Buyers in the luxury real estate market may have a lot of resources at their disposal, but there’s one thing they don’t have: time.
Before they even consider an in-person tour of a high-end home, they want to be confident that this is the right type of property for them. They want to get a feel for the flow of the house and what it’s like to wander from room to room.
That’s why 3D tours like those offered byMatterport have become one of the best real estate marketing tools. They allow buyers to explore a property on their own schedule. These digital twins are now expected for every type of home in the residential real estate market. After all, research shows that listings with high-quality imagery sell 68% faster.
In the past few years, marketing luxury real estate has gotten more and more complex. Below, we’ll explore some of the challenges you’ll face, along with new technologies that will get your properties noticed and digital channels that should be part of your marketing plan. And we’ll include some tips on how to sell luxury real estate in your area.
Challenges of luxury real estate marketing
According to most experts, luxury homes are properties in the top 5% of any given market. The rewards for a residential real estate agent who can successfully break into the market are high, but so are the barriers to entry. In Coldwell Banker’s most recent report on luxury home marketing, Chief Operating Officer Liz Gehringer said that today’s agents have to master far more than in the past.
“Now more than ever there is a very significant role for the agent,” she said, “one that give the affluent buyer the financial and emotional confidence to do the deal.”
That means that in this market, buyers are looking for more than an agent. They are looking for a trusted advisor who can walk them through all aspects of the home buying process. Below are the main areas that experts are citing as most essential for today's luxury real estate agents to master:
Knowing the luxury home market
When it comes to marketing luxury real estate, an agent has to know the property inside and out. But that’s just the beginning. They must know everything about the neighborhood and be able to point out the amenities that most appeal to buyers in search of a high-end property.
Today’s luxury real estate agents must also understand the financial aspects of a particular area. If certain types of purchases are common in a neighborhood, an agent should be able to advise buyers on the best way to present an attractive offer. On top of that, agents should have a network of private lenders and bankers available in case a buyer needs advice about the types of financing that are available.
Connecting with affluent buyers
Your connections with financial institutions are also important when it comes to building up your clientele. When you have already established a link with financial experts, they will be more likely to recommend you when one of their customers mentions buying property.
The same goes for other professionals such as accountants and attorneys. It may take some time to prove to them that you’re a leader in the field, but once you have earned their trust they will not hesitate to bring up your name with their affluent clients.
In the luxury home market, buyers are in search of a certain lifestyle. Make sure that you attend galas, openings, and other events where you are likely to meet high-end buyers. And don’t forget to attend — or even better, sponsor —fundraisers for local charities. These give you a chance to strike up conversations with movers and shakers and keep your name top of mind.
Becoming more adept with technology
Today’s buyers are extremely tech-savvy. According to research by the National Association of Realtors, 47% of recent buyers' first step in the home buying process was to search online.
Nowhere is this more obvious than with the visuals that have become more important than ever for catching and keeping a residential real estate buyer’s attention. It used to be that virtual tours — usually in the form of a sideshow of perfectly staged photos — were the best way of marketing luxury real estate. When buyers said they wanted more than a series of snapshots, the industry responded with videos taking them through the property.
But as technology has gotten more and more sophisticated, home buyers have continued to demand more. They want the detail of high-resolution photos and the feeling of exploration of videos. That’s why 3D tours have become indispensable for high-end sales.
Matterport’s forward-thinking technology, including the newly released Digital Pro, has quickly become one of the best tools for luxury home marketing.
New technologies in luxury real estate marketing
Just as in many other industries, luxury real estate marketing has been disrupted by emergent technology. The category of proptech — short for property technology — has taken off in the past few years, offering real estate companies a wide variety of ways to reduce their workload, streamline their process, and connect with other types of companies. More than 9,000 proptech companies have sprung up over the past decade alone.
Experts say that proptech is no longer in the “nice to have” category. In a recent poll of 600 real estate brokerages conducted by Delta Media Group, 86% of real estate leaders said that they rely on proptech companies to ensure that their technology remains on the cutting edge. They see companies with outdated legacy systems falling farther and farther behind.
But they also believe that any new technology they adopt has to be easy to implement. Otherwise, agents won’t use the features designed to help them make more sales. Almost two-thirds of real estate executives opt for all-in-one platforms.
3D digital twins for virtual tours
Perhaps the most important use of proptech, at least as far as high-end buyers are concerned, is a more sophisticated use of visuals. Leaders in luxury home marketing have enthusiastically adopted digital twins as a way of letting buyers explore a property from wherever they happen to be at the time. This includes the international buyers that make up such a large percentage of today’s market.
Yuya Fukubayashi, Senior Manager of Public Relations at List Sotheby's International Realty, said that the concept of digital twins has meant that buyers can inspect a luxury property whenever it is convenient for them.
“Our clients are often busy people,” he said. “Giving them the convenience of viewing a property from anywhere at any time starts the entire sale or leasing process with a positive impression.”
Accurate floor plan measurements
The days when a buyer has to try to visualize a luxury property using a blocky black-and-white floorplan are over. Matterport’s digital twin captures every detail in remarkably true-to-life color.
What’s more, a digital twin is 3D, so buyers can visualize entire rooms and floors. Using Matterport’s measurement tool, they can take the dimensions of any room from floor to ceiling. Fukubayashi said that homebuyers appreciate knowing right away how much space they are getting.
“Using Matterport, we can show our clients that we understand how much even the smallest details matter,” he said.
Highlighting a property’s best features
One of the challenges of traditional photography was that it wasn’t always easy to illustrate what made a property special. With digital twin technology, agents can now tag features like “heated pool” or “Italian marble backsplash.”
Vittoria Leonardi, Assistant Marketing Manager said she appreciated how Matterport’s tagging function can easily point out the details that make a property appealing to luxury buyers.
“We can generate a complete floor plan using only one camera,” she said. “We can highlight key features. Clients can even see if their furniture will fit in the new house. None of these things were possible before.”
Digital marketing channels for luxury real estate marketing
In marketing luxury real estate, incorporating lots of striking visuals is one of the best ways to capture the attention of high-end homebuyers. When you are putting together a marketing strategy for a luxury property, remember that a polished 3D tour can contribute to a professional feel.
When it comes to digital marketing, customers have come to expect a 3D tour. In fact, 89% of potential homebuyers consider 3D tours an integral part of the buying process and our Digital Pro package includes all the marketing assets you’ll need to set your listing up on different platforms.
With most properties, experts agree that the best approach is to get the listing in front of as many eyeballs as possible. This is not the case with luxury properties where the pool of potential buyers is relatively small. You want to catch the attention of a high-end clientele.
Unlike a general real estate website, which probably includes a wide range of real estate listings, a dedicated website highlights a single home. A landing page lets you put a property’s best foot forward. You can highlight its exclusive feel, secluded location, or upscale amenities. Anchor the page with an eye-catching visual, whether it’s an aerial show of the entire property or a 3D walkthrough showing off its best features.
Another plus: dedicated websites cut down on distractions. Because there usually are no links to other properties, your potential customers are not tempted to move on to another website.
Because it’s such a huge market, it would be shortsighted to ignore social media. But that doesn’t mean you should post a listing for a luxury property and hope for the best. According to luxury real estate marketing experts, you should be using targeted campaigns to reach your audience.
On websites like Facebook, focus on reaching luxury homebuyers in your area. On professional sites like LinkedIn, the focus is on the agent. This is where you can highlight your own expertise and experience in the housing market.
It takes a lot of time, but writing blog posts and other content about your area of expertise is a great way to get your name out to those who matter most. Because unread content doesn’t benefit anyone, it’s worth investing in search engine optimization for real estate. The right SEO will help more people find your pages.
We’ve all heard about the low open rates for email marketing. But as with dedicated websites and social media campaigns, you don’t need to reach a wide swath of people. You can make sure your target audience clicks through by making sure that you are speaking directly to them.
To get buyers to open your email, make sure it is as personalized as possible. If you’ve already met a potential client, make that clear in the subject line. If not, make sure to mention the area where you are selling, the type of property you specialize in, or a recent sale that homebuyers would find impressive.
Your email should always include a call to action, such as a link to click for more information. And make sure that there’s interesting content that will catch a reader’s attention.
A great option is putting together an opt-in email list. Attract potential clients by offering something of value, whether it’s a monthly newsletter, a neighborhood guide, or a webinar about the local market. Keep them engaged by offering extras like 3D walkthroughs of luxury properties that might be of interest in follow-up emails.
Print luxury real estate marketing
Print luxury real estate advertising has not been completely replaced by digital marketing. In fact, in many markets, your target audience still turns to printed materials when they are considering making a purchase.
Newspapers and magazines
When it comes to selling luxury homes, newspapers and other publications can be great resources. High-end buyers still peruse the top national and international publications, such as The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. And because photography packs such a punch, glossy magazines are also a good place for ads with breathtaking imagery.
A direct mail campaign puts you and your company in front of interested buyers on a regular basis. Over time they begin to recognize you and associate you with luxury real estate in your area. Remember that mailings have to be frequent enough that your face becomes familiar and authoritative about the type of luxury real estate that is your specialty.
How Matterport takes luxury real estate marketing to the next level
When it comes to visuals, real estate executives opt for all-in-one platforms that can take care of photography, video, and 3D tours. Matterport Digital Pro is an important tool for real estate professionals, offering a range of high-definition photography, an intro video, a detailed floorplan, and, of course, a stunning 3D tour of the property.
Here’s a rundown of what Matterport Digital Pro includes:
4K photography, which means you avoid the added expense of hiring a separate photographer
Guided intro tours to curate the experience
Schematic floor plans
Tags that allow you to call out important details
Measurement tools to give exact dimensions of the space
Tools to incorporate Google Street View
Remember that all the images in Matterport Digital Pro are photo-realistic, not renderings or illustrations. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for everyone in the real estate industry.