What Is Luxury Marketing?
About six months ago, I was recruited from a well-known luxury real estate team in Malibu, California to join David Young and Company as Chief Operating Officer. My role was to handle the behind the scenes operations, rebrand, and launch an existing team of award winning Realtors into the Houston market as the newest Boutique Brokerage in town. It was an exciting challenge in front of me.
As we set out on the mission to elevate the marketing experience for our brand and listings, I was met with an intriguing and eye-opening question. After showcasing our new look and new collateral to our agents at an office meeting, an agent came to my office and asked, “This all looks really impressive and perfect for our luxury listings, but how do we market our non-luxury listings?”
I said blankly, “What do you mean?” Coming from Malibu, my only experience had been marketing and selling luxury listings and lifestyle. Of course, not all of the properties we sold in Malibu were $16 million dollar homes, but even our $10,000 a month leases would be considered luxury by most any standards. Never being confronted with the task of marketing what someone would describe as a ‘non-luxury’ home, I was scratching my head on this one. Should sales and marketing tactics be different to reach a ‘non-luxury’ consumer?
Here is my thought process…
What is luxury really?
The formal definition is “the state of great comfort and extravagant living”. This is a very subjective definition. What one person would describe as “great comfort and extravagant” is going to be entirely different from another person. While most people will agree that a $16 million dollar beach house is a luxury, many others would also see a $50,000 home in a safe neighborhood as a luxury.
Everyone wants a luxurious lifestyle, but the key there is the word “lifestyle”. We are selling the luxuries of a home at any given price point, and while our audience might change, we have to narrow strategically in on what that home offers that makes a difference in the potential buyer’s lifestyle. Maybe it’s an older townhome that’s in desperate need of remodeling, but it’s in a gated community and provides excellent security. Maybe it’s in a neighborhood where the homes are right on top of each other, but the landscaping is so phenomenal that it offers complete privacy. It might be the world’s smallest apartment, but it has the biggest walk-in closet you’ve ever seen.
Luxury is Homeownership
What it boils down to is that homeownership in itself is a great luxury, and it doesn’t matter the price point, but how that home creates a perceived benefit in someone’s life. As a Realtor, our ultimate goal is to make our clients happy by selling homes for top dollar and the fewest days on the market. Marketing is a key part of the success of that goal. While the right audience may be a bit different when you are selling at various price points, the way you present the message should always be well thought out and tell the story of what it would be like to own that home. Do you think anyone wants a picture painted for them that could be described as “non-luxury”? I don’t think so. Whatever the story of a home, there are bound to be luxury elements to it, if nothing more than showcasing the luxury of the American dream: homeownership.