Are you curious about how some real estate agents manage to secure trophy house listings? Do you ever wonder how they meet their luxury clients and make their millions? I live in an area known for luxury homes, and one of the questions I hear all the time is: “How do I get into luxury?”
Although there are some tried-and-true tactics you can put in your tool kit, don’t expect to be an overnight success. Here are seven tips to get you started:
1. Build a remarkable reputation
My primary advice is to learn how to generate leads, convert those leads and then provide wildly exceptional service to clients. Why? To build a respectable reputation as a luxury agent. Your reputation will feed you for the duration of your career.
In addition to understanding the basics of great lead gen and amazing customer service, it is important to have a great website and bio that reflects the reputation you’re trying to build.
Your website needs to answer several important questions:
- Who are you?
- What do your clients say about you?
- Why should clients work with you?
- What is the experience the client is going to have working with you?
Of course, every answer should be geared toward your target customers: luxury clients.
My luxury listings have come from agent-to-agent referrals. I am involved in many real estate ecosystems and know agents from all over the world, and these relationships are responsible for much of my income each year.
Find ways to network with agents from out of your area. Groups like Inman, coaching groups, masterminds, Facebook groups and the like are all excellent options.
3. Managing vacation rentals
Managing vacation rentals gave way to the opportunity for me to meet people who were visiting my area. These people later turned to me when they decided to buy property.
When you manage people’s property, you become their trusted adviser. You keep them informed of the value of their property and let them know when other opportunities are available.
It is all about building lasting relationships.
4. Associate with your target audience
You need to associate with the audience you are trying to reach. This is one of the most important aspects — if not the most important aspect — of marketing,
Where do the players in your luxury market hang out? What clubs are they in? What charities do they support? You need to be where they are. Do they play golf or tennis? Are they art enthusiasts? Go to happy hour at the places they go to. Volunteer at their charities.
If you get an opportunity to list a property, and you know that you are going up against another strong agent, team up and work with that agent and co-list. You are better off co-listing it rather than losing it altogether.
If you are a newer agent and need some clout, ask a top producer to co-list with you. The Playboy Mansion was co-listed by Gary Gold of Hilton and Hyland and colleagues. Although Gold ultimately sold it, he listed it with others. (Note: Gary will be speaking as part of the ‘Meet the Luxury Real Estate Winners’ session at Luxury Connect on Wednesday October 18th)
If you have the opportunity to work with someone on a great property, position yourself as a player by partnering with an agent who is already establish in the luxury world. Not only will you learn from the best, you’ll be receiving a paid education.
This is what many of today’s successful agents did in the beginning. You stand a far better chance of snagging that great listing if you have a leader standing next to you.
6. Build a team
Many agents find that working on a team is beneficial to building a strong business. Some perks include: the opportunity to learn from someone who is successful; gaining exposure to listings you would never get on your own; and the ability to show property to clients that the team leader provides.
Being on a team puts you in a position that you would not have on your own, and it can supercharge your career.
7. Find a mentor
Superstar mega agent Debby Beck of David Lyng Real Estate in Carmel has never forgotten her first mentor. Maureen Mason of Sotheby’s in Pacific Grove mentored Beck when she was a new agent and they remain dear friends until this day.
Both of these women are top producers in their respective brokerages.
Beck has never forgotten Mason’s wisdom, nor has she forgotten how valuable Mason’s guidance was back then when she was a brand new agent.
That experience inspired Beck to mentor new agents — it’s her way of giving back. She truly love this business and wants to encourage fresh, young real estate agents to be successful and independent.
A few of Beck’s top tips include:
- “Keep your personal business separate from the company you work for. Many brokerages would frown at this,” Beck said.
- Clients are hiring you. Agents change brokerages all the time, so make sure your website (not the brokerage’s website) and marketing collateral speak to who you are, and show your X-Factor. What makes you memorable and special? You are the star of the show, and people will remember you, not the brokerage you work for.
- Take pride in what you do. Develop your own business style while shadowing someone you want to be like. Remember this is your business. Treat it as such.
- Take time to learn the basics before diving into the business. New agents are in a hurry to make the big money. They try to hold open houses at big listings and get in over their head. If you don’t speak the language, you can’t sell the neighborhood.
- Study how the population you want to attract dresses and behaves. What do they talk about? The stock market? World affairs? Know your numbers and speak their language.
- Be the go-to for everything. Do your research, and read. Know the market, neighborhood, local favorites, events and school districts. People are not just buying a home, they are buying a lifestyle.
- Get dressed every day as if you have a meeting with a very important client. This keeps your mindset in the right place. Be ready for action.
A luxury client is not going to trust someone who has no prior experience with luxury properties. It is as simple as that. Find a mega agent who is willing to mentor you, and make that person your hero.
Pro tip: If you find a good team, a great broker and/or a wonderful mentor, hang on to their pant leg, and don’t let them go. It is tempting to get a few deals under your belt and feel as if you can venture out there alone. But remember, great teams and mentors are invaluable.
There are many ways to snag high-end listings, but the path is not an easy one.
To obtain a high-end client or listing, you need to be someone who the client can trust, and if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to establishing strong, lasting, profitable and mutually beneficial relationships with luxury clientele.
One day, you will be the one who is asked to co-list or mentor the newbie.
Thinking of bringing your team to Luxury Connect? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy those tickets together too. Just contact us to find out more.
Leslie DeLuca is the broker-owner at DeLuca Real Estate in The Monterey Peninsula in California. Follow her on Instagram or her blog.