Situated on the highest of hills with the most extraordinary of views are what we typically consider luxury homes. However, any home priced over $1 million can be considered luxury real estate and any home priced over $4 million can be considered ultra-luxury. While we all love to see the pictures of these grand and deluxe properties if you’re trying to sell a luxury or ultra-luxury home the key to attract the right buyers and successfully market a luxury home for sale.
When it comes to a property that falls more in line with the average price point in its city, the usual marketing tactics take place. Realtors will advertise online, set up a well-written listing description and prepare marketing material that will be used at an open house. Marketing a luxury home, however, is far more precise. It needs to target the right demographic, at the right time with the right information and material. To help, we’ve developed a list of five tactics. Use these five tactics to help market a luxury home and go from marketing to the masses to catering to the elite (or, at the very least, allow them to think this is what you’re going).
Use digital marketing to your advantage
Using digital marketing in a unique and tailored way is key to selling a luxury home, and with luxury and ultra-luxury properties, it has to be done to a much higher standard. “Some people value the brand,” says Toronto-based luxury agent, Barb Funt. “But, at the end of the day, you need to be able to produce something different than everybody else.”
Direct your posts towards the correct demographic, take advantage of the online marketplaces where high-net-worth clients frequent and connect with those affluent buyers through the proper online mediums. Just like all buyers, most luxury home buyers begin their search for property online. By having a strong presence in search engines and a large following on social media, you’re already heading in the right direction. In fact, Sprout Social found that the real estate industry is ranked second overall when it comes to engaging their audience in the world of social media.
Host special events rather than open houses
It’s still an ongoing debate as to whether or not open houses are beneficial for any seller or real estate agent. However, in the world of luxury, the debate is solved by removing the word ‘open’ and replacing it with ‘exclusive.’ Realtors selling luxury and ultra-luxury properties should opt for private dining events or engagements that are invite-only.
Agents will speak with their connections, contact anyone they believe might be interested, and host a unique event for their network. Funt says in situations like this, “it’s a matter of exposing it to the right people.” If open houses are going to bring in potential buyers that aren’t serious about the financial aspect, it’s best to focus on those who are ready to make an offer or buy without too much concern for the higher price tag.
Splurge for professional photography, videography and staging
One strategy that is critical is the successful sale of a luxury property is the overall appearance of the home. Craig Patterson, Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider says that most luxury buyers have a high-end budget specifically for clothing and jewellery and that mentality (of only the finest) translates to real estate and all things lifestyle-oriented. It’s a good idea, then, to appeal to buyers through strong photos that demonstrate the beauty of the home, as well as virtual tours or videos that showcase the home and the lifestyle a person can expect if living in that home. Video explainers are outside of the box, but a great way to spark interest from potential buyers.
Funt says that if a house is completely vacant, she considers a consultation to stage the home for a brief amount of time. However, staging a luxury home doesn’t come cheap. “For a standard home it can cost $300 per room per month which easily translates to thousands of dollars for a full house,” she says. This price tag climbs exponentially for luxury and ultra-luxury homes. In California, where luxury agents are known for staging, the price tag for a month of staging can actually hit six-figures! For that reason, staging really does need to be on a case-by-case basis. Still, it’s wise to consider that a staged home will typically get more offers, sell faster and for a larger purchase price than an empty home.
Highlight customized features within the home
Including any custom-built furniture to the sale of your luxury home might entice interested buyers to make the decision to purchase your home.
If there are custom builds in the kitchen or backyard, most Realtors will list these additions in the listing as an option to negotiate.
“You always have to look at the history and geography and realize that real estate is very unique,” said Patterson. This is no different when it comes to the uniqueness of the properties and homes themselves. Each house has a story, and by marketing and negotiating those custom features that provide that story is just one more way to entice buyers.
Price the home right
When it comes time to negotiate, it’s important to realize that the buyer will likely have an agent who is well aware of the market and what the current trends are in both the overall residential market and in luxury real estate, in particular. For that reason, alone, it’s key to price a luxury property right, the first time. This is true in hot markets as well as slumping markets, says Funt. For instance, the luxury market in the Greater Toronto Area is going through a bit of a slump right now.“Anything over the $2-million mark isn’t flying off the shelf,” says Funt. However, buyers are still facing bidding wars for luxury condos and smaller geographical pockets, such as Kitchener and Cambridge, are still seeing good traction in the luxury real estate market. The key is to stay on top of the market trends and have your real estate agent compare your property to similar properties and to agree on an aggressively priced property and a solid marketing plan.
Follow these five tips can make the difference between languishing on the market or adding another accessory to your luxury home — a sold sign.