What’s New In Luxury Home Marketing? Take Tips From a Bride

Luxury Panel June 2013Kind of like a bride, something old and something new. A panel of real estate heavy hitters, from tip-top Dallas area agents (Mike Brodie, Jennifer Miller, Jan Richey) to Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s chieftain Robbie Briggs took part in a luxury real estate marketing panel discussion today led by Laurie Moore-Moore, of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. A lot of the talk was about team building and dealing with clients, presentations, stuff agents would naturally want to know to help grow their business. But here’s where we consumers can perk our ears: a lot of the discussion centered on tips and techniques of the day that every homeowner selling or buying a home should know.

The way I look at it, every home should be marketed like a million dollar plus plus home.

Today’s takeaway: the most important rule for any agent to know is that old-fashioned personal contact with a client trumps everything — that’s the old part of the equation: you just cannot minimize that personal and individual contact. So if you are not getting this out of your agent, well, speak up and tell them to get with it!

The second part, the “new”, is web presence which is not just critical, but crucial in today’s market. It’s a great, navigable web site plus glorious photos of your listings plus video (not too long) plus being in touch with everyone via email, text, Twitter, Skype, all of it. Some folks will tell you to blog, we will not. Solid blogging is best a reporter’s job unless you would rather blog than sell homes. And you always have to consider the liabilities. All of them. But the point is this: is your agent doing everything possible to get your property proper web exposure?

Laurie also told agents to “put a spin on it”, that is, use relevant names like “relevant listings” instead of “comps”.  And get rid of all of a property’s negatives immediately by finding the lemonade in the lemon: say a home has a very small yard, well, say right from the start — this smaller yard is perfect for empty nesters or DINKs, double income no kids.

Laurie also shared some cool facts about our luxury home market from the folks at Altos Research: the average cost of a luxury home, that defined as homes $500,000 and above, is $903,506 in Dallas, with median size of 3767 square feet. In Austin, $827,623 is the median luxury home price with an average size of 3,666 square feet. How does that compare to New York? The average luxury home in New York costs over $4 million with a size of 4132 square feet. Houston, by the way, beat us with average luxury price of $1,096,000 for about the same square footage or 3,888 square feet. Clearly you get way more for your housing dollar in Texas than Los Angeles ($2,726,000) and San Francisco ($3,167,000).

The Luxury market, defined again as anything over $500,000, comprises only 10% of the entire real estate market. The media may be over-glorifying the true state of the overall real estate market: sales of homes $2 million and above are still slow, and it’s only those perfect homes that are perfectly priced we hear about flying off the shelves. Also the national days on market average for a luxury home ($1,273,414 nationally) is 151 days. In Dallas, it’s 142. Also, Laurie showed how one ascertains if a market is Buyer or Seller driven: her charts “Market Action Index illustrates a difference between supply and demand using a statistical function of the current rate of sale versus current inventory”  Anything below 30 is a Buyer’s market, above 30 is a Seller’s market. Dallas comes in right at 30, a little above, a little below.

Keller Williams’ Luxury Agent Division, Starkey Mortgage and Chicago Title sponsored the forum, which had a great turn-out.

“I’m glad that we can have such a successful and meaningful forum across agent and company lines with common interests and purpose,” said Jane Idzi. “Hopefully, it won’t be the last.”

Thanks to Yvette Grove and Jane Idzi, who were my reporters today.