Luxury Real Estate Marketing: The Five Moments of Truth, Part 2

Big Ben

The Key to Winning the First Moment of Truth:

Make an Indelible First Impression

We all know that referrals are the best source of new business in your luxury real estate marketing practice.  For someone to refer you, you must have made a strong positive impression, an indelible impression because you have achieved “top-of-mind” status in their mind. Indelible means impossible to remove from the mind or memory, and therefore remains, “forever”.  Creating positive indelible impressions and sustaining top-of-mind status over time is what branding is all about.   Therefore, the key to mastering the first moment of truth is making an indelible first impression. 

When potential clients are referred your way they are already predisposed to liking you and trusting you because they like and trust the one who sent them to you.   They have already experienced the first “moment of truth” in the cycle of client acquisition and they are hopeful that you can deliver on the promise of satisfying their most pressing needs.   But, they are relying on the indelible impression you have made on the referring party.

For those who find you through search engines, through your advertising or your website, a blog post, or your yard sign in front of an impressive listing, the first moment of truth is your opportunity to make an indelible first impression on your potential NEW client.   Think of your first moment of truth as an audition for a talent show.  Do you stand out or are you forgettable?  Are you instantly perceived as the expert who can meet your potential clients’ needs?   You actually only have a nano second to make that first impression. 

Entrepreneurs who pitch to venture capitalists are often given only 30 seconds to make an indelible first impression.  This has become known as an “elevator pitch” because you only have a few seconds in an elevator with a captive audience.  On the internet, however, you do not even have that much time because your competition is just a click away.

Being #1 on Google may be the beginning of the first moment of truth for some consumers.  But, when they click through and discover a sub-par website you could easily lose out in this part of the customer acquisition cycle. If your website is not a WOW! you will most likely not get the call or email inquiry; you will not convert the lead.  The first encounter with your website is often your first opportunity to create an indelible first impression.

Even if you do capture the lead and you succeed at winning the first moment of truth, before they meet you, you can still blow this opportunity in the second moment of truth.  The question is, “can you convince your prospect that you can deliver on your promise of value made on our website, when you actually meet the prospective client on the phone or in person?”  We will cover this further in Part 3 of this article series.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Pictures provided by Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/31/2011 at 8:06 AM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing: The Five Moments of Truth, Part 1

As a luxury real estate marketing professional intent on gaining or sustaining market leadership, it is important to understand a marketing term that brand experts call “the moment of truth”.  There are actually five moments of truth that your clients experience in relationship to doing business with you. If you do not engage and fully satisfy their needs at these crucial moments in the cycle of client acquisition your competition will.  If you satisfy all five moments of truth you will have a client for life.

Here in Part 1 of this series we identify the five moments of truth. 

Moment of Truth # 1: Befroe They Meet You

The first moment of truth occurs before your prospective client ever meets you.  It is when they think they have found the answer to their most pressing question or need and you seem to be someone who has the answer. 

It is experienced when they are first referred to you by someone they trust.  Or, it can happen when they find you on a search engine, when they find a blog post you have written, when they encounter your website or your advertisements.  Perhaps, it is when they discover your yard sign in front of a substantial listing.  There is a palpable feeling of relief and hope that you might be the right one to help them.

Moment of Truth #2: When They First Meet You

The second moment of truth happens when they actually encounter you in person, by phone or email, etc..  This moment affirms or disaffirms what they were hoping to discover about you.  They are either satisfied or dissatisfied with their initial encounter with you.  They answer the question, "should they  proceed to buy or list with your assistance?".  If they answer, "yes",  they are convinced that they have found the right agent,  that you will produce their desired result. 

Moment of Truth #3: When \You Deliver Your Services

The third moment of truth occurs when your initial transaction is complete and they are satisfied that you have delivered on your promise of value. Here you have met or exceeded their expectations, or you have disappointed them.  If the latter is true, the cycle of customer acquisition end right here.

Moment of Truth #4: When They Refer You

The fourth moment of truth occurs when they refer a friend to you.  This further affirms their satisfaction.

Moment of Truth #5: When You Get Their Repeat Business

The fifth moment of truth occurs when they are ready to buy or sell again and they call you instead of switching brands which means calling your competition.

True market leaders have mastered all five of these moment of truth.  Those who have not are definitely vulnerable to being challenged. In Part 2 and 3 of this article series we will go into more details about each moment.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Pictures provided by Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/30/2011 at 10:02 AM
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2500 White Stallion Road

The uber-luxurious 2500 White Stallion Road is featured again on the cover of the international luxury homes publication, duPont REGISTRY, A Buyers Gallery of Fine Homes, which hit the newsstands last week. The estate was last featured on the cover of the February 2011 issue of the duPont REGISTRY. It is in this months, October 2011 issue of the highly regarded luxury homes magazine.

Hidden Valley, California

The estate is conveniently located near some of the most affluent regions in the of world such as: Calabasas, home to hundreds of Hollywood’s stars, Malibu – one of the world’s most beautiful and affluent beaches and the famed Sherwood Country Club, home to some of the world’s most beautiful real estate of the finest golf courses in the world and host to Tiger Woods’ yearly Chevron World Challenge.

The luxurious gated estate is represented by Spelling mansion official sold: 22-year-old heiress pays cool $85 million”

“Generally speaking, you are not going to have matching comps because every estate is different when you get to that price range,”  said Jordan Cohen, estates director for Re/Max Olson & Associates, Westlake Village.

Cohen, who closed a $19.2-million sale last month and has opened new escrows in excess of $45 million, has represented professional athletes and celebrities including Kobe Bryant, tennis star Pete Sampras and Sylvester Stallone.

“Usability of the lot, its size, finishes and other factors all play a role”  Cohen said.

A high-priced estate is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay, he said.

White Stallion Estate certainly fits that bill.

This posting was contributed by Bette Hollman of The New Press Model. The original posting can be found here.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/29/2011 at 4:01 PM
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Featured Property: Riverbend Ranch in Park City, Utah

A star jewel amidst Utah's spectacular wilderness, Riverbend Ranch stands testimony to the passion of a heart determined to celebrate family, life and nature. Situated just 25 minutes from Park City, Utah, and only 10 minutes from shops and restaurants, Riverbend Ranch encompasses  world of its own. More than 212 acres flow from one side of the gorgeous Weber River to the other, stretching across mountain pastures to its peak, with spectacular views of famous Mr. Timpanogos in the distance.

"The opportunity to acquire a property here as exceptional as this is very rare. Zoning requirements provide for homes to be built a minimum of 100 yards from river's edge; this home was permitted just feet from water's edge due to a grandfathering provision," says Paul Benson, listing broker from Summit Sotheby's International Realty in Park City.

Five years in the making, this more than 16,000-square-foot western modern lodge-style home was completed in 2010 and designed to be a family legacy. "No detail was overlooked. The room design and placement takes advantage of multiple experiences - breathtaking river, ponds, mountains, pastures and more - you have a unique view and experience from every room," says Benson.

Riverbend Ranch encompasses property on both sides of nearly half mile of the Weber River allowing control over who fishes and passes across the water. Fences and gates add to the natural security. The home features eight wondros enquite bedrooms including luxurious private master, nine baths, custom woodwork and ironwork throughout, large great room with 27-foot high beamed ceiling, gourmet kitchen, custom bar, wine cellar with custom cedar humidors, large home theater, a billiards loft with elevated deck and wood-burning fireplace directly overlooking the river.

Additional property features include full environmentally friendly and energy efficient geothermal radiant heating system, eight custom wood-bburning fireplaces, reclaimed hardwood floors, heated eight-car garage, four laundry centers, three ponds including large trout pond, two barns, multiple outdoor living spaces with fire pits, hot tub, covered decks and porches, miles of private all-season trails for hiking, horseback riding, ATVs, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, organic garden beds and natural water springs.

For more information on this property, visit www.RiverBendRanch.com.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 5:04 PM
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Market Insight: Chicago, Illinois - Big-City Attraction with a Midwestern Friendly Feel

Chicago is home to more than 2.4 million citizens, high rises and high-powered business, but it still feels like home. "I think it has a big-city attraction with a Midwestern friendly feel to it," says Katherine Chez Malkin, a broker with Baird & Warner.

She explains that the city's real estate market is faring well compared to its coastal counterparts. "Chicago never experienced the extreme highs or extreme lows as other cites, particularly the coasts," she proclaims.

City living affords residents with all the benefits that a metropolis has to offer, along with outdoor attractions, such as Lake Michigan. "The lakefront is the most livable lakefront in the United States," says Malkin, who has been a recognized industry leader in Chicago real estate for more than 20 years.

One of Malkin's properties takes full advantage of its surroundings. A penthouse in the 50-story Fordham building neighbors Michigan Avenue and its five-star dining. Plus, the residence is just a five-minute cab ride from theaters and Millennium Park, which hosts cultural activities every summer. Despite the residence's prime location, it lives like a single-family home in the sky with the amenities of a full-service building.

Outside, the full-floor penthouse boasts panoramic views of the city skyline and five outdoor terraces. Inside, three ensuite bedrooms include a massive master suite with its private, leather-paneled den. The luxurious privae areas join a chef's kitchen, a living room, a home theater, a mahogany-clad dining room and a family room. The building itself features 24-hour door staff, a pool, a cigar and humidor club, an exercise room and room service. The residence's $7.9-million asking price includes parking for six cars.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 4:51 PM
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Property Spotlight: South Florida - Exclusive Gated Equestrian Estate

South Florida calls to mind luxury, beautiful beaches and the finest dining and shopping. In close proximity to all of the hustle and bustle of gorgeous Boca Raton and Palm Beach resides a secluded 47-acre gated equestrian estate.

"You just don't find this rare combination of luxury and acreage in this growing affluent area. It's one of Palm Beach County's best kept secrets," says Darren Weiner, Managing Member/Broker of Antigen Realty, which specializes in representing high-profile professional athletes and celebrities across the United States, as well as internationally.

This private estate's professionally manicured grounds surround an architecturally designed 8,500-square-foot ranch pod-style home, which blends perfectly with its natural environment.

The exclusive property boasts six bedrooms, seven full bathrooms, a 4-car garage, a gym with hot tub, sauna and steam room, a 300-bottle wine cooler, two north/south tennis courts, an extensive free-form pool and in-ground spa, 25 different types of fruit-bearing trees, a 1,000-square-foot lanai, a meditation garden and a stocked lake. It also features a 12-stall barn, a half-mile track and vast pastures, which offer shelter and exercise to its equine residents.

"This presents an incredibly attractive and rare opportunity for horse lovers and polo players, as well as celebrities, athletes, executives, and others who desire privacy, yet want to be close to all of the action," Weiner added. "Corporations would find it desirous as a retreat, as well."

Conveniently located near all major highways and airports, this estate, which neighbors Boca Raton, has easy access to Palm Beach, Wellington (world renowned for its equestrian community), Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, and everything they have to offer. Gourmet dining, the performing arts, pristine beaches, world-class golf courses, fine shopping, premier arenas, stadiums, state-of-the-art equestrian training centers and thoroughbred horse racing are just minutes away.

This unique property is offered at $15.9 million.

For more information on this property, visit www.CelebrityHomesHQ.com.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 4:23 PM
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duPont Marketplace: Stonington, Connecticut

History lives in the places we dwell. At the Old Tavern Farm in North Stonington, Connecticut, 234 years of history embody the character of this enduring home. Originally built for travelers to find a good night's sleep on their way from Boston to New  York - this charming home has mastered transformation. It became a youth hostel during World War II, and later a Bed & Breakfast in the 1980s. Today it stands as a beautifully restored private residence, inspired by its authentic detail and features.

The home sits atop a knoll on 4.5 acres of land with views of stone walls and cedar forest. It features 3,200 square feet, five bedrooms, three full and one half baths, five working fireplaces and a modern kitchen. Wide-planked floors, large windows, beamed ceilings, a large barn with full second floor, outdoor shower, ancient dogwood tree and stone terrace complement the home.

"Newspaper archives show that George Washington stayed here twice during his travels through New England in 1781 and 1802," says Susan Moffett, listing agent at Hunter, Moore & Stearns Real Estate of Stonington and owner of the property. The Old Tavern Farm was originally part of over 100 acres owned by the Miner Family. It sits on the former New London turnpike and residuals of an old toll booth still remain.

"This is an ideal property for a B&B - I've hosted annual Christmas parties with over 100 people in the house and the flow around the central chimney is just wonderful," Moffett says. "I raised four children here, it's a great family house. It would also be perfect for someone who wanted to run a home-based business - grow flowers or organic vegetables. The land is very fertile."

Old Tavern Farm is located 40 miles from Providence, Rhode Island and within an easy two-hour commute by car or train to New York City.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 3:21 PM
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duPont Marketplace: Vicksburg, Mississippi

Vicksburg, Mississippi was selected this year as one of the top 50 best places to buy an old house by This Old House Magazine. And the reasons for that are clear. The city situated on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers offers small-town charm, a relaxing pace of life and some of the most well-preserved historic antebellum homes available in the South.

"We've been a well-kept secret for many years. People who find that secret don't want to leave," says Pam Powers, Realtor at BrokerSouth Properties, in Vicksburg and Oxford, Mississippi.

"That's why bed & breakfasts are so popular here; it's an easy way to live the lifestyle without having to invest millions of dollars to own a fabulous property. You immediately become part of a community of B&B owners, artists, musicians, history, culture."

Vicksburg's National Military Park and Civil War museum draws more than 1 million visitors per year. The city is also headquarters to the Army Corps of Engineers and other engineering research facilities and has the highest per capita of PhD's in the United States.

Powers represents "Annabelle" - afully restored, working B&B located at 501 Speed Street. It's being sold turnkey with antiques and has consistently rated in the top 2% of B&Bs in the South by Arrington Publisher's B&B Journal's Book of Lists. The Victorian-Italianate home was built in 1868 in the Historic Garden District. Annabelle features 7 bedrooms, 5 baths and also includes an 1881 guesthouse that overlooks a swimming pool and the river valley. Adjacent to the property is "Floweree," available for purchase, with potential to be combined with Annabelle to create a larger B&B business. Floweree is on the National Historic Register and has a rich pedigree.

"Living in these homes, knowing you're helping preserve part of history...it's really special," says Powers.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 3:05 PM
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duPont Marketplace: Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock, Vermont is known as the Prettiest Small Town in New England and rightly so. Its location in the foothills of the Green Mountains in central Vermont and gorgeous valley setting only accentuates its charm and passion for history. Woodstock Village is the central focus for outlying rural areas of the Town, and home to its Village Historic District. Chartered in 1761, its age is esteemed by residents who cherish the array of architectural delights that line its genteel streets.

"Elm Street is among the most prestigious in the Historic District, defined on one side by the 550-acre National Park which was donate by Lawrence Rockefeller about 20 years ago for conservation," says Robert Wallace, broker/owner of Robert Wallace Real Estate in Woodstock.

Wallace represents the Major Benjamin Swan Homestead, located on Elm Street. Built in 1801, it remains in ownership of Swan's descendants and is literally "an untouched palate of original history." It is located on 1.3 acres of land that abuts the Kedron Brook, with a very private backyard, only one block away from the Village's unique collection of shops and boutiques.

"This house is of exceptional architectural style, with a rare gable-front Federal design," says Wallace. It retains its original 12/12 double hung windows and interior working shutters, fireplaces in their original placement, and the initial historic room configuration is nearly intact. Eleven rooms, five bedrooms, two baths and one-car shed provide plenty of room for graceful living.

Swan was prominent in his community where he served as Vermont's State Treasurer, as well as Woodstock's postmaster. "For people who cherish traditional architecture and admire it for what it is - this is a wonderful opportunity to own and preserve a rich piece of American history," says Wallace.

Woodstock Village is 2.5 hours drive from Boston; 4.5 hours from New York City.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 2:33 PM
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Market Insight: Denver, Colorado

Nestled in the lush, forested mountains a half-hour west of Denver rises the Meadow Mountain Estate, a breathtaking Santa Fe-style home sitting on 7.8 acres in the presitigious Soda Creek Community. Just minutes away is the quaint town of Evergreen, Colorado, which homeowners Terry and Kay Epstein describe as "an upscale mountain community similar to Aspen but very family-oriented."

Terry built the original house in 1985, than gutted and re-imagined it in 1993, expanding it to more than 10,000 square feet. He and his architects and builder left no stone unturned, as they say - and today, the Meadow Mountain Estate is a meticulously maintained property with a list of amenities that can inspire doubletakes: Seven bedroom suites. A solar-heated indoor pool and hot tub. An outdoor hot tub cavern. Game rooms. Nineteen flat-screen TVs. A rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Continental Divide. A converted barn with a full exercise facility. And more, lots more.

For a touch of whimsy, Terry added a 600-square-foot tepee to the grounds. Designed by Lakota Indian, the tepee has a stone-ringed fire pit, hardwood floors and hand-painted wall murals and is furnished like a bedroom with a full entertainment system. On the more practical side, the main home has a propane-fueled generator that will run the house for days in the event of a power outage. The gorgeous landscaping includes over two acres of flowers and lawn.

But the Meadow Mountain Estate's most remarkable feature just might be its price: $3.875 million. When it comes to buying a luxury home, there are deals, and then there are deals. Terry and Kay have moved to Maui, and let's just say they are motivated sellers. "When you boil it all down, we're selling the house for below $200 a square foot," Terry says. "You can't construct a custom home with similar amenities in Evergreen for less than $500-$600 a square foot. A buyer would walk in with an incredible amount of equity."

Interested parties should note that the estate's million dollars worth of Southwestern-style furniture and art can be had for $300,000 more. The place is virtually turn-key - as Kay says, "You can more right into the house and all you need is towels, linens, dishes and silverware."

For more information on this property, please visit www.MeadowMountainEstate.com.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 11:54 AM
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duPont Marketplace: Evergreen, Colorado

Evergreen, Colorado has an abundance of activities, and world-class amenities. A typical day in this lush, green town may include golfing, fly fishing, or viewing live entertainment at the local bars and restaurants. Evergreen also has hundreds of miles of trails, offering up some of the best road and mountain cycling in the country. Miles of creek frontage and Evergreen Lake set the scene of the many outdoor activities that take place year-round.

The biggest perk of living in Evergreen is the quality of life. According to Mark Foster of Intero Real Estate Services, "Evergreen is one of those rare places where you feel like you are on vacation on your way to work and home every day." There is a true sense of community here, complemented by a sunny climate and vivid spring, summer, and fall colors throughout the region.

Evergreen is conveniently located 20 minutes from Denver, an hour from the Denver International Airport and Vail, and 15 minutes from the closest ski area. Destination ski resorts such as Winter Park, Keystone and Breckenridge are only 45 minutes from Evergreen.

Known for its stunning mountain landscapes, the views this masterful home represented by Intero Real Estate captue the essence of Rocky Mountain living. The iron-gated and enclosed 2.4 acre estate is surrounded by native Colorado rock out-cropping, making it possible to revel in unobstructed views of snow-capped Mt. Evans from this 5,818 square foot home. This contemporary-styled residence is crafted with 100 year old antique fir beams, plank flooring, distressed knotty alter doors, and a hand-hewn stucco exterior with extensive decking and patio areas. Evergreen's numerous amenities are only minutes away, including fine dining, shops and recreation.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 11:35 AM
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duPont Marketplace: Castle Rock, Colorado

While most luxury real estate agencies satisfy customers through property sales, LuxHomesDenver.com does that and more - they offer luxury residential properties for lease, lease option/purchase, and residential home purchase. "We understand that right now, sometimes it doesn't make sense for someone to purchase a home, so our services provide options that cover the entire market share," says Joyce Kelly, owner of LuxHomesDenver.com and broker associate for RE/MAX Professionals in Denver, Colorado. "We work with our clients to see what option is best for them."

One property that Joyce currently represents - and is available for sale - in the gated-golf community of Castle Pines Village in Castle Pines at 1045 Meteor Place. Situated on 0.92 acres of land, the mountain contemporary home has gorgeous views all around of the Cherokee Ranch and Wildlife Sanctuary, the Rocky Mountains, and dramatic sandstone clifss among 27 acres of protected wildlife space. The 7,071-square-foot home features four bedrooms, six bathrooms, a grand room with a concept fireplace, a sleek kitchen, a beautifully-detailed dining room with one wall dedicated to individually-controlled wine storage, a recreation room, an elevator access both levels, and a dramatic floating steel staircase.

In addition to these amenities, Castle Pines Village has a 24/7 emergency service on staff available with the touch of a button from the estate.

Minutes away from Castle Rock is Denver, a city that holds true to the statement "There's something for everyone." Those who enjoy an active lifestyle can enjoy skiing in the mountains during the colder months, while mountain biking, hiking and golf are popular in the summer. The downtown area is a thriving center for cultural arts, as well as for fine dining and high-end shopping.

"People with a luxurious lifestyle are constantly relocating to our area," Joyce says. "We're able to offer them that luxurious lifestyle and more in Denver."


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 11:11 AM
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Picturesque Pacific Coastline: Pebble Beach and California

Pebble Beach, home of the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links, sits atop granite outcroppings surrounded by six miles of the picturesque Pacific coastline. Take a cruise down the 17-mile drive and witness some of this community's most magnificent attractions, including The Lone Cypress, The Lodge at Pebble Beach, and Fanshell Overlook. Explore abundant wildlife, including whales, seals and sea otters along sweeping coastlines. Pebble Beach captures the fancy of cultural connoiseeurs, offering a graceful milieu of exquisite restaurants, coffee shops and museums. While walking along the crashing surf you're sure to discover some of the world's most celebrated, exclusive neighborhoods. These coveted homes and estates sit within a golfer's dream world, giving prospective buyers an opportunity for an extended stay in this veritable Paradise on Earth.

Robert Louis Stevenson, famous novelist and travel writer, once called Pebble Beach "the most felicitous meeting of land and sea". This setting of crashing surg, granite superstructures, and rolling greens offers a wealth of activities to the residents of Pebble Beach and Carmel. Numerous outdoor activities such as tennis and golf attract tourists from all over the world. Stables and trail rides offer opportunities for equestrian aficionados, generating enthusiasm for a number of major hunter/jumper, dressage and Stirrup Cup shows each year. The Monterey Bay Coastal Bike Path, a 29-mile stretch of paved trail, winds it way into Pebble Beach from Santa Cruz, ushering cyclists through a scenic display of famous natural landmarks and Pacific vistas. Stillwater Cove is great for paddle boarding, and very nearby Ghost Tree gives surfers a chance to indulge in the waves.

Pebble Beach is strategically located between Carmel, Pacific Grove and Monterey. Carmel, an international tourist destination with burgeoning arts scene, holds an array of unique attractions. Many Pebble Beach residents go to the neighboring village of Carmel for its exquisite restaurants and charming coffee shops. Nearby Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, home of a variety of marine life including the ever-popular sea otters and harbor seals, features one of the largest aquariums in North America. Whale watchers gather at the bay to marvel at majestic killer and migrating humpback whales. Close by is a world-class Formula One racetrack, the Laguna Seca Raceway - host of Indy car and World Grand Prix motorcycle races, a challenging venue famed for its series of "corkscrew" turns.

Mediterranean homes in world-class locations characterize some of the most prestigious estates in Pebble Beach and Carrmel. Scenic Carmel Point, a 4,500-square-foot home with unobstructed views of the Pacific, sits in the charming village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Stevenson Drive in Pebble Beach features a home with superb detail, a huge master suite with a private ocean view, an interior courtyard with a fountain, and an outdoor fieplace. These and many more stunning homes featured by Peter Butler, owner and realtor of Carmel Realty Company are scattered throughout the Carmel and Pebble Beach Area.

Living in Pebble Beach is second to none - this beautiful ocean town along with nearby Carmel thrives on beauty, an ideally temperate climate, and a casual yet sophisticated atmosphere that defines elegance.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 10:34 AM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing: Tip the Scale in Your Favor By Focusing

One of the major disruptive shifts that occurred in the field of marketing luxury real estate is the extent of market knowledge that consumers now have because of their access to the same information that was previous the exclusive domain of agents. Previously, this knowledge base was asymmetrical, meaning weighted in favor of agents. Now it is more symmetrical with consumers on equal footing.  In fact, sometimes the consumer can know more than the agent if they have been doing extensive research by diligently keeping up with new listings, recent sales and listing status changes. 

This is a major challenge to luxury real estate marketing professionals. But, it also is a tremendous opportunity to establish an extraordinary value proposition that can also set yourself apart from your competition. Superior, focused market knowledge can give you the competitive edge.  In the corporate culture of Google, they have a mantra, “Focus Drives Results”.

Today, those agents who are generalists, those who do not specialize in a particular niche, are the ones who are most vulnerable to this shift.  Trying to keep up with all the changes in all aspects of a given market place is not only a daunting task it is a waste of time.  Only by narrowing your focus can you truly become an expert vs. a generalist.  Focus is the key! 

It should be made clear that narrowing your niche does not mean reducing your income providing that you pick the right niche.  Selecting a niche that has the potential of meeting your personal financial goals is essential.  

When you let go of the fear of missing out on income because you are focused amazing things begin to happen. Serendipitous encounters with opportunities become the norm.   This may seem like magic, but it is actually very logical.  The sharper your focus the more you are able to perceive opportunities that are right under your nose.  These opportunities are not even on the radar of competitors who are dispersed, trying to be all things to all people and wearing themselves out in the process.

For example, in the top tier of the marketplace we hear time and again that many sales are conducted when top agents put buyers and sellers together, selling homes that were not listed on the MLS.  Extensive knowledge of pocket listings, that is gaining information about properties that COULD be available for sale but are not formally listed, can set you apart as a true expert within your niche.  This is information that consumers, especially from out of the area, could not possibly know which tilts the scales back to asymmetrical in your favor.  It is also knowledge that your generalist competitors would probably not be aware of, or would not have to time to acquire.

In the new information era where consumers and competitors all a have symmetrical knowledge base, focus tips the scale in your favor.  Focus drives results!

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Pictures provided by Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 10:29 AM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing: Go Fishing Where the Fish Are Biting, Part 3

In Part 1 of this article series we looked at a key strategy to reinvent yourself as a luxury real estate marketing professional by refocusing your practice where sales are brisk. In Part 2, we identified the “mindset of resiliency” as a pre-condition to being able to perceive new opportunities that may not be obvious to your competition.  Here in Part 3 we cover an important skill if you want to gain or sustain market leadership:  Go fishing where the fish are GOING to bite, the arena in which the next “feeding frenzy” will occur. 

Gain the perspective of a trend spotter. Anticipate the direction in which the marketing is heading and become the “first mover” in that new market.

We recently interviewed a successful luxury real estate marketing professional whose previous business was retail. She owned a chain of women’s clothing stores and was the only retailer in her marketplace that specialized in carrying top designer labels. Then she began noticing a trend that was a potential threat to her business. The designers were beginning to open their own retail stores. 

When the local major shopping center announced that an entire new floor of the center would be devoted to these high profile designers’ stores, she knew it was time to close her business. Certainly, the shopping center owners anticipated this trend and went fishing where they could predict the fish were going to bite. The shopping center is one of the most successful in the country.

Bur, instead of being immobilized by this setback she leveraged her strong base of high net worth customers as potential referral sources and launched a boutique brokerage firm. Analyzing the market, she decided to specialize in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in her marketplace, where “the fish were biting”.  

Then one of her young affluent buyers indicated that he and his family were interested in a more remote area.  Proximity to the popular amenities of the city was not a priority. Privacy, informality, more open space and sandy beaches were their priorities.  After extensive research she was able to find this family the perfect home in a beautiful neighborhood that was not on the radar because of its distance to the center of town.

In the process she understood a very important trend.  For those younger entrepreneurs who operate their businesses via the internet, or primarily by phone from a home office, proximity to the more densely populated city was not a necessity nor was it more desirable.  

She proceeded to expand her target market by adding these more remote neighborhoods as to her area of focus before her competition wised up. As a result she is the dominant broker in that niche which continued to appreciate in value as more like-minded buyers began to move there.

Anticipating trends is an essential skill for market leaders who want to maintain their position.  When market leaders become complacent, they are vulnerable to challengers who see opportunities that their competition ignores.   There is nothing like a setback to sharpen ones focus, the prerequisite for recognizing where the next “feeding frenzy” will occur.  And, there is no fiercer challenger than the one who is bent on staging a comeback. Never underestimate a first mover, a challenger who has identified an untapped or underserved market niche that he or she is determined to dominate.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Pictures provided by Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/25/2011 at 7:53 AM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers
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