- Find out about the client before the pitch so you can dress in a way that makes you relatable.
- Take time to meet face-to-face with your clients, and believe in your prices.
In Jared Seligman‘s world, it can take 10 years to get a listing in a luxury building that he hasn’t sold in before. It’s that chicken-and-egg situation, said the Douglas Elliman agent.
He finally won a listing in the famous Dakota building in Manhattan. As he puts it, “It’s about how many have you sold in the building — it gets to a certain price point, and (the owner’s) child could be a real estate broker and not get the listing.”
Seligman was one of the panelists at a Global Connect session about pitching to luxury clients. He took the stage alongside Justin Fichelson of Climb Real Estate in a session moderated by Samantha DeBianchi of DeBianchi Real Estate.
Seligman said one of the key things he’s learned over the years is that overpricing a luxury property can be a very expensive mistake.
“Overpricing a property can affect you by millions of dollars,” he said.
Do your homework
On the other coast, life can be a bit more relaxed. Fichelson said that in his market, making the big sales is about doing your research and trying to get on the same wavelength as your high-net-worth client.
He remembers getting a invitation to pitch on a property. The client was a well-known young tech billionaire in San Francisco. So Fichelson took off his tie and put on “cords” and a sports coat for the meeting.
“I was immediately more relatable, and it was because I knew who I was going to meet with,” he said.
He doesn’t think he would have landed the listing if he had gone in in a suit and tie.
Know the value of face time
Fichelson likes to hit two birds with one stone when having a client meeting. A strong believer in a face-to-face meeting every now and then with an established client, rather than newsletters, he will often arrange to meet the contact at a venue where he knows he may bump into others in his sphere of influence.
He doesn’t bring much material with him to listing meetings, he added.
“For me, it’s all about personal relations. It’s about whether they trust you or not.”
Are you the best fit?
You will not always be a fit with a potential client, reminds Seligman — so it can be a better idea to introduce another leader in the industry to a client, he said.
“A lot of it is about knowing what you know and what you don’t know,” said Seligman, who stressed he never says “no” to any listing.
Sometimes a luxury agent can bring new, elevated prices to a market because of their different take on the property and what’s possible.
The agent said he recently sold a townhouse in Brooklyn, an area he did not know well, and it went for double the price of any comparable property in the area after advertising it in The New York Times, The New York Post and others.
“I got hate mail from a few brokers, saying ‘You are crazy in your pricing,'” he said. “But I believed in that price.”