'Sexy' Homes Spice Up North Carolina Market

A Charlotte, N.C. real estate firm says business is booming, thanks to their sexy new marketing plan that involves hiring models to pose in listings photos of luxury homes.

During the boom years of 2006 and 2007, Peters and Associates Real Estate was the No.1 seller of high-end homes in the Charlotte region. Then the market crashed and real estate sales dried up for most of 2008 and 2009. Peters and Associates owners Nick and Miriam Peters then decided to spice up their marketing and have been having tremendous success ever since.
The couple creates an image by spending thousands of dollars on clothing and cars; and they photograph their listings with sexy, attractive people.

Peters caters to high-profile and high-net-worth individuals, such as professional athletes, coaches, entertainers, executives and other VIPs. These clients are looking for a lifestyle and amenities much different from the average homebuyer.

The buying experience for Peters clients begins with being picked up at the airport in an exotic car and then whisked to a luxurious spa for a relaxing day of pampering, or to a private club for a round of golf. Once they are totally refreshed, they are ready to tour homes.

How effective is the campaign? Peters did a controlled online test, with one listing showing the typical real estate pictures. Visitors to that listing stayed an average of 40 to 60 seconds. Visitors to the listing with "lifestyle photos" stayed an average of 4 to 6 minutes.

Statistics suggest that the more time a potential buyer spends looking at a listing, the more likely they are to request a showing. Peters' listings used to get three to four clicks a week, and now they get 10 to 20 a day.

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Of course, sales are the ultimate test. The firm has seen a 300 percent increase in home sales over the last year.

Barbara Green is the Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow her on Twitter @thedesigndiva.

Looking to spark interest in your home sale? Here are some AOL Real Estate selling guides that can help:
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