“We were fortunate to have success from the start, largely because we had critical mass in the luxury space, with members dominating their markets and representing so many of the world’s most extraordinary properties,” Pfeffer Anton says. “Our emphasis on showcasing these homes with beautiful photography helped us capture a loyal audience of affluent consumers early on.”
The Post-Recession Consumer
One way that Luxury Portfolio has consistently remained connected to the affluent consumer is through its ongoing research. By sponsoring studies, hiring multiple research firms, conducting consumer focus groups and forming close connections to its member sales associates who work with luxury clientele, Luxury Portfolio has developed a keen understanding of affluent behaviors and lifestyles.
For example, one of the white papers released by the company focused specifically on the post-recession wealthy consumer.
“The economic downturn reminded people of the importance of being financially responsible, even those of significant means, and caused a migration away from over-the-top ostentation,” Boomsma says. “Even now, there remains a mindfulness about being resourceful and an emphasis on being fulfilled—at work, at home and in one’s personal development. This attitude directly influences how, when, where and under what circumstances these affluent customers will buy a home.”
The trends identified by Luxury Portfolio’s latest research reveal the motivations that drive the post-recession affluent consumer. First, there is the desire to be victorious. As affluence becomes more widely available, so does the pursuit of luxury living. To many, luxury purchases represent the owner’s victory over whatever challenges they have faced. Next, there is the ability to discern, to recognize the difference between what is good and what is excellent. Luxury consumers are also increasingly independent, preferring brands that are distinctive from the mainstream and offer deeper local connections. Also, there is a trend toward collecting things based on one’s passions and the desire to identify the best a category has to offer. Lastly, the study identified a decline in brand power; name alone is not enough to influence purchases by today’s affluent buyers.
An Experiential Approach
These insights enlighten Luxury Portfolio affiliates and influence the ways they anticipate and meet the needs of affluent homebuyers and sellers. They also impact Luxury Portfolio’s passion for developing content and design that attract and engage its targeted consumer. Since its beginning, Luxury Portfolio has successfully connected to the affluent by connecting to their lifestyle. This strategy goes far beyond simply marketing expensive homes—it involves telling stories and connecting emotionally with this special clientele. Through its lifestyle magazine, a luxury trends e-newsletter, a first-of-its-kind, award-winning lifestyle blog and local luxury consumer events, Luxury Portfolio has always been about the consumer experience.
“Widely accepted traditional definitions of ‘luxury’ have evolved over time, with a shift from ‘having’ to ‘being.’ Words like ‘worth,’ ‘quality’ and ‘craftsmanship’ resonate with today’s affluent, and there is an emphasis on health, family and memories,” notes Pfeffer Anton.
By redefining luxury beyond the living space, Luxury Portfolio is leading the charge for a novel, experiential approach to high-end real estate.
Luxury Portfolio has mastered not only a breadth of coverage, but also a unique depth of resources for its customers by providing data-driven insights. Luxury Portfolio agents are armed with proprietary “LuxeAnalytics” data that presents listing-specific results, including the countries and states from which the property has been viewed and the language and currency conversions that have been used.
Sales associates are able to share these custom reports with their sellers and create and adapt targeted marketing to potential buyers.
“Our buyers are so well-educated that nothing just ‘local’ is supportive enough to make them feel confident that they’re making great decisions. When you are able to expand your analytics and talk about other marketplaces, they get a higher level of comfort very quickly in terms of relevance to your marketplace,” comments Tony Cutugno, associate real estate broker with Houlihan Lawrence in Westchester and surrounding bedroom counties north of New York City.
This combination of using data-based insights and offering a consumer-centric experience with a uniquely global reach, all delivered by the most elite, quality-focused independent brands, is the foundation of Luxury Portfolio’s success.
“Our affiliation with Luxury Portfolio surrounds us with the best brokers in the industry who inspire us to be our best, leveraging our own unique attributes while providing access to a powerful global network and bespoke marketing tools that differentiate us around the world,” says Rainy Hake, executive vice president and COO of California’s Alain Pinel REALTORS®.
Global Growth and an Eye on the Future
Today, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® extends to 55 countries, with Luxury Portfolio participants in 30 countries.
As Berry Everitt, CEO of Chas Everitt in Johannesburg, South Africa, notes, “The benefits of the value proposition of Luxury Portfolio International are tangible for us, and we were thrilled to have been selected for membership. In only the first year of our relationship, the program, its leaders and our incredible colleagues from around the globe have inspired us to make significant changes to our approach to the luxury market, and the impact on our organization has been dramatic.”
The program has grown into the world’s premier luxury-home marketing showcase—guided by the marketing acumen of Boomsma and Pfeffer Anton and delivered by the independent brokers who offer the local expertise and exceptional service that today’s world-wise consumers demand.
Looking ahead, it’s clear that Luxury Portfolio will continue to evolve, responding to shifts in the market, developments in technology and changes in consumer values and needs.
For now, Boomsma takes pride in what the group has achieved, noting, “Luxury Portfolio offers a uniquely sophisticated mix of online and offline media to position properties for maximum exposure to an elite audience. We market over 50,000 properties priced over $1 million annually on our award-winning site and in prestigious publications circulated around the globe—including the uber-high-end, with more than 500 properties over $10 million currently listed. We are intent on creating an exceptional experience for the affluent consumer. To deliver on that promise, we connect quality independent luxury brokerages around the world—all of this in just a decade. Imagine what is possible in the next 10 years!”
For more information, please visit www.luxuryportfolio.com.