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.
When you’re selling luxury real estate, you’re likely at the very top of your game; Craig Hogan, the Vice President of Luxury at Coldwell Banker, estimates that luxury sales comprise about 4 percent of the total U.S. market of sales. So once you reach that exalted level, you probably don’t need training as an agent anymore … right?
Not according to Hogan, who believes that luxury real estate is “a massively competitive space,” and to be successful, you have to constantly absorb new information, new trends, new technology, new tools and new ways of connecting, understand what they mean, then apply them to your ultra-high-net-worth sphere. He’ll be talking about agent training at the luxury level exclusively at Luxury Connect, October 16 through 18 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
“I think it’s incumbent upon us to be better than we were the year before,” Hogan noted. “When it comes to ultra-high-net-worth clients, there are a lot of misconceptions out there. How they view themselves and how they view us is critical to know — we are not a trusted industry. And that puts us at a disadvantage.”
In the book Selling to the New Elite, the authors found through research that high-net-worth individuals consider themselves “middle class at heart” — which means that trust is key. “You’ve got to know what questions are going to be asked and figure out the answers,” Hogan explained. “There is a skill to making the complicated seem simple; everybody does not possess that. When you can master talking about the intricacies of complicated situations and make it sound like you’ve done it a thousand times before, you’re in a much better place.”
Hogan will share more details about how he manages luxury real estate agent training at Coldwell Banker at Luxury Connect.
What do you think the luxury agent of the future looks like?
This is a time of change for our industry, and the demand to be a top-level professional is a priority. Everyone knows a great Realtor or several, and with such a small sector of the market being luxury, it’s competitive. As a brand, we are excited to see this change. Selling real estate today, especially luxury, is not what it used to be.
What do you feel are the challenges facing the luxury market this year?
The luxury market is, for the most part, good. Maybe it’s not the peak of 2016; however, it’s still good. I think we have the challenges of inventory, over-pricing, the evolution of consumer demands in luxury housing and, in many areas, the perception of evolving markets. We also have a tremendous amount of housing stock that is just tired in many parts of the country, and new is the demand.
What are some of the biggest problems you see agents faced with in growing their business?
Lack of planning and commitment can kill you. You can’t play in this arena without having a game plan. And that should include working on your skill set and presentation abilities.
Being an expert on market knowledge is basic, so you have to bring your A-game when you get the chance to be included in listings that are in the top 5 percent. “Good” just won’t cut it.
And you need a budget. I see this so often, and I really don’t get it. A lot of Realtors want to play in the luxury space, but it comes with a cost. Marketing yourself and your properties is not an option.
I would also say that lead generation is a skill that can make or break you. Only a handful of those at the top don’t need to look for new business.
How has technology changed a luxury agent’s business, and what are they most intrigued by that they are not currently using?
Technology has changed the way we communicate with the customer in literally all ways. Everything can be done now on an iPad or a phone, for the most part, so it’s a thing we must embrace.
I saw a presentation recently where an MLS copy was printed at the office and had a Post-It note on it to make a point. I just felt embarrassed for the agent. Everyone has access to everything in an instant, and we need to get with that concept.
What’s the question you hear most from your agents? And what’s your answer to them?
“How do I get into the luxury field?” is the most asked question for those who aspire to be there. After that, I would say it’s the skill set that is the bigger topic. What you say, how you say it and how it’s received is a critical part of this equation. That includes when to shut up, as well! Making the complicated seem simple is a skill that will take you a long way.
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.