Thursday, February 27, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tips: Spaghetti Marketing: Marketing Your Strengths

In marketing yourself as a luxury real estate marketing professional or company, it is important to assess your strengths. This assessment can be used to develop a smart marketing strategy.  Here is an example of spaghetti marketing:




Italy is suffering from a bad economy (2 trillion euro in public debt), and recently The Wall Street Journal reported that the city of Rome is on the verge of bankruptcy.   A savvy entrepreneurial company, Fico Eataly, the food emporium chain, with stores in Rome, New York, and Chicago, has come up with an innovative concept.


Italy’s strengths are: history, culture and cuisine.  Over 48 million visitors spent 32.2 billion dollars in 2012, ranking it as the fifth most popular tourist destination in the world.  How do you capitalize on that?


Eataly is going to develop a food theme park in Bologna, the capital of the Emilia- Romagna region.  Emilia Romagna is known for its many gastronomical achievements such as Parmegiano Reggiano, Proscuitto, Pancetta, and its pasta made with eggs (lasagna a la Bolognese).  It is one of the meccas of Italian cuisine.   It is also known as the home of Ferrari, Maserati, Ducati, Lamborghini, etc.


The city of Bologna is delighted with this idea.  The city administrators have provided 20 acres of land and several unused warehouses, totaling 80,000 square feet for this venture.  This food park would include restaurants, grocery stores, food labs and an aquarium.  Some have dubbed it as the Disneyland of food.


Access your strengths and come up with your own version of spaghetti 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. 
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Privacy Is the New Luxury: Turn Your Texts Into Cyber Dust!

In marketing luxury real estate many sellers/buyers would appreciate having a way to communicate with their agents privately online without a digital record of their conversation.   Now you can with a new app created by Mark Cuban’s new company, Cyber Dust!  In an interview with Piers Morgan, he mentioned that he uses this app to communicate with his attorney, bank, etc. 

Here is an excerpt from the CyberDust site:
A new type of communication is upon us. Leaving a track record of everything you've ever said is frightening. Not everything you share or say digitally should last forever. Cyber Dust allows you to escape the age of permanent digital conversations. Messages are ALWAYS permanently deleted forever and never stored anywhere upon disappearing. Once it's gone it's gone.  Forever!
Privacy is indeed the new luxury.  Now, we have a way to walk the Internet without leaving cyber footprints.   Turn Your Texts Into Cyber Dust, And It Is Free (for Apple devices only)!

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. 
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Marketing: The Competitive Edge of Stellar Service

One of the deciding factors in choosing someone to work with in selling or buying luxury real estate by the high net worth or ultra high net worth individuals is stellar service.  This is what creates loyalty and referrals.  Here is an example.

Friday, we started having trouble with receiving email on our iPhones.  Since we are subscribed to Apple Care, Ron called in.  This was a problem that was resolved the first time and popped up again.  Apple had a record of the previous call, and brought in a senior tech to work with Ron on it.  After trying several solutions, which did not work, the tech person suggested that conference with our email provider, together.  When they did the wait was too long, and they decided to table it to Saturday morning, since we had dinner plans.

Saturday morning, the Apple tech called Ron.  Together, they talked to our email provider, and found out what could resolve the problem.  By process of elimination we come up with a work around after ruling out many variables.  After three hours of patient and fun tech support, it turned out that the email service provider is not up to speed yet with Apple’s latest technology. 

We cannot imagine Apple’s competitors reaching this level of quality of service consistently any time soon.  How can you achieve stellar service in your luxury real estate practice?

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.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Who Do You Think You Are Fooling?

In one of our last posts on co-marketing we referred to Cost Plus’ campaign in promoting Downton Abbey, as an excellent co-marketing example.   They now are using the Downton Abbey brand to sell shortbread cookies and wine.  This, in our opinion, lessens the appeal of the Downton brand, and taints its luxury aspect.  


If you are a fan of the show, you know that the head butler, Mr. Carson and Robert, the Earl of Grantham, are wine connoisseurs.  They certainly would not drink either of these Cost Plus 2012 wines, bottled in Bordeaux, France.    Their chief cook, Mrs. Patmore makes shortbread.


The Cost Plus red wine is a Claret, which is a generic or semi-generic Bordeaux. The word Claret, used only for export, was used primarily for the British market and became the favorite of the less knowledgeable British upper classes.


The red grapes used in the soon to be released 2012 Bordeaux wines were battered by unusual weather patterns resulting in small yields, according to the Wine Cellar insider. 2012 has been referred to as a wine maker’s vintage, meaning that additional work and expense went into production to ensure a minimum yield.  Some of the white wines for 2012 fared better.


So how does this relate to luxury real estate marketing?  Be a student of every aspect of luxury. If you fake it, it will be obvious to your clients and prospects that are in the know. Eventually, you will be laughed out of a job. Check your facts, and then double-check them. Do not assert it, unless you can provide a reliable source (or online link) of where you found the fact.

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. 
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Marketing: So Five Minutes Ago?

It is said that the only people who like change are babies.  In the last two decades, the new technological advances have disrupted what once seemed to be the order of things.  In marketing luxury real estate or anything else, change is a constant. 


With the rapid means of communication via the Internet, we are aware that we constantly need to reformulate or refresh in order to adapt, (you snooze, you loose).  The experts tell you that yesterday’s marketing plan is so five minutes ago.   How do we stay sane and ready to adapt?


Focus on the fundamentals that represent a constant.  In luxury real estate marketing, the most important fundamental of success is impeccable communication. It is creating an ideal working relationship that gets the desired outcome.  It is only then, that you decide on the latest and greatest technological advance not because everyone says it works, but because it works for your marketplace.

For instance, many experts have insisted that print advertising in real estate is a waste of money.  However, there are many marketplaces where the target market has the paper delivered to them, read the real estate section, or pick up magazines to view the latest listings on the market.  So don’t tell those people that print advertising is so five minutes ago!


In life, we all have fundamental values that we enjoy living with, where we dismiss the technology.  Many enjoy reading books in print, rather than downloading them to their tablet reader, or shopping in stores to feel the fabric and see the colors of clothes they buy, rather than shopping on line.  This is what works for many, their fundamentals of life style.  It may be so five minutes ago for some, but not for others.

As a child living with my grandparents, I remember how every morning my grandfather would wind his pocket watch that sat on his desk.  Although he had a wristwatch, this pocket watch was his favorite timepiece, pictured above.  It was his grandfather’s given to him when he was child.  If he was alive today, I am sure he would wind it everyday, even if he had the latest timepiece.  For him, it would not be so five minutes ago.

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. 
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: "Tire-d" or Original Content Marketing?

                 

As a luxury real estate marketing professional it is important to understand what effective content marketing means.   Google’s new algorithm, Hummingbird, is trying to assess the meaning contained in its users’ search queries and match that meaning to the most authoritative content on the web.  That is why "original" and not "tire-d" content marketing is here to stay.

It is more important now than ever to understand the mindset of your target market.  Knowing what their most pressing needs, their lifestyle and their values are should be the guiding principles for the content you publish expressly for them.  It is true that content is king as long as it is “original” (not what everyone knows or writes about)  that rates today.  This content is geared to the audience you are targeting in your luxury real estate practice.

When you write a localism post it is important to give it a point of view rather than just stating the facts, which can be easily found elsewhere.  Your point of view is what makes it “original”, it is old and tire-d"

Here is an example:  In 1900, Michelin the tire maker published a book for travelers.  It included maps, their recommendations for accommodations, auto service, and restaurants.  These were given away free.  Today, the Michelin has evolved into a prestigious guidebook to the world’s travel locations sold worldwide.  A mere mention in their restaurant guidebook can assure a restaurant a continuous flow of business. 

Does your content marketing really meet  the needs of your target market?

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. 
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Branding Tips: Define What You Stand For!

In branding and marketing yourself as a luxury real estate marketing professional it is important to declare what you stand for.  The optimal way to do that is to state it in a clear straightforward manner. People like doing business with people who are like themselves. Your statement of what you stand for can often be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing one agent/company over another.

Last week, on a recommendation from our local wine guru, we purchased the above-pictured bottle of wine.  Had our friend not recommended it, we would not have necessarily purchased it based on the label.  The word “effort” for us evokes the connotation of spinning one’s wheels and going nowhere.  Perhaps, the arrow in the brand meant that they actually had a direction.

In looking at their website, we understood the brand and the thought that went into producing this wine.  The first two sentences told the story: “There is nothing expedient in our winemaking approach.  We embrace the detailed labor-intensive methods that are required to produce the finest wines.”

Imagine if that concept could have been stated in just a few words on the label, we would have reached for that bottle without a recommendation. 
What do you stand for and how can you state it in just a few words?

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. 
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Monday, February 10, 2014

There Are Riches in Niches: Sign Up for the Webinar

We are honored that Active Rain is hosting this exciting presentation and hope you can attend!
--Ron & Alexandra
  
 
There Are Riches in Niches - Developing a Niche for Your Business 
FEBRUARY 20, at 10AM (Pacific Time)
Join ActiveRain Community Evangelist Bob Stewart as he hosts Ron and Alexandra Seigel, managing partners of Napa Consultants, International for this special class on selecting and marketing to a niche. 

In this webinar we will learn: 
*How to pick the right niche for YOU
*How to harness the power of focus through niche marketing
*How to out-think your competition and achieve top-of-mind status in your niche
*How to strike the right balance between high tech and high touch in your niche
*How Ron and Alexandra have put this into practice to dominate their niche, helping luxury real estate professionals gain or sustain market leadership

Ron and Alexandra have a vast background in consulting agents and brokers on how to dominate a niche. Their particular specialty is the luxury homes market but the lessons learned here can and should be applied to any niche that you hope to dominate. 
We hope you can join us for this informative hour and we expect you'll walk away eager to dominate your own niche! 

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. 
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Friday, February 7, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Branding Tips: Why and How StandOuts Thrive #3

In our first post, we identified that the first course of action was to find the under-served market niche. In our second post we emphasized studying the under served market niche.
The third course of action is to develop your primary strategic differentiator. You must differentiate oneself from the competitive landscape by being uniquely different, both in presentation and service.  Many of our restaurants here in Santa Barbara, are proponents of farm to table, great service, and good food. 
Although, The Lark offers a distinctly different menu from any other restaurant in Santa Barbara, they have an extraordinary strategic differentiator.  Every appetizer, starter, and main course can be shared and is priced the same as one entrĂ©e in any restaurant of this caliber.  They encourage family style dining, and do not charge “extra” for share plates.   
Pictured above is our 3 course meal: Our starter snack, Fried Castevetrano olives stuffed with goat cheese & rosemary chorizo aioli, (we had already eaten a few when I realized I had to take a picture). Next was a chicken confit stuffed in homemade phyllo dough on top of an arugula salad, again we , already eaten two of them.)

Our main course was whole grilled Branzino, Italian sea bass deboned, with a barley & caper risotto, kale & fennel slaw, grapefruit and salsa verde.  This was our first experience with barley risotto and it was great.   

Do you know your extraordinary strategic primary differentiator?

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. 
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Branding Tips: Why and How StandOuts Thrive #2

In Part 1, of this series we identified that the first course of action to be a standout as a luxury real estate marketing professional is to identify an under-served market niche.  The Lark Restaurant identified a huge underserved market of Santa Barbara Foodies.

The second course of action is to study and understand the mindset of your niche.  Understanding Foodies helped Lark create their brand strategy. It influenced the look and feel of the brand, the restaurant’s ambience, as well as the appropriate location in the city of Santa Barbara.

The Foodies mindset (their psycho-graphics and lifestyle) has at least two subsets.  For instance, there are those who frequent Certified Organic Farmers markets when they cook at home. This subset may differ from those who simply enjoy fine dining and dine out frequently. Both, however, may promote “farm-to-table” dining at local restaurants.

Studying the psycho-graphics of your target market enables you to connect on a deep emotional level with your ideal customers. Another psycho-graphic subset of The Lark’s customers could be classified as innovators, open-minded, adventurers who enjoy the latest and great, the hip and modern.

For that reason, The Lark chose the Funk Zone, for their location.  The Funk Zone is an industrial area of Santa Barbara.  It has a sophisticated urban feel mixed with the slow lifestyle of a beach city resulting in an enticing experience that represents the new and innovative spirit of Santa Barbara.

The industrial building that they occupy is warm and inviting. Some of the outstanding features that we love are the exposed ceilings, the sandblasted brick walls, the oriental rugs on the concrete floor and the copper chandeliers that were specifically made for them.

Are you studying the psycho-graphics of your ideal clients so you can make a strong emotional connection with them?

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. 

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Branding: Why and How Stand Outs Thrive! # 1

If you are bound and determined to be the go to luxury real estate agent or company, you must find a way to stand out or suffer the consequence of blending into the great bland of business. 


We have a new restaurant, The Lark, in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. From the moment they opened 6 months ago, they were busy, and the buzz and raves continue.  What made them successful from the get go?

They identified an under served market niche: the sophisticated Foodie set of the Central Coast who want a healthy, enjoyable meal with a creative twist, sourced by local artisans and purveyors of organic produce.  This market’s psycho-graphics (lifestyle and mindset) has access to 6 Farmers Markets each week, are frequent travelers and have dined in big city restaurants nationally and internationally.

Stay tuned as we dissect step by step in this series why the newly opened The Lark Restaurant in Santa Barbara is an overnight success.

Can you identify your underserved market niche?

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. 
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Monday, February 3, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Branding: Why spend $4million to Market Your Brand?



As a luxury real estate marketing professional, maintaining visibility for what you stand for (in terms of brand values) in a crowded, competitive market is important. It tells a story loud and clear that you are here to stay, and not here to brag about yourself or your product. 


Furthermore, if your competitors are nipping at your heels, it is a good way to gain distance.  It engages your target market emotionally and differentiates you from the crowd.


Some of the comments that were made on our previous post regarding the Super Bowl Cheerios commercial brought up an important issue.  "Why did some brands spend $4 million for a 30 second spot on Super Sunday, and not focus on selling their product?


Both Cheerios and Budweiser made no direct reference to their products (verbally), and both of these ads were in the top ten as rated by the public and the media.  Therefore, these brands have renewed their place and status as top of mind.


If you are an established brand, how can you incorporate these brand principles in your own 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. 

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 GET FLUENT. GET AFFLUENT! - JOIN THE LOL COMMUNTIY