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The Force Awakens: Star Wars For Real Estate Professionals

What can the new Star Wars movie teach real estate professionals about winning in their respective fields?

The latest installment in the Star Wars franchise set a record for the fastest film to generate $1 billion. For all intents and purposes, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Box office sales for the series of films will have grossed almost $5.5 billion by the end of December 2015. So what can your next trip to the movies teach real estate professionals about winning? More specifically, can those that have made a living within the world of real estate actually learn something from the seventh movie in the Star Wars series?

The Power of the Brand

There is a reason that Star Wars has been able to smash box office records that transcends its large and intense fan base: branding. There may not be a stronger brand out there than Star Wars; it is universally accepted. Having said that, you can’t underestimate the importance of brand management in the world of real estate. Buying a home, selling a condo, or investing in real estate can be a scary and confusing process. It requires betting on a property and a professional guide. It is harder than ever to know who to trust and who will deliver a successful experience. That provides a huge advantage to both the individual and corporate brand which exudes trust, competence, and a proven track record.

Beyond the Big Ticket

For a while, it was reportedly impossible to secure a ticket to the new Star Wars movie; it sold out faster than I am sure you can imagine. Yet, box office ticket sales are likely just a tiny fraction of the money brought in by the brand. Looking at the movie theaters alone, there are themed posters, popcorn buckets, cups and displays. The “merch” is endless. Airbnb has realized this in real estate, and reportedly has plans to infiltrate the industry with all types of branded household items. Sam Zell, best known for creating the present commercial real estate industry, has invested in everything from office buildings to mattress companies. You may be working in a Sam Zell owned office building, going home to a Zell owned apartment, and sleeping in a Zell sold bed without even knowing. How can you expand your real estate service and product line to increase revenues and customer sales? With licensing, you may not even have to do all the work!

People Crave Entertainment & Suspense

Why do people spend billions of dollars on movies, comics, and $6 bottles of water at a movie theater when they can buy the exact same items for a few cents at the store next door? The answer is simple: entertainment and suspense. People are willing to take the time out of their lives and spend big bucks to be entertained. If people love suspense and discovery, how can you give them more of that with your real estate marketing and business model? Whether it is staging “invite-only” events, which create exclusivity, or just working to be more personable, you will start seeing a positive difference.

Legacy

Star Wars films and the resulting consumer merchandise have become a legacy. Parents taking their kids to the latest movie can share stories of the first time they saw the original Star Wars and bought the same action figures. This is not unlike real estate, so create experiences in which families can share everything real estate has to offer, together. Purchasing new homes, developing family traditions, and passing on investments to the next generation all appeal to human emotions, which will ultimately bring you success.

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