Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Real Estate Website Design: Luxury Real Estate Website Aesthetics

Adams, "The Tetons and the Snake River" by Ansel Adams
In a previous post, we discussed incorporating your brand’s strategy in the design, making it user friendly and having great content.  What about the look and feel of your website?


When we work with a luxury real estate professional, we create a color palette based on their personality, their niche, and target market.  These three aspects of personality, niche, and target market have to blend in a cohesive palette.  The blend is important.  The object is to have the web visitors identify with the web site and enjoy using it.   This color palette is used for the brand colors, the navigation bar, and other details on the site. 


Great photographs are worth a million words on your website.  They tell the story of your marketplace better than words can.  Study the photography on resort brochures, or those on Architectural Digest or Veranda magazines.  Look at how they show a home, and study the shots of the various rooms in the featured homes.  Some of you may have great photographic skills, but if you don’t have it, hire a top-notch professional, for your listings.  All your clients deserve the best. 


Give your marketplace its due with great lifestyle photography also.  Study the outdoor photographs of Ansel Adams. Note the above photo is of the Tetons and the Snake River. Our latest website for one of our clients in Santa Barbara has included photos of surfing, and the polo games.  Be like the chamber of commerce for your marketplace, romance it, and show off the best of your community so that your target market falls in love with it.

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, August 19, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Branding: The Power of Color in .03 Seconds!

When you are refining your luxury real estate branding and marketing package, it is important to focus on the power of color.  The response to color is often subliminal. The eyes see color in .03 seconds equivalent to the blinking of an eyelash.  In that brief moment, colors have to convey the message of the brand which helps create interest and eventually the sale.  This makes it worth the time for a second look.

Yesterday, we were cruising the aisles of luxury stores and looking at different products, and their packaging for inspiration.  We apply the .03 seconds principle as we move through the store.  Will it catch our eyes? Does it appeal to our psyche?  If it does are we compelled to take time to look at it further?  Would we buy it?

Some people may protest at this instant judgment of a product or service without delving in the particulars.  So many times as we speak at conferences, we are often asked the following. “Do people really judge a book by its cover in a branding context?”

Agent “A” got the listing for an equestrian property.  This person does not know the nose from the tail of a horse.” I am an experienced equestrian, a horse judge, and horse owner and they picked agent “A”.  The answer, shallow as it may seem to some is packaging and perception of the brand.

Test the .03 seconds principle. Next time you are in a supermarket, see what attracts you color wise.  Is it worth a second look?  Did you buy it? 

Will your intended target market be drawn to you?

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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Luxury Real Estate Website Design: Four Tips to Keep In Mind

As we research the latest and greatest in website design, we keep in mind two factors in our design of websites: brand strategy integration, and user experience. Here are 4 tips:


In terms of brand strategy integration, the site’s aesthetics should represent the brand in all its aspects.  For instance, if you are going to be focused on historical homes in a particular area, keep it focused there.  Resist the lure of enhancing it with modern homes.


Keep your home page clutter free, simply configured, so it is easy to use.   Think of staging your site like you do a home.  Keep it accessible to users.  Big musical overtures or flashy video introductions with rapidly moving graphics are a turn off resulting in a click off.  They also take time to load. 


In terms of content on your website, resist peppering it with a bunch of keywords which are mind numbing and makes the reader wonder what you are talking about.  Besides, for Google, keywords are no longer the priority.  This gives them a reason to click off your site.


If you are going to write a blog as part of your strategy, write user friendly, informative and most importantly interesting content.  Keep the content, simple, short and interesting to read and share with friends.

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 COMMUNITY

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Branding: The Power of Color in .03 Seconds!

When you are refining your luxury real estate branding and marketing package, it is important to focus on the power of color.  The response to color is often subliminal. The eyes see color in .03 seconds equivalent to the blinking of an eyelash.  In that brief moment, colors have to convey the message of the brand which helps create interest and eventually the sale.  This makes it worth the time for a second look.

Yesterday, we were cruising the aisles of luxury stores and looking at different products, and their packaging for inspiration.  We apply the .03 seconds principle as we move through the store.  Will it catch our eyes? Does it appeal to our psyche?  If it does are we compelled to take time to look at it further?  Would we buy it?

Some people may protest at this instant judgment of a product or service without delving in the particulars.  So many times as we speak at conferences, we are often asked the following. “Do people really judge a book by its cover in a branding context?”

Agent “A” got the listing for an equestrian property.  This person does not know the nose from the tail of a horse.” I am an experienced equestrian, a horse judge, and horse owner and they picked agent “A”.  The answer, shallow as it may seem to some is packaging and perception of the brand.

Test the .03 seconds principle. Next time you are in a supermarket, see what attracts you color wise.  Is it worth a second look?  Did you buy it? 

Will your intended target market be drawn to you?

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 COMMUNITY

Friday, August 8, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Branding: Communicating with Colors #3


Our post yesterday sparked many interesting questions that have inspired a series.  Color selection in branding and marketing is a process.  It involves analysis both of the individual/team or company as well as their target market.  The brand should reflect a combination of both the client and the market.


Choosing colors for a brand necessitates understanding the use of color in terms of its impact:  emotional, symbolic, and mood projected.  Moods can be serene, earthy, playful, powerful, mellow, traditional, unique, elegant, and luxurious to name a few.    Moods are communicated with color combinations.


Children are naturally drawn to bright colors. Bright colors are happy, cheerful, energetic, and project a playful mood. Toy and playground manufacturers produce toys in bright color combination, for this very reason.


When you work for a company, and develop your personal brand, their brand becomes an endorser brand, which in most cases have to printed on your cards, marketing materials, and website.  Sometimes, brand colors clash, and there are solutions for elegant integration.


One of our first projects involved creating a luxury real estate brand for an agent working with a company whose brand colors are red, white and blue.  The color combination is not perceived as a luxury.  It is symbolic of Middle America, Mom, apple pie, all things quintessentially American.  Some well-known brands with that combination are Budweiser, Chevron, Pepsi, NFL, Chicago Cubs, and American Airlines.    


Based on her color preferences and the marketplace, she was working in; we created a brand in burgundy, accented it with a metallic gold, and a cream color for the body of the marketing pieces and website.  At first, this clashed with the initial company brand, and they later came out with a single color logo that was complimentary.  As her business boomed, she opened her own firm, and eventually sold the brand and website for a significant sum.

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, August 5, 2014

Luxury Real Estate Branding: Communicating with Colors #2

Last week, we wrote a post on the psychology of colors focusing on red and green as part of a brand’s color scheme. Alitalia incorporates these colors in their brand identity, as they are the colors of he Italian flag.  Saturday, while in Beverly Hills, we spotted Gucci’s “camouflage” (barricade), a temporary fa├žade erected during the remodeling of their Italian luxury fashion and leather goods store. 


The barricade looks like a portal into the store. They are actually open for business during the transformation.


Gucci’s brand identity is comprised of red and green stripes on a beige background watermarked with interlocking “G’s”. They also use metallic gold for the name itself at times.  Red and green are highly contrasting hot and cool colors.  By themselves, these colors may not connote a luxury brand.  But, by adding beige and gold as the third and fourth brand colors, instead of white, it can elevate the red and green combination to luxury status.


Paying attention to colors and how they represent your brand of doing business is quite important.  Using the right colors can actually attract more business or differentiate you from your competition in the realm of luxury real estate. The wrong colors can do just the opposite.

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, August 4, 2014

Three Ways to Sharpen Your Strategic Thinking Part 1


If you are going to respond pro-actively to the ever-changing world we live in, it is important that you sharpen your strategic thinking.   This will help you to outthink your competition.

Take time to reexamine your opinions.  Challenge your own premises, and be open enough to admit you may be wrong.  For instance, many real estate marketing professionals are quick to tell you that print advertising is a colossal waste of money.
In our research and experience we have found that in some luxury markets, print ads are a strong source of leads for many brokers and agents.  The same is true in some communities with 55+ homeowners.  

Some luxury marketers are now beginning their campaigns in print first and online second.  This practice is a more effective way to reach their target market.  Research on the subject also shows that the younger generations are responding to print ads favorably.

Realize that opposing views are not negative views, they are just views. Negative views begin, continue and end with insults. Opposing views is simply a view that does not agree with yours. Read articles or have discussions with people with opposing views.  In practicing this you may glean something you are missing in your thinking, and it may actually strengthen your position.  

Take time to recharge your mind and learn something new.   Do something different outside of your routine; adapt it as part of your daily job.  This morning on our early beach walk, we walked to the left rather than our usual choice to the right.  It was a treat as there were tide pools to explore, and also seals and sea lions sunbathing on the rocks. 
We also saw a sign announcing that once again the grunions are running this evening. “Grunion are known for their unusual mating ritual wherein at very high tides, the females come up on to sandy beaches where they dig their tails into the sand to lay their eggs. The male then wraps himself around the female to deposit his sperm and for the next 10 days the grunion eggs remain hidden in the sand. At the next set of high tides, the eggs hatch and the young grunion are washed out to sea.” Wikipedia. This event occurs for several evenings, and we are going to catch the show.

Stay tuned for Part 2.  We will continue to discuss more ways to expand your strategic thinking, and outthink your competition.

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 COMMUNITY