Having worked in luxury wine, travel and real estate, I have been in and around luxury marketing for years. Champagne, perfume, and jewelry brands have been so inspiring to me. But if that’s not enough, and if you really want to be inspired, the superyacht industry is the answer!
In need of inspiration, and in order to get a long-time bucket list item off the list, I decided this was the year to attend the Monaco Yacht Show. I mean, how often do you get to see how superyachts are sold?? **Keep reading for a surprise at the end of this article!
For anyone in need of inspiration, and not wanting to spend the money on this show, here are my takeaways for those in sales or owners themselves selling to a luxury consumer.
MONACO YACHT SHOW: TAKEAWAYS FOR LUXURY SELLERS
Adding elegance to the buying experience
People buy not always for the product, but very often, it is how you make them feel during the buying process.
We know this from fine wine, luxury jewelry, haute couture fashion, and any sales opportunity that is high end, where a sophisticated customer is in a buying mindset.
Most of what I see in real estate sales & marketing is sub-par, however, I see enormous opportunities to step up the game in NE Florida!
From how the property looks on and off camera, to the professionalism of the sales team/ agent, open house events that are full and inviting, not to mention buyer takeaway items and follow up gifts, there are plenty of opportunities to make people feel like VIPs.
Total product customization
Yacht interiors are customized just like a house. We are talking over the top décor and a lot wow factors that you would see in the finest of homes. These are floating jewels with serious wine cellars, infinity pools, marble bathtubs, walls finished with gold, gems and crystal. Showing them in context with the right brands is important; we are talking everything from glassware, linens, decor, furniture, tableware to wine and champagnes. Note that most people will not recognize the brands that are at this upper end, and we are not talking Tiffany!
In relation to home sales, showcasing a home is just as important. Luxury buyers have to imagine themselves living there. Depersonalization is one thing, staging is another, freshening paint and cleaning carpets are also great starting points.
The next level is fine art, wall art, florals, books and décor items that will reinforce the elegance and lifestyle they are buying. Some of this can be rented from stagers or could be loaned from a gallery, dealer or via a luxury partnership.
As sales and marketing professionals we need to think about how to appropriately accentuate the luxury angle.
Remember, luxury is aspirational; your home does not have to appeal to every buyer, but it should set the impression that this home is worth what it is listed for.
Attention to detail, true experts on hand
At the Monaco Yacht Show, the builders and designers all have elaborate showrooms, which are surprisingly just lavish temporary fixtures. (Don’t ask what this show costs to produce or sponsor!) Yacht builders, brands and experts are all there to discuss in detail the performance, design and decor details of your next custom built yacht. You can walk in and talk directly with the experts about any detail. From the yachts themselves, the branding, brochures, booths, dress code, the attention to detail was impeccable.
Having true experts on hand might mean your architect, builder, interior designer or other industry professionals on hand to add commentary about the home. What is more impressive, the realtor or the architect? People want access to the experts.
“Must have” accessories
Beyond superyachts, every accessory you might want on the water or on the yacht is available to view. We are talking tenders, helicopters, motorized surf boards and luxury vehicles. Like other industries, the bells and whistles can generate serious revenue just like the main product. These accoutrements are great talking points when entertaining friends and something to buy at the show if you already have a yacht.
There are so many accessories to a home that can be included in selling it. From furniture to table décor, patio furniture to pools and saunas, fountains, luxury cars to boats, and dock vendors, there are options to sell not only the house, but sell other items. We must as marketing experts go the extra level to ensure every highlight is explained, every objection is addressed and allow imaginations to wander on how to make the home their own. Having one stunning centerpiece or talking point is often a good idea and will aid in photography/social media.
All access, all in one place
At the show, buyers can tour the yachts and also try out any of the accessories available such as the tenders, water sports equipment, or jump inside the vehicles and helicopters. Getting hands-on access to these is what makes buyers feel special and means the product or experience stays top of mind.
When it comes to showings and open houses, interactive experiences can wow buyers and make your home stand out. Whether it be a boat lift/docking demo, kitchen demo, chef cooking in the kitchen, fountains or fire bowls, showing off the bells and whistles like pull out windows and or security systems, these things can stand out.
It’s true, in Northeast Florida, we do not see the same crowd that the Monaco show attracts, and expectations may not be as high, it is still important to remember the basics of selling luxury. (who knows what the future holds though!)
In the superyachting world, these motor yachts are part-time toys worth tens or hundreds of millions, but like anything in luxury, there are many non-tangible reasons why they are sought after. Entering the superyachting lifestyle is what most people can’t do, and this is what makes it attractive. They want to have what no one else has. For most people, the gateway to entry is enormous. Reputation and status are paramount.
From a marketing and sales perspective, understanding the emotional payoffs, and non-tangibles, for luxury buyers is critical whether you are selling yourself, or considering a realtor.
People buy luxury real estate (and yachts!) not because they need them, but because they can.
Now, if you have reached the end of this post, congrats! I am offering a trip to France and Monaco in September 2023 to coordinate with the yacht show. If would like to experience the best of the South of France, and the 2023 Monaco Yacht Show, let me know. [email protected]. I will announce more info soon.
Travel and be inspired! Merci et à bientôt!