There are plenty of misconceptions when it comes to working with wealthy clients, but one that can hurt your chances of creating referral-worthy experiences is assuming that all affluent and high-net-worth individuals are the same.
Besides different incomes, they can also have a very different approach to buying and selling real estate.
Similar to the traditional market where your clientele will likely fall into a certain niche such as young professionals, new families, or empty-nesters, wealthy clients can be grouped into subcategories of their own.
Getting familiar with potential client personas can help you mirror their values which in turn helps build trust and credibility, paving the way for smoother future transactions.
Three of the main personas to look for when working with wealthy clients are the:
Although it’s always best to establish a client’s expectations up-front, understanding these personas can help you read between the lines and pick up on cues that your client might not directly articulate.
Here’s how to tell who’s who and find the best way to work with them:
1. The Status Seeker
The Status Seeker cares about their social circle’s opinions and wants to know they’re your priority.
When they look for luxury real estate agents, they like concierge-type service and expect you to take care of most (if not all) of the details. While a CLHMS designation gives you an advantage with any luxury home buyer or seller, it can also give you an extra boost of appeal with this type of client.
Getting connected to specialized vendors like custom tile fabricators, venetian plasterers, and wine storage designers is always a good idea, but it will wow your Status Seekers and meet their expectations that you’ll stay ten steps ahead of their needs.
Bonus: it’ll also likely win you some raving referrals within their social circle.
2. The Industry Leader
The Industry Leader is a subject-matter expert in their field and they like knowing that you’re one, too… but don’t necessarily want to be told how to do things.
These clients look for luxury real estate agents to guide them through a luxury home purchase or sale, and might not be as dependent as other clients might be.
The best way to work with these clients is to make a point of educating them along the way and creating milestones to get their approval throughout the process.
3. The Entrepreneur
The Entrepreneur can be more hands-on than either of the other two personas, which isn’t surprising since most of them have built their own wealth from the ground up.
They’re likely to be interested in investing in luxury real estate as another source of income and will look to their luxury real estate agents for specialized guidance in that area.
On the other hand, busy entrepreneurs might be better served by handing you the reigns to work completely on their behalf. If they want to take a more hands-on approach, they’ll appreciate being treated more like a partner and being part of your process.