When it comes to marketing Santa Barbara real estate, I take a holistic approach. As a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty in Montecito, I’m not a salesman: I’m an expert in luxury. I work hard to reinforce that image by presenting a consistent — if differentiated — experience for potential clients on all of my marketing channels.
No matter what medium you’re using to communicate with clients and potential buyers, consistency and a focus on a tailored experience will set your channels apart. Through multifaceted marketing, you can quickly elevate yourself to the level of local luxury expert.
1. Know the story you’re telling
Creating a consistent, cross-channel experience requires understanding your brand and the experience you want people to have. The best way to describe the atmosphere in my market, for example, is understated elegance or casual luxury. It’s a very different experience from Los Angeles — a lot of the glitzy marketing and branding in L.A. would not work in Montecito. I’m aware of this difference, and I make sure I’m playing to Montecito’s strengths.
I want my social and print channels to mirror my brand. The images I post to my website, the Sotheby’s International Realty fonts I choose, and the words I use all paint a picture of this lifestyle: one of a coastal town of affluence where we mix up the casual outdoors with beaches and dining. I keep my advertising simple, clean and high-end. The same strategy applies to any market. Find what sets your business and your location apart, and imbue your marketing channels with that essence.
2. Tailor the story to the channel, and the channel to the story
While your marketing channels should feel consistent, keep an eye out for the stories that are best suited to each channel. On social media, I emphasize lifestyle, my market newsletters highlight my expertise, and my website underscores my luxury brand.
Real estate is ideal for social media: it’s an aesthetically pleasing industry full of stunning homes, especially in the luxury sectors. But social media wasn’t originally created for business, so real estate agents need to think carefully about their posts. Overtly business-focused social media can damage your resonance with followers.
My rule of thumb is this: your social media channels should have the same content ratio as a good cocktail party. There, you chat with a friend about family, about your recent goings-on, and business, too. Aim for a perfect balance. Too much of any one component and you’ll bore your followers.
3. Take the aerial view
Agents often worry when they start posting on Instagram and don’t immediately find new clients. It can be tempting to get more aggressively sales-focused when social media doesn’t surface new leads right away.
Successful agents need an aerial perspective. Social media is a long-term investment: you should identify where you want to be in 20 years, 15 years, 10 years and then work backward. By doing this, you’ll put out better quality content in the right channels than if you are focusing on immediate return on investments.
Instagram and Facebook paint a portrait of you as a person, and they allow clients to opt into what you have to offer. Your website and print materials are often the places to do more of the overt sell.
4. Provide materials your clients can actually use
Along with my website and social media channels, printed market updates are the third corner of my marketing triangle. These reports are elegant pamphlets that update my clients on the Santa Barbara market. I share any information they want to know: what’s the median sales price? Has that price increased or decreased? Has the number of sales changed year over year? As a result, my clients are always up to date on market changes — and they associate my brand with that knowledge. I also feature homes from my Sotheby’s International Realty colleagues across the world to emphasize our global reach. As you’re targeting a luxury market, ensuring your materials are luxe and informative can gain you the attention you’re looking for.
My marketing efforts work in concert, establishing a unified brand — and ensuring Santa Barbara’s high-end customers trust my expertise. Maintaining a long-term mindset is essential: I’m planting seeds to ensure my 10-year success. The sooner you build and unify your multi-channel marketing plan, the sooner you’ll see that success.
As a Santa Barbara native, Dusty Baker’s established reputation and knowledge of the local market seamlessly integrates into a successful real estate career which includes designations such as “Agent of the Year” and “Top 40 Under 40.” For nearly a decade, Dusty has been serving the real estate needs of clients in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta and Carpinteria, and has spoken as a marketing specialist on a national level at conferences and real estate offices. Dusty emphasizes robust marketing, skillful negotiating, uncompromised discretion, and concierge-level service.
About Sotheby’s International Realty
Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning clients of Sotheby’s auction house. Today, the company’s global footprint spans 990 offices located in 72 countries and territories worldwide, including 43 company-owned brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a franchise system. The franchise system is comprised of an affiliate network, where each office is independently owned and operated. Sotheby’s International Realty supports its affiliates and agents with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Affiliates and agents also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.
The affiliate network is operated by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, and the company owned brokerages are operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty Inc., both fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.
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