Listing Courtesy of CONTINENTAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
Last week, The Wall Street Journal made it official: they had a slow news day. It was February 11 (that was Wednesday) when they ran the feature story, "A Gender Gap in Real Estate."
This was something Milton house hunters (not to mention those hoping to attract their attention) could certainly appreciate: an article about what men and women consider "very important" when it comes to features in homes. Author Adam Bonislawski based his story on National Association of Realtors® survey information; the results pointed to some dissimilarities between what women and men look for.
Now, I’ve had a good deal of experience helping both men and women house hunters in Milton, so it didn’t come as a complete surprise that their priorities differ. For instance, I was not at all surprised about the contrasting emphases the two put on the importance of having a walk-in closet in the master bedroom. The only surprise was that it was the men who found it much more important (38%-29%)!
What about house hunters’ feelings about the importance of kitchen appliances being new? Same phenomenon: men 38%, women 29% (possibly because appliances are gadgets, and men like the newest gadgets). How important is it that a home be single level? The sexes reverse: Male house hunters think it is very important 18% of the time; women, 31%. I’d bet that within the 18% that are masculine we’d find a disproportionate number of stay-at-home dads.
House hunters registered a big gap when it comes to rating 9-foot or higher ceilings as very important. A miniscule 8% of females agreed, while nearly three times that many of their male counterparts thought so (21%).
One harder to guess feature would have been the desirability of a kitchen island. Nineteen percent of male house hunters found it very important, versus just 8% of the females. Does this mean women are tired of entertaining? Do they no longer consider their masculine counterparts capable of sous chef action? Or is it that more men are taking over the cooking duties?
I’d have to admit, I’m less than certain that these national averages are 100% reflective of what house hunters in Milton prefer. Yes, Milton men certainly value attics (13%) more than the ladies (7%)—they do tend to spend more time up there (but neither are terribly committed to that form of high living). Basements are preferred by close to equal numbers.
Being that these findings are sort of interesting (not fascinating, perhaps, but at least sort of interesting), you might be wondering why at the beginning I thought it was evidence that the WSJ was having a slow news day. It’s because of some tiny print at the bottom of a graph, which gave the date of the NAR survey—all the way back in 2013! More up-to-date is what we find unfolding for today’s Milton house hunters: give me a call to get the latest!
When you are selling your Ocean View luxury home, you are marketing to a narrow niche of the home-buying public. They’re high-end customers, certain to be very smart, business-savvy—and they will know their own mind. They will be hunting for value, of course, because the asking price warrants it. But they will also be looking for a property that has elements that are unique—that appeal to buyers who hope to find a residence not duplicated elsewhere.
Because of that characteristic of the market, there can be no one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach that will be uniformly effective as a sales approach. There are, however, a few hallmarks that the most successful Realtors® have discovered are shared by the most appealing luxury homes. They boil down to value, exclusivity…and to story-telling.
The exposure element is the more straightforward. It used to be that the only important element was to be had in print media: magazine, newspaper, brochure and flyer. Still important, today the much wider reach is had through internet and social media. Like all Ocean View real estate prospects, buyers interested in the current crop of luxury homes are most likely to investigate using at least some online research before scheduling an in-person visit. And what they experience on the web will be influential in how eager they will be to make time for that visit.
It goes without saying that for every Ocean View luxury home web presentation, the quality of the imagery has to be first-rate—Professional real estate photographers do more than highlight key room features shot from eye-pleasing angles. The best know how to paint with light—to shape viewer experience by selecting the time of day and color of light and shadow that will convey mood. Sometimes a true online video tour, complete with well-produced music and narration tracks, can also be the most effective tool—as long as the online viewing experience is brief, intuitive and easy to navigate. But no matter which medium and format is pressed into service, the goal is always to create a viewer experience that is unique and memorable.
And it should have a story.
That ‘story’ could be anything from an interesting history to a setting or view that is, literally, unique. It can be an overpowering constellation of luxury home features, or a history of owners that includes prominent community or cultural luminaries. It can be standout architectural innovations, landscaping worthy of a Homes and Gardens centerfold, or a layout that just happens to be perfectly well-matched to a particular client’s family—any and all can qualify. The single indispensable part of the mix is that the property’s unique character comprises a story worth retelling. It’s human nature, after all every Ocean View luxury home buyer, whether they realize it or not, would like to be able to tell friends and colleagues about their new luxury home!
If you have an Ocean View home with its own luxury story waiting to be told—or if you’re in the hunt for one—I hope you will give me a call!