Marketing luxury vacation real estate in 2009

What’s it going to take to sell high end vacation real estate in 2009? A lot, but it’s doable.

Think of what it takes to get into a top college…it’s not enough anymore to have the best grades (i.e. quality materials and finishings). You’ve got to have the recommendations (i.e. the backing of a strong real estate broker network), be from a desirable state for geographic diversity (i.e. a location that excites the buyers), have outstanding extracurricular activities (i.e. signature features/services which we call the *wow*), and write compelling essays (i.e. copy that sells because the strategic positioning is right and the message speaks to the prospects’ hot buttons). If you want to go all the way, tie into community work (i.e. support and do cause-related marketing, such as ecotourism).

If you haven’t relooked all of these elements for your project, you’d better do so. Also, check competitive pricing and your competitive marketplace since post fall 2008. The ball game has changed. Sensibilities have also changed mightily for affluent consumers. Sell experience, value, authenticity and speak a language of substance backed up by solid content. An emotional sell alone won’t do the job.

The good news is that combining value with sizzle will work this year – those with the cash to take advantage of good deals will be buying. Strategic alliances will help developers identify those opportunities by combining their databases and stretching marketing dollars while creating the new global hot spots that attract the savvy affluent consumer.

By: Sandy Carrier, Vice President – Real Estate Division

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