Luxury Real Estate Personal Branding: Getting the Most Thrills Per Minute

Services for Real Estate Pros with Napa Consultants



Courtesy of Rick Steves - ETBD

Do you recognize this man in the picture?  Chances are you have seen him on TV or in the bookstores. The same principles of personal branding that have enabled Rick Steves to dominate the affordable travel advice industry can help you achieve market leadership in your luxury real estate marketing career.

Rick Steves is a one-man-brand with a staff of 70 people and a thriving travel and media company that grosses around $30M per year—Europe Through the Back Door. Rick is the author of 40 travel guidebooks. His guidebook to Italy is the bestselling guidebook to any foreign destination in the United States.  His phrase books in foreign languages out-sell Berlitz.  His TV show is the most popular travel series in America on public television. Rick is also featured on a weekly hour-long national public radio show and has a weekly newspaper column syndicated by the Chicago Tribune. Additionally, he runs a successful European tour program with more than 300 departures that annually attract around 10,000 people.

What do you think is attributable to Rick Steves’ success?  Here are some of the factors:

  1. AUTHENTICITIY:  Rick “is” his personal brand
  2. PASSION:  This man loves traveling and is passionate about teaching others how to get,  “maximum thrills per minute” (Rick’s own words)
  3. FOCUS:  Rick focuses on and owns “affordable European travel” as his niche in the overall travel industry.  

If you are thinking that this level of personal branding is beyond your reach, think again.  You do not need to achieve top-of-mind status in all of the United States.  You just need to become the first luxury real estate marketing professional that comes to mind in the number of households that comprise your local target market.

You do not need your own TV show or radio show or syndicated newspaper column. You just need to stake your claim to an uncontested market niche that you can dominate with passion.  And, you need to leverage the internet media marketing tools that can catapult you to the top. 

If your competitors are your pet peeves, be like Rick Steves. Get branded! ( Yes, that rhymed on purpose).


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Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International specializes in the art of local niche marketing in affluent communities and they are the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  Working exclusively with entrepreneurs and professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership, they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.


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John Cunningham
eXp Realty - Phoenix, AZ
Helping Phoenix Sellers and Buyers find each other

Very good post. Have a specialty. Have passion, and you will succeed.

Sep 22, 2010 07:37 PM #1
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing


You are right on the money.  Thanks for your insight.

Sep 22, 2010 07:46 PM #2
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder, with thousands of floor plans and almost unlimited customization available! - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

One of the very first travel books I ever bought was Europe Through the Back Door.  Haven't made it there yet, but I will!  Hmmm, he does tours?

Sep 22, 2010 11:17 PM #4
San Antonio Texas New Homes for Sale - San Antonio, TX



Ron and Alexandra...

Good observation about how Rick Steves has created his " travel brand "


Sep 23, 2010 12:16 AM #5
Michele Miller ~ REALTOR®, LMC, HSE, CHS, SRES, CMRS
ERA Key Realty~Worcester County Realty Group - Worcester, MA
'Helping You Make the Best Move"

Thanks Ron and Alexandra for reinforcing this! We need to have a niche!

Sep 23, 2010 12:49 AM #6
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

I will recognize him from this point forward thanks to you.  Especially interesting since Italy is an anticipated Spring adventure. Thanks R & A! 

Sep 23, 2010 04:26 AM #7
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

I'm familiar with him only because my husband works at Borders Books & Music. I'm somewhat frightened of going too far beyond America because of the unexpected right now. Some day I'd love to go to Greece, Italy, and Egypt, but not while there is so much strife in the world and antagony against Americans.

Sep 23, 2010 04:48 AM #8
Cherise Selley
Selley Group Real Estate, LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realtor

Ron & Alexandra,

It's obvious that you all are always looking into the fine details of branding, as stated in this blog... g

Sep 23, 2010 06:31 AM #9
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing


Thank you, we are constantly learning, and we are committed not to leave a stone unturned.


I would not put much stock in the antagonism against Americans especially not in Italy.  If you treat someone with respect and kindness (as I know you do), you will get that back.  When it comes to Egypt, I am nervous, and I would check the State Department's alerts on that one.  Greece love us. 


We may be doing a talk in Amsterdam in the spring, and we definitely would head off to Italy after that, we have been there 14 times,,,

Michele, thank your for reinforcing my point.


Delighted this makes sense to you,

Penny,  Treat yourself, yes he does tours!


Thank you for the kind words.

Sep 23, 2010 11:56 AM #10
Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA

Ron & Alexandra,

All I knew about Rich Stevens was the proverbial "tip of the iceberg". Thanks for revealing what lies below the surface of his success.


Sep 23, 2010 06:34 PM #11
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing


We love revealing what lies below the surface.  It is the essence of branding and what we do, we know how get under the iceberg...

Sep 24, 2010 07:06 AM #12
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel

Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing
How do I become First to Come to Mind in My Marketplace?
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