Intuitive service. Meticulous hospitality. Exceptional customer experiences. These are essential in real estate — but they’re also the hallmarks of the luxury travel industry. The world’s leading hotels and airlines are famous for elevating customer comfort, engagement, and satisfaction to the next level. Here are five areas in which luxury travel companies excel, and how real estate professionals can learn from their example.
1. Personalized offerings
Whether looking for a dream home or a dream holiday, high-end clientele expect the services they receive to anticipate their desires. That’s why the credo of The Ritz-Carlton states its commitment to fulfilling “even the unexpressed wishes and needs” of guests.
This approach doesn’t have to be excessive to be effective. Follow in the footsteps of Four Seasons and Emirates and offer your clients complimentary transportation services — whether it’s to an open house or to the next appointment in their day.
Keep a record of your customers’ requests and personal preferences. Then when you show them a property, you’ll know how to prepare it and what refreshments to have on hand. Adjusting your service to your client — before they have the chance to ask — wordlessly demonstrates your investment in their well-being.
2. Exclusive opportunities
Private events and privileged access are an essential part of the luxury travel experience. Top hotels provide local, customizable itineraries for their guests. You can too: remember that when you’re selling a home, you’re also selling a lifestyle, an identity, and a community. When introducing a client to a new property, include a personalized catalogue of sites and events nearby. Next time you meet, treat your client to a memorable café right in their new neighborhood.
If you really want to get creative, partner with a local restaurant or gallery to turn your next open house into a one-of-a-kind, invite-only exhibition.
3. Curated content
The Ritz-Carlton has done excellent work building a branded content experience in the travel space. Their magazine looks glossy even in its online editions, and their blog provides suites of highly-polished articles curated by theme. The company has also created animated shorts and featurettes by emerging artists to further tell brand stories. Each of these channels invites consumers into the adventure of booking at Ritz-Carlton hotels.
Establishing an engaging and multifaceted branded presence is equally vital in real estate. At Sotheby’s International Realty, we’ve invested in our own content creation: the Extraordinary Living Blog showcases property tours, market news, and lifestyle content — all based on the principle that your best life begins with a home that inspires you. RESIDEⓇ magazine translates that experience into a print format — meeting the uptick in demand for high-quality print content, a trend seen especially among millennial buyers — and is also supplemented by a podcast. Of course, video and virtual tours also augment the customer’s home buying journey. Providing a similarly omnichannel experience will enable you to showcase the best of your brand.
4. Inspiring environments
Luxury travel is famous for design and décor, and these are important factors when selling a home. And while it’s smart to cater to the sensibilities of individual clients, you can also craft looks that surprise and delight your visitors with tasteful visual novelty. Case in point: Air France’s La Première first-class suites employ chic tweed-and-leather seats and Bernardaud-designed porcelain china to treat the luxury traveler.
5. Tokens of appreciation
Another thing Emirates is known for is premium gifts. Guests get to keep a Bulgari kit bag that comes complete with the brand’s signature fragrance and skincare essentials.
These kinds of keepsakes are quite standard for luxury airlines, and real estate agents should never underestimate the effectiveness of a little gift-giving.
Luxury travel companies make a point of helping their customers feel at home. Since it’s our job to help customers find their homes, we can learn some key lessons from the best practices of these five-star establishments.
About Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC
Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby’s International Realty® network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 22,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 960 offices in 72 countries and territories worldwide. In 2017, the brand achieved a record global sales volume of $108 billion USD. Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, each brokerage firm and its clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.