In luxury real estate, big transactions require BIG lead generation ideas. Whether you have been in the lux business for two years or 20, lead gen is an ever-evolving (and ever-important) aspect. At this year’s first-ever virtual Mega Camp, Ben Kinney Companies Director of Growth Vija Williams sat down with three agents who are excelling in the luxury market to learn how they’ve each built their book of business. Here, they share tactical lead generation strategies to help your luxury brand reach the next level.
Approach Marketing in a Comprehensive Manner
In 2019, Minnesota agent Cynthia Froid’s two-person team sold $49 million in luxury urban lofts and condos in the downtown Minneapolis area. Froid credits this success to a comprehensive marketing strategy that covers repeat and referral clients that make up 70% of her business, but also considers new ways to attract customers.
For new business, Froid stands by her decision to lease out a storefront space in the heart of the historic Mill District, which sees a tremendous amount of foot traffic from nearby offices, restaurants, shops, museums, and residences. Froid has held the office space for about 12 years, and as she puts it, “That storefront works 24 hours per day.” Just how important can a prominent location be? “We make it very easy for people to find us and do business with us,” Froid shares. “Last year, we had a $2.5 million walk-in.”
Albeit not the anchor of her repeat-and-referral business strategy, the location is of importance to it. Froid is very intentional in farming the area in close proximity to her office. In particular, she focuses on 30 surrounding buildings by using direct mail to engage tenants. To stay top-of-mind with her referral sphere, Froid provides monthly individualized mailers to each building. The mailers contain information on what sold, the average number of days spent on the market, and how it compares to this time last year.
On the digital front, they offer a Saturday email loaded with data to a curated group of about 1,500 recipients that have opted in to receive the communication. This email is highly informative and serves two purposes: providing local value to their most engaged audience, but also a sense of urgency with sellers. Structurally, the order is always the same – a ‘coming soon’ listings section, price reductions, active listings, pending, solds, and a neighborhood feature spotlighting a local business or highlighting a neighborhood happening. The storefront also makes an appearance, next to Froid’s contact information. “Our clients know they have to sign a listing by Wednesday to make it into our popular Saturday email,” she shares.
Rethink Your Database
Austin, Texas top 1% broker Jeannette Spinelli and her team at the Spinelli Residential Group approach their database by distinguishing between the top 20% of their database and everyone else. “We choose the 20 and 80% not just by the price of the homes they purchased, but variables such as clients who have been living in their home for five years or longer, or referral agents,” she shares.
In nurturing this database, the team utilizes a drip campaign to keep in contact. The communications system stays consistent for both audiences – what changes is the messaging.
Spinelli pours the bulk of her time and energy into creating relationships in a personal and consultative manner. “We invest in the depth of the relationship and not the sheer numbers; we’re poised to do that because we’re not focused on volume.” By digging deep into conversations and understanding her luxury clients’ needs, she earns a “seat at the table” along with their financial planner, attorney, stock broker, and other partners to customize a plan to support their dreams and goals.
Be Relational, Not Transactional
In the Fort Lauderdale area, about 60% to 70% of Jason Kapit’s business at Kapital Brothers is in the luxury space. When COVID-19 hit, Kapit lost $10 million in failed contracts and from lenders going out of business, but quickly pivoted his daily practices and worked with his KW MAPS Coaches to revise his strategy from transactional to relational.
According to Kapit, this shift in lead generation was surprisingly simple and natural. He set a goal to reach out to at least 20 people each day, pulling from a core database of 3,000 contacts and steered clear of real estate communication, simply asking how people were doing. “I didn’t determine if someone should be higher priority than another. I just made the calls to see where they’d go.” As he reached out each day, three “new and improved” lead sources emerged:
1. Wealth managers
3. Past and current clients
The new relationships helped turn the impact of the pandemic around for Kapit’s business. “As I reached out to see how each person was doing throughout this difficult year, we had real, genuine conversations that also included how our clients were doing. With their input, we were able to get more listings in the pipeline.”
Kapit found himself with virtual call invitations from wealth managers and other leaders across multiple industries. Sharing the impacts of COVID on each of their businesses strengthened existing relationships and formed new ones. Behind the screens, trust developed. “Even though I thought I was somewhat relational before when I met my clients for coffee or happy hour, this season of shared hardship and concern has helped us forge stronger bonds.” Kapit has even gone to list $8 million in real estate with clients that he’s only talked to in person once or twice in the last few months.