23 May So You Wanna Be A Luxury Real Estate Agent? 5 In-Depth Marketing Tips
Every real estate professional dreams of tapping into the luxury market. And who could blame them? Big commissions, name recognition, publicity and even business opportunities. But what does it really take to get there?
It’s no secret that tapping into that luxury real estate market is one of the hardest things to do, for new and experienced real estate professionals. That’s the reason I wrote this guide.
I receive so many phone calls from agents asking – how can you help me tap into the luxury real estate market in my area? How can you help me take my career to the next level?
Below is my advice, which I’ve summarized into 5 simple but powerful tips that could fast track your goals to becoming a luxury real estate agent.
#1 You Need to Know What You Are Doing
Before you even think of moving forward, ask yourself… do I know what I’m doing? There are many newbie real estate agents that jump from taking the test to becoming a luxury real estate agent.
Unless you already have the background and experience in real estate, I strongly suggest you get some experience under your belt. That experience could help you avoid lawsuits and save you money.
Simply taking 6 months to learn the ropes at a local real estate brokerage, while shadowing another successful luxury real estate agent, could be the difference in your failure or success. That extra experience will help you feel more confident when taking on a luxury listing and the mentor will help you develop the skills needed to be the greatest in your field.
Already an experienced agent? Then read on!
#2 You Need To Look the Part
Normally I encourage real estate agents to relax and be themselves. I explain that their clients will love them and appreciate their authenticity.
Are you the laid back but trusted Realtor who wears jeans and flip flops every day? Show that in your marketing. Are you the young and modern Realtor with a focus on minimalism and technology? Show that in your marketing. I encourage agents to use their personality to market their businesses.
However, when you are transitioning to luxury real estate, you need to figure out a way to make sure that your marketing and your style represents the luxury industry. Luxury real estate is a visual niche. The house, the car, the owners, the buyers and the agent all look the part.
In Depth: How to look like a luxury real estate agent:
- Pay for luxury branding – Make sure everything, from your website and business cards to your signs and advertising, is designed and printed to represent your luxury clientele.
- Dress to impress – Make sure your clothing is clean, pressed and tailored. First impressions go a long way when trying to win a listing. Just starting out? Purchase one or two neutral suits and multiple dress shirts/blouses. Keep them dry cleaned and wear those when meeting new clients or networking. The suits will be so neutral many won’t recognize you’ve worn it before. Switch up the blouses and/or dress shirts and you’ll always look professional and put together.QUICK TIP: RENT LUXURY CLOTHESDo you have special networking event with high rollers OR a real important client meeting? Rent your outfit in advance. Two of my favorite companies to temporarily rent designer clothing are Rent the Runway for ladies and The Black Tux for men.
- Drive a nice car – It may sound vain, but in the luxury industry it is a necessity to make sure your car is nice, especially if you are driving luxury buyers around to look at homes. Your car should not only look nice but it should be clean and smell good as well.QUICK TIP: DRIVING IN LUXURY ON THE CHEAPNewbie Agents: If you cant afford a luxury car, try Uber, a peer to peer taxi service, allows you to taxi luxury cars. Using Uber, you can sit in the back with your clients and they will get that luxury experience while going on walkthroughs.
The only thing to look out for when using any taxi service is timing. This is why I don’t suggest using a taxi service when meeting with a seller unless you are paying them to wait for you outside. After presenting an amazing listing presentation you don’t want to be chilling around at a client’s house waiting for your ride. Talk about embarrassing.
Experienced Agents: If you are an experienced agents talk to your broker about leasing a luxury vehicle for the experienced agents in your firm who are looking to transition into luxury. The investment will pay for itself in luxury commissions and your broker would be more open to considering this option since you are already bring in consistent business.
#3 You Need To Utilize The Latest in Real Estate Technology
If you want a luxury buyer to hire you as their agent or if you want to win a luxury listing, you need to show clients that you can provide them with the latest in real estate marketing and technology. Make sure you understand how to utilize the latest technology to find and market homes and that you can effectively combine that knowledge with traditional techniques.
Remember, just having flashy tools isn’t enough. You need to know how to use them effectively to increase the client’s ROI.
In Depth: Technology Used by Luxury Real Estate Agents
- Electronic signature software
- Showing feedback software
- Interactive yard signs
- Beautifully designed websites with powerful home search engines
- Active social media and blogs
- Cloud document storage
- Virtual phone numbers
- The latest gadgets (Touch screen laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.)
#4 You Need a Listing Presentation That Wows
To win a luxury listing, you need to do more than click through a generic PowerPoint and pass out faded flyers and postcard examples. Instead – tweak your presentation to the property. Imagine the impression you’ll make when the seller sees a postcard with their house on it? And marketing that caters to their neighborhood and their current needs?
Making those extra steps to personalize your listing presentation is worth the investment.
In Depth: How to win a luxury listing:
- Pay for luxury branding – Make sure your listing presentation, listing package and examples are all professionally designed and printed to represent your luxury brand.
- Memorize your presentation – Although no two listing presentations will ever be the same, knowing the foundation of your presentation will be valuable. It will allow you to quickly and easily skip sections, answer questions without getting off-track and help you sound professional and knowledgeable about marketing real estate.
- Encourage participation – Get the sellers involved by allowing them to pretend to be buyers. Show them what happens when they text the number on the yard sign. Take them on a walk-through of their listings from your point of view. Luxury sellers are constantly being “sold” to. To get an edge, show them exactly why they should hire you. Actions speak louder than words.
#5 You Need To Supercharge Your Follow Up
Potential clients searching for or selling traditional homes need basic follow-up strategies to convert them into clients. Those strategies include using the information collected in your CRM to send them email marketing, postcards and the occasional phone call.
In retrospect, potential clients searching for or selling luxury homes need traditional follow-up combined with action to convert them into clients. Just sending a card that says happy birthday isn’t enough. For wealthy clients, sending gifts on birthdays and invitations to exclusive events in the area are key to establishing a healthy lead flow.
In Depth: How to effectively follow up with luxury leads and clients
- Remember the details – When you run into a potential luxury client, whether by chance or by a scheduled meeting, take notes and/or memorize the small details of their life. These small details include spouses, children, hobbies, vacation spots, etc. Make sure you put these things into your CRM and use these details to come up with innovative follow-up techniques.
- Use partner resources – Developing a lead funnel for luxury clients can be costly. This is why it is imperative to have partners that can provide discounts and resources to luxury amenities.REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: FROM YACHT TO LEADS
In a consultation session with an agent we brainstormed a marketing technique where she partnered with a mortgage professional, a home inspector and a title company to rent and throw a yacht party every year for her luxury clients.They split the cost and the networking potential was well worth the investment. Plus, many luxury clients would hire her to sell and buy their homes just so they could get an invite to the annual yacht party!
- Extend your lead to close time – The decision to buy and/or sell a luxury home isn’t an easy one. The real estate sales and lead cycle is already a long one – add in the luxury component and the lead cycle can be even longer. Don’t be discouraged if a potential client hasn’t responded after following up with them for longer than 3 months. Many times, they are busy, on vacation, or dealing with business. Unless they say “remove me from your list” keep marketing. You’ll be in the front of their minds when they are ready to hire a real estate professional.