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November 2008

Real Estate update from the Wealth Report Newsletter

Here's another little snippet of insight on the current attitudes of America's affluent from the current WEALTH REPORT Newsletter (members can find it at the very bottom of our Document Downloads page):

The real estate market is still exceptionally weak, presenting wealthy homeowners with opportunities to indulge their keen interests in owning a vacation home or making renovations to their existing home. A vacation home at the beach or in the mountains is the most highly coveted luxury item, identified by 56 percent of the wealthy as highly desirable. Upgrading the kitchen ranks second, with 46 percent saying that a gourmet kitchen would be a highly desirable update to the home. Wealthy women are substantially more likely than men to find either option compelling. named top business website among wealthy

As noted in the current Wealth Report Newsletter from The Luxury Institute (yes, their name is confusingly similar to ours!):

It turns out that journalistic brand status translates well across media: The Wall Street Journal ( earns the highest ranking for overall brand status in the Luxury Institute's 2009 Luxury Brand Status Index survey covering 28 business websites, matching the top ranking wealthy consumers bestow upon the flagship Wall Street Journal newspaper, published since 1889 and acquired last year as part of Dow Jones by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Wealthy users say the content on is "helpful and relevant" and that advertising is for "people like me."

This is great news for our Members, since our partnership with the WSJ gives our Members HUGE benefits with

If you're a Member who isn't taking advantage of this already, here's a link to more info about these great benefits.

How's the market? Here's your answer!

"How's the market?"
It's a question we get all the time.  Of course with the headlines in the media today lots of folks think they know the answer.  But do they?  Do the headlines tell the whole story?

We're proud to announce the new ILHM Luxury Market Report
(We'll be launching it officially this week at NAR).


The ILHM Luxury Market Report is a snapshot of the national luxury market.  Like the Case-Shiller Composite Index and other national indices, it is a bundle of data from markets around the country that give a simplified view and try to get at the question of what’s happening in the marketplace.

Unlike virtually all of the other reports and indices out there the ILHM Luxury Market Report is focused exclusively on THE TOP OF THE MARKET.  We know that markets are local.  We also know that in a given place, at a given time, different price segments perform differently.  Trophy homes at the top of the market might be in high demand and setting new price records, while in the same city starter homes might be stagnant and seeing major downward price pressures.  Most major indices ignore this fact and lump all market segments together to get at some sense of overall market trends.  We don’t.

In fact, we look at just the top of the market, so that you can see more clearly what is really happening in luxury markets around the country and the overall luxury trend at the national level.

The ILHM Luxury Market Report is the only real-time national report covering the luxury market.

The report is updated WEEKLY.

Lots more to follow on this!

Destination: Success


Our bags are packed and we're off to the NAR's 2008 Conference and Expo "Destination: Success" in Orlando this weekend. 

You can find us at booth #1621

Laurie will be doing two programs:

  1. Tips for Targeting the Luxury Home Market (Saturday Nov. 8th 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM)
  2. Profiting in the Luxury Home Market (Sunday Nov. 9th, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM)

The Sunday event will be a great panel discussion with successful luxury agents Stan Barron, George Harvey, and Aaron Wheeler, who will share some of their secrets to success in today's market.

If you are looking for a CLHMS training session, we'll be in Miami the following week with RAMB (Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches) on the 17th and 18th.  For more information or to register, please contact:

Maureen Levine

Hope to see some of you there!

Chicago Daily Herald, Chapter Two

Just a quick follow-up:

2008-11-04_2200 Institute and Million Dollar Guild Member Sam Smith of Beach Cities Luxury Homes in Orange County, CA emailed today to let me know that apparently the story in The Chicago Daily Herald has generated some business for him too.  He received a call from the seller of a $1M+ property who had read the story, came to our website to learn more, saw Sam's "Featured Expert" listing  in our Member Directory, and called him. 

It’s more anecdotal evidence to support the findings of our research and what you learned in our training—that affluent buyers and sellers seek EXPERTISE and competence above all else when selecting an agent. 

It’s also a great example of the power of effective  branding—just as a consumer seeking a luxury automobile might turn to a venerable brand for assurance—luxury  buyers and sellers can look for Members who have earned the CLHMS designation and  Million Dollar Guild recognition and know that they are dealing with agents with a high level of expertise and a proven track record of performance.

Omedetou Sam-sama! 
Congratulations Sam! 
(Sam happens to be fluent in Japanese)

Chicago Daily Herald: "High-end real estate requires marketing touch"


"In today's market, it is actually easier to sell a $3 million home than to sell a $1 million home, according to two local luxury home experts..."

Chicago's Daily Herald has just done a nice story on the luxury market, featuring Institute members Carol Best and Valerie Zelinski

Becoming a resource for your local press is a great way to demonstrate your expertise, generate lots of local coverage and buzz, and position yourself as the go-to expert on the market. 

Congratulations on the great coverage Carol and Valerie!