Luxury Real Estate Marketing: Food for Thought: Is Free Really Free?

A few years ago we discovered a  company that gathers information about wealthy people and sells it to product and service providers and also charities who target high net worth individuals. Our interest was to see if there was a beneficial application for luxury real estate marketing professionals. 

The information they gathered about the wealthy is all public information. However, what is unique about their service is what they do the information.  They correlate the data using proprietary algorithms and are able to develop profiles on high net worth individuals (approximate net worth, likelihood to invest, donate, buy a second home or refinance, etc.) that would not be obvious if you just looked at the information piece-meal.  It is this sophisticated level of correlation that offers vendors and service providers added value when they pay for the service.  

This value proposition disturbed us because we felt that it was an infringement of privacy, even though all of the information was public. So, we discontinued our investigation into the company. 

Fast forward to Google’s announcement that they are about to  correlate the personal  information that they glean across the multiplicity of their platforms, i.e., Google +, You Tube, Gmail, its search engine, etc..  Given that the majority of Google’s revenue is derived from advertising, their intent is to deliver extraordinary value to advertisers, a value that is superior to that of their closest competitors.  

What they are saying to consumers is this correlation of personal information will provide a better user experience. After all, when you subscribe to Netflix, and rate movies in their system, they are able to make video recommendations based on your personal preferences. You may like the user experience on Amazon when they tell you people who purchased the same book you just bought “also liked” another book. This gives them a way to “up-sale” you (increase the amount of the current transaction). But, you may consider that there is value in getting suggestions.  This then, becomes  a value (theirs) for value (yours) exchange. There is no pretense of “free”. 

But, is this the same type of correlation of information that Google is now about to do?  Google is not just correlating information based on products you have purchased or videos you either purchased or expressly told the system that you like. It is also factoring in many, many more layers and dimensions of your personal preferences and personal information.  On top of all that it is factoring in your age and your current geographic location (based on your mobile devices), for example,  so that it can send you ads that are relevant to local vendors and service providers.

Are you comfortable with this?  You are giving your permission to all of this correlation of your personal information because you have opted-in by default when you sign in to you your Google account.  You do have the option to opt-out, but the onus is on you to take the action to do so, every step of the way which may represent an inconvenience to you.  You are given access to some wonderful applications, media, and tools for free.  But is free really free? 

Apart from any direct benefit to you, your preferences, buying patterns, web-surfing sequences, etc. is valuable information to Google because it helps them understand and predict others who have similar consuming profiles that you have.  This is yet another layer of correlation that factors into the ads that are selected to be displayed to you, ads that Google is being paid for not you.

Before subscription TV, which is brought to you via cable or satellite, TV was free. But, was it really free.  You paid for this with your time and attention as you also watched advertisements.  But, the networks did not collect information about your TV watching habits.  Through market research performed by companies such as Nielson, the networks were able to determine how many viewers were watching which shows.  The more viewers the more money they could command for their ads.

Today, you pay for cable or satellite service and you pay for the advertising with your attention unless you mute the commercials or fast-forward through them if you have recorded the program.  You have a choice to pay attention to ads or not. But, your cable or satellite provider does not know what programs you watch or record. They have no idea who in your family is watching the programs that are viewed on your TV.   

The cable and satellite companies may be able profile your household based on correlating your geographic location, the number of TVs you have connected to their service, the type of bundled entertainment packages to which you subscribe.  But, this is minor league compared to the mega-media of Google and Facebook.

Facebook is another “free” media that derives the majority of its revenues from advertising based on the correlation of your personal information.  With an IPO about to be launched thousands of enthusiastic fans and would-be investors are going to sanction this type of media advertising. A tidal wave of agreement is going to validate this model.

Unlike the company that gathers and correlates public information about high net worth individuals, the information that Google and Facebook gather and correlate about you is your private information.  The specificity of information about you is unprecedented. 

We are not trying to buck this current, just question it. Nor, are we here to pass judgment on Google or Facebook or their users. These are extremely valuable services. We are simply here to dispel the notion that you get Google and Facebook for free and also to propose an alternative idea.

What if you had the choice, like you do with your TV, to pay a subscription fee for the use of Facebook and/or Google services, even Google search, and not receive any ads whatsoever, with the understanding that they cannot use or correlate your personal information?  We would appreciate your opinion.  Would you pay (value for value) for such a subscription?  We would!


 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. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra. 


River Meadows Ranch Chosen for the HGTV 2012 Dream Home Location

River Meadows Ranch- Home of the 2012 HGTV Dream Home

In the heart of Heber Valley is River Meadows Ranch in Midway.  River Meadows Ranch is just 45 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and 20 minutes from Park City.  The valley is spectacular and the community breathtaking with the average lot size 1.5 acres, and estate lots up to eight acres.  Rockworth Companies, the development company of this community, features 39 lots offering state park and Provo River frontage, with both existing homes and lots for sale.

Property buyers that have a taste for the great outdoors will fall in love with the community as the valley offers nature and its spectaculars at its best.  There is fly fishing, boating and water sports on the Provo river, world class golf at Soldier Hollow Resort, The Homestead, and Wasatch Mountain, and skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing at Sundance Resort, Deer Valley, Canyon Resort, and Park City Mountain Resort.

To gather an idea of the area, picture the majestic Wasatch Mountains as the back drop and the Provo River running through the development.  The area is so beautiful that it has been chosen for the HGTV 2012 Dream Home Location, which will award one lucky winner a modern, 4,000 sq. ft. three bedrooms, four and a half baths home on two and a half acres with the Provo River running through the backyard.  This scene is not uncommon for River Meadows Ranch, as its lots are breathtaking, and the homes that exist, are fabulous.

For property and homebuyers that are interested in one of the most beautiful areas in the nation, River Meadows Ranch is a fabulous choice and one that will definitely provide a lifestyle that is exemplary and unimaginable as you are in the heart of some of the most beautiful scenes in the nation.

Search for more Park City Homes For Sale.

 

 

  This blog posting has been provided by Ben Fisher, an agent at  Summit Sotheby's International Realty in Park City, Utah. He services Park City Real Estate  http://www.parkcityluxuryrealestate.com  as well as Deer Valley http://www.parkcityluxuryrealestate.com/deer-valley.php. He specializes in online marketing for luxury real estate clients.



The International Allure of Miami

Miami is an incredibly beautiful city known throughout the world for its commerce, cultural diversity, music, and arts. South Florida’s central business district is located in Miami, emitting a profusion of lights over neighboring South Beach. With its sun kissed sand, art-deco hotels, and exhilarating night scene, South Beach poses as the face of Miami’s international allure. Latin beats, Jazz, and subtle down tempo music fill the streets from Lincoln Road to 1st street. A flourishing art scene functions not only to inscribe a sense of aesthetic wonder but also brings people together, generating a network of artists, enthusiasts, and connoisseurs. And of course the beach, with its endless stretch of golden sand meeting the blue and emerald Atlantic, sets the stage for all of these developing activities taking place in this culturally diverse milieu.

 

Lincoln Road:

Let’s begin our tour of South Florida with a stroll along Lincoln Road, replete with street performers, outdoor dining, shopping, restaurants and an eclectic mix of Miami natives and out-of-towners. Running north and south, Ocean Drive features side-by-side Art Deco architecture, exemplifying the ambiance we’ve come to recognize as distinctly “Miami.” South of 5th street, the South Beach scene heats up-hotels and beautiful lofts are situated within walking distance of fine dining as well as swanky lounges, bars, and clubs.

Developments in South Beach and the surrounding Miami area signal the area’s growing, changing, trend-setting and culturally vibrant character. Diane Lieberman of South Beach Investment Realty emphasizes the value of Miami’s creative influences, including the Art Basel exhibition, the MoCA museum, and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The Design District’s Wynwood Art Walk offers monthly opportunities to gallery hop while imbibing cocktails in the company of other connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

Diane also credits Miami’s New World Symphony, a first-rate orchestra that provides free Wallcast concerts to park-goers. By synthesizing its ever-changing natural beauty, arts, and entertainment venues, South Beach has successfully marketed itself as not only a great place to live, but also as an oasis where influxes of new buyers are thriving and enriching the local scene.

 

Miami Ocean House:  

Established in 1896, Miami is best known for its 15 miles of fabled beaches, beautiful people, and year-round sunshine. Of course there’s more to its charms than that. The city has a booming art scene, authentic music and food, many vacation apartments, and a variety of historic architectural styles. As Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner of Cervera Real Estate Services, says, “The biggest perks of living in the area are the weather, the fact that the city is easy to get in and out of, and the multicultural people who live throughout Miami.”

This subtropical city is home to 150 ethnicities who speak more than 60 languages, making up a population of close to 2.5 million people. It’s no wonder this popular destination is so well known for its authentic music and cuisine. According to Alicia, “Someone could go around the world with the variety of cuisine this city has to offer.” All these different cultures add to the color and life of this city, providing a broad world view for residents and tourists alike. Miami has the world’s largest collection of Art Deco architecture. A perfect example is Ocean House, a restoration of the former Walburne Hotel. This condominium is a classic example of Miami modern architecture, influenced by the Art Deco and Streamline Modern periods. The property exterior retains many of the design details of Miami’s Art Deco history, while the interior marvelously blends the past with contemporary touches, including an opulent pool deck, cabanas and full beachfront luxury amenities. 

Alicia’s favorite thing about Ocean House is “how it makes people feel at home while still providing them with a relaxing tranquil place to get away.” She adds that “it’s neatly nestled in a friendly, pedestrian neighborhood that’s literally four blocks away from Ocean Drive.” Today, the property exudes the charm and beauty of the old Walburne Hotel, while eclipsing it as the ultimate South of Fifth oceanfront residential address. A multi-million-dollar historic renovation makes Ocean House a residence like no other, in a place that is the envy of South Florida and far beyond.

 

Villa Magnolia:

Art isn’t always a painting or a sculpture. A masterpiece can be a home, steeped in unparalleled appointments and furniture. Such is this 12,879 square foot palatial estate, designed like no other. Resplendent and lavish, customization abounds. “Nothing is left untouched,” says Jill Hertzberg of The Jills, one of the listing agents.

“From Lalique faucets to matching-grain Macassar Ebony throughout, the home is filled with exquisite finishes,” adds Jill Eber, Hertzberg’s partner at The Jills.

Villa Magnolia sits on 200 feet of wide waterfront, offering a front-row seat to dazzling sunsets, dripping with breathtaking, fiery hues that blanket the sky. Electric gates open to reveal a majestic neoclassical home towering above verdant foliage, giving the property a dose of South Florida’s tropical ambiance. The rotunda foyer features a soaring 40-foot ceiling, curved marble and a striking two-sided staircase. The rest of the home is as luxurious as the grand foyer.

“This is the finest and most unique home in South Florida,” says Howard Marcus who is co-listing with The Jills. High end details include hand-crafted stone throughout the interior and exterior; specialized European paint finishes; 15-foot coffered ceilings; a third-level rooftop entertainment area and sun terrace; temperature-controlled 850-bottle wine room; a magnificent, large kitchen with a built-in 750-gallon aquarium in the eat-in breakfast area; art-filled living and dining rooms; a media room with a 10-foot screen; and a glass and granite elevator. Two infinity-edge pools, one right off the master suite, and a wide-open waterfront view create an ambiance befitting the South Florida lifestyle.


Marketing Luxury Real Estate: Is Power Schmoozing for YOU?

Have you ever wondered  how it is possible that certain luxury real estate marketing professionals can earn a massive income with just a basic website that is not well optimized to appease the Google Gods and  logging into Facebook only occasionally, if at all?  Marketing luxury real estate is more of a people business than a technology business.  And, these agents get that point loud and clear. They excel at the art of the in-person Power Schmoozing, the ultimate social networking skill, in our opinion.

With all of the hoopla over social networking and internet marketing too many very capable luxury real estate marketing professionals have gotten distracted, lost their perspective and have lost sight of their priorities.  Online schmoozing and blogging, when done right, can be effective.  But, how much time does it take in your day? How much time is the right amount of time for YOU?  This is something that you must ask yourself, personally.

In luxury real estate marketing, mega-incomes do not just happen. You need to consistently expand your sphere of influence if you want to expand your referral base. There is no getting around this.  However, If you are more shy than gregarious online schmoozing  and blogging may fit your personality better than a round of golf with highly connected friends. 

Recently, the WSJ reported that the game of golf is losing 1,000,000 players each year.  They referred to “time-squeezed, electronically-addicted” business people who think four hours or more is too much time away from the pulse of their business. But, how much time are you spending online?  It may be worth your time to measure the effectiveness, in terms of referrals, between online schmoozing and blogging and in- person power schmoozing.  Then, set your priorities accordingly. You may be surprised with the 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. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra. 

 


Chateau in the Sand: A Piece of Provence – Atlantic Beach, Florida


A rare opportunity to own and live in a work of art, this authentic Provence style home is located in the northern most frontier of residential oceanfront property in Florida, called “Old Atlantic Beach.” Initially settled many decades ago by old guard Florida families seeking a summer escape, the homes are nestled among high dunes and Oak hammocks that provide a quiet and luxurious atmosphere for people who value their privacy.

Perched on the edge of a dune on Atlantic Beach, this home is a lifelong dream of the owners. The home has Palladian roots with the timeless architecture of symmetry, elegance and simplicity, as well as an interior that displays a collection of art and antiques. All the doors are unique, all the light fixtures are careful reproductions or antiques, and finishing touches such as a Turkish marble sink and copper footbath filled with black river rock. 

The kitchen is a Chef’s dream. With an expanse of marble laid atop a worktable and a one-of-a-kind double sink carved out of stone by French sculptor Marie-line Foussier. The Library is another jewel – an entire room, seamlessly installed from a turn of the century New York home.

There is approximately 12,000 square feet of museum-quality construction with 7,000 square feet heated and cooled. Five bedrooms, five baths, two powder rooms, 1000+ bottle wine cellar, and massive hand-hewn heart cypress timber beams and rafters on terraces and in the kitchen.

The cabana level offers a luxurious 2-bedroom apartment with its own garage, private entrance and access to a private boardwalk to the beach.


Luxury Real Estate Marketing: When Your Name Becomes a Brand

 

Achieving celebrity status within your marketplace as a luxury real estate marketing professional can elevate you to “top-of-mind”.  At this point you become both well-known and well thought of locally by your target market and potential referral sources. Only then, when your name itself becomes very well-known, is it worthwhile to use your name as your brand and also as your website address.

The sudden death of Whitney Houston, one of the great voices of her generation, amplifies this phenomenon. Just the mention of her first name associated with the recording industry sparks immediate recognition of the performer.  Rihanna has recently achieved this status.  So, has Adele.  

Recently, famed Italian chef, author, restaurateur, and regular contributor to PBS cooking shows such as Lidia’s Italy, Lidia Bastianich, launched a product line.  This line includes pastas, sauces, and more.  Every item is known as Lidia’s.  Accompanying the picture and simple logo is her Italian slogan, “Tutti a Tavola, A Mangiare!”  This means, “come all to the table to eat!”  She ends each of her shows with these words.

If you have not reached this level as local celebrity think again about using your name as your brand, and your website address.  Think of it from the standpoint of a website visitor who knows no agent in your marketplace, let alone which name is the true market leader.  You would be much better served branding your practice and your website address as a resource, an authority on the lifestyle in your area. But, if you have established a name for yourself as the leading authority in your area or a niche therein, stick with your name as your brand.

 

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. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra. 


Market Insight: Phoenix, Arizona - Chateau of Central Transcends Idea of Arizona Living with Five-Story Luxury Brownstones

With Arizona traditionally known for palatial desert estates, Chateau On Central’s unexpected five-story brick and masonry brownstones in Phoenix offer a leek East Coast alternative to the traditional tile-roof and adobe-style homes synonymous to Arizona.

This elegant Old World style brownstone community features the same brick and mortar architecture of the historic buildings which line the streets of the most elite brownstone communities throughout the East Coast. From classic patina turrets and wrought iron detailing to spacious private terraces, Chateau on Central is a sophisticated 21-residence brownstone community that offers Arizona residents a rare opportunity to experience an opulent East Coast lifestyle.

 

Returning to the market earlier this year newly priced in the low $1 millions, the luxury development is especially unique to Arizona because it’s the only high-end community in the Valley to have so closely replicated the Queen Anne style architecture from the late 19th century. Chateau on Centrals architecture was inspired by the historic Rosson House in downtown Phoenix, the Victorian style home was built in 1985 and at the time was considered one of the most prominent residences in the Valley. Today the Rosson House functions as a museum and is the only remaining example of Victorian architecture in the state.

Over a century later, Chateau on Central bears a similar prestige given its lavish design, historic influence and Old World style. The landmark community is idyllic in location, just steps away from the state’s most prestigious art museums, shopping centers, restaurants and entertainment venues.

 

Each of the 21 homes at Chateau On Central features five levels of lavish living space and dramatic architecture that blends Old World sophistication with the charm of a historic brownstone in the heart of Phoenix’s arts, culture and entertainment district. Ranging in size from 5,200 to nearly 5,800 square feet, with a signature residence that boasts a sprawling 8,200 square feet, generous square footage along with multifunction zoning allow for potential office and/or boutique retail space. Priced from approximately $1.1 million, Cambridge Properties is the broker of record for Chateau on Central. 


Tucson, Arizona: A Small, Vibrant and Enchanting City

With 25 years of selling luxury real estate in Tucson, Arizona, Adriana Loschener, Associate Broker of Long Realty Company, has seen the ups and downs of the housing market and how it has affected her marketplace. “We have a very unique market,” Adriana says. “Tucson is surrounded by mountains to the north, east and west. An Indian reservation is to the south of us. Because of this, we don’t have the urban sprawl of other big cities, so our inventory of homes for sale is limited. The luxury properties we currently have for sale will not be available 12 months from now.” 

Adriana notes that Tucson is surrounded by mountains to the north, east, and west. An Indian reservation is to the south of us. Because of this, we don’t have the urban sprawl of other big cities, so our inventory of homes for sale is limited. The luxury properties we currently have for sale will not be available 12 months from now.” 

Adriana notes that Tucson is a small, yet vibrant and enchanting, city with many amenities. “You’d be surprised by how much there is to do in Tucson and the surrounding area,” Adriana says. An endless amount of outdoor activities, including golfing, hiking and biking, are favorites among locals and visitors alike, as is the city’s arts and culture scene. Perhaps the most interesting perspective of the city is that many people actually come to Tucson during the “monsoon season,” Adriana says. “You can enjoy a cool, early summer morning, watch the monsoons in the afternoon cool off the Sonoran Desert, and then appreciate the awesome sunsets.”

And when you come for a vacation to the Old Pueblo, there’s a good chance you will want to stay. “People come for a visit to Tucson, fall in love and make it their home,” Adrianna points out. “The housing market in Tucson is growing steadily. Real estate is at a great value, making it a perfect time to buy.”


50 Top Luxury Real Estate Markets in the USA: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Pristine and serene are words that best describe one of the most beautiful lakes in America. Yet, Lake Couer d’Alene in Idaho is just one of 13 magnificent lakes in a mountainous region that includes the towns of Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint and Hayden Lake. With 5 ski resorts within a short drive of these towns, the area is steadily gaining a reputation for quality of life that is unsurpassed, especially if you enjoy a full range of winter and summer recreational sports.  Located just 30 minutes from Spokane International Airport, the Coeur d’Alene area is not just a destination for vacationers it is a great place to retire or simply call home.

The scenic beauty in the Coeur d’Alene area is absolutely stunning. In fact, Sandpoint was recently named the most beautiful small town in American by USA Today and Rand McNally. Cheri Hyiatt says, “There isn’t a day that goes by that I look outside and something catches my breath. The people are beautiful here, too. There is a real sense of community with people who have a passion for life”.

Karen  Corcoran states,  “As a resort destination, the combination of mountains and lakes in the Coeur d’Alene area has a similar feel to Lake Tahoe in California”. Downtown Coeur d’Alene is a cross between the quaintness of Carmel and the beauty Tahoe. Living here feels like you are perpetually on vacation. The people are genuinely friendly. It started out as more of a retirement community.  But, now it has become more family oriented”.

According to Jan Keener, “Coeur d’Alene Lake is about 28 miles long with over 200 miles of shoreline. If you own a dockside home on the lake you can boat into town. There are wonderful restaurants right on the lake”.

Natalie Leatherman points this out: “One big difference between our area and the alpine resorts of California or Colorado is the lower altitude. You can comfortably go swimming in our lakes and rivers because they are much warmer in the summertime. With warm water and an average temperature of 85 degrees in summer months, boating, waterskiing, jet skiing, river rafting, and fly fishing become that much more enjoyable”.

Bob Schmand adds, “There are no mosquitoes and no poisonous snakes in the area which makes camping and hiking more fun. Golf is also very popular here. The Blackrock Golf Club in nearby Hayden Lake was first made famous by singer/actor Bing Crosby who grew up in Spokane.  The Crosby family still has a home there”.

Coming from a wonderful area in Southern California, Pam Jank can appreciate why people want to move to Coeur d’Alene. She says, “We live where you vacation especially if you are into recreational sports. We even play golf in the winter, “mukluk golf” that is! With snow shoes and tennis balls, we have a great time. People spend less time on freeways and more time doing things like this together here”.

Cindy Bond puts it this way: “Why not live where you can play?  The Coeur d’Alene area is the perfect scenario for those who are looking to get out of a metropolitan area, enjoy their hobbies and interests in great weather and in a safe community. The people who move to Coeur d’Alene as full time residents and those who purchase a second home are focused on enriching their lives. And, they bring the best of where they came from which enriches us all here”.

“One of the best features about living in Coeur d’Alene, according to John Beutler, is the variety of natural and cultural experiences available to you, plus the convenience of being close to a major city. While you are only ten minutes from the national forest you can reach Spokane, a metropolis of 500,000 people, in a half hour”.  Bill Fanning says, “For retirees a big concern about resort living is access to top medical facilities. Spokane has the biggest medical center between Minneapolis and Seattle”.

According to Sarah Mitchell, “The natural beauty of our area attracts artists and we do have a strong local art community.  It is like you ‘live in a painting’. We have ‘art walks’ in both Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene where the galleries stay open at night. We have art in public places, too. You may find a statue of a moose or a bicycle rack that resembles a fork and spoon. There is a very cosmopolitan feeling; I find that people in general here are well read and well traveled”.

What Christy & Randy Oetken appreciate the most about living in Coeur d’Alene is this:  “Simplicity of life!  People in our community are ready to help each other. It is simply less stressful to live here”. 

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. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra. 


Luxury Real Estate Website Design: 7 Components of an “Authoritative” Website

So much attention has been paid to get website visitors to find you, but what is going to keep them on your site and keep them coming back so you can capture their leads? In marketing luxury real estate online your website should give the visitor a strong level of confidence that you are the expert, the authority in your field.  Visitors should feel like they do not need to look any further once they have discovered your site because they have found the most authoritative website in your marketplace or the niche in which you focus.

"Authoritativeness” is also one of the criteria used by Google in the page ranking system. They simply want to match the user with the expert who can best answer the user’s query.  The more the user is satisfied with the answers the more often they will come back to Google for search, and that means more eyeballs for the ads they sell.

Here are 7 components that comprise a successful authoritative website:

  1. An interactive “brochure” about you or your company that gives an immediate positive first impression.   Your portfolio of sold homes, especially if it is extensive, can quickly establish your authoritativeness.
  2. A strong marketing message in words and graphics that instantly sets you apart from your competition and demonstrates that you are the expert
  3. A  user- friendly self-service environment that is easy to navigate
  4. A window to the lifestyle of your marketplace
  5. Original content, content that no one else has
  6. Content beyond just real estate information that offers compelling reasons to keep coming back to your site, especially for local visitors, those who are not currently in the market to buy or sell. These are your potential referral sources beyond just your immediate sphere of influence
  7.  Remarkable content that sparks word-of-mouth advertising and builds an audience of raving fans.

If market leadership is your quest, building the most authoritative website in your marketplace or niche therein is of paramount importance.  But, website visitors are becoming savvier.  If you do not instantly differentiate yourself or your company from your competition and offer original content that is engaging your chances of capturing the all important lead is reduced significantly.  

 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. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra. 


Fabulous Florida

Florida has seemingly endless possibilities with its gentle climate, booming business opportunities, major attractions, and diverse year-round recreational activities; you can be sure that you will always have something to do in the Sunshine State. And whether you’re seeking a spacious family home, a waterfront property, or an intimate and secluded environment, Florida has options that will perfectly suit your taste and lifestyle. Florida’s stretch of beaches, theme parks, golf courses, and many other famous attractions are always available when you want them. If you’re the type who likes to avoid the crowds, the Sunshine State also offers plenty of carefully preserved places to explore, such as its beautiful state parks, estuaries, natural springs, hiking and bike trails, and greenways.

Whether you want to come to Florida to vacation or live, the striking diversity of coastal and inland lifestyle choices will surely impress. 

 

BONITA SPRINGS

Located on the southwest coast of Florida, Bonita Springs is considered one of the most beautiful 0laces to live in America. “Some of Bonita Springs’ charm lies in its season-less, sub-tropical climate,” says Barry DeNicola Sr., a proud resident of the city, an established broker, and the owner of Barry DeNicola Realty. This translates to warm weather with cool breezes nearly all year long for its residents.

If you find yourself evading the cold by day and dreaming of ideal climate by night, this area could be a perfect fit. From 20 somethings to business professionals, families to retirees, Bonita Springs has quickly become a destination for many lifestyles because of everything it has to offer.

From a housing standpoint, Barry happily says property sales have increased by 40 percent this year and that his company closed the year with its best figures since 2006. “With the increase in sales, there has been a group in available property,” Barry says. “Now is the best time to come enjoy the perks of Bonita Springs, a city that puts the ‘sunshine’ in the Sunshine State!”

OCALA

As an equestrian’s utopia, Ocala is well known for its bucolic farms, horse ranches and estates surrounded by Marion Country’s rolling hills. Ocala’s climate celebrates warm weather, clear skies and just enough cold or rainy days to make its residents truly appreciate how beautiful the area really is all year round.

With easy travel to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, residents can take advantage of the coastal recreations that have attracted so many to the Sunshine State. Ocala also offers a number of other popular outdoor activities, such as tail hiking, road and mountain biking, and golf. Of course, it’s the full gamut of equine disciplines that make Ocala a paradise for horse enthusiasts. These activities include polo, thoroughbred racing, jumping, mounted shooting, dressage, carriage riding, and cross-country events.

                Ocala further offers a warm and friendly downtown area with superb restaurants and retail establishments. The city’s diverse, multi-faceted community also boasts fantastic artistic and cultural offerings, such as art galleries, theaters and even a symphony orchestra Ocala’s resident’s can also enjoy a calendar year’s worth of social gatherings, benefits, and a slew of other well-attended events.

Though there are ample reasons to live in Ocala, it’s “the people who really help distinguish this city from any other,” according to local realtor, Joan Pletcher. Joan exclaims that the city’s residents are very friendly and are “always willing to welcome someone new into the neighborhood.” Her advice? Experience Ocala’s intimate, “small town feel” for yourself!

WINDERMERE

The quaint town of Windermere offers some of the most exclusive, architecturally appealing real estate in all of Central Florida. Windermere is nearly placed amongst the Butler Chain of Lakes, providing an unrivalled view of the natural landscapes. A prime setting is just one of the reasons this town commands some of the most sought-after waterfront properties in all of Florida.

An example of the town’s exquisite lakefront properties would be the Villa Paradiso. “Designed with unprecedented architectural mastery, this waterfront estate celebrates Tuscan architecture and commands panoramic views of the famed Lake Butler,” remarks Carol Ann Hewitt, broker at Oxford Realty, Inc.

Windermere is part of the greater Orlando area, which Carol Ann describes as the “playground” of Florida. The small town is tucked away in the southwest region of Orange Country, with Disney and all of Orlando’s fabulous attractions only 15 minutes away.

Unlike some popular destinations in the Sunshine State, Windermere has achieved a harmonious balance of modern-world amenities and historic charm. Avoiding over-zealous development, the town has preserved its authentic roots, ensuring the town’s quaint character for future generations to come. If you are looking for lush landscapes, waterfront living, and proximity to world-renown family attractions, Windermere is a town not to miss.


Luxury Real Estate Web Design: Information Overload?

You may have heard the phrase, “sticky website” bandied about.   It has to do with the time a website visitor says on your website during a given visit.  The stickier the site the more time they spend there and the more chance you have for capturing their lead which is important if you want to gain or sustain market leadership as a luxury real estate marketing professional. But, is there point where providing too much information is detrimental to your success?

Content rich websites are sticky to the extent they offer compelling information.  But, how much information should you provide? It is possible to overwhelm your visitor with too much content.  The key is to find the best balance for your target market.  Compelling information is important, but compelling them to reach for more by contacting you is even more important. 

Get the idea of feeling satiated after a good meal at a fine restaurant. Any more food beyond that point is an overdose.  Now, get the idea of how you felt when the waiter brought you the dessert menu and offered you a choice of coffee or an after dinner drink.  You were not satiated, yet.  The meal was awesome up to that point and you wanted just a bit more. That is the point you want to achieve in terms of the amount of information on your website.

If you are a Monty Python fan you may have seen the film, “The Meaning of Life”. There is a scene in a French restaurant with an enormous man, Mr. Creosote, who is a glutton. The waiter offers him “one more petit four” and he literally explodes. 

Think of Mr. Creosote, when it comes to de-cluttering your website and finding just the right balance of information that keeps your visitors hungry for more.  That is an important factor to consider for a luxury real estate website, if you want to capture more leads.

 

  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. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra. 


Vail’s Home of Homes

“Only the finest materials were selected for this astonishing 4,000+ square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bath home,” says Tye Stockton, owner/broker with Ascent Sotheby’s International Realty. “No photo or single view can fully describe the splendor of 54 Beaver Dam Road.” This architectural masterpiece in Vail, Colorado, was painstakingly designed by its owners and master architect, Michael Suman, to incorporate luxurious finishes and details inside and out. The property boasts indigenous Colorado Buff stone and copper accents on the façade, Douglas-fir ceilings, a “Telluride Gold” stone-clad fireplace, European ash flooring, and rich cherry-wood walls and custom cabinetry throughout. 

The prestigious residence also features a dramatic outdoor living space, overlooking Gore Creek with panoramic views of the majestic Gore Range in the Rocky Mountains. One of the county’s quintessential mountain resort towns, Vail offers exception skiing and riding, thanks to the average winter snowfall of more than 360 inches annually. The warmer seasons are equally beautiful with average summertime temperatures in the 70s and low 80s and little to no humidity. The fall brings amazing opportunities for watching the leaves change colors with the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop.

“With over $1.5 billion in public and private upgrades in Vail in the past six years, we offer the best combination of on-mountain and off-mountain options and amenities,” explains Tye. “A new sit-down option at Mid-Vail Dining Court, Elway’s steak house, Matsuhisha and Sweet Basil, gives residents and visitors a range of fine dining options.

Impressive are the finely crafted details, such as the in-floor lighting beneath the stone entryway, backlit green onyx in the main-level bathroom and “book-matched” lava granite backsplash in the kitchen. “ The rare combination of the home’s in-town location, creek-side setting, spectacular mountain views, outdoor space with fire pit and plunge pool, and some of the best finishes and technology available today,” says Tye, “make this home one of the most coveted addresses in Vail.” 

54 Beaver Dam Road – Vail, Colorado


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Posted on: 2/3/2012 at 12:19 PM
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Featured Property: Hill Country Magnificence

Near San Antonio, Texas

 

Rarely does a luxury property become available that you can develop exactly as you wish-without having to start from the ground up. Such is the case for 533 U.S. Highway 87, a ranch near Boerne, Texas. With five dwellings-a main house, a lodge, a guesthouse, a cabin, and a lake house-located on more than 255 acres, this ranch can become whatever you want it to be.

“533 U.S. Highway 87 is everything you could imagine,” says Debra James of KW Luxury International. “The diversity of use is incredible. It could so easily work as a family compound, a corporate or religious retreat, an exclusive high-end hunting lease, a sports camp, or an equestrian property.” 

For anyone who enjoys a vacation getaway, there’s enough space to create a landing strip for airplanes, and four of five dwellings are already full furnished. For the athlete, it’s an absolute dreamland. On the property you’ll find an indoor sports complex, indoor clay and hard surface tennis courts, an indoor basketball court, three outdoor grass tennis courts, indoor and outdoor volleyball courts, two indoor fitness centers, a batting and pitching cage, a putting green, an archery range, and a diving pool. For avid outdoors enthusiasts, 213 acres are high-fenced for exotic game, while a seven-acre lake, fed by active springs, is stocked with bass, catfish, and hybrid perch.

Multiple water wells, with elaborate water conservation and catchment systems, are notable features of the property. “Having this much land with this much live water is a big deal,” Debra says, noting that water development is crucial for a property of this scale.

 

And if you find yourself wanting a different atmosphere after enjoying the ranch, San Antonio is only 45 minutes away. There you can explore the Riverwalk – the number one tourist attraction in Texas with the finest hotels, renowned restaurants, art galleries and theatre venues, featuring beautiful Moorish and German architecture dating back to the late 18th century.

 


Luxury Real Estate Personal and Company Branding: Is Your Slogan on Point?

As a luxury real estate marketing professional you can distinguish yourself from the competition with a great slogan.  The slogan is effective when you can distill in a few words the essence of your brand.  How are you distinct from your competition?

In the highly competitive world of auto insurance, there are many slogans.  One company is expressing its unique promise of value using this slogan:  “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”  Here is Mercury Auto Insurance’s slogan: “It takes more than a good neighbor to save you money!”

State Farm is promising neighborly personal service when you have a claim.  That is nice. Isn’t that what is expected from any insurance company?  Mercury Auto Insurance is saying that they are not just a good neighbor, they also save you money. Being a good neighbor is important, but isn’t it more important to save you money?   

In the smaller competitive world of Farmers’ Markets in Central and Southern California, one of the growers has this slogan, “No baloney just vegetables”. In a venue full of organic vegetables, fruit, etc, this has no validity except for expressing a sense of humor.  

A slogan has to be so compelling that in an instant it can communicate its value.  In women’s shoes Donald Pliner has a slogan which distinguishes his brand from other shoes made in Italy:  “Made in the Mountains of Italy”, which evokes an instant emotional response:  the notion of craftsmanship and attention to detail in a small town rather than in an industrial city such as Milan.

What is great about all the slogans mentioned here is the brevity of their communication.  The key is getting the entire value proposition condensed into just a few words.  That is the art of slogan writing which is what we strive in our strategic branding practice.

 

   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. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.