Last call for tickets! This summer we’re looking at the state of the luxury agent & broker in today’s increasingly complex real estate market. In October, we’ll gather in Beverly Hills at Luxury Connect to share best practices, network, and create blueprint for the luxury agent/broker of tomorrow. Don’t miss it.
“In the world of social media, you post what you’re looking for,” explains Christophe Choo, a Coldwell Banker luxury broker who operates in Beverly Hills and beyond. “Back years ago, when I was selling lower-end homes, people would tell me, ‘Oh, I didn’t think you sold million-dollar homes.’ Now because of social media and the presence I’ve created, past clients sometimes will tell me, ‘Oh, I didn’t think you’d want to handle my house because it’s listed for less than $2 million.’”
Choo’s presence on Instagram and Facebook has established him as one of the social media stars to watch in luxury real estate, and he’ll be talking about how to grow your social media following as a luxury agent at Luxury Connect, October 16 through 18 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
To balance his client base and make sure that everyone at every level of income and sales knows what he does, Choo does his best to show multiple facets of his business. “Last year, I sold a $750,000 hoarder shack,” he notes. “I didn’t want to just post that on its own because I didn’t want to push it too much, so instead I did a post where I showed a double photo with a $30 million home that I sold at the top, and the hoarder shack at the bottom, and it said, ‘Whether you’re selling a mansion or a cottage, we’re here to help you with your real estate needs.’”
Hear Choo talk about how he curates and balances his business and personal content on social media — and much more — at Luxury Connect this month.
What do you think the luxury agent of the future looks like?
Giving better or more curated customer service. As the world continues to change, taking care of the customer’s needs is going to be increasingly important. Fifteen to 20 years ago, customers didn’t have that information, and your ability to take care of that client at every level is important — the busier they are the more they want things handled.
What do you feel are the challenges facing the luxury market this year?
I think we’re in a transitioning market; they never stay up forever, and having been through two previous cycles, unfortunately a good 45 percent to 50 percent of agents working today only understand a good market and it’s going to be a very big challenge for them, not knowing how to anticipate and prepare for that. We’re moving from a seller’s to a buyer’s market. There’s a gap, and it’s going to take a while for that gap to start filtering to the sellers where they understand what’s going on.
What are some of the biggest problems you’ve faced in growing your business?
When the markets go up, like starting in 2009 or 2010, and particularly with the founding of reality TV for real estate, so many young people watch these shows and in 20 minutes they see a 24-year-old broker list and sell a $40 million house with no appointments, no negotiation, they just sell it — which is not real. So many agents got into the industry thinking “Oh, I can just show up and make a lot of money,” and I think that has hurt the industry in a lot of ways. For me as a broker when the markets were increasing, so many of my past clients’ children who were 18, 20, 22 years old got their real estate licenses because they saw these shows and thought “I can do that,” but they don’t stay in the business because they can’t. But if you have double the agent population, even if they’re only there for six months or a year, they will take one deal here or there — that’s probably been my biggest challenge. When the markets are good, you have agents who come in and don’t last, but they do take part of your business.
How has technology changed your business, and what are you most intrigued by that you’re not currently using?
Technology has helped me to be more efficient. I don’t really use my iPad, I use my laptop or my phone, and with my phone I’m able to, in a pinch, send documents via DocuSign, plus having all of your contacts in your phone, use technology like BombBomb to send video email. It’s helped create a better customer relationship, an easier and smoother transaction, and it’s helped me communicate better with clients.
I’ve always been one of the first adopters of anything, a beta tester for lots of things, today I had a conference call with a company and I helped them launch their online platform, now they’re doing something new and want me to be a beta tester. I do a lot of conferences like Luxury Connect, I’m sure I’ll leave there with five, six, 10 new apps to use. I’m the kind of person where if I’m at a conference and someone mentions a new app, I go to the app store on my phone and download it so that night or the next day I can play with it and try it. I check out everything, and if I like it, I use it.
What’s the question you hear most from your clients? And what’s your answer to them?
I don’t think there’s any one basic question. I can’t think of anything offhand that sticks to mind.
Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy those tickets together too. Just contact us to find out more.