Do you have the technology tools and skills to secure a million-dollar listing? Do you know how to reach the maximum number of buyers for your estate properties? Do you know how to beat out the competition on your next million-dollar listing appointment? If you’re dreaming about being an “estates agent,” here are five strategies that will help you secure your next million-dollar listing.
1. Market your estates internationally, not just locally.
While your estates sellers may not expect international coverage for their listing, being able to offer this service is a huge competitive advantage on the agent’s part. For a minimum amount of money, you can have your client listed internationally with much better exposure than any print advertising can create. Here are my recommendations:
a. Even if you are with a designated “estates firm” such as Sotheby’s, one of the smartest strategies you can use is to post your estates listings to www.uniqueglobalestates.com. This Web site lists only million-dollar-plus properties and there is no charge to post your listing. With more than 16,000 international listings, they have the largest database in the world of exclusive million-dollar-plus listings and are also linked to the DuPont Registry. Better yet, they only work with agents, not sellers. Their service provides virtual tours, a host of other marketing materials, plus an outstanding buyer referral program for agents who are comfortable paying a referral fee and providing excellent service.
b. If you type in “luxury real estate” or “million-dollar properties,” HomeGain comes up as number one on Google. HomeGain membership is $29.95 per month and will allow you to see million-dollar leads that come from their service. This is a powerful listing tool because it gives you first access to million-dollar buyers for your personal listings. Sellers are more likely to list with you when they know their property will be one of the first “million-dollar properties” the buyer views on the Web.
c. If your firm specializes in luxury real estate, your company may be eligible for membership in www.luxuryrealestate.com. This service is by invitation only and places very highly on Google. If you currently work for an estates firm, have your manager explore membership. If your company is already a member, this is an important point to highlight in your listing presentation.
d. Don’t forget about listing your property on Realtor.com. The small fee you pay is more than worth the exposure. Sellers are impressed when an agent has multiple resources to list their property nationally and internationally.
2. Make the most of technology.
Most million-dollar sellers are technologically sophisticated. To compete effectively for high-end estates, you will also need to provide a solid set of tech tools. At a minimum, plan on doing a virtual tour, having an 800 call-capture number on the property and your print advertising, plus showcasing your million-dollar listings on your personal Web site.
3. You need to know market statistics.
A number of years ago I was doing a three-month “up or out” training session for some agents who were experiencing challenges in their production. One agent who wasn’t particularly confident had a listing lead for a movie star’s home on the beach in Malibu, Calif. She was going up against the estates directors for both Beverly Hills and Malibu. I trained her on the “rate of absorption” and helped her calculate the market statistics to give to the business manager. I also made sure she had mastered the listing dialogues we were training. The presentation and her knowledge of market statistics landed the listing and a $3 million sale.
4. Estate owners expect estate-level service.
When it comes to customer service, your estate owners will expect top drawer service from both you and your firm. This means keeping the seller updated on each showing, aggressively marketing the property by target marketing likely buyers, and doing little things to show your appreciation for their business. These “little touches” say you care and can be something as simple as bringing fresh flowers for your broker’s open or serving a full blown catered lunch. Most importantly, you must let the sellers know what you do that differentiates you from your competition in terms of your service.
5. You must be willing to tell the truth about the price and walk away if the seller is unrealistic.
Estate properties are labor intensive, are often expensive to market, and usually require a much longer time to sell. If the seller is not willing to be realistic on their purchase price, you’re throwing away your hard-earned money. While the status of having an expensive listing is great, an overpriced listing can hurt your credibility with both buyer leads, as well as future listing leads.
Remember, to list more estate properties, you must be able to distinguish yourself from the competition with your marketing, technology and superb customer service. If you are unable to do so, that million-dollar business will go to someone who can.
Bernice Ross is an owner of Realestatecoach.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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