As real estate agents, we sell so much more than houses; we sell a lifestyle. For my home town of Santa Barbara, buying a house represents a life of year-round 70 degree weather, beach fun, and more restaurants per capita than anywhere in the United States. For other cities it could be the rural feeling of a Texas ranch, the downtown buzz of New York City, or the beautiful seasons of Virginia. So why do we get caught up with bed & bath count? Why do we spend the majority of marketing showcasing a home’s square footage? Instead, focus on the emotional side and paint a picture of the potential lifestyle that the home offers.
MEET DAVID CARSON
For this topic, I decided to bring in an expert on lifestyle marketing: David Carson of the Carson Team in Miami, Florida. In my opinion, David and his team do a fantastic job marketing both Miami’s and their lifestyles to grow business. Watch their video below to learn more about David and his top-producing team.
HOW DAVID AND I CONNECTED
David and I connected over Instagram. Yes, Instagram. He commented on a lifestyle video that I had posted and we have been talking and collaborating ever since. Do not take social media lightly; I have made incredible connections through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I now consider David an excellent resource and friend.
Q & A
Dusty: Tell me a bit about the Miami market right now. How are prices? Are properties moving quickly?
David: To be brief – Prices are up and marketing times are down. Both on Miami Beach and Miami Mainland, year-over-year gains are between 10 and 20 percent. This price appreciation has pulled more inventory on to the market, which we expect will sustain a healthy marketplace through the end of the current cycle. The luxury market (top 10%) outperformed the rest with monumental year over year gains. The pre-construction marketplace is hot and not slowing down, building into the pent up demand from the previous recession and fueled by a mix of flight capital from South America and secondary home / investment capital from Europe and New York. We’re mid-cycle in a city of growing international importance; it’s bound to be an interesting next several years.
Dusty: Your team emphasizes the Miami lifestyle in your marketing; have you found success with that approach?
David: I don’t think you could have said it any better. Especially for the clientele that my team (and Douglas Elliman) services, people are buying into the lifestyle associated with owning property in Miami. For many secondary users, it’s the sun and fun atmosphere, now bolstered by investments in arts and culture. For many primary users and business owners, it’s the business (tax) climate that is the biggest draw. Lifestyle marketing is absolutely one of, if not the biggest, successes we’ve realized in our marketing.
Dusty: In my opinion, your video marketing is incredible -- you have me laughing and interested the whole time. Is it working? How is the response from clients and potential clients?
David: Thanks for the compliment, Dusty. Our video marketing is something that no one else is doing. At least not the same way that we’re doing it. We’ve realized mixed levels of success, many of which have been through the recognition it has garnered amongst other agents, which has proven influential in referral business. Content is only as good as it’s exposure, and in that capacity, I think we can do a better job in getting these videos in front of the right clientele.
Dusty: Tell us the one thing that generates the most success for your team in regards to marketing.
David: Success in this industry is built around the strength of your database. Marketing is important, but prospecting has a higher ROI. Our biggest successes have been realized through consistent engagement with those who know our brand and are active receivers of our content. Speaking strictly to marketing, social media has been huge in building our brand. It is only one piece of the marketing puzzle, but there’s really no better way to stay in front of your audience while remaining un-intrusive. They followed us, after all.
Dusty: Tell us the one thing that was the biggest marketing bust.
David: Inconsistent print mail campaigns. In our industry, we call it farming, and it’s a long-run game that’s best suited for a highly targeted audience. Unless you can run the mail campaign once a month for a year at least, I wouldn’t waste your money on it at all.
SOCIAL MEDIA EXAMPLES
If you are wondering how to connect with either David or I via social media, here are active links to a few profiles. If you are wondering how to grow your business using social media, read my article on how to utilize Instagram here.