Developers, builders and sales teams realize that the key to success is identifying your key audiences, effectively engaging them, and converting those leads into actual sales. Real Living Productions has identified emerging trends in buyer behaviors that we see impacting the luxury market of the immediate future.

1. The Luxury Market Is Skewing Younger

Gen-X and Millennials are fast-becoming a key audience for luxury housing and high-end communities. In the past, these projects could generally focus primarily on the “50 and up crowd.” Not anymore. With the rise of technology and the prevalence of dual-income households, younger families are realizing they can work remotely wherever they want.

A gated nature community, for instance, allows them to escape the overcrowded urban setting in favor of a more amenity-rich lifestyle. Significantly, they can prioritize safety and comfort, without sacrificing quality of life.

2.Password Protected Websites

One of the unique features of the new website Real Living Productions developed for Suncadia is that it contains a password protected portal for high-quality leads. This separate micro-site contains exclusive information and documentation to help nurture top tier prospects, providing them with all the relevant information they need to make a purchase decision. This is the next phase of exclusivity in real estate marketing.

3. Home Tours Go Long Distance

Charles L. Black III, Principal Agent at Iconic Homes with Compass in Beverly Hills, has seen the typical home tour/discovery phase take a dramatic shift with affluent buyers. “Over the past few months, we’re seeing more potential buyers skip the in-person Open House in favor of a virtual Facetime walk-through. Just recently I conducted multiple showings with a couple from New York. We walked through some 15 houses: me on location, and them in their living room in Rochester.”

What’s more, Charles was struck by how prepared these home buyers were. “They definitely did their homework, much more so than someone who would be doing a typical walkthrough. They were dialed in, and even knew certain aspects of the houses better than me. And that is not atypical, it is a new trend I’m seeing more and more of.”

4. Someone’s Checking You Out

Real estate developers have long followed a tried-and-true sales mantra: identify key prospects and drive effective messages to engage them. But what happens if they are checking you out long before you know they exist? That’s exactly what’s happening with today’s buyers. In the luxury market particularly—who are tech savvy and skewing younger every day—prospective home buyers are doing all their research online and forming opinions about your offering before the sales team is even aware.

It is critical to make sure your website and social pages are optimized to identify new eyeballs, and just as important to ensure that your sales team is responsive and follows up immediately with site visits or queries.

5. Built Product is At A Premium

Master-planned communities that have ready product available are increasingly in high demand. Built product is gold. Of course, in new developments (or new phases within existing private communities) having readymade inventory is often not possible. However, having spec homes or builder-owned models is the next best thing—as well as having an expeditious building process that makes prospects feel comfortable. Now more than ever, buyers don’t want to wait. Even if they fall in love with a particular community, if they feel the build time will be too long, they will search elsewhere.

6. Augmented Reality is now a reality for success

We highlighted this burgeoning trend a year ago and we’re including it again because it is even more relevant today in the luxury market. Augmented Reality (AR) is the next best thing to being there—especially when built product is not available. It also gives developers the opportunity to allow prospects to browse a new home without having to engage a sales team member or have a Facetime walkthrough.

Essentially, AR gives you the ability to add digitally enhanced images/content to a live camera feed to make it appear as if the new content is “real,” and a part of the environment to which it has been overlaid. It has opened up a whole new way for real estate communities and resorts to engage and influence customers.

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