Event Marketing for Luxury Real Estate – A Case Study

November 29, 2018

When selling luxury real estate, the biggest challenge is that luxury home buyers rarely have a lot of urgency. Many of these buyers lead busy lives and live in beautiful homes already, so they tend to take their time—especially if they’re not relocating from another state. Even if they feel the need to upgrade to something bigger or better, they’re often too busy to actively pursue buying a new home. Because of this, it can be hard to get their attention and even harder to get them to come see what you’re selling.

Listing a property in the MLS, uploading photos, and waiting for the phone to ring is one way to market a home sale. No doubt, passive marketing like this is important, but it’s just one piece of the big picture. Making calls, sending direct mail, and using targeted advertising are great forays into the active side of marketing, but sometimes even these methods are not enough.

One of the most effective ways to actively market a home is through event marketing. According to Inman.com, event marketing is “any event you hold that puts you in contact with your clients, potential clients and sometimes, but not always, buyers for properties you are listing.”

So, we at the Rob Jensen Company decided to throw a spectacular party—what real estate coach Tom Ferry calls a “mega open house”—to connect with past and future clients and to showcase 57 Painted Feather Way, one of our luxury listings in The Ridges. Here’s how we did it…

Planning the Event

Ask any event coordinator, and they’ll tell you how much work actually goes into planning a great party. To make the big night run as smoothly as possible, each and every detail must be carefully considered in advance.

Even something as simple as picking the date and time needs to be taken seriously. It can have a major effect on the attendance and overall success of the party. When choosing the date and time for our event, we were careful to avoid conflicts with other big events. We didn’t want to compete with a local Vegas Golden Knights game, for example. After we picked the event name (Elevate) and set the date, the real work began.

A party is only as good as its food and drinks, so we started vetting and hiring vendors. For catering, we went with Marché Bacchus—an excellent local wine shop and French bistro—because of their strong reputation and gourmet offerings, most of which are made on site. Their services included passed hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and a Scotch tasting. Unlike some caterers that charge for drinks per head and per hour, Marché Bacchus gave us the opportunity to offer a nice wine selection and only pay for the bottles we drank.

Offering free food and alcohol is a great start, but it isn’t always enough to get people out of their homes. After all, affluent home owners can afford their own gourmet food and wine, so we had to come up with something more exciting to draw them in. Instead of the proverbial dangling carrot, we needed something more like a dangling carrot cake. We ended up hiring an artist from Los Angeles to perform a live painting and a local magician to do some close-up magic for our guests. Luxury cars and luxury homes go hand in hand, so we also partnered with Jaguar Land Rover Las Vegas to produce the event.

Valet service is important at events like Elevate, so we hired three drivers for the night. We also had to notify The Ridges Homeowners Association about the party, pay for an additional security guard, and send the guard gate the final guest list once we had it ready. None of the event planning would matter if our guests couldn’t get through the gates.

Speaking of the guest list, we sent out 829 invitations in the mail and 395 invitations via email to luxury home owners from The Ridges and nearby guard gated communities, as well as past and current clients. We also made follow-up phone calls to anyone who didn’t RSVP, just to make sure that they received and read the invitation. Other important details included hiring a photographer, buying a step and repeat for photos, and renting professional lighting to show the home in its best light.

All of the above took careful research, detailed communication, and extra work from our team members, who all contributed to the party planning in one way or another.

Here’s a breakdown of the final costs for the event…

  • Food and Drink: $10,219.45
  • Entertainment: $2,436.99
  • Invitation Printing and Mailing: $1,252.34
  • Step and Repeat: $279.85
  • Valet Service: $475
  • Light Rental: $595
  • Additional Security Guard: $94.68
  • Photographer: $1,200
  • Cleaning Fee: $450
  • Videographer: In house
  • Total: $17,003.31

As you can see, the cost of this event was a far cry from the stack of brochures and flat of water bottles you might expect at a regular open house. Maybe the “mega” in “mega open house” refers to the catering bill?

The Big Night

After all the planning and preparation, the night of the party finally arrived. The team arrived early to set up. We made sure the vendors had everything they needed, briefed the event staff, and put out the little fires that tend to burn you at the last minute when planning such a spectacular event. Slowly but surely, our guests began to trickle in until we had well over 100 people enjoying the festivities (the dangling carrot cake worked).

Marché Bacchus provided a great spread of gourmet bites: Beef Wellington, Truffled Goat Cheese Napoleon, Lobster Cavatelli, and Ahi Tuna Tartare to name a few. Magician Jason Bird wowed guests with his close-up magic and mind-blowing sleight of hand. Los Angeles A-list artist Ann McFerran provided a live painting performance, the product of which now brightens our office’s foyer. Right out front, we also had some incredible cars on display from our sponsor, Jaguar Land Rover Las Vegas. But none of these activities impeded the premium Scotch whiskey tasting in the upstairs entertainment wing, where our guests enjoyed spectacular Strip views from the balcony.

Everyone had smiles on their faces as they enjoyed the entertainment and the food—all washed down with plenty of Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf du Pape and other coveted vintages. It was truly a night to remember! If you were one of the lucky attendees, and you don’t remember (courtesy of the bearded man serving generous Scotch pours), these photos might jog your memory.

The After Party – Marketing Continued

By throwing a blockbuster event like this, we got the attention of the right people and allowed them to experience 57 Painted Feather Way’s best features. All of our agents attended and stood by to answer questions about the home (and questions like “where’s the bar?”). Virtual tours are great, but there is just no substitute for visiting a home in person. Our future buyer may or may not have attended, but the marketing opportunities provided by this event go far beyond the party itself.

First, there’s the potential for word-of-mouth marketing. Many of our curated guests live in or near The Ridges, and some are bound to know someone else looking to buy a home in the area—if not now, then soon. After seeing the home in action, those who attended are more likely to recommend it to a friend or family member. They all left the party having experienced something they can share with others.

The photos from the event are strong marketing assets that will continue to serve the home sale. We uploaded over 60 event photos to a Facebook album and tagged as many guests as possible (35 so far). This post appeared in the feeds of whoever we tagged, which dramatically increases its potential reach to their friends and followers. The average person has 338 Facebook friends, which means that these tagged photos could potentially appear in 11,830 feeds on Facebook alone—probably even more than that because many of our guests and entertainers have much more than 338 friends. We’ve already posted several fun pictures on our Instagram and Twitter to get the home in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Many of these photos will also get sent out in our monthly newsletter, which goes to over 11,500 guard gated homeowners and clients in Las Vegas, Summerlin, and Henderson.

Video from the event will appear on the Rob Jensen Show, which enjoys heavy promotion on Youtube, Facebook, and through our email list. Each episode gets about 3,000 views on average. Besides appearing on the show, these video clips will be repackaged for different platforms as well: Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. We also interviewed several guests to ask what they loved about the home, which makes for great content. Standard property photography and videography have their place, but the media we captured at the event will allow people to see the home being used as intended—for entertaining.

These compelling assets will give us more options to keep the marketing fresh and additional reach while we show off the home. Yes, the cost was great, but homes of this calibre require equally impressive marketing efforts. This fact has proven itself so often that it has become a Rob Jensen Company maxim: “The quality of the marketing needs to meet or exceed the quality of the property.”



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