Chapter 3. Mandate Marketing

Over 50% of rental commission from mandates is spent on increasing the desirability of each property. And because of this prestige marketing, rental mandates turn to sales. There’s a lot at stake for Real Estate agencies, as they make all the sales for all the companies in the network.



  1. Chapter 3. Mandate Marketing

    1. Chapter A. Is Unique Because…
    2. Chapter B. Mandate Marketing Elevator Pitch
    3. Chapter C. Villa Secrets Mandate Marketing
    4. Chapter 3d. The 4 Pillars for Maximizing Rental Income
    5. Chapter 3e. The 4 Pillars for Maximizing Prestige
    6. Chapter 3f. S-World Publishing: The Villa Secrets Magazine
    7. Chapter 3g. The Estate Agents Marketing pack
    8. Chapter 3h. Real Estate Prestige Marketing
    9. Chapter 3i. For Sale Sole Mandates

Chapter 3. Mandate Marketing


Chapter A. Is Unique Because…

1. We change the commission structure to include 10%, dedicated for directly marketing each villa.

2. For each property, we create a website and continually update it with fresh content and new articles and have a hefty budget for directly advertising the website, plus a number of methods for marketing the websites that have no cost other than personnel time.

3. We shall create extremely sexy magazines with villas featured over 2 to 8-page spreads.

4. For top of the line villas, we shall place them in magazines such as Conde Nast Traveller and Vogue, in glorious 4-page spreads, often in conjunction with a luxury safari and private island.

5. For Villas that cost over $3,000,000, over 3 years, we would expect to have generated close to $100,000 in marketing material and adverting.

6. From this marketing, we deploy ‘prestige marketing,’ marketing that is as much about increasing the prestige of the villa as it is about receiving rental enquiries.

7. Due to this advertising, we create a great many more enquiries than the villa can accommodate, and we generate passive income from the overflow (booking alternate villas from the enquiries that cannot be accommodated as the villa was booked or was otherwise unsuitable).

8. All prestige and other marketing is condensed into an ‘estate agent’s pack,’ full of magazines and extracts, to be given to qualified clients who are interested in buying property. We will make as many as 50 such packs.

9. When it’s time for time for the owner to sell, it simply makes perfect sense for the owner to use the Villa Secrets estate agent who has access to the marketing material.

Chapter B. Mandate Marketing Elevator Pitch


Welcome to Villa Secrets Mandate Marketing, it’s amazing how the simplest of ideas can take an absolute tonne of strategy and complex mathematics before arriving at the simplest of solutions.

So, let’s start with the solution; for rental mandates or for properties worth over $2 million, charge a 2.5% commission, a 7% Service and Concierge Fee, plus a 10% direct marketing contribution. Where the said contribution pays for direct marketing and ‘the estate agent’s pack.’ Where after a couple of years, this pack and the web presence we create for the villa is so good, it makes perfect sense should the owner wish to sell, for that owner to first appoint the estate agent that has access to the packs.

Now, please consider that within the previous chapter is a list of 25 different types of business that we wish to network with, and for each business type, there may be as many as 50 different business all recruiting mandates.

Almost every company will seek sole or shared rental mandates, but only the real estate company/ companies can sell the properties (have access to the pack). As such, by 2021, I would be very disappointed if there were less than 50 Villa Secrets licensed companies who had all recruited mandates, and given a Silicon Valley equity partner in Villa Secrets holdings by 2020, maybe even 2019

Chapter C. Villa Secrets Mandate Marketing

sole mandates

A sole mandate is when a property owner trusts one company to exclusively market and manage or sell their property. However, as we see in this chapter, there is a lot of systems that ripple from this action.

In terms of marketing, we will directly market each villa that signs a mandate with us. Based on a sliding scale, where a suitable villa that costs $4,000,000 would see a $50,000 three-year marketing commitment designed to increase rentals, and the prestige and value of the home.

This commitment is afforded from the villa’s bookings. But here’s the clever bit… profit is then made from the overflow. As at peak season, a villa may have 25 good requests, but can only be booked once. And so, we make money from the overflow, using the other 24 enquiries to make bookings for other villas.

The acquisition of property mandates is the biggest nontechnical profit centre a Villa Secrets company can create. In our 2016 forecasting scenarios, third year income from rental mandates is between 39% and 74% of gross profit. And in addition, due to the ‘estate agent’s marketing pack‘ most villa owners will sell their property via our affiliated real estate company or companies.

In the Mandate Marketing chapter, we present the following: 4 pillars for maximizing rental income, 4 pillars for maximizing a villa’s prestige & value, 18 reasons to sign a sole mandate, and a massive package aimed at maximizing villa owner or property manager income. We follow with a look at the specifics of mandate marketing, including due diligence, the S-Web villa websites, and the Villa Secrets magazine.

Then we look at the estate agent’s marketing pack and prestige marketing, designed to increase the prestige and value of each villa, and encourage all owners to first attempt to sell via a Villa Secrets affiliated realtor, and present the page Sole Mandates (for sale).

Moving into ‘Part 2. Concierge and Commission,’ we look at essential guest services, Villa Secrets concierge, concierge, PR, film and marketing before looking at a review of Airbnb commission vs Villa Secrets commission, off peak discounts, property manager vs concierge, property manager strategy and opportunities; including the initiative for Villa Secrets companies to pay for property managers’ fees from their commission, before concluding with 19 ways to attracts sole mandates which collectively provides Villa Secrets licensors with many mandate winning opportunities.

Chapter 3d. The 4 Pillars for Maximizing Rental Income

4-Pillars for mazimizing your rental income

Welcome to Villa Secrets and our 4 Pillars for maximizing rental income: massive agency Google Ads campaigns, your own website and marketing of it, affiliate marketing, and clever usage of distribution channels.

Maximize Booking Income: If one is relying on owner direct websites, one is only achieving about a quarter of the enquiries that Villa Secrets villas enjoy. Using such channels alone will most likely lead to smaller return and will have done nothing to increase the value and prestige of your home. Indeed, for more expensive villas, advertising using distribution channels will lower the prestige of one’s home.

The 4 Villa Secrets Booking Methods: Trusting your property to a Villa Secrets company for bookings, service, and management makes a lot of sense; as we have not one, but four booking methods:

1. Massive Google Ads Footprint: Odd but true, Cape Town is the world’s most expensive location to advertise a villa on Google. Another fact is that a company may not advertise in more than one position in Google. However, as Villa Secrets is a network, we are allowed and do advertise in three out of the top four Google positions for over 200 keywords.

2. Mandate Marketing and your own Villa Website: At our cost, up to $50,000 will be spent creating and mega-marketing a dedicated S-Web website for each villa we represent. Including content marketing campaigns that spill over to print media, the Villa Secrets magazine and editorial in magazines such as Condé Nast Traveller and VOGUE.

3. Affiliate Marketing: Many bookings for high-end villas are created by international villa agencies and small or large exclusive tour operators. Our affiliate program for such companies is unique and designed to maximize bookings for the most prestigious homes.

4. Distribution Channels: For villas who are agreeable to ourselves promoting their villas via distribution channels such as Airbnb and HomeAway, we shall do so. But our ‘ace’ is that our primary reason for doing so is to push clients from the distribution channels to our clients’ villas website, as they Google the name and find the villas website directly, so avoiding Airbnb’s commission of sometimes more than 15%

Chapter 3e. The 4 Pillars for Maximizing Prestige

4 Pillars for maximizing a villas prestige and value

In addition to the 4 Villa Secrets pillars for maximizing a villa’s rental income, Villa Secrets also provides 4 pillars for maximizing a villa’s prestige & value, increasing one’s ‘for sale’ price and attracting ‘Love Buys.’

A Love Buy is when an individual is on holiday, falls in love with the location, and buys a villa. I am familiar with this concept as I did this myself in Cape Town in 1999 and again in Camps Bay in 2000. And I have also seen it happen many times. And from time to time, it sets a record for the most money spent on a villa in a specified location. For this reason, some villas are ‘for sale at the right price.’ So, let’s see how Villa Secrets increases the prestige and value of a home.

1. The Estate Agent’s Pack: Many top-end villas are featured in magazines and TV shows. And as many again allow photoshoots and TV ads to be filmed within, however, no one keeps a good record, and opportunity is lost. Enter the Villa Secrets ‘estate agent’s pack,’ a physical pack showcasing a villa for estate agents to give or send to clients, and initiates to offer prestige brands big discounts on shoots, if they provide us with the media.

2. A Dedicated Website and Marketing Campaign for Each Villa: Many villas have their own websites, but few match our design, and none match our CMS. To make matters worse, other than a little SEO, 99% of villa websites are not marketed in any way. In stark contrast, Villa Secrets websites are extensively marketed and see all media collated within. Plus, admin systems and booking history, useful tools for any potential buyer.

3. Print Media: As our Villa Secrets website is special, we have been offered greatly reduced rates for producing advertorial in various Condé Nast publications. We shall be producing 2 and 4-page ‘Best of Africa’ editorial spreads, featuring our best villas. And purchasing about 50 magazines for inclusion in ‘the estate agent’s pack.’

4. Prestige Marketing: A villa’s prestige can be boosted in several ways. For instance, a 4 to 8-page spread in a Villa Secrets magazine (and note the last magazine we published was distributed with Condé Nast and saw Bulgari asking to advertise). In addition, awards and placement on top villas website’s homepages is an indication to any buyer that the villa is held in great esteem.

Chapter 3f. S-World Publishing: The Villa Secrets Magazine

Villa Secrets Magazine

The Villa Secrets magazine follows on from our last coffee table magazine ‘Cape Villas’ distributed by Condé Nast Traveller, which saw (amongst other salutations) Bulgari Jewellers asking to advertise in our follow up saying…

“We did not know you had such luxuries in Africa!”

Unlike most magazines, Villa Secrets will show few ads, rather product place companies we feel are likely to excite our clients in the villas we show; from fashion companies to jewellery, watches, Jets, yachts, and prestige cars. Everything about this magazine will convey a sense of exclusivity and style.

Magazine marketing assists Villa Secrets network in 4 different ways:

  1. Mandates
    1. It’s a great incentive for recruiting mandates, as companies can hand deliver it to all the villas they like.
    2. Once there is interest in signing an exclusive mandate, the offer of placement in the magazine is a significant carrot for the property owner or manager.
  2. Bookings
    1. Each enquiry received will see a magazine posted to the client, this assists to convert the booking for our agencies, as the clients have a tangible thing that they can look at when they discuss their villa options.
    2. The magazine also creates direct enquiries.
  3. Sales
    1. An essential part of the ‘estate agent’s marketing pack’ is the Villa Secrets magazine. We know from our previous magazine, properties were sold to international clients, who did not even visit the villa they purchased, all they did was see the villa in our publication.
  4. Network
    1. The magazine will greatly assist to expand the network internationally.

Due to S-Web systems, the cost of producing the magazines artwork can be very low, saving more than 50% of the cost that media companies quote to create similar publications.

Chapter 3g. The Estate Agent’s Marketing pack

The Estate Agents Marketing Pack

The estate agent’s pack is a physical package including magazines and a DVD, which estate agents can give to interested clients. In this regard, Villa Secrets becomes the marketing company for the property owner and their realtor.

We shall create about 50 such packs per villa; half for use for rentals and half saved for the realtor.

As we have heard, for the right $4 million villa, Villa Secrets will commit to a $50,000 three-year marketing campaign; which will be geared towards both bookings, but also increasing the prestige and value of the home. Given we have three years to produce this pack, each pack will include the villa seen gloriously in the Villa Secrets magazine, advertorial in one or more Condé Nast publications, other magazines the villa was featured in; and on CD, a video that presents big brand photo shoots and videos shot at the villa, videos we create, TV appearances, awards, and other accolades.

As our Villa Secrets websites are impressive and their focus is Africa, we found Condé Nast and other magazines appreciate that our content is qualified for lower rate advertorial in a prime position, where we would typically make a three leg presentation of Africa’s most luxurious experiences… a safari villa, a beach villa, and a Cape Town villa. This single article in a magazine like Traveller, Tattler, or House and Garden adds to the prestige of the villas and will impress any buyer.

The article will infer that the properties presented are the standout properties on the continent.

This inference will also be passive due to brand association by displaying the villa with venues, such as Sir Ricard Branson’s game reserve Ulusaba and a private Island such as Cousine Island, wrapped up in a three leg holiday of a lifetime experience.

Chapter 3h. Real Estate Prestige Marketing

Real Estate Prestige Marketing

Real Estate Prestige Marketing is the notion to market a villa specifically to increase its sale price over time, by raising its local and international prestige. This initiative works hand in hand with marketing mandates and the estate agent’s marketing pack.

We will of course discuss the exact nature of the villa’s prestige marketing with our partner estate agents. But as a starting position, we suggest the following exercises:

1. Villa Hotels: For outstanding properties, we recommend and will help implement the services required to create a Villa Hotel, which is exclusive-use but provides a higher service level including concierge, valet, chef, and other staff, complimentary drinks, and other enticements.

2. Proactive Luxury Brand Photoshoots and Adverts: Where we lower the daily rental rate for luxury brands that will (by association) raise the prestige of a home, and catalogue the shoot or advert including a video, seen online, and presented on the disk within the marketing pack.

3. Celebrity Stays: Product placement works, be it the late Steve Jobs getting Apple computers appearing in just about every film and TV series to come out of Hollywood, to James Bond driving an Aston Martin. In this presentation, we have discussed the idea to give luxury brands special deals to advertise their products at the villa. But, in addition, it is in the owner’s interest to offer special deals for the types of celebrities and public figures who impress renters & buyers.

Typically, when a celebrity stays at a villa, their stay is (at best) known only via word of mouth, as it is not appropriate to use their stay as a PR exercise. However, if a villa or other accommodation is bartered at half price in exchange for limited publicity, such as a simple photoshoot, one may capitalize from the client’s celebrity status and use such photographs for advertising purposes.

4. Don’t advertise or be seen on lower prestige websites.

Chapter 3i. For Sale Sole Mandates

Sole-Mandates for sale

The companies with the most to gain from a collaboration with Villa Secrets are Real Estate Agents; because all Villa Secrets partners, including rental agencies & property managers, recruit sales mandates which only the realtors can sell.

And as we have seen in the technology summary via game theory and ‘The Real Estate Agent’s Game,’ Villa Secrets cautiously predicts a 6% market share of villas that sell for over $1,000,000 in Cape Town by 2021; which for one of the top three companies in the market, results in a 27% net gain.

The Villa Secrets commission for non-real estate companies, who recruited the rental mandate, is a 25% referral; which is not paid for an introduction, but rather in light of the marketing commitment as Villa Secrets essentially becomes the marketing companies for the property owner and the estate agent.

In addition, Villa Secrets is creating products specifically for realtors, which can be used to directly recruit sales mandates, and sell properties regardless of the rental.

Moving back to sales mandates, created as a part of a deal for a rental mandate, Villa Secrets companies will offer a direct marketing budget of say $50,000 for a $4 million villa for the rights to rent and have the first option to sell a property. Which can be presented at $25,000 in marketing for a rental mandate, and another $25,000 if the first option to sell is granted. And from this budget, an estate agent’s marketing pack will be produced, and Villa Secrets companies will engage in prestige marketing, seeking to increase the prestige and value of a property. Even if the original rental mandate does not include the option for the first sales mandate, due to the marketing pack and prestige marketing, it makes complete sense for any owner to work with the real estate company who has access to this material, regardless of enforcement.

Lastly, a significant factor is the quality and strength of the estate agents Villa Secrets is affiliated with. If the realtor or realtors Villa Secrets recommends are the same estate agents that an owner was already thinking of using, then getting the option for the sales mandate in the first instance is more likely.