Tuesday, May 17, 2016


DISCOVER THE SAND BETWEEN THE MARBLES

If you have followed our blog, you know that we are proponents of niche marketing.   Our mantra for challengers of market leaders and rising stars has been, discover and dominate an under served market niche. It is one of the first items we address, when we start working with our clients.

No one person or company can do it all and do it well, regardless of his or her claims.  In looking over agent and company profiles, we are always surprised to find how many specialties they list for themselves from REO to commercial and industrial real estate.  And, the worst statement is when someone says, “I will sell anything that can be sold!’’

A niche is specialized market segment or a particular market “space”.  An example of a niche in luxury real estate would be historic homes. When we were in commercial real estate in Beverly Hills we specialized in high-end retail and the entertainment industry.  One of our jobs was to find potential tenants for retail stores and shopping centers that we represented exclusively in the Beverly Hills Golden Triangle, or surrounding areas.

We found an excellent analogy for niches by Ray Wert on his Jalopnik.com blog.  He referred to niches “the spaces between the marbles in a Mason jar that is full of marbles”.  The Mason jar represents the overall real estate market.  The marbles represents the dominant players. If you were to pour sand in the jar it would fill those spaces and there would be a surprising amount of room for the sand. The niches exist in those spaces between the marbles that the sand fills.

To be successful in luxury real estate, you must first identify an uncontested market “space”.  The next step is to insure that the niche is financially viable and fits your interests and strengths.  Here is an example.

One of our friends loved historical homes.  She had bought a historical home and rehabbed it from top to bottom restoring to its original splendor, and then bought and sold several more.  This was her passion.  She promoted herself legitimately as a historical expert with a proven track record of sold properties.  Anyone in her area who was interested in buying or selling historical homes knew whom to call. She had found the sand between the marbles, and dominated the historical niche in her marketplace.


Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Are You Answering Someone’s Prayers With Your Marketing?



Marketing done right is an answer to someone’s prayers.  This is as true for marketing luxury real estate as it is for marketing products and other services.

An ad, whether online or in print, should focus on addressing the pain point of its target audience.  It should have a message that is so clearly stated that even if the reader or listener is not the target market, they can easily tell someone else about the product or the service.

Many of us watched the Super Bowl to see the commercials.  When a company is willing to pay $5 million dollars for a 30 second slot, to sell its product, we expect to be dazzled by the message and the production.  At the very least, the ads should engender a desire to buy the product the next day, or as soon as our budgets can allow it.

We chuckled at the Dorito ads.  However, neither one of us eats Doritos.  We would not buy them for a party either.  Other ads were utterly confusing when it came to messaging, like puppy-monkey-baby?  How about avocados from Mexico in outer space?  Or the Budweiser political campaign twist?  Or the new laundry soap that is better than Tide?  Funny enough, we can’t remember the name of the soap, and are not even interested in looking it up.  

Are You Answering Someone's Prayers With Your Marketing?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-
ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.
Do not let the ants get in the way of the elephant. This means keep your eyes on the big goal (elephants-new listings and sold properties).  Don’t let minor distractions (ants) become impediments to your big goals.  Distractions come in many forms. Often agents focus on what is going wrong rather than holding the vision.  
Here are some common examples of distractions that take your eyes off target.
Ranting and raving
Incompetent agents
Hard to please clients
Lenders and inspectors

These are just the ants getting in the way of the elephant. Focusing your energy on these moments is a waste of your precious time. 
Another time waster is writing blog posts about these ants and having your readers sympathize with you.  It hooks them in and gets them distracted too. Recounting their ant stories adds fuel to the fire and fortifies your position of suffering as the victim of the ants.  The trouble with continuously focusing on these minutiae is that you wind up attracting ants deal after deal.  It becomes the norm in your transactions.

Monday, June 29, 2015



What will be your response when competition shows up in your luxury real estate marketplace?  Do you take it as an opportunity to sharpen your focus and confirm your competitive edge, which would be a win for you?
Or, do you complain and embark on a whining campaigIf you follow business news, you probably heard about Uber (valued at $50 billion) threatening to dominate the taxi industry because of their great service and reliability.  Who would have thought that taxi customers were an under served market niche? In the hotel business, a similar scenario is happening with Airbnb, Inc (home-rental service). Their value, $25.5 million, is now on par with Hilton Hotels valued at $27.6 million.  Who would have dreamed that there was a need for travelers beyond the traditional hotel model?
The traditional taxi business has begun the whining cycle by looking to the government to help them out, instead of taking the opportunity to better or best the new entries in their market.  Likewise, Airbnb is facing opposition from local governments whose revenues are enriched with a hotel city tax.  Hotel chains are also looking to the government for regulations to stop this upstart.We have long emphasized that by finding an underserved or uncontested market niche (like taxis and home-rental service) you can become a dominant player in a new market category.  This is exactly what Uber and Airbnb have done.
What will you do when new competition comes to town, whine or win?
Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-
ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Do you know where the bones are buried?


If you want to be top of mind in your luxury real estate marketplace, you have to be the most knowledgeable agent in your area.   As we used to tell our clients, when asked why they should work with us and sign an exclusive representation, “we know where the bones are buried.” 

This meant that we knew how to find buildings that could be sold that had not been listed, because we had relationships within our marketplace.  These owners would happily sign a one party exclusive.
Not long ago, we met with a local agent who wanted us to see a magnificent estate that was on the market.  What impressed us most about the agent is her encyclopedic knowledge of her marketplace. 
We mentioned to her that prior to moving North from Los Angeles, we had put in an offer on a house on one of the streets nearby.  With our brief description from 10 years ago, she knew the house and gave us the history of it.  She knew the improvements that were done to it, and who owned it now.

This past week in Boston, we met an agent who specializes in one of the up and coming brownstone neighborhoods.  He was giving us a walking tour of the area.  What was impressive about him is that he knew the history of each building.  He knew what was being remodeled in the area. 

He knew every park and the improvements that were made.  He knew the people that lived there.  He could tell us the psychographics and demographics of the buyers.  He knew every retailer on the street.  He showed us the new dog park, and knew the people and their dogs. 

Later on, we went to lunch at one of his favorite restaurants, where everyone knew his name and were delighted to see him.  We even walked in to a competitor’s real estate office and everyone there was happy to see him!

Do you know where the bones are buried in your neighborhood?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-
ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

 


Monday, April 20, 2015


Your competition                                                                   Your Competition

Why on earth are you in the game of luxury real estate marketing if you are not in it to win it? Sure, there are plenty of agents who just want to eek out a living. But, they are missing out on all of the fun because they do not know the secret of winning the game!

The sweet spot in marketing luxury real estate is making the shift from being what we call a competent “transaction engineer” to being a true market leader. When market leadership is your quest, you become a strategist in a game where power, personal power is the biggest prize and the lion’s share of business follows naturally.  

As luxury real estate brand strategists we advise our clients to look at their competitors as if they were cartoon characters. Do not take them seriously. Factor them out of your mental equation completely and stay 100% focused on your strategy for winning the game, the inner game.

It really gets to be fun when you identify an uncontested or under served market niche that you can dominate, a niche that you can become passionate about.  Then, the competition really becomes irrelevant.  You are not out to “get them”.  You are out to achieve your personal best!

So, what is the secret to winning? Keep your eye the prize of the inner game of luxury real estate marketing-the game of self-actualization! Be in it to win it!

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-
ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Marketing Luxury Real Estate: The Drone Syndrome

When adapting new technology in luxury real estate to your website, it is a good idea to consider the end-user.  There is no doubt that drone photography is impressive and the effects that can be created are comparable to films made for I-Max. However, will your buyer or seller want to see the effects every time they visit your site?

In viewing a real estate site with a home page that had beautiful drone videos, one of our friends remarked that he would need a Dramamine to continue viewing the site.  He would not go back to that site.Will using drone photography in a listing video be the deciding feature that will win you the listing?   Who needs to be impressed, the buyer or the seller?

There is no doubt that the aerial view of a large estate, a ranch, or a waterfront property is impressive.  How often, does a buyer make a decision to buy a home based on aerial views?  How important is it to the seller to have his/her home photographed in this manner?  Do the sellers get bragging rights when talking to their friends, that their agent used a drone?

If you are going to use drone photography hire a professional, and make sure it is legal in your area.  However, do not get caught up in the drone syndrome just to appease sellers, and pass the Dramamine!

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-
ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.