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For agents just entering their careers, or just looking for a new niche, the luxury space can feel intimidating. The same can even be said for agents already in the field, but who are having difficulty standing out.

However, as Stephanie Anton, president of Luxury Portfolio International®, the luxury segment of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, emphasizes, “at the end of the day, people who have money are just like everybody else.”

Anton was recently interviewed during a Facebook Live session hosted by Katie Lance, CEO and founder of Katie Lance Consulting and founder of #GetSocialSmart Academy. Anton and Lance discussed best practices for breaking into the luxury markets and maintaining a competitive edge, citing results from the recently released Luxury Portfolio International whitepaper, “Media and the Message: Marketing Real Estate to the Affluent.”

At the core, said Anton, is focusing on inclusion rather than exclusion. Luxury consumers want to feel a part of something bigger.

“We throw around words like ‘experience’ and ‘lifestyle,'” said Anton. “If you watch luxury travel or luxury car marketing, they are using the concept of lifestyle. Focus on how the home will help people live their life to the fullest.”

That’s why compelling, original content is essential, according to Anton. Due to an onslaught of marketing, capturing eyeballs is not as easy as it used to be. In fact, the whitepaper states that 77 percent agree there is so much advertising that consumers don’t really pay attention to it. On average, this segment spends 44.4 hours per week consuming media.

“It’s about cutting through that clutter. Find out who your buyer is and create something that is compelling to them,” said Anton. “If you’re just pushing out self-promotional things, people are immune to that and will stop paying attention quickly.”

Authenticity is equally important. Anton said, “the luxury consumer is someone who is educated—they can sniff out someone who is fake.”

“In our training, we teach agents the importance of share-worthy content, rather than like-worthy content,” says Diane Hartley, president of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, an independent training and membership organization for real estate professionals selling to the affluent. (Hartley was not involved in the Facebook Live session.) “Curating your sphere of influence online through social media is no different than networking in person. It requires an intentional strategy and purpose so you that will be liked, trusted and remembered when the time comes.”

In terms of marketing a luxury listing, Anton recommends a three-step process:

  1. Understand who the buyer is for the particular listing. Do this by analyzing the seller. At the same time, analyze the competition. Who are the buyers in the neighborhood? What’s the demographic?
  1. Put a written plan together with content as the primary focus. Think of headlines focusing on emotions, beautiful photography or things that make you think.
  1. Plan the media. If you let the message drive the media, it will naturally fall into place.

In order to create this customized marketing, however, today’s agents must become familiar with the profile of the average luxury buyer or seller. According to the whitepaper, their average income comes in at around $473,000, with $8.75 million in assets and $5.95 million in liquidity. Additionally, these consumers hold an average of $2.6 million in real estate holdings.

This profile has changed over time, however. According to Anton, 10 years ago, the typical luxury buyer was a boomer that made their wealth instead of growing up with it.

“Today the buyer has gotten younger. The average age is 46—a Gen Xer,” said Anton. “They are generally married and have kids in the home, and it’s not their first purchase, but it’s not their last either. They are inheriting wealth more often than previously.”

By keeping this in mind, agents can target their marketing by generation. For example, Anton explained that baby boomers tend to peruse the internet between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m.

“If you’re trying to share content, and your audience is someone over 60, do that at night because you’re more likely to reach them,” she said.

According to the report, millennials consume the most media through the week, with 45.2 hours. They are followed by boomers at 44.4 hours per week and Gen X at 42.9 hours. When it comes to television, however, boomers take the lead (12.3), with Gen X close behind (11.3). Marketing communicated via reading materials may be more effective with boomers first (13.5), millennials second (11.2) and Gen Xers third (9.6).

The most important thing to remember, however, is that finding luxury clients can be like dating, Anton explained.

“It’s about making a match, not getting a listing,” she said. “You have to find the right one for you. If you don’t think the same way, it’s not going to end well.”

A recording of the Facebook Live session can be viewed below:

For more information, please visit www.luxuryportfolio.com.  

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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