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Preparing to sell a luxury home - image and branding

Selling a luxury home requires creating an image that engages buyers.  A couple of basic descriptive paragraphs and some photos will not get the job done.  Once the elements of a luxury home's unique story are assembled, you need to craft the visual side of the marketing.  The combination of the story and the visual elements become the basis for the marketing.  Once the home is cleaned up, it's time to work on...

Staging:  Many agents and nearly every stager will tell you that staging is essential to selling a home.  Yes and no.  If a home is vacant, then yes, it's important to show how rooms are used.  If it's occupied, it depends on how the home is decorated.  I review the home and decide which is best.  A vacant home can benefit from "Virtual Staging" which uses photos of various rooms in the house into which digital furniture is placed.  This is cost effective and often enables more rooms to be staged.  Virtual staging can cost several hundred dollars (only once) for 7-8 rooms, compared to thousands of dollars per month for long-term live staging.  A combination of live and virtual might be desirable.

For homes that haven't been built, we get into some interesting options.  I use 3D virtual staging combined with 3D virtual tours to show how a home under construction will look when it's all done.  These detailed digital interior models do a "fly through" of the home so buyers can get a sense of the floor plan, views, and overall look.  The cost of virtual tours is expensive with high-quality tours costing $10,000 or more.  Virtual tour and 3D tour companies I recommend include:

Professional Photography:  This is a must in luxury home marketing.  The photographers I use all obtain the highest quality pictures to emphasize views, perspective, and colors to make a home look its best.  Depending on the size of the home and number of rooms, its easy to get 25 or more photos.  There are also aerial shots for larger homes and lots that run about $1000 each!  Those all become the basis for a virtual tour (not the 3D type) and printed materials including brochures and ads.

Videography:  Virtual tours are fine but a professionally shot video can really make a home stand out.  Having a presentation by the listing agent, tour of the neighborhood, walk around the property, and other shots can highlight features that would otherwise be "flat" in pictures.  You can go the Hollywood route and include a dramatic drive up a long driveway or a walk through grounds. 

Branding:  Having the story and visuals enables creating a "brand", just like Mercedes or Burberry.  The brand is the image conveyed by the home using those elements.  The home can be shown as impressive or understated, luxurious yet casual, and many other combinations.  The brand will then appeal to the appropriate buyer.  For example, BMW tends to appeal to sporty luxury car buyers and the brand conveys that.  A home that is luxurious but low-key might appeal to buyers wanting quality but a low profile.  That's where the brand has power.

Once the overall brand and image are done it's time to work on the actual marketing.  That includes...

  • Broker tour events
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Special buyer/market events
  • Agent targeted marketing
  • and more in part 3...

 

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 Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: bryan@catarra-re.com | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc  | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022

 

 

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Comment balloon 7 commentsBryan Robertson • January 18 2012 12:33AM

Comments

Good pics and good production of all things concerning a high end luxury property.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) over 6 years ago

Bryan - A great post on promoting luxury homes in all aspects.  Once again.... Best of luck with a quick sale on your new luxury home listing.

Posted by John McCormack, AlbuquerqueHomes.com, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com) over 6 years ago

Tim - Thanks!

John - I appreciate that.  I hope the newest one sells soon.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) over 6 years ago

That is going to be interesting to check out your section on virtual staging. I have some links to follow!

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 6 years ago

Bryan, luxury home clients expect nothing but the best marketing on their properties. .looks like you have a good system going. . 

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 6 years ago

Cheryl - The technology is pretty slick!

Fernando - Thanks!  It's taken me over a year to assemble the list of the best services (from prior listings) and put them all together with a combination of unique marketing elements that are great for high-end properties.  There are a few bits though that are great for any property.  Those will be in the next article, part 3.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Bryan - You've incorporated all the elements luxury home clients expect when selling a high end property.  Thanks for the links I think I'll put some of them to work in Palos Verdes.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 6 years ago

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