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Summer is peak season for just about everything in the Northern Hemisphere, and luxury real estate is no exception. Real estate deals don’t close overnight, and the relaxed pace of summer can create breathing room for today’s busy homebuyer. Clients are finally free to begin the search for their next property, letting the brighter days inspire their search for the perfect home.
In my market of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, it’s also common for luxury clients to purchase second homes for vacationing, and summertime lets them visit desirable destinations to view properties and take in the area. Compared to the shorter, jam-packed ski days of winter, summer provides clients ample opportunities to book time with an agent and contemplate their real estate options.
With that in mind, how can agents maintain a sense of order in the busy high season? Here’s a short checklist to help.
1. Plan for the unexpected
In the fast-paced season of summer, prepare to be flexible. When you go to work in the morning, you never know what’s going to happen: clients might be in town for a brief stopover and want to schedule some last-minute showings with you. Popular vacation properties that you want to market may be occupied by seasonal visitors.
Even amidst the spontaneity of summer, there are ways that you can plan. For instance, be intimately familiar with your local inventory; keep track of which vacation properties are in use at all times so that you can set up viewings accordingly.
And be accommodating. Recently, I showed a client some luxury properties around Jackson Hole. I received a call from his wife a couple of weeks later: she was coming to town and wanted to arrange some showings with me, but she only had one day. At the time, I was en route home from an out-of-town event, and I realized we were booked on the same flight. I connected with her in transit and by the time we landed, we had already gone through the multiple listing service and were ready to hit the ground looking at properties.
2. Stay local
If you want to be flexible and accommodate your peak season clients, you have to be present at your office. It’s therefore relatively rare for luxury real estate agents to take lengthy holidays in summer. If you’re hoping to head out of town, it might be a good idea to reconsider.
It’s not easy to stay home — especially when everyone else is traveling — but that’s exactly why we need to stay put. Lots of summer clients will be out-of-towners looking at second or third properties. Instead of jetting off in June, July, or August, my family plans our bigger holidays in quieter months for my business, like November.
3. Invest in engagement, not events
It’s not just your travel plans that you should reevaluate, either. Hosting events in the summer can be a challenge: your local clientele may not be in town, no one is keeping a regular schedule, and there are countless other events to compete with.
At my brokerage, we don’t do a lot of public open houses during the peak season. Instead, we prefer to touch base with clients individually when it’s convenient for them — whether for a drink, dinner, or an afternoon of fly fishing. Flexibility should be your first priority.
4. Prioritize staycations
Summer is exquisite here in Jackson Hole, with warm, dry weather and cool evenings, and I often wish I could book off all of August just to enjoy it. While I can’t usually get away for an entire month, I do make sure I take enough time for myself to appreciate where I live. My family plans camping trips, and I participate in our golf club events. Just because you stayed home doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks.
Spending the whole summer working is not great for your mental health, and it’s bad for business. Not only will it be impossible for you to maintain peak performance, but you’ll miss out on the natural and cultural attractions in your area that will appeal most to your clients. I think it’s really important to take advantage of what our own local regions have to offer, and clients appreciate hearing those stories and seeing your pictures. Whether you’re hiking the nearby mountain, relaxing on the lake, or spending the day on the golf course, it’s good to know what you’re selling.
5. Take advantage of the marketing opportunities
Make your social media a priority this summer. Not only is it the most photogenic season — in my opinion — but whenever you head out on a local adventure, you have an opportunity to build your luxury brand. More agents are turning to Instagram to not only showcase homes but to provide lifestyle content and connect with clients on a more personal level.
Since clients have more spare time in the summer, that also means they can consume more content in all formats. Along with social media, we also focus on more traditional advertising in the peak season. For instance, we often increase our print advertising in local newspapers, both for our properties and our individual brokers.
When summer comes, everything changes. That’s why it’s so critical for luxury real estate agents to expect the unexpected, and get ready to take advantage of the high season in all its hectic, unpredictable glory.
Christian Cisco is an Associate Broker with Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty, and is consistently recognized as one of the office’s top producers, awarded for both total dollar volume sold and total number of transactions annually. His clients describe him as a responsive, trusted expert, and the majority of his business today is through referral. Christian has been selling real estate in the Jackson Hole area for fifteen years and in the past five years alone, has successfully represented over 160 buyers and sellers in Jackson Hole and Teton Valley, Idaho.
About Sotheby’s International Realty
Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning clients of Sotheby’s auction house. Today, the company’s global footprint spans 990 offices located in 72 countries and territories worldwide, including 43 company-owned brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a franchise system. The franchise system is comprised of an affiliate network, where each office is independently owned and operated. Sotheby’s International Realty supports its affiliates and agents with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Affiliates and agents also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.
The affiliate network is operated by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, and the company owned brokerages are operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty Inc., both fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.