A MISSING LINK IN REAL ESTATE "BRANDING" ADS?*
With a greater need for homeownership amongst qualified first time buyers I am seeing a widening divide between those buyers and large corporate brokerages. Do these brokerages really understand the needs of this buying demographic?...It is beginning to look like they do not!
There is an increasing effort to market the real estate business as about the BIG plans and "Branding" of these large brokerages than about the local home buyer and seller. There appears to me to be a missing link in the way big brokerages promote themselves and the way the average home buyer looks for a home.
THE BIG DIVIDE
I noticed this divide especially after the latest trend on the part of large brokerages to brand themselves more and more as high-end experts, letting the $1million and under part of the market go fish!
I personally feel that the Luxury market finds its own pace and is not neccessarily one that needs defining or branding efforts for that matter. The luxury buyer is a buying demographic who seems to buy on impulse more than out of need. This buyer buys only when they see the financial advantage of owning a property in the $5million to $10million and up range.
The luxury home buyer does not need to be "led to water" so to speak, whereas the under $1million range buyer needs the guidance and support that is required by a first time home buyer since most of them are just that!
THERE IS A HIDDEN DANGER
There is a hidden danger in focusing only on the high end of the real estate market, as most who have been in the real estate business have long ago figured out. When the luxury buyer sees a financial trend they act swiftly and decisively because they know the financial implications of a slowing market place more than the average homeowner who is more apt to buy out of need.
WHAT IS MISSING IN THE MARKETING TO THE UNDER $1MILLION BUYER?
First of all, the buying public is apt to feel less and less that they can benefit from these larger companies. Nothing wrong with being a large dominant real estate company but I have seen massive efforts in getting attention on luxury properties as if that is where they find their largest source of revenue.
It is true that a $5-$10million-plus property will bring in larger revenue but it is also true that when the high end market softens it leaves a brokerage and their efforts to market the $1million and under properties way off target.
LOCAL TARGETED MARKETING IS THE MISSING LINK
In my experience, when the large real estate brokerages use the typical corporate attitude to show "Local knowledge" in their corporate advertising they miss the mark in a major way. So many times what they see as important to the local market place is nothing more than a myth that is projected upon that particular community by a celebrity mindset and not what is sought after by the buying public.
Local targeted marketing is an essential tool to find the way to this first time buyer. Marketing to this buyer and offering accurate and detailed local information about an area will work magic in the way of building this "Grassroots" buying population.
Nothing speaks "Local" better than a website with it's focus on informing the public about a community and it's laws and points of interest...realistic and accurate local information that fills the needs of a new home owner and all their requirements! Now that is a terrific way to "Brand" your real estate name!
*I have used prices that apply to the Hamptons and may not apply to most selling areas...
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY. The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
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