What realtor wouldn’t love to nab a piece of the luxury market? Just imagine those commissions! Think about it. Just one or two checks could have you living “high on the hog”, help you pay those private school tuition bills, and send you on your next amazing vacation.
But tackling the luxury real estate market isn’t easy…and you should never expect it to be. Those who enter the luxury market expecting it to be no different than the “normal” market are in for a lot of surprises. Listing and selling a luxury home is a whole different ball game, so to speak, and you need to make sure you’re prepared for the curve balls or you’ll be in for plenty of disappointment…and so will the clients who hire you, if you manage to acquire any.
But if you’re really gung-ho about breaking into the luxury market, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare yourself and, afterward, to convince clients to take a chance on you. It’s certainly not impossible. Someone needs to sell those multi-million dollar homes so it may as well be you! But you’ll have to do your due diligence to get started.
1. Learn from the pros – Rarely can an agent go straight from passing their licensing test to listing and selling in the luxury market. You need to get your proverbial feet wet first. Ideally, spend a year or more working with average clients/homes in your area, preferably with a broker that does indeed do a fair amount of luxury listings. Keep your eye on those agents in your office who are successful in the luxury market and, when you feel you’re ready, ask if you can shadow him/her or work as an assistant. It may mean you lose some commission dollars in the short-term, but if you’re trained properly, you’re more likely to be successful when you’re on your own.
2. Think about your listing presentations – When you visit the potential seller of a luxury home, you need more than a file folder full of comps and a speech about how you’re going to advertise regularly, blah, blah, blah. You need to have a system that knocks the seller’s socks off. So, before you launch yourself into this market, think about the best way to do that. Some things are no-brainers. For example, everything you present to them needs to look ultra-professional and your branding needs to be clear. In other words, don’t make your presentation on the office copy machine and just slap your business card on top. Invest in your presentation by using quality materials, photos, video, and more.
3. Tailor your presentation – More on listing presentations…make sure you don’t use a one-size-fits-all listing presentation. When someone is considering listing a multi-million-dollar home with you, they deserve a presentation that is tailored to them and their house. That might take some extra work but it shows them that you took the time to truly get to know their home and what it has to offer to potential buyers. It’s also a wise idea to spend some time memorizing your presentation so that the flow is better and so that you can look at the client in the eye when you speak with them. The extra time spent will pay off if you’re successful in getting the listing and selling the home.
4. Pay attention to your appearance – If you’re going to sell luxury, you need to look like a million bucks. If up-to-date, professional clothing isn’t part of your current wardrobe, spend some money on apparel that helps you look the part. Also, make sure your clothing is clean and pressed at all times; you never know when that all-important client might drop by your office! To save money, especially if you’re a woman, buy separates that you can mix and match so that you appear to own several different outfits.
5. Hone your technology knowledge – Luxury clients expect you to use the latest technology to market their home…so you better know your stuff! For example, photos and videos shot by a drone can be ideal for your luxury listings. Consider purchasing or renting one. You should also be able to craft a beautiful and easy-to-navigate website for each luxury home you list and market the home on social media, via blogs, and by using other methods that have proven successful in the luxury market in your region. Can’t do all that stuff? Hire professionals to help you. Again, it will be worth the cost.
6. Network, network, network! – Finally, you won’t get luxury listings if you’re not out there meeting the people who own them. Look for ways to immerse yourself in that community so you can get your foot in the door. It might involve buying a heftily-priced ticket to a charity dinner or joining a few service organizations where some of the town’s heavy-hitters hang out. Then be your friendly self and strike up a conversation. (Remember, ask questions about them first and then tell them about what you do. No one likes a relentless self-promoter.)
Understanding that the luxury home-selling business can be complicated, frustrating, cutthroat, and intimidating puts you one step ahead of the game. But if you do your homework before you start, and keep doing it while you’re listing and selling, chances are you’ll eventually get in the groove and enjoy the benefits of your hard work and tenacity.