Realtor Name-Dropping

After almost a decade attending Edina Realty “Exceptional Properties” meetings — held weekly at an upper bracket Twin Cities home — I figure I’ve now heard my colleagues sing the praises of something like 2,000 homes, cumulatively worth a cool $3 billion or so (and have pitched a few of my own listings at such meetings).

And yet, I can’t recall a single instance where the listing agent touted that the home was built by Toll Bros, or D.R. Horton, or some other high-end national builder.

Instead, what I regularly hear is:

“Amazing home built by Ken Durr.”

“Soaring contemporary by Peterssen/Keller.”

“One of Lecy’s most impressive Arts-and-Crafts homes.”

And that was just at yesterday’s meeting (if you didn’t know, all of the above are well-regarded Twin Cities builders). 

Seller Short-Hand

What do I make of the foregoing?

Two things.

First, there’s no equivalent to “Gucci” or “Coach” in upper bracket new construction, i.e., a nationally-known and recognized “luxury home brand” worthy of the name.

Such efforts, by definition, are one-of-a kind, custom and  . . . . local — vs. “scaleable” and national in scope.

Unlike upper bracket home builders, luxury brands like Gucci and Coach — plus others that come to mind such as Westin, Porsche, and Tiffany — all follow a replicable blueprint or design (albeit one with very high standards). 

Second.  Upper bracket Buyers know all that — and so do their Realtors.

So, prominently plugging the name of the (custom) home builder is really just smart marketing.

In effect, it becomes a sort of Seller shorthand, telling Buyers in a word or two that the home they’re considering is built with fine materials and craftsmanship, is aesthetically pleasing, etc.

What upper bracket Buyer doesn’t want that?

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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