Did you ever think you’d find yourself reading an article on “Pandemic Real Estate Trends”?
This year has been full of surprises — to say the least — yet the luxury real estate market is fortunate enough to have seen steady growth for nearly the entire year.
Rather than fall apart, the luxury real estate market quickly adapted to the situation at hand — so much so that eight months into COVID-19, we now see clear “pandemic real estate trends” emerging.
And, not only are they emerging…
They’re likely here to stay and evolve until the pandemic reaches a state of more certainty.
In fact, this month the Institute spoke with Craig Hogan, VP of Luxury for Coldwell Banker, about a new wealth demographic forming that Coldwell is referring to as Trailblazers.
“Trailblazers,” he says, are “charting a new path forward, choosing housing locations based on family, health, or lifestyle reasons, rather than being close to their business or work.”
These Trailblazers are the ones setting pandemic real estate trends, and are determined to fall into three main subsets: Explorers, New Suburbanites, and Resorters.
Though the three are noticeably different from each other, the theme among all of them is the same. Like everyone else, the wealthy are reevaluating what is important to them in 2020.
Let’s take a closer look at these three Trailblazer groups, the new pandemic real estate trends they’ve caused, and how to best serve them as a luxury real estate professional.
This group, whose members tend to be younger than age 39, is ready to seek adventure outside of big cities and suburbs. They want to stretch their dollar, and they value life experiences over status.
These folks are also more open to rural, non-traditional luxury markets where open space, better schools, and family-friendly entertainment are easy to find.
As buyers? Explorers are looking for a luxury real estate professional who understands their holistic approach to luxury living — meaning most won’t just want the larger property. Additionally, they’ll want all their surroundings to support their physical, mental, and even spiritual health.
To sell these larger properties in non-traditional luxury markets, keep in mind that while most are under 39 years of age, net $1-5 million, and nearly 40% have at least one child, this group is diverse and many exceptions apply.
However, it’s safe to say that initial marketing efforts aimed at a younger, more adventurous demographic is a smart place to start.
Another pandemic real estate trend you may not have expected in the luxury market? A return to the suburbs.
That’s not to say New Suburbanites aren’t also looking for more space and additional health and wellness support.
Alternatively, this group is more likely to include professionals who may not have full work-from-home capabilities as entrepreneurs, business owners, or senior management. That means the occasional commute is still a factor in their location choice.
These clients tend to be slightly older than Explorers (39 to 54), net between $5 and $10 million, and are married with two or more school-aged children. They’re also more likely to spend on luxury purchases like sports cars, boats, art, and upscale health and wellness treatments — unlike their Explorer counterparts who are less concerned with “showy” luxury.
As buyers, New Suburbanite clients are best described as looking for a bigger, more comfortable version of what they already have. In other words, they aren’t looking for an adventure — just a home that makes it more comfortable for everyone to be in close quarters with each other more of the time.
Highlighting large home offices, spacious kids’ rooms, and ample yard space will catch their eye — meaning sellers should focus on these aspects for a swift, successful sale when listing a luxury suburban home.
The oldest demographic of the three, Resorters are ready to enjoy retirement in world-class vacation destinations where they can have access to fresh air, recreation, and luxury amenities.
These folks are looking for skiing, wine, golf, or yachting.
And their net worth of $10 million or more makes it an easy choice for them.
These clients often already own multiple properties and are looking for a luxury real estate professional who understands their biggest core value right now is one thing: freedom.
Of course, they also prioritize health and wellness, but sophistication and luxury are nearly equal priorities — more so than the other two groups.
While it would be too much of a stretch to say the role of their luxury real estate professional would be similar to one of a luxury travel agent, it’s important to meet these clients with vast knowledge of the leisure activities, social scene, and luxury experiences they can afford from a new location.
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