BMW dresses up luxury real estate

A pilot with Heaps Estrin Real Estate sees the luxury automaker place high-end vehicles in the driveway of open houses.

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Prospective homebuyers with multi-million dollar budgets are likely to consider another major life purchase – that of a luxury vehicle – as they approach the driveway of their next potential home.

At least that’s the thinking behind a new initiative being jointly tested by BMW Canada and Heaps Estrin Real Estate, a group under Royal LePage that specializes in luxury real estate within highly sought-after neighbourhoods in Toronto.

The luxury automaker has partnered with the real estate team to place some of its highest-end vehicles in the driveways of GTA homes with a ranging list price of $2.9 to $5.9 million. Each home features one of three BMW vehicles, either the BMW X7 SUV, the electric BMW i8 Roadster, or the BMW M5 sports sedan. During an initial pilot, the cars are being staged outside during open-houses in target Toronto neighbourhoods, such as Rosedale, Moore Park, Bennington Heights and Leaside, and featured in home listings online.

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Research indicates that a house is the largest purchase Canadians make, followed by a vehicle. And often, the two purchases follow one another: 33% of Canadian luxury vehicle purchases are triggered by the buying of a new home, according to data from Google Think Auto.

“I believe that makes sense that these two large purchases tend to be correlated,” wrote Michael Oliver, national manager of brand communications for BMW Canada, in an email to strategy. “New home purchases or relocations are often triggered by a lifestyle change. New additions to the family or professional promotions are just a few examples.”

He says it’s not so surprising to think a luxury home buyer may also need a BMW X7 to transport their growing families, or that they have the means to put a BMW i8 Roadster in the driveway. “There has always been an element of the home-buying experience that includes looking at the cars parked in the neighbourhood you’re considering, and envisioning what it would be like to live there yourself.”

While the initiative is still in its early days, Oliver says it has so far been a success. Digital marketing efforts have helped decrease its typical cost-per-lead in the vehicle class by 56%.

The scope of the pilot, currently limited to the Toronto market, could be expanded in the future depending on results, according to Oliver. With the pilot still in its early days, additional digital marketing efforts have helped decrease the typical cost-per-lead by 56% for the vehicle class.

FCB Canada is working on creative, with Media Experts overseeing media and North Strategic handling PR (all of which are BMW’s AORs).

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