With this month’s luxury cover, it was truly to challenge people’s homogenous perception of the luxury market. Luxury is not just that upper 1 – 3 percent of the market; luxury could also be a tech-millionaire kid who wants a tiny one bedroom in San Francisco, but also wants a cool place in Tahoe to hang out with his or her buddies. Or luxury could be a self-starting family who saved money to buy their dream home and are now putting money into creating their haven. We understand that all consumers have their own story and different emotional motivation. The best real estate professionals are the ones who care to listen to their consumers, internalize their needs, and exceed the expectations they have. That’s why we want to demystify topics like luxury and show that it’s not always what you expect.
MP: What message does this send to your franchisees and how can they capitalize on the creative vision of the brand at the corporate level?
JM: One message it sends is that their brand never rests! From a thought leadership perspective, our commitment to our brokers and agents is to always strive to understand more than we did yesterday. Even if we’re experts at something, we need to best ourselves. That’s a commitment we give to our brokers. When you join our brand, you’re joining a thought leader and a pioneer that makes trends, heralds trends, and is ahead of trends. Our goal is for our national research to help our brokers locally.
That’s why, for all of our studies, we create press and marketing kits that include videos, presentations to use in listing presentations or for talent attraction, social media posts and press release templates where 80 percent of the release is written and brokers can fill in their market perspective to make it their own. We thread every effort so that everything we do on a national platform is then packaged on a local platform. We can have great success on a national stage, but if we’re not empowering our brokers and agents with resources to help them win at the local level, then we’re not doing our job.
MP: What are your ultimate goals for the two-cover campaign?
JM: Our immediate goal is based on Sherry’s philosophy: Collaboration helps move the industry forward. We hope people take notice and talk about the two covers. We want people to read about who the luxury consumer of today and tomorrow really is. The better we can all understand our buyer in the high end, the better we can collectively serve that consumer.
We also feel that responsibility because of the legacy of Better Homes and Gardens. We feel that the creative imperative—giving homeownership a visual feel—is more on our shoulders than any other brand. Forty million people each and every month look to the magazine to guide them to how to live in their home. We try to bring that forth as a real estate brand and feel it’s our responsibility to do so.
MP: Finally, Jen, how do you plan to top this cover next year?!
JM: The beauty of it is that it all just happens naturally for us. I think for a lot of companies, regardless of industry, innovation and creativity can become tack-on strategies. But for us, it’s so central to the way we think. It’s all about being present and having a collaborative relationship with brokers, agents and consumers—when you have that, new ideas just seem to bubble up on their own. We have an open-door policy when it comes to innovation: everyone contributes.
For more information, visit http://www.bhgrealestate.com.