Have you ever wondered how to make your real estate marketing appeal to a more high-end clientele? The secret could be in the social media platforms you choose, as I learned recently when I was judging the Real Estate Business Awards.

Several of the recent REB Awards submissions really impressed me with their use of digital and social media marketing. However, one, in particular, stood out when it came to breaking into the luxury property market.

James Pratt has leveraged Instagram superbly to position himself as the go-to auctioneer for multimillion-dollar properties. James has successfully positioned his personal brand in alignment with luxury property and high-net-worth individuals. Here’s how he did it.

Going niche with luxury property auctions

James Pratt is a property auctioneer who has chosen to focus exclusively on multimillion-dollar homes. The properties he auctions appeal to extremely wealthy, mainly international buyers, so his brand has to appeal to these clients as much as the properties he sells.

This meant James had to be extremely savvy with his digital and social media marketing. He knew that high-end clients were increasingly turning to online platforms to research and find out more information about properties. He realised he would need to market his brand as modern, stylish and successful, and he also needed to discover where his wealthy target audience could be found.

Where the other half hang out, social-media-ly

After experimenting with a number of different social platforms, James discovered that Instagram was by far the most successful channel for luxury property campaigns, followed by Twitter and YouTube. Although he is present on other social media platforms the reach for the types of high-end homes he sells was significantly less effective.

Once James had identified the platforms his target audience were using he had to find ways of growing his online presence so he could help his real estate clients market their high-end properties to people who were in a position to buy them.

Partnerships with social media influencers

James made the strategic decisions to forge partnerships with other social media accounts, or influencers, in order to increase the reach of his own brand.

1. Instagram

James used a highly strategic approach, creating high-quality imagery, using the relevant hashtags, and timing his posts carefully to reach his target audience when they were most likely to be online.

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A major tipping point for James’s success on Instagram came when he started tagging other real estate businesses such as @milliondollarlistingssydney whenever he posted content he thought they would be interested in.

This strategy enabled James to reach a far broader audience, and he grew his Instagram following from 3,000 to over 20,000 within a short period of time.

2. Twitter

As well as the rich imagery of Instagram, James’s social media followers needed an informative platform where they could find details of upcoming auctions and results. Twitter proved as the ideal vehicle for his wealthy clientele.

However, James achieved even greater success by writing articles for international property portals and the media, such as the Chinese real estate portal Juwai, and the Australian Financial Review. Cementing his reputation through his affiliation with these websites aided James in becoming better known to their readers and establishing him as the auctioneer for multimillion-dollar homes.

3. YouTube

To create brand success on YouTube, James took himself to the USA, where he made videos going behind the scenes in Bel Air, visiting celebrity homes and speaking to real estate agents who sell multimillion-dollar properties there. This was a clever strategy as it grew James’s brand internationally and built more audience interest. It also created aspiration by showcasing the kinds of properties James wanted to be associated with.

James’s viewers could see him rubbing shoulders with elite real estate agents who sold homes for the rich and famous. This was an ideal way to position him in the same echelon, so his auctioneering brand would appeal to local real estate agents selling properties for wealthy clients.

Cashing in with a cryptocurrency campaign

In order to appeal to the “jet set”, James knew he would need to offer an auction experience that was cutting edge and different to the norm, to create a sense of exclusivity. By partnering with NuYen Technology, a cryptocurrency provider, James created the world’s first live real estate auction where people could bid for the home with cryptocurrency.

This was guaranteed to attract the interest of wealthy buyers looking for something exclusive. It generated a great deal of social media attention and grew James’s reputation for auctioning high-end homes.

Social media marketing obstacles

It is not always easy for auctioneers or real estate agents to step out of their comfort zones when it comes to marketing. James really pushed the boundaries with his content and campaigns, focusing all his energy on building up his brand and capturing the luxury market, which isn’t easy.

James managed to overcome obstacles by creating content that was completely different from what other auctioneers and real estate businesses were offering. He aimed high, kept his focus and managed to create a niche with million-dollar agents and their rich and famous clientele. This strategy continues to enable James to close property deals with the target buyers he made the decision to target as home sellers – international prospects interested in multimillion-dollar homes.

Conclusion: get to know your audience well

Identifying your ideal target client is an extremely important step. James made the decision to target wealthy homeowners and elite agents, so every one of his digital marketing strategies has been focused on engaging that particular clientele and keeping them interested. The cryptocurrency property auction was a particularly good example of this, as it offered something novel which would make James stand out over and above your regular residential auctioneer.

James has not only identified his target market but also worked out where they hang out, so he can target them effectively.

James committed funds and experimented with different social media marketing channels to uncover which platform would work best. He successfully found the three platforms, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube, where the rich and famous hang out and focused all of his efforts on creating unique content and campaigns for each social media and video marketing channel. This enabled him to engage with the audiences he wanted to reach.

It is evident that Instagram and Twitter are the right platforms to choose if you have expensive, luxurious properties to sell. If you target prestige property or have a premium brand, Instagram is the premier platform and one on which you can’t afford to miss in your digital marketing.

If you’d like my help devising your brand strategy or a unique property marketing campaign, please contact me and my team. We specialise in digital marketing for real estate businesses.


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Written by Melanie Hoole

My team and I specialise in helping real estate and property professionals perfect their personal brand, build a first-class digital profile and implement inbound marketing activities to attract leads. If you are unsure which direction to take with your digital marketing contact me for help.

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