As many of you know, I coach some of the top agents across North America. Agents like Ernie Carswell from Beverly Hills, whose client rosters are a virtual who’s who of Hollywood with clients like Fergie and Katy Perry. Another client, Boris Kholodov in Toronto, Canada, who was already successful earning $750,000 a year, year-in and year-out, went to 1.5 million within his first year of working with me. And, as a luxury coach, I’d like to call out some basic key reminders as we finish the current year and create our business plans for the new year.
One of the major components of working with luxury clients is building and maintaining solid relationships.
It’s important to remember to work for the relationship, not just the transaction. On the plus side, working with affluent buyers is often easier because they know exactly what they want, and they have the means to get it. But let’s be real, they didn’t get to where they are in life without appreciating a good bargain. If they don’t like the price, they are more likely to pass on a property even if it checks all the boxes.
So, how can we up our game when working with luxury clients in order to get 5-star reviews and ensure we earn their repeat and referral business?
Building and maintaining client relationships is a great place to start. Whether you are an experienced luxury agent with a strong clientele or an agent newly entering the luxury market, take time to review and digest the information I’ve listed below.
As an experienced agent, you may find one or two items you can incorporate into your business or take to a higher level. As an agent moving into the luxury market, you may need to take all of these to heart to ensure your success.
- Be honest and transparent. As with any client, honesty is always the best policy. Don’t hesitate to explain why a property won’t work for them. Just ensure you clearly lay out the reasons.
- Relate to them as individuals. Remember, trust needs to be built. Let them know you’ll fight for them.
- Ask how they want to be communicated with and communicate often throughout the transaction. Wealthy clients tell you what they think so be prepared. Let them know how to work best with you and keep in mind, they expect you to be discreet.
- You will most likely need to cater to their schedule. You must be highly available and responsive. This can be tough because you work on their time and they expect you to be on-call 24/7. Everything revolves around their schedule.
- Be prepared for quick decisions. Wealthy clients often make quick decisions. You need to be ready to act. Most of them are savvy negotiators, often self-made, and they don’t like to waste time.
- You may end up working with their accountant or lawyer. This is also known as working with a “handler”. Build this relationship and be available to the handler in the same way you would with the client because the handler is acting on behalf of the client.
- Simplify the process. Luxury clients expect you to make the process easy.
- Conduct an in-depth consultation. You need to immediately define expectations and develop a home search strategy. Ask open-ended questions and ensure your service delivery will meet their expectations and needs.
- Ask “What is the most you are willing to pay if the home is perfect in every way?” Chances are they already have their own financing or will pay cash.
- They may expect you to handle some “concierge” type services to assist in making their move easier. Share with them the services you provide in exchange for their commitment of loyalty.
- Be adaptable. Adapt to their generation. Adapt to their culture. Adapt to their personality. Study them online to find out more about their hobbies and areas of interest. In addition, sales versatility is a plus.
- Consistently deliver superior service. Don’t settle for a “satisfied” client. Satisfied clients aren’t typically loyal. “Very satisfied” clients, however, will use you again, give excellent reviews and testimonials and refer you to their family and friends. Consistently use the same service delivery approach or formula for any client whether they are a $500,000 client or a 50 million dollar one.
- Ask for their review and for referrals along the way. Remember, rich people have rich friends. Plus, it’s an effective way to measure your service delivery.
- Follow up with them in 30/60/90 days and 90 days thereafter. Rich people get bored and move more often, so stay in touch!
In closing, as you move into the new year, remember to block out time on your calendar for personal growth. Focus some of that time on improving your relationships with your clients. We can all improve our listening skills, time management skills, communications skills, sales versatility skills, etc., which in turn will increase our business and profitability and lead to very satisfied and loyal clients.
Want to jump-start your personal growth over the holidays? Choose to read or listen to a book. I recommend one of the following, all of which are available on Amazon:
- Unlimited Selling Power: How to Master Hypnotic Selling Skills by Donald Moine and Kenneth Lloyd
- The Power of Charm by Tracy E. Arden
- Instant Rapport by Michael Brooks as seen on Oprah Winfrey and Sally Jessy Raphael – also available on Audible
- The Platinum Rule: Discover The Four Basic Business Personalities And How They Can Lead You To Success by Tony Allessandra, Ph.D., and Michael J. O’Connor, Ph.D. – also available on Audible
If you want more guidance on how to grow your luxury real estate practice, you can learn more about the Institute’s training options here.