Selling Luxury Real Estate

Dated: 01/30/2020

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How to Break into the Luxury Market and What to Do Once You Have

Selling luxury real estate takes a certain type of agent with a certain type of mindset.  Marketing is key, and high-end homes deserve high-end agents. The luxury agent has an all-around understanding of how business and marketing work within a multi-million-dollar sale. A client looking to buy or sell a high-end home will likely come equipped with some business savvy for which only a luxury agent can be prepared.  Attracting the right buyer is vital and a knowledgeable agent is key.  High-end clients expect expertise—an agent who can decipher what separates one luxury home from another.  The following is a list of tips and techniques that will help a luxury agent be their best and sell that house:

Work to Build Your Credibility

An agent who wants to sell luxury homes needs to establish a level of credibility that builds the trust of potential clientele.  Agents who build a foundation of knowledge around luxury real estate will understand high-end homes in a fully different way than an average agent.  A good luxury agent will exhibit specific traits, including:

    • Effective and deliberate communication
    • Understanding how to properly price in the high-end market
    • Well versed on the ins and outs of the local market—luxury and otherwise
    • Shows great attention to detail
    • Having a wide network of influence

Luxury agents must also have an extensive understanding of what sets luxury real estate apart from everything else.  Understanding what types of luxury finishes are common in high-end homes and having the ability to explain them with expertise takes research, time, and effort.  There are rooms and features in these homes that require an understanding of electronics, capacities, and green energies. A luxury agent should be able to explain the details of the following luxury finishes:

    • Home theaters
    • Indoor and outdoor pools
    • Complex security systems
    • Wine Cellars
    • Central sound and lighting systems
    • “Smart Home” capabilities

Knowing the ins and outs of luxury finishes can set you apart as an agent in the luxury market.  Showing a home and knowing how to demonstrate the features for potential buyers is a key component to effectives sales.  More than just understanding the finishes though, keep in mind what really sets the property apart aside from its finishes.  Make note of the area schools, the amazing local restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, etc. The lifestyle a property offers is often just as important as the finishes and features. 

Effective Marketing is Everything

Branding yourself as a luxury agent is vital to finding success in the high-end market.  There is a specific approach a luxury agent uses in marketing the homes she is selling and simply listing on MLS isn’t enough.  Networking with potential clientele, as well as other luxury agents, is a key component to building a successful luxury business.  Marketing your expertise in luxury real estate on social media and apps that expand into a broad luxury market are a good start, but the following tips will help too:

    • Establish a clear message—
      • Showcase your strengths and knowledge base
    • Create a consistent design for your promotional materials—
      • Streamline and customize your personal logo
    • Consider yourself the product—
      • Carry yourself with confidence and create an air of uniqueness around yourself

Branding yourself also means understanding the buyer or seller you are looking to reach.  Making a psychological profile of the buyer and seller you want.  When you want to work with high-end clientele, remember that the net you cast is going to be much smaller.  Think ahead as to who you are trying to reach, why you are trying to reach them, and how you are going to reach them.  Effective marketing requires a full understanding of your ideal client—do everything in your power to obtain that knowledge.

Use Quality Photography and Video

The quality you use in your marketing reflects the quality in the work you do as an agent.  It’s fair to say that you wouldn’t trust a doctor or a lawyer who used low resolution photography for documents or X-Rays, so why would anyone flock to a real estate agent who does just that?  

Luxury buyers tend to value their time and often need the most realistic view of a property they can get without having to visit it.  It is to an agent’s benefit to provide a quality idea of what the property conveys without the client actually standing physically in the home.  Poor marketing and photography are the easiest ways to ensure a high-end client will write you off as their agent. Hiring a professional to take quality photos and videos will help to attract the right buyer/seller, and one can only hope that buyer or seller will tell potential clientele about you!

Telling a story about the property is the goal.  Imagine your target audience and provide marketing and imagery for that particular crowd.  Avoid casting out to the mass market and focus solely on how to reach your desired audience.  Incorporating video walk-throughs is no longer an option, but a gold standard requirement that should include:

    • Overhead drone footage and clean videography.
    • Footage gathered from around town to create the vibe of the area.
    • Professionalism—never go it alone.  Hire a professional.

The more effort you put into your photography and marketing, the more likely the right buyer will be attracted to the property.  Going the extra mile will always be appreciated by your clients, be they buyers or sellers—they will thank you for putting in the extra effort to ensure a quality sale.

  Pricing is Everything

A good agent knows the area they work in—a great agent has the market knowledge that’s required to sell in the high-end market, and that includes understanding pricing on a differently level.  Pricing a home too high out of the gate is a death sentence for a luxury home. Working the numbers to properly price a home is one of the best moves an agent can make in nabbing a quality sale.  

A luxury agent has to be thoughtful and knowledgeable about the comps in the area, as well as the high-end market in a broader and less local level.  Understandably, sellers want to get the biggest and best price for their beloved home, but the reality is that not all luxury homes are equal. Aggressive pricing can be made difficult to agree to, but in the end, it’s the best way to ensure you get a sale. 

In a luxury market, an agent has many hurdles to overcome, including having less comps to compare, pricewise.  Most smaller towns will have an extremely low number of comps, while most bigger cities will have a wider range.  But it doesn’t come down to strictly price by square foot. High-end homes tend to be unique—with finishes and features that are incredible beyond belief, but not necessarily desirable to all buyers.  

Working as an agent in the high-end market can be a tough road to navigate.  Your success is highly dependent on how well you can network in a niche market and the amount of extra energy you are willing to exert.  Building a good reputation, creating effective and thoughtful marketing campaign for not only the individual properties you represent, but for you as an agent in general, and pricing just right are just a few ways to break into and become an integral part of the high-end market.    

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