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February 2014
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March 2014

Delivering Good Service: What are your affluent clients' expectations?

As luxury real estate professionals, we strive to provide our clients with outstanding service. Understanding a client's values and expectations is essential to meeting and exceeding their expectations, as is knowing the measures they will use to evaluate the service they receive.

What do the affluent expect?

Based on a new report by Vanguard and the Spectrem Group, it would appear that they expect communication & competence.

If you've completed our CLHMS Training this should sound very familiar!  

While the report looks at the affluent and their relationships with investment advisors, their expectations for real estate professionals are very similar.  

Communication & Competence

As we can see, the two most important criteria are:

  1. Returning phone calls in a timely manner (Communication!)
  2. Providing good ideas and advice (Competence!)

What does "in a timely manner" really mean?


Pretty darn quick.  As we can see in the chart above, among the Ultra-High-Net-Worth, almost a third of them expect a return call or email within two hours.  In almost all cases, a response two days later is a losing proposition.

The takeaways?  

Discuss and know your clients' expectations on communication.  As you begin to work with a buyer or seller, they will have expectations and preferences about communication. Ask, “How would you like me to communicate with you and how frequently?”  Also establish their expectations as to response time.

They may ask for a weekly phone call and an additional call when something important occurs. Or, they prefer that the principal form of contact be a weekly email with a phone call as necessary. Whatever their preference, it is important for you to be aware of it. If you have a specific communication schedule, share that with them. “I call my sellers every Monday night between 6:00 and 8:00. Will that work for you?” If they tell you that’s when they play bridge at the club, you’ll need to agree on another communication schedule. In short, agree as to when and how you’ll stay in touch. The relationship will benefit and they’ll feel more positive about you and
your service.

 Communicate your knowledge and expertise.  When working with the affluent, success comes not from who you know, but WHAT you know.  Be an expert.  Advise your clients from a position of knowledge and expertise, and you will be rewarded with their trust and loyalty. 

China: Reversal of Fortunes?


Over the past few years, Chinese buyers have been one of the big stories in luxury real estate.

Recently, there has been increasing speculation about troubles in the Chinese economy.  

There is also growing speculation that A Chinese housing market crash could be even more disastrous than America's (Quartz), and concern that As credit tightens at home, Chinese sell Hong Kong luxury real estate (Reuters).  

Will wealthy Chinese sell-off overseas properties to gain liquidity?  
Are we seeing the beginning of a bubble-burst?
Stay tuned...

Millennials - Breaking the Myths

MythMarket research firm Nielsen has released a new report: Millennials - Breaking the Myths.  

Among their key findings, Millennials are...

  • Diverse, Expressive and Optimistic

  • Driving a Social Movement Back to the Cities

  • Struggling, But They Have an Entrepreneurial Spirit

  • Deal Shoppers and Desire Authenticity

  • Connected and Want the Personal Touch

Contrary to popular notions, some millennials are quite affluent.  About 15% of Americans with assets above $2M are Millennials:


Where do the wealthier Millennilas live?


For more details, download the full report.

Forbes Billionaire List Hits Newstands

Billionaire List
Forbes’ new Billionaire List hit the newsstands and the Forbes website this month. The current list of 1,645 billionaires reveals that after four years, Microsoft magnate Bill Gates has jumped over Mexican Carlos Slim Helu to retake the number one spot on the list. The five wealthiest on this year’s list with their estimated wealth and home country:

  1. Bill Gates, $76, billion, U.S.A.
  2. Carlos Slim Helu, $72 billion, Mexico
  3. Amanico Ortega, $64 billion, Spain
  4. Warren Buffet, $58.2 billion, U.S.A.
  5. Larry Ellison, $48 billion, U.S.A.

Other highlights from the list:

  • The aggregate wealth of billionaires is $6.4 trillion.
  • Roughly two thirds built their own fortunes.  Another 13% inherited, while 21% added to their inheritance. 
  • Sixty nine countries are represented on the list. Billionaires from the U.S. continue to dominate with 492 billionaires, or about 30%.
  • China is represented with 152 billionaires and Russia with 111.
  • There were 268 newcomers to the list.
  • Thirty one of the billionaires are under age 40.
  • The wealthiest woman, Walmart heiress Christy Walton, weighed in at #9 on the list with $36.7 billion.
  • Of 172 women on the list, 32 had a “meaningful hand in building their own fortunes.”

The Ultra-Rich Plan to Buy More Property in 2014

UHNWIs plan to increase their allocation to propertyAccording to the Knight Frank The Wealth Report 2014 which surveyed about  600 private bankers or wealth advisors representing around 23,000 UHNWI clients across the world,

"Almost a quarter of UHNWI investment portfolios is accounted for by property and as an asset class it is growing in popularity.

Just over 40% of survey respondents said their clients increased their allocation to property in 2013 and 47% expect it to increase further in 2014.

Residential property was the most popular area to invest in (54%), followed by commercial premises (34%) and agricultural land and forestry (12%)."

More info on the Knight Frank blog

The Wealth Report 2014

Über Rich...and Getting Richer

Cosimo_ii_de'_medici_adn_two_[1]"For Rich, ’13 Was Good for Making, and Spending, Money" - an  article in Yesterday's New York Times, highlights the fact that the wealth of the über-rich continues to grow.  

A few of the highlights:

  • The world’s club of ultrawealthy individuals, or those with $30 million or more in net assets, added about 5,000 new members last year

  • Over the last decade, the ranks of the über-rich have swelled by 59 percent, and the register of billionaires climbed 80 percent, to 1,682

  • The world’s 0.1 percenters had a pretty good year; three-quarters said their assets had increased. Only 4 percent said they wound up worth less

  • By 2023, China is expected to have 322 billionaires, more than Britain, Russia, France and Switzerland combined

  • Looking for someplace to park their wealth, the world’s rich still prefer property

Chinese Real Estate Investors Predicted to Flood US

CoinsHighligts from the OPP article "China and US 'to top cross-border property investment'":

  • Chinese investment in overseas property is set to at least double in 2014
  • By 2016, Chinese cross-border real estate funds flowing in to the United States will be the highest in the world, beating the current US$1.3billion from Singapore to the UK
  • Among leading targets for High Net Worth Investors, commercial investors and developers are the gateway cities of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco

For more details, check out the full artcle.