Selling luxury homes is about knowing your clients. What do million dollar clients expect from their REALTOR®? That’s the million-dollar question. Remember, luxury clients expect service first and foremost. In many ways you’re selling a lifestyle, and that’s a lifestyle your clients are likely accustomed to. You can cater to your clients and go the extra mile by being flexible — schedule private showings, listen to their concerns (no matter how inflated), and add touches like refreshments. You can also impress luxury clients with “free” add-ons.
Here is a collection of tips and resources to help you enter the market, understand what your clients are looking for, and maximize your earning potential — the REALTOR® Guide to Selling Luxury Real Estate.
There is a market for luxury real estate
Despite the struggling economy, in some regions luxury home sales are on pace for a record year in 2012. Buyers are coming in with strong cash offers or heavy down payments and the market is vibrant in some regions. Sales of existing homes of more than $1 million improved by nearly 17% in some regions in April over the same period in 2011. In Manhattan, buyers are snatching up co-ops and condos at top prices and some markets like Miami are attracting a wide demographic of buyers which has helped drive sales up 66% in the first quarter alone.
Focus on the details of listings and your personal brand
Selling your image is essential to your success. Not only should you look and act the part, but your listings should also appear luxurious. That means using a professional photographer for all your print and online listings, and it might mean buying custom-tailored pieces for your wardrobe. Little details shouldn’t hold you back.
Don’t be intimidated by the high-stakes environment
This goes for clients as well as other real estate agents, who, if they’re established, are likely to be wealthy in their own right. When large sums of money are on the table, the level of competition can be higher. If you want to stand out from the crowd, it’s important to know that honesty and clarity are still important. Playing it straight might be just the breath of fresh air your clients have been waiting for.
Market where your clients are
Many of your core marketing strategies and tactics will still work, but your platforms may not. What publications are your clients reading? Where are they consuming their media? You’ll need to play in those arenas to get you and your listings noticed. Think Forbes and other niche publications rather than your run of the mill newspaper or periodical. Always keep testing to find out which places draw the most leads.
Be at the top of your game
With substantial buying power, many luxury home clients are also looking for additional properties — second homes, vacation homes and resort properties. To understand this unique demographic, the National Association of REALTORS®’s Resort & Second Home Property Specialist Certification is an option to gain a more in-depth education in the area of working with luxury homes and homebuyers. For additional information and resources on affluent homebuyer statistics, the luxury property market, and how to market to millionaires, visit the National Association of REALTORS® Field Guide to Listing & Selling Luxury Properties.
How well do you know the luxury real estate market? Take the Wall Street Journal’s Great Estate Challenge quiz to test your knowledge of high-end properties. How did you score?