Luxury Real Estate's 10th Annual Membership Conference Recap: Internet Marketing Reaches a Higher Level of Sophistication
Seattle, WA, October 5th, 2005 – More than 250 Luxury Real Estate brokers convened for the 10th Annual Luxury Real Estate Conference in Seattle last week. Richard Weidel, Jr. of Weidel Corporate Realtors in Princeton, New Jersey presented a compelling marketing strategy in response to the emergence of discount brokers. Additionally, Rosita Sarnoff of Stribling & Associates in New York City introduced the company's new marketing plan for the legendary Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, which evoked all the glamour one would expect of the iconic hotel. Both presentations received plenty of accolades from members, but it was the quiet and unassuming Web specialists in the back of the room that received the most attention.
Robert Bolton, the Search Engine Optimization specialist on staff for Luxury Real Estate holds a Masters in Systems Information, and consulting with him for five minutes meant waiting in line for two hours. “I was a little surprised by all the attention,” says Bolton, “but many brokers have become concerned about their Web sites not ranking well or getting enough traffic, so I guess this made me instantly popular.”
Other staff members with esoteric sounding degrees, such as Infomatics and Neuro Linguistic Programming, were also in high demand by many of the luxury brokers who are clearly steering their marketing dollars toward new and innovative e-marketing tools. “Our staff has doubled in the last year and their specialized degrees truly reflect the higher level of sophistication that Internet marketing has taken," says John Brian Losh, publisher/CEO of LuxuryRealEstate.com. "This conference was the first time we placed our Web programmers and designers at the forefront, giving our members direct access to their knowledge and talent." Added Shari Chase of Chase International in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, “The young, tech-savvy staff was definitely the highlight of the conference. LuxuryRealEstate.com's high Alexa ranking of 6,950 says everything about their effectiveness."
The conference break-out sessions revealed the latest movement to redirect dollars away from traditional print media. “85% of all buyers begin with the Internet, and yet the marketing dollars for Realtors don’t reflect this,” explains Frederick Warburg Peters of Warburg Realty Partnership, Ltd in New York City. “Part of our problem is weaning our agents off of print media. It just isn’t as effective anymore. They are convinced their presence will simply disappear if they don’t see their name in print every weekend. The challenge is in proving them wrong.”
Better Return on Investment tracking systems, such as Leadfarmer and Search Engine Optimization, are just a few of the tools that have become available for marketing directors to justify shifting their budgets into the more progressive e-media. “We are now providing our members with proof that their Internet marketing dollars have room for growth. You can’t track who picked up your ad in the newspaper last week, but you can track who visited your property listing online,” says Chris Hackman, Web Manager for Luxury Real Estate. “This is a serious advantage when dealing with your bottom line.”
Luxury Real Estate's next event is the Annual Ski Conference in Lech, Austria in January. For more information, click here.