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September 2, 2014

Luxury Agents Try ‘Shock and Awe’ Marketing

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Luxury Agents Try ‘Shock and Awe’ Marketing

Marketing multimillion-dollar mansions may require stepping outside-the-box and getting fancy in luring potential buyers, from hosting mini-circuses, raffling off Botox treatments, to having models lining the properties, and more. 

"Price is key, but it's the presentation that will sell the property," Lisa Sorrentino, a real estate agent in Calabasas, Calif., told The Los Angeles Times. Sorrentino held a mini-circus in the back yard of her $8 million listing, complete with a juggler, contortionist who floated in the pool in a plastic bubble, and a stilt walker.

“Competition for qualified buyers is fierce, leading to a game of one-upmanship by agents looking for any edge,” a Los Angeles Times article notes. Real estate instructor Paul Habibi with the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management even refers to it as “shock and awe” marketing. 

"Years ago you simply posted the listing on the Multiple Listing Service or hung a sign out, and pretty soon you'd have it sold," Habibi told The Los Angeles Times. "Now sellers are reverting to other tactics to tap into buyers and get them on the hook."

And open houses are getting fancy. For example, one agent offered horsebacking riding to show off a 6-acre estate of the home he was listing while a Malibu agent lured buyers to an open house by raffling off Botox treatments and Thai foot massages. In listing another luxury home, one agent had models line the front of a new condo project and serve free drinks with the theme “it’s always cocktail hour” at these condos.

Source: “Real Estate Agents to all out to Market Luxury Homes,” The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 27, 2011)

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