Once you have a listing, how do you prepare a marketing plan specific to that property?
Each home we list is unique and therefore our marketing plan is specific to each property depending on the owner’s needs. We love to have beautiful images and advertising for each of our properties, so our first course of action is to schedule beautiful professional photography of the property. Sometimes that will entail having a conversation about staging, or even bringing in a top interior designer to present the home in its absolute best light. We also pay attention to weather and time of day so that our photographs will really capture “that magic moment” which make the home truly special. After photography we design beautiful ad copy for the property, which we will do print advertising for as well as distribution within our personal network. Since we know a lot of buyers and sellers personally and are constantly getting references, this is a great way to get the word out about the property on a more personal level. If there is something newsworthy about the property, we will do a press release. The last piece is making sure the property looks beautiful on our 65+ online distributors. These sites, such as Haute Residence, make our property visible far and wide, and they really help generate interest and traction on the properties we list.
What media channels do you find work best, and why do you think they work? (Print, online, direct selling, word of mouth)
New media is a great channel for properties, and the internet is our greatest new resource in Real Estate. I always recommend building a property website, and we distribute each of our listings to 65+ real estate websites around the world. It’s also important to get on websites in foreign markets, especially for luxury real estate in Malibu and Beverly hills, because there are many foreign buyers in the market right now. It’s also important to keep a local print presence. We advertise our homes in local real estate glossies and also submit them to newspaper real estate sections so local buyers and sellers will get exposure to our inventory.
Do you find that specific media channels have become more effective for specific markets, properties, or market segments?
As a specialist in luxury real estate, it’s very important to reach buyers in the places they peruse. That’s why it’s very important for us to target luxury residential sites in addition to the mass market websites. You never know through which avenue your buyer will come, but it’s very important to have many open pathways for them to find you. It means diversification of your resources and targeting niche resources for certain properties. For instance, for our Santa Ynez ranch property, we submitted to Ranch-specific sites so that our property could be seen by the people looking for that kind of property.
What advice or assistance do you offer your clients when it comes to staging their property for potential buyers?
Staging your luxury property for both photography and showings is very important. It’s a time when you want to remove as much clutter as possible and let the beautiful elements of the home speak for themselves. Take down the 100 framed photos from the piano frame, and certainly store away clutter on kitchen counters and on top of tables. The home needs to have space for the new buyer to imagine their life there. If the artwork is cluttered, take some of it down, and leave the bold centerpiece that gives the home personality. Keep the items that give the house character, but take away the items that show “your character” and not the homes'. Remember, we want your space to be as readable and approachable as possible to the most potential buyers. Taste and decoration is very important for people buying high end properties.
When it is time to showcase the home, how do you decide to have an open house or show the property by appointment only?
Kathy Doyle Estates will do a broker’s open, but we will very rarely open one of our homes to the public. We want to introduce our new properties to the people who have connections to potential buyers, and that’s why we will open the house to brokers only. An open house for the types of properties we list will often bring “property tourists” rather than actual buyers. Before showing a property we need proof of funds. We spend a lot of personal attention on each of our showings and don’t want to waste anyone’s time.