Everyone needs a home, but how can we predict what will attract buyers? What features or amenities should we highlight when trying to connect with buyers looking for a luxury home? It’s common sense that buyers (regardless of age or economic class) are looking for basics such as a quality home that won’t leak in a rain storm, and in a location free from crime. It also makes sense that younger buyers would be interested in good local schools that will meet their needs as they build a family.
These needs easily map to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a five-level pyramid he used to describe the various needs we seek to fulfill. Maslow theorized that we couldn’t attend to needs higher on the pyramid until those of lower levels were fulfilled.
Notice how our “common sense” home features map to the Hierarchy of Needs. All buyers look to fulfill their basic physiological needs first (a home that provides shelter from the elements), followed by safety and security (affordable mortgage payments that won’t result in foreclosure, low crime, etc.) and love and belonging (a “home,” place to build a life with a spouse, good schools to raise children). With limited resources, younger or less affluent buyers don’t often have the luxury of looking beyond these core needs in selecting a home.
With decades of work experience, older buyers have amassed the financial means that those core needs are givens regardless of the home they buy. With their lower level core needs taken care of, they can select a home that fulfills their higher level of needs: esteem and self-actualization. It’s these higher level needs a luxury home must speak to in order to attract older, affluent buyers.
Reaching the Top of the Pyramid
All of us desire self-respect as well as the respect of others. This need for esteem pushes us to indulge in luxury goods and services, both for the respect in instills in others as well as the comfort and well-being it provides us. Self-actualization, the pinnacle of the Hierarchy of Needs varies greatly between individuals but in general is the state in which we can be our truest, autonomous, and authentic self.
To connect with our potential buyers, we need to demonstrate that our luxury home meets these higher-level needs. The desire for luxury goods is a hallmark of the esteem level of Maslow’s hierarchy. In the most obvious case this is exemplified by the purchase of a flashy car to “show off” to others. These types of ostentatious purchases are rooted in an unconscious desire to be well regarded by others, but as a buyer matures in their sense of self-worth their luxury purchases become subtler. Once assured that they have garnered the respect of their peers, they turn towards luxury items that reinforces their own self-worth.
- Focus on quality. Highlight your craftsmen’s attention to details.
- Demonstrate how your location is a “world apart” from where the rest of the world lives.
- Put your potential buyer within the story. Suggest how your amenities and location allow them to express their authentic self.
- Help them envision their luxury home being part of their extended family’s life. They may offer their home as a destination for children, grandchildren, friends and relatives altruistically, while simultaneously fulfilling their need to be loved and respected by others.
Signaling Luxury Through Design
Before a potential buyer steps foot into a model home or meets with a sales representative they’ll likely encounter an aspect of a marketing campaign. First impressions matter, so any online advertising should quickly convey the exquisite quality of our luxury community.
Buyers won’t be viewing our online advertising or website in a vacuum. They come to it with preconceived notions of what luxury looks and feels like. By using pre-established “signals” common across luxury branding we can convey the level of quality our potential buyer can expect from one of our new homes. Rich photography, subtle and refined use of text, and quiet elegance will communicate the high level of comfort embodied by our community.
Bringing it All Together
We’ve touched on the qualities we should highlight in our online marketing and some of the visual indicators that embody a luxury brand. To bring these elements together we us a process called Conversion Geography, a system by which we organize our elements within a single page (such as campaign landing page or website home page). Using our system, we can speak to the variety of user types that might reach our page and lead them through our content to maximize the chance they’ll convert from a prospect to taking action and contacting us.
For location based luxury brands, our Conversion Geography system recommends structuring our value propositions “outside in,” starting with an overview of the location before placing the potential homeowner within the environment.
We also use repetition and expanded details to reach the various kinds of users who will be visiting the page. Impulsive users only need the briefest sketch of information before contacting the community for more details. At the other extreme, methodical users will explore every nook and cranny of our online experience before making the decision to reach out to us. By cycling through our value proposition, expanding the number of details with each cycle, we can reach each of our users with the info they need in the order and time they need it.
Following our recommendations, a single webpage introducing a luxury community might be structured like this:
- Environment: A panoramic photo of the open spaces around the community showing its unique geography. An open space, devoid of other inhabitants suggests that this location is a ‘world apart’.
- The Buyer’s Place Within the Environment: Following our “outside in” philosophy, we establish the buyer’s relationship with the environment. Speak to the community or home’s placement within the environs.
This completes a mini cycle (“outside in”) which may be enough to convince our impulsive users. Include a clear call-to-action so those impulsive users can act immediately. For those who need a bit more attention, we repeat the cycle lower on the page speaking to the overall first…
- Amenities: Spa, Golf, etc., all the features of fine living that this location provides
- Wilderness: Natural beauty, hiking, outdoor activities
… before expanding on the buyer’s place within it.
- Proximity: Are there cities nearby? Paint the picture for potential buyers regarding their commute to work, or this community as a weekend escape, or the destination for family to visit
- The Home: Highlight the luxury quality of the homes, attention to detail, craftsmanship, how the home embodies the location
This completes the second cycle. To increase our chance of conversion we recommend including personal testimonials and a final call to action or links to further information.
At Immersion Active, we can help guide you through any issues you might have when it comes to marketing for Boomers and seniors. It’s what we do. We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us online or at 301-631-9277 for a discussion about how we can help you create a better website, or any other marketing topic.No Comments