Selling Luxury Homes Using Story Telling

I’ve read many house descriptions on MLS listings and websites and I think of an ad for a Porsche:  4 wheels, 6-cylinder turbo-charged engine, classic styling.  How many cars do you think they’d sell?

No this is a porsche ad, does it grab you, does it take you to a place that you long for?  In few words, Porsche tells a lifelong story, a story that you want to put yourself into.

Writing great ad copy to describe your listings is important. In the luxury Home market, it’s even more essential. What are the elements that distinguish features and benefits as opposed to telling a marketing story?

Laundry list or lifestyle?

When you are marketing a luxury property, you must do much more than just providing a list of features. Yet when you look at most real estate ads, including those for multimillion-dollar estates, this is what you will normally encounter:

“The main home features 6,420 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, a 1,000-bottle wine cellar, 6-car garage, security cameras, and an expansive game room with a full bar, cigar closet, media center and screen, and gaming machines. The outdoor kitchen includes two built-in big-screen televisions, a zip line and tree house for the kids, plus much more.”

Now compare this ad:

“Enter your personal work of art.  It starts with the washed brick exterior in the style of an English castle, enter through the Castle Door that leads you to the grand foyer and formal dining room but don’t stop here.  This luxurious theme carries throughout the house created by the interior design of Sue Selby.  Be sure to enjoy the “Alice in Wonderland Suite” upstairs; a place for a child’s fantasy and fun.  The luxurious “Fit for a King and Queen Master Suite” on the main level offers the pease and grandeur of a fine hotel overlooking a world class golf course.  The raised paneling of the Home Office accented by the suede painted walls draws images of an English Abby. Dinner is almost ready; any chef would find them self at home in the gourmet kitchen while absorbing the stunning views that bring the outdoors in.  Dinner will be served on the screened-in-porch overlooking the Legacy Course hole 12.  So, happy you could join us.”

What’s the difference between the first and second ad? The first ad is gives you the facts and it uses a lot of adjectives. The second ad paints a picture of the lifestyle and puts you in the house. You “paint the picture” using verbs rather than adjectives. Remember you’re selling something that no one needs so you need to create desire and you do that by painting a picture and putting your prospective buyer in the picture.

 

How to tell a story

How can you build a story about a home?  The story will come from the home owner, the builder or the interior designer and from you.  Let them all tell you what the home means to them, how they’ve enjoyed it over the years and what inspired them.   

Your story will separate your listing from 98% of the other listings that your buyer is considering but to seal the deal you need to use video.  Video is today what TV was in the 50’s and radio was in the 20’s; it’s the preferred way to communicate.   In video, you sell the features and benefits of the home and you control the mood of the viewer, something that can’t be achieved in still pictures.

The luxury marketing experience

One of the best ways to motivate a luxury client to purchase a property is to let them experience how the lifestyle fits their vision of their future life.  I’m always present at my listings showings because I believe my homes must be sold, and I’m an outstanding salesman.  I have no idea what the abilities of the buyer’s agent might be so I refuse to put my future and my client’s future in their hands.

As we tour the home I guide them to experience the home, “sit down here and imagine having your morning coffee as the sun rises over that mountain.”  “What do you think of this copper farmers sink?”  “Look at these Elite theater seats, can you see your family enjoying movie night here, or a kid’s birthday party?”

 

Kerry Grinkmeyer is a real estate agent with RealtySouth.  Kerry specializes in the sale of luxury homes using the latest of technology, conventional media and social media.  Kerry also uses Target Marketing built around his proprietary Predictive Analytics Program that he has developed for the Birmingham market.