Are you looking to move into luxury real estate? You might be thinking: same thing, higher price point. Sales is sales.
However, aside from the price tag, there are some other subtle distinctions that savvy real estate agents should know before jumping into the high-end market.
Here are six differences between selling luxury and midrange real estate.
1. Public open houses aren’t effective
For midrange homes, open houses can be an effective marketing tool as part of a broad strategy. Open houses maximize the number of people who can see a home and alert passersby that the home is for sale.
In the luxury market, an open house for the public doesn’t attract the likely buyers for the property. A broad cross-section of the public is not likely to be able to afford the house, for one thing.
Also, the homes are often notable and unique. As a result, a public open house may attract people who want to see the house up close, not those who can afford it.
Private networks are often the best way to advertise luxury homes. Open houses for luxury brokers can also work very well.
2. Images need to show large properties
Real estate is a very image-driven market. A visit to any real estate website will reveal each listing is likely to have many photographs of the inside and outside.
For luxury properties, the same is true, with one important difference — there needs to be many more images.
Why? First, luxury properties are often much larger. There are more rooms and more square footage to represent, and it all needs to be represented.
Second, there may be more buildings. Midrange properties have an interior, exterior and perhaps two outbuildings at most. Luxury properties may have many ancillary buildings, such as stables, carriage houses, swimming pools, cabanas, multiple garages and more.
Third, there is likely to be more property. It’s a good idea to make use of not only photos but also 360-degree videos of every luxury property, just to show the extent of the square footage, buildings and grounds.
3. Images need to be of professional quality
It should go without saying, all images, both photographs and videos, need to be of professional quality. In midrange houses, it may not be necessary to hire a professional photographer.
In luxury homes, it is.
A professional photographer and videographer will know how to showcase the home, buildings and grounds to highest advantage, in all seasons. They are an integral part of showing luxury homes.
4. Time on market may be lengthy
Luxury homes do not sell quickly. There are relatively few buyers at these price points. As a result, buyers do not appear as frequently as they do in average-priced homes.
Whatever the time on market of midrange or lower range homes in the area, the time on the market for luxury homes will be longer.
High-end real estate agents need to be prepared to maintain and stage the home over a lengthy period and multiple seasons.
Whether the homes are in San Francisco, New York or other high-priced cities, buyers may be flying in from around the world to see the home, so it always needs to be ready to show.
5. Community and amenities are different
It’s always important for real estate agents to know the community and services surrounding their areas. But the area’s features and amenities around high-end properties may be quite different than they are in midrange properties.
Real estate agents will need to know statistics about private schools, for example, as it’s more common for the children of luxury property owners to be educated there.
Recreational facilities may be the local yacht club or equestrian club. Owners may want to know if there are facilities for private jets or helicopters nearby.
6. You have to look the part
In sales, as in everything, people feel comfortable with those who look and act like them. So luxury real estate agents need to look the part, in dress, department and manner of speech.
It’s a good idea for aspiring luxury property agents to shadow successful agents. They can get a sense of how best to dress and present themselves to luxury property clients.
In some areas, jeans and a background in sailing work fine. In others, linen suits are a necessity.
If shadowing isn’t doable, it’s a good idea for agents who want to move into high-end sales to go to networking events to observe high-end agents.
Successful real estate agents need to know selling homes in high-end areas is different in several key respects from selling in other areas. These six factors are important for aspiring luxury home agents to know.