The real estate business is fascinating. Full of surprises. One that makes my day whenever I happen to turn the pages of local weekly magazines and look at real estate ads, is to discover that just about every company, no matter how big or small, pretends to be the real thing at the high-end and capable of reaching out to the world to find buyers for our local trophy homes.
Today, the buzz word is “Global”. Yes, I know that “global” has been a magic word for a heck of a long time already, but it is funny to observe that now, many real estate companies are waking up to the fact that there is a world out-there. Yesterday (or the day before), they were doing business as usual in a most unusual market; today, they are global. Nice.
I remember the day, in the mid 90’s, when I got myself a “globalsomething.com” domain name. It was at a time when the story in the real estate industry was that “buyers come from within 5 miles”. I used to reply to those who said such a dumb thing that the only reason they always did business with local buyers is because they never bothered to go beyond 5 miles to find out if there was life and potential buyers there.
I guess most brokers caught up with the news. Whether all have the financial & technical means of actually changing their marketing strategy & tools accordingly is another thing, but at least they use the big fashionable words. There is a big difference between words & deeds.
The business has changed, thanks to Internet and many of its offspring. Thanks also to the explosive growth, over the last 15 years or so, of many countries that have become major players on the international real estate scene, particularly in the upper-end.
Recognizing these facts at the start of 2012, at a time when the real estate activity was still trying to pull itself out of the recession, we, at Intero, created a new division: Prestigio International and launched the most exhaustive global high-end marketing program in the industry. Let me explain further why we felt compelled to shake up our strategy and methods:
- One cannot market extraordinary homes with ordinary means. In the select high-end market, every home is unique. The marketing vehicles and services need to be tailored to the subject property, in terms of location, architecture, style, size and price range. If you want to be legitimate and effective in the upper-end, you need to rely on a unit specializing in the listing, the marketing and the sale of exceptional properties and estates. We cannot mix apples & oranges.
- Luxury properties may be local / Most of the likely buyers are not. The luxury market keeps on evolving, because the world keeps on changing. While many years ago, as we alluded to earlier, the majority of the buyers were living close by, today’s buyers often reside or work hundreds or thousands of miles away. Buyers from China, India, Europe, the Middle-East or other continents and countries, represent the most active and potent segment of the qualified demand.
The job we have, as Realtors, is not merely to list a home, it is to get it sold. It takes size, power, connections and an impressive array of specialized tools and mediums to get the job done today at the high-end.
Hard to know, when you list a house, who the buyers are going to be and where they will likely come from, so we need to open the windows wide. The target is, all at the same time, the local town, the region, the State, the US… And the rest of the world.