At some point in your career, you’ll come across the most exciting, profitable, and intimidating market in real estate: the high end real estate market. The high end listing is no ordinary beast: your clients are paying more, and they’ll expect more. Your target market is completely different, and often substantially more sophisticated than the first time buyers and sellers you may be used to dealing with.
Follow these 3 tips to make sure your first step into the high end market is the right one:
1. Realize luxury is about service.
Think about companies in the luxury market, whether they’re hotels or retailers or luxury car companies: they all make providing great service one of their top priorities. Great service is one of the hallmarks of luxury: your sellers will expect it, and so will prospective buyers.
This means you need to be prepared to go the extra mile — accommodating extra private showings often with short notice, including refreshments during open houses, and dealing with fussy buyers ( I had one client who would only buy a place if it was brand new; even if someone had lived there for a week he wouldn’t consider it!).
Service also means competence: make sure you know all the pertinent facts about your listing, including the neighborhood. High end buyers can afford to be picky about things you might think are trivial; resist the impulse to minimize their concerns or downplay them. Instead, figure out a way to get them the answers they have requested, whether they are positive or negative.
2. Pace yourself (and your budget).
While high end listings offer juicy commissions, the unfortunate flip side is that they almost always take longer to sell — sometimes a lot longer! You’ll need to spend extra money on high end marketing materials, but don’t spend more than you can afford thinking you’ll get it back in a few weeks.
Be smart about it — Use a professional photographer, but shop around as even in a major city you should be able to find one for $150-$200 or less. You can save money by focusing most of your marketing online, where products such as a high quality virtual tour will look great, but only set you back $30.
3. Don’t be intimidated by other high end agents.
When you have your first high end listing, you’ll likely come into contact with a whole different swath of real estate agents in your market: the high end, luxury agents. Many of these agents are very successful and wealthy in their own right, and they can be intimidating — don’t let them!
Everyone starts somewhere, and they were just as green as you at one point. To increase your confidence, make sure you know your listing, the neighborhood, and the latest luxury market stats by heart. Competence and confidence go hand in hand.
At the end of the day, high end listings are very similar to all the other listings you’ve successfully sold in your career (unless it’s your first listing, in which case congratulations!). Just focus on the basics: solid marketing, excellent communication and follow up, etc, and you’ll do great.