into account, you will be far less successful in communicating with ideal buyers.
Expertly crafted personas guide your marketing and sales efforts, allowing you to stand out in the minds of your buyers from an early stage in the buying process.
3. The Value of a Luxury Website Design
Your website is a 24/7 salesperson. For many home buyers, it’s the key differentiator that will motivate or deter them from scheduling a showing and making a purchase. Because of this, it’s crucial that your luxury website makes the best first impression possible.
- Stunning Imagery and Creative Design — home buyers need to see what they are purchasing, and when your website features stunning imagery with clean creative design elements, they are more apt to browse.
- Social Shareability — Luxury buyers may use their social feeds as another status-bolstering opportunity, or simply to share homes that pique their interest. Make sure your site is optimized for social shareability to make the most of this opportunity.
- Minimalistic Design — Affluence and minimalism are associated with each other for a reason. As such, your website should feature minimalist design features, a simple menu structure, and concise branding elements.
- Luxurious Storytelling — Luxurious words can often be a simple way to indicate the touches of luxury throughout your homes. Phrases like “abundant open space,” “grand rooms,” and “magnificent architecture” are more likely to catch the affluent buyer’s eye.
- Browsability — People land on your site expecting to learn more about their potential next home, so prioritize ease-of-access. This means directing people towards your gallery, appointment schedules, and other high-touch features.
Pro-Tip: Consider creating single-property websites for specific homes to leave a lasting impression on prospective home buyers.
4. Words for the Wealthy
The rise of content marketing has given more and more home builders the opportunity to showcase their creations and compete for business in the digital space. However, as more builders become educated in digital marketing tactics, it also makes it more difficult to compete for a very select audience.
Words are invaluable in your ability to stand out from competitors and sell luxury homes. The content on your site must:
- Highlight modern, state-of-the-art touches that your homes include.
- Appeal to luxury buyers and their expectations.
- Focus on material quality and finishes.
- Evoke emotion in your buyer.
- Eloquently relate to your buyer on an intellectual level.
When written correctly and intentionally, your site’s content can be the differentiating factor in building trust with prospective buyers.
5. Don’t Just Tell — Show
While nailing the content is a crucial aspect of luxury real estate marketing, home buyers don’t always want to be told what to do — they want to see it for themselves. This is where photography and videography are so important. Photography and videography are among the most important elements of successful luxury real estate projects.
Luxury buyers will be turned off by uninspiring stock photography that is overused and does not create a connection. Original photography of actual community members, community features, and the surrounding landscape is sure to create a better idea of what the buyer will receive.
Likewise, when home buyers can hear from past customers, see walkthroughs of their future home, or interact with community features, they will spend more time on your website and be more drawn to your offering. Video testimonials are an especially effective way to build trust with prospective buyers.
6. The Role of Advertisements
Now that your website is built and features creative design elements, stunning imagery and videography, and compelling content, you can begin directing your advertisements to it. There are three main types of ads that luxury home builders must master:
Digital display ads are pay-per-click ads that are placed on other websites that your buyers are most likely to interact with. They are more design-oriented by nature and appear either on the side of the web page or in between paragraphs of content.
Paid search advertisements are sponsored results that appear at the top of the search engine when a user searches a defined keyword. Identifying keywords with low cost-per-click and relatively high search volume can allow you to get your brand in front of the right audience while your SEO and content marketing efforts build over time.
Paid social ads are a great way to boost your social media presence as a home builder. Paid social combines your buyers’ demographics with their social media usage to feed them targeted ads of your homes via various social platforms.
7. Marketing and Branding
No matter what industry you’re in, you can’t market an incomplete brand. It’s crucial to spend time building up your luxury brand early in the marketing process so you can communicate your identity, value, and promise succinctly.
Marketing and branding must function together to create true value for your prospective buyer. When they hear your community name, read your brand promise, or see specific features of your homes, you want them to immediately remember you — that’s branding.
Then, it comes down to providing value through newsletters, events, advice, and more — that’s marketing. When you perfect an authentic brand, you can cater your marketing more effectively.
8. Mistakes to Avoid
Far too many home builders rush the marketing process, eventually resulting in unqualified buyers, disconnected language, and lack of success. Here are three of the most common mistakes to avoid in luxury real estate marketing.
- Incomplete and Delayed Market Research — Without proper market segmentation, you miss two critical elements — what your buyers actually want, and how your homes compete with similar builders. Market research firms help you narrow this crucial information so you can market your homes and communities successfully.
- Single-Channel Marketing Tactics — The days of reaching buyers via one channel are over. Successful marketing tactics incorporate omnichannel campaigns that deliver consistent messages to buyers via multiple devices — mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc.
- Off-Brand Language — If your language is disjointed throughout the site, how do you expect to create a consistent relationship with potential buyers? We’ve all likely been turned away from a company due to elementary typos and unclear language — now imagine the impact that has on a multi-million dollar purchase.
9. Balancing Digital & Traditional
While digital marketing has certainly replaced traditional as the leading form of home builder marketing, that doesn’t mean you can negate traditional tactics altogether. Finding the right balance between traditional and digital is important when constructing a luxury home marketing plan.
- Email Marketing — Email marketing allows you to nurture leads and deliver key pieces of information about your homes to potential buyers.
- Website Optimization — Website optimization is all-encompassing to include the aforementioned importance of SEO, website design, photography, videography, and other digital elements.
- Paid Media — Paid media is crucial to put your homes in front of buyers and drive immediate traffic to your website.
- Brochures — Comprehensive brochures featuring creative design work that showcase homes and communities leave a lasting impression on buyers. They also keep your builds top-of-mind.
- Direct mail — Whereas email is great at nurturing prospective buyers, direct mail can put your homes in front of new buyers. This is still a great way to distribute your brochures.
- Events — In-home events — not open houses — are a great way to create excitement around certain properties and show luxury buyers that they are valued. These can include silent auctions, food tastings, and more.
10. Journey Mapping
Customer journey maps are a necessary tool for modern home builders. This marketing tactic gives you visual insight into the location of each customer within the buyer’s journey, the direction they are moving, and the touchpoints at which you are interacting.
Lead capture forms are a type of journey map that gets people into your contact base. These forms are often the “gate” that people have to enter through to download an ebook, case study, curated searches, or another useful piece of content.
If you already have a warm lead, chances are they will gravitate towards appointment scheduling journey maps. As the name suggests, this makes it easy for prospects to schedule a showing, one-on-one consultation, or call.
Lead nurturing is often the most important type of journey map in terms of creating trust. These journeys are designed to provide warm leads with valuable information and assistance as they work their way through the funnel and closer to a final sale.
Give Your Next Campaign a Touch of Luxury
Though every luxury real estate marketing campaign is different, these 10 tips are a great place to start. When given the attention it deserves, your marketing campaign can resonate with the right luxury buyers and show them that your builds are the perfect solution for their search.
Whenever you need additional help customizing a luxury real estate marketing campaign, our team at Milesbrand is ready to help. Reference this guide throughout your work, or contact us today to get started.