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Luxury Homes Marketing Report What's that Coming Out?

  • April 3, 2008 - The approach of spring may have absolutely nothing to do with the emergence of the butterfly in 2008. In fact, many began their emergence during the coldest winter months. But these butterflies are not the two-winged specie but rather the two-legged variety.

    In their 2007 Luxury Home Marketing Report, Unity Marketing noted that if you want to work in the luxury home market it’s far better to deal with the facts than the fantasies. And one of the facts concerns just who is the luxury home buyer. If you don’t know, it could just be your first step failure.

    The report classifies them into 4 psychological categories: Aspirers, Cocooners, Butterflies and X-Fluents (extremely affluent). While we all recognize that the X-Fluents are always active in the luxury home market and the Aspirers always want to get into it, it’s the activity of the Cocooners and Butterflies that has the market’s attention. So who are they?

    Cocooners are inwardly directed and tend to focus their attention on making their nests more luxurious while the Butterflies are the most highly evolved luxury consumers. They have emerged from their cocoons and are driven by a need to reconnect with the outside world. While Butterflies comprise about 25% of the luxury market, they are growing as Cocooners are evolving into Butterflies in greater numbers. And the meaning of all of this for you, the real estate professional?

    One of the key reasons for the emergence of the Luxury Butterfly, according to Unity Marketing, is their need to connect to others, to the outside world, their communities, the social, cultural and political establishments and the rest of the world. But the key to this “connection” is that it needs to be a two-way connection. These luxury home buyers demand being part of a meaningful feedback loop. They don’t want us paying lip service to gathering their input and then just ignoring them. And where do you think they are “getting connected?”

    In a previous article we noted the importance of “social networking.” Well that’s where you are going to find these Cocooners and Butterflies getting connected. By late 2007 over 40% of luxury consumers visited a social networking site such as Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, etc. Important? Well it certainly shows you why Microsoft paid $240 million last year for only 1.6% of Facebook. Unity Marketing noted that young luxury buyers under 40 are, as one would expect, the most active social networkers. But … nearly one-third of those over 40 were visiting social sites. The Internet is has a powerful influence on these home buyers and sellers. They want interaction and in depth product information and specifications. Is your product up to their standards?
    That translates to not only involvement on your part but “active” involvement. The Internet must become the hub of your connection to the luxury home buyers in these groups. Your participation in their networks and making your website the hub of your connection with them are the first elements in branding who and what you are. The challenge is to connect before, during and after the sale as dealing with the luxury home buyer is all about the relationship. They are looking for someone that they can trust as confidentiality is often paramount for them.

    Learning how to make this connection is detailed in the Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS) course from the Luxury Home Council. The course hits the nail on the head when it answers the question, “How do we connect?” It’s actually very simple, it’s all about listening and not talking, being more involved with the clients and not waiting for them to get involved with you. Get involved in their community and with the things that matter to them. Use the Internet and social networking as they are going there in increasing numbers to find what they want and who they want to get it from.

    To learn more about the Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS) course and designation, now available in an exciting online format from RealtyU, and how it can help you to find the luxury home buyers and sellers and successfully interact with them.