"Ground hog day": real estate marketing needs a new day

Written by : Tim Vasko | Published on June 23, 2008
Category: Real Estate

I'm speaking at the Luxury Council event in New York at the beautiful Hotel Plaza Athenee along side some very impressive colleagues in the industry. Greg". From, Michale" From, Susie Ellis from and Steve Nobel from the Luxury Council.

I'm #4 - ugh! These people are SMART - what should I say? We're talking to executives from luxury brands - I don't want to repeat what the panel members have already discussed - I listen - I'm watching the nods and reactions from the audience.

All of a sudden, Bill Murray pops into my head - that scene where he's trying to kill himself, again, by driving off a cliff in the movie "Ground Hog Day" - that's what this is like, I think - today, in the marketing industry. I've been in this movie before - over and over again - in fact, we all have:

  • 1987 - the S&L crises, Black Monday October 19th, 1987, Graham Rudman, Crashing Real Estate and Financial Institutions
  • 1992 - Desert Storm
  • 1994 - Netscape browser is free - the web; what's that (the first year I bought my first Internet company for $40,000)
  • 1999 - 2000 .Com boom/bust
  • I skipped over the oil prices in the 1970's
  • Web 1.0
  • Web 2.0
  • Web X.0

What ever number you put behind it - it's all about the Technomic revolution - the way technology changes the way we think - we interact - we communicate - we research - we buy.

I then think about the first paper I wrote as a PHD student/University Prof in 1997, "Technomics: The Use of Information in the Distribution Revolution." It was pretty good - access to information, as information grows, and use grows, relevancy becomes more important, etc.

It's my turn to speak - I mention the movie "Ground Hog Day" - the audience chuckles, so I guess the analogy isn't lost on them.

I talk about the how a brand, especially a luxury brand, can't be Connected if you're not in the Connected Market Space - connecting internally inside your organization( B2B) and managing the culture and the mindset of your marketing and sales teams - giving them the tools that make them part of the Connected Market Space process. This is an imperative while you manage your brand and connect in the Connected Market Space B2C. It's what we do with our clients at - and what we do in our own organization. I like to call it, “eating our own cooking"

I discuss the Q3 Principal - Quantity doesn't mater - it's Quality and Qualiified - without Qualified prospects and buyers who will do business with you - it's all just noise. And, if you're not using the right tools and outreach (e.g. People in China send 5 Billion text messages a day - they're not on the net, they are on their phones - e.g. We just go the iPhone in Canada two days ago!) Know the platforms of your audience if you want to connect.

I share a story about how the numbers we see Print Media was 664% more expense to use to acquire a lead for a new development real estate versus using online media. At the same time only 6% of the marketing budget is spent online.

55% of the sales, for my example projects, came from leads we generated on line (the balance came from referrals to the real estate project in the developers tight circle - prospects they already knew - 0% came from print media). That's an expensive $150K thrown away on that real estate deal in today's market - maybe in any market. What don't they know? What cant they track? It's time to use the tools and the net the right way - I'm not saying "print is dead" - it's not. But PR is more important than ever, and 90% of the audience will go online - so online should lead where traditionally print has lead the way to market real estate - I believe this is true for Luxury Brands as well.

And that brings me back to that Bill Murray scene in the movie - why do developers still insist on throwing their money at media that doesn't return on the objective? Sell realestate - generate conversations with buyers, online that lead qualified prospects to become buyers. So many operate just like Bill Murray, driving off that Cliff in the movie, smashing the alarm clock.

The moral of "Ground Hog Day" - acknowledge that the world is different, that you have to wake up to the changes in the industry (inside Bill in the movie) - until then, it's just the same old story - and it's not working - it will be the same day of expensive media, without results. I finish - lots of q & a which is always the best part of these events. That's how I know we connected.

It was only an hour and a half, time to get back to doing what we were talking about "on-line" with our customers in luxury real estate along side the high end luxury brands and with the media that works.

Here's and example of Media that works - go buy the Robb Report Vacation Homes Aug/September Edition - The Robb Report has always been "Connected" - I believe the smart media like The Robb Report "gets it" and always will be.

Tim Vasko

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