Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
For many holiday enthusiasts across Orange County, the spirit of the season is most emphatically expressed by the beautifully bedecked boats, yachts, canoes and kayaks that glide across the waters of the Newport Beach harbor every year during the annual Christmas Boat Parade.
For its 104th year, the parade will feature festive vessels that evoke the theme of “Surf, Sand and Santa.” The approximately 14-mile route will begin and end off of Bay Island, parading a plethora of very merry holiday displays in front of restaurants, beaches and homes from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. starting Wednesday, December 19 and ending Sunday, December 23.
Hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event will be made especially bright by a fireworks show on the opening and closing nights.
In addition to the century-old boat parade, many bayside homes and businesses that line the harbor have held their own in the time-honored tradition of holiday merriment, outfitting their exteriors with spirited scenes for the annual “Ring of Lights” contest.
Come one, come all and come see why Clark Griswold has nothing on the residents of Newport Beach.
If you plan to partake in the parade festivities, we'd love for you to share your pictures with us. Send them to email@example.com, and we’ll post all of our favorites on Surterre’s social networks.
Courtesy of Fuller Sotheby's International Realty
The 2012 Fall Edition of Digital Connoisseur Magazine is now Available online.
The publication features a full-color gallery of fine residential, ranch and resort properties represented exclusively by Fuller Sotheby's International Realty.
Click Here to view the digital Connoisseur Magazine.
Courtesy of Michael Edlund, Director of Technology at Luxury Real Estate
Here at Luxury Real Estate, we are constantly updating our website to make it more useful for you, our members. We like to hear what features you like and could use, so due to popular member feedback, we recently added new functionality in the Luxury Lounge.
Each second home market has feeder markets—the areas that buyers most often come from. For example, Seattle is a feeder market for second homes in Idaho. It's of great value for brokers in a market to network well with brokers from their feeder markets so that they can pass referrals to people they know and trust. Previously as an agent in the Luxury Lounge, you could only display your particular service areas, but you can also now add your Feeder Markets. If you’re an agent in Hawaii, you may wish to add Seattle as one of your feeder markets—or if you’re in Brazil, Florida may be a lucrative feeder market for you.
When you log into the Luxury Lounge, click on the blue “My Lounge” button in the top right hand corner. Then click “Profile” to edit your personal profile. From this page, you will notice a horizontal line of tabs, one of which says “Feeder Markets”. We’d like you to be among the first to take advantage of this new tool in the Luxury Lounge—so go ahead, fill it out. I’ll wait.
Done? Good. Very soon, we will make it possible to match service areas and feeder markets between different members and suggest who you ought to network with based on this information. We are excited for the new business opportunities within the LRE® network this will enable!
So please, keep trying out all the features in the Luxury Lounge, and as always, let us know what you think—we are here to work for you!
Luxury Real Estate is proud to announce “Selling Luxury Homes” is #1 on Amazon.com’s Best Sellers List for Real Estate. Written by Luxury Real Estate member Jack Cotton of Sotheby’s International Realty, the book offers insight on how to become a preferred real estate agent and trusted advisor to today’s high-end clients. Jack Cotton is a Luxury Market Expert, author, and speaker who has specialized in Cape Cod Real Estate, waterfront property as well as village properties for over three decades. For more information, visit his website: www.jackcotton.com
It has taken me thirty years in the real estate business to figure out what real estate marketing is actually for. And over the years the notion of marketing has continued to evolve, so just when I thought I had caught it, it squirmed away. But here is what I think today, with a little historical perspective thrown in.
When I started in real estate in the early 80s, it was ALL about the New York Times classified section. There were no giant firms then, and we all vied to see who had the largest number of columns of classifieds in the Sunday Times. Depending on how well you did, you got one, two, three or more ads per week. And since there were only open listings in those days, no exclusives, you had to go hunt down the properties you were going to advertise. And then see that other people had hunted them down too: you could always tell when someone else had an ad for the same apartment as you. Sometimes, with a newer listing, three or four people had it in. We knew that because every Monday the entire office sat with the Classified section to figure out what properties we DIDN’T have, so we could go get them. But it didn’t really matter because, despite what the seller thought, the point of that ad was NOT to sell that apartment. The point was to get people to call you.
During the 90s we became an exclusive marketplace. Gradually, open listings went the way of the dinosaur and with them the idea of columns in the Times began to seem less important. The Time Magazine gained in favor. Glossies containing only social gossip and real estate ads came and went, each claiming to be indispensable before disappearing forever. And I became increasingly disenchanted with print advertising. It was all, to quote the wonderful Evelin Corsey who ran Albert Ashforth for so many years, a “sea of sameness.” How could I, who ran a smaller company, hope to distinguish Warburg or stand out in venue after venue in which all my competitors appeared as well? I realized that I needed to start thinking like a marketer, not an advertiser. Advertising properties was a means to a series of ends. For the seller, it meant their property received exposure. For the agent, it meant access to buyers. But for me, it meant building the brand!
Then, as with so many things, the Internet transformed the world. We had to spend a fortune building a website, but then all of our properties appeared on it, 24/7, for minimal ongoing cost. Posting on nytimes.com was less then half the price of a classified ad. So 6 years ago I made a commitment to myself to get out of the classifieds altogether. I had always hated them, and they seemed increasingly like a big waste of money. I wanted to spend that money on search engine optimization to drive as many people as possible to our website. (Some things, of course haven’t changed. Agents are more inclined than ever to write ads which are too long and give too much detail. They forget that selling the property on line is not the point: the goal of advertising is to MAKE BUYERS CONTACT YOU!) And we focused in earnest on branding activities. Instead of classifieds, we took a monthly full page in the Times. It boosted our web traffic 25% on the day it appeared and made a big statement about Warburg. We found print venues (Playbill, New York Magazine) which were uncluttered with other real estate ads. And when our competitors discovered them, we moved on. And more of our marketing dollars and time went to, and go to, PR. I and many of my agents are quoted often in the media. Warburg has its gig on “Selling New York”, which is watched by more people than I could ever even imagine. And, as you know all too well if you are reading this right now, I blog every week. In 2011, 100,000 people per month have entered our website through the blog.
One of my competitors was recently quoted saying that no one will buy a $10 million apartment because they saw it on TV. I agree. And this blog doesn’t sell property either. That is not the point. The point is marketing, not advertising. As we engage in more unique activities, the brand gets more widely known. It becomes more top of mind. As it becomes more top of mind, more people associate to it when they are considering their own, or a friend’s, real estate needs. And then they e-mail us. And THAT is the point!
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Harry Norman, REALTORS® released the Spring issue of Harry Norman HOME Magazine on April 27th, 2011. Harry Norman HOME is the company’s signature magazine published twice a year and distributed to a targeted mailing list of 25,000 home and business owners throughout metro Atlanta, as well as the most reputable luxury real estate brokerage firms across the United States.
Gorgeous professional photography, elegant, sophisticated design and informative narrative accompany each property featured in HOME. This issue features over 100 exceptional luxury homes with a median sales price of more than $2 million throughout Atlanta’s most affluent residential areas, along Georgia’s most beautiful lakes and into the mountains of North Carolina.
Harry Norman HOME Magazine is produced both in the traditional magazine format and in an online format. The online version of the publication, not only provides a more eco-friendly way of viewing many of Harry Norman, REALTORS® distinctive homes for sale, but also allows consumers nationwide to view this showcase of homes from their own computer. The digizine concept is unique in the sense that the viewer can “virtually” turn the pages of the magazine, flip to any page instantly, and access agents website or property details page with clickable links. Click here to view the online version of Harry Norman HOME.
Since 1930, Harry Norman, REALTORS® has built its reputation for excellence by providing the best in residential real estate products and services. As Atlanta’s oldest and largest independent real estate firm, Harry Norman, Realtors® knows real estate and Atlanta.
To receive a complimentary copy of the Spring 2011 Harry Norman HOME Magazine or to view the online version, please visit http://www.harrynorman.com/Home.
About Harry Norman, REALTORS®
Founded in 1930, Harry Norman, REALTORS® is Atlanta’s oldest and largest residential real estate firm with 23 sales offices, various franchise and satellite offices, and more than 1,000 real estate professionals. Harry Norman, REALTORS® is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. HomeServices is the second-largest full-service independent residential real estate brokerage firm in the U.S. with 17,000 sales associates spanning 20 states. Harry Norman, REALTORS® is the exclusive Atlanta affiliate of Christie’s Great Estates and achieves additional international exposure through membership in exclusive real estate networks. More information is available at www.harrynorman.com.
We've had some questions come up in the past few months about guest surveys and online reviews. Some of this was spurred on from by the negative press in the vacation rental industry earlier this year.
We've put together several questions and references for you to review when considering your guest survey policy and practice:
- Do you have a guest satisfaction survey?
- What is the purpose of it?
- Do you want the results to be public or private?
- Do you analyze the results on a consistent basis
- When do you ask them to complete the survey?
- Do you follow up with an email
- What percent of guests complete the survey?
- Can that be improved?
- Do you display your reviews online?
- How do you want your guest to feel when they fill out the survey?
- Do you want your guest to feel like they are apart of your improvement process?
- Do you contact guests if changes have been made?
- Have you visited the local 5 star hotel and reviewed their guest surveys?
Those are just a few questions that should be considered when developing or updating your guest survey practice. In addition to those questions we pulled together information from the luxury hotels 2010 J.D. Powers Survey. There are 7 key measures they base the survey on:
- Guest Room
- Food & Bev
- Costs & Fees
Does your survey have questions for each category?
Here are the results from the 2010 survey:
- The Ritz-Carlton (award recipient)
- Four Seasons
- JW Marriott
- W Hotels
You can see how they performed on each measure here: http://www.jdpower.com/travel/ratings/north-america-hotel-ratings/luxury/
Is your 5 Star luxury home website getting lost in the online market? Dress up your website’s description with some stars and step out of the crowd.
Standing out a little more in the search results is a good thing. Click thru rates (CTRs) often are in the single digits or low teens for a keyword phrase. Good descriptions can really bump up your results by encouraging more clicks. In this case, try adding this snippet of code "(★★★★★)" (without the quotes).
A basic element of a good online marketing campaign is the press release. No matter how small you are, your online presence WILL improve from one online press release per year.
Press releases offer several benefits:
- Home Run potential: A home run happens occasionally when major media picks up something and it takes on a life of its own.
- Improved Search Engine Presence: A regular press release increases your online footprint. Kind of like vitamins.
- Direct Traffic: A press release typically generate some online interest and traffic, depending on how much attention it catches.
It may take some brainstorming, but you should be able to come up with something newsworthy once a year. Two tried and true press releases are:
- The announce of the opening of the season with new rates or amenities
- The promotion of a special luxury package – something unique and with a catchy title
The best and easiest way to get your press release out there is to use PRweb.com which charge $80 to $360 per release. If you took the time to write a good release, the $140 or $200 package they offer is an appropriate choice.
In the face of how easy it is to create and submit a press release, a positive return on investment is assured.
Submit Your Blog
To submit a blog entry for consideration on this web page for FREE, please send your materials to our PR Department: firstname.lastname@example.org