While true luxury is considered to be the top 10% of sale prices in your real estate market, that may or may not be the sweet spot for you. In fact, many real estate professionals find it’s easy to substantially boost their average commission check by simply bumping up their price point a level or two. The first step to selling expensive homes is to decide where that sweet spot is that you would like to be in. It may make sense to hold on to your bread and butter business and delegate 20% of your time and budget to breaking into that higher-end real estate market.
Once you’ve identified the area you would like to break into, your next step is to become an expert in that market! Go on broker tours. Talk to all the top local luxury real estate professionals. Study the architecture of the homes in the area and learn about the history of specific luxury properties in the community.
Luxury home sales can be influenced by economic factors, so study the national trends as well. Where are the buyers coming from? Where are your sellers moving to? Depending on your real estate market, you may also want to be prepared to discuss the impact of seasonality. You should know what it costs to build a luxury home. In certain real estate markets the land is worth as much as the structure on it. The land could have an incredible view and the home may be a tear down or a rebuild. If this is the case, you will want to have connections to quality vendors who might be able to work with you.
If you go on luxury appointments and don’t have your own statistics, use your company statistics. For example, the stats of the brand that you work for, the local office that you work in, or consider partnering with another luxury real estate professional on your first few listing appointments. While you will have to give up some money, you are a lot more likely to get the listing as a result of partnering up than if you went about the sale on your own. You may also get to see that other luxury real estate professional in action, which may prove incredibly valuable in and of itself.
A lot of luxury business happens socially. It may center around charity work or some other type of group activity. Regardless, it should be something you enjoy, or that you feel serves a greater purpose. As I was writing this, I was reminded of a client that I worked with for several years before she retired. She worked in La Jolla, California, which is a high-end, oceanfront community, and she loved gardening. Consequently, she found a high-end nursery in the area where they hosted a speaker luncheon every Wednesday. There were typically 50 other people in attendance who all lived right there in the real estate market she wanted to break into. She was able to do something she enjoyed and meet her ideal clients at the same time. She learned to work the room graciously, and she invited them to be part of her information loop.
So how can you emulate this strategy? To start, look through your phone contact list for people you do business with. Who’s your CPA? Who’s your trust attorney? Who handles your insurance? Generally speaking, who are the professionals that you know? Who are the people that are very good at what they do and have already compiled a database of your ideal client? Many of our clients this year have had great success by putting together their own organic networking groups. Give it a try.