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Call me old school but having a trailing gross commission income of $75 million, I haven’t heard a word from my luxury real estate clientele about this wave of disruption, nor has it effected my business.
In fact, I think it’s helped my business tremendously easily dismantling this notion of robots taking over.
It’s seems that every day I read more and more headlines about the new era of real estate technology disrupting the way real estate agents do business. Some even claim that we will someday be replaced by AI, robots spitting out algorithms to facilitate the transaction.
I even keep reading about real estate brokerages claiming to now be technology companies. What? I’m confused.
Who wouldn’t be with headlines like these:
- “Your Next Real Estate Agent Might Be a Robot”
- “AI Will Impact And Disrupt The Real Estate Industry In A Big Way”
- “Your next real estate broker could be a robot”
I don’t disagree that cutting-edge tools can help your luxury practice, but at the end of the day, it comes down to good old-fashion relationships that will continue to be irreplaceable.
Bulletproofing your luxury practice is critical to differentiate yourself.
Be the adviser
Be the adviser to your clients with knowledge expertise of your markets.
You must be the one-stop shop for solutions not just the facilitator of a luxury transaction.
Refering tax planners, title companies or private banks for lending solutions is a must.
Be sure to have relationships with established vendors. Vetting though is critical. Your reputation is on the line at all times when introducing trusted advisers. Meet each and every person you might refer personally, so that you can introduce him or her to clients. Vendors, in turn, might also be a vehicle for earning referrals and business as well.
In the luxury sphere, wealth advising is critical as well. Take a look at what David Friedman, creator of the world’s leading database of ultra-high-net-worth consumers, had to say at Luxury Connect on becoming a real estate wealth adviser below.
Solve the problems
The luxury real estate adviser is irreplaceable. I think one of the biggest issues luxury agents face is working through what a property is actually worth versus what your client thinks it’s worth.
Before hitting the market, put a plan in place, so that if there’s a lack of activity in the first 30 days, which probably means the home is overpriced, you have room to adjust and reduce the price.
Technology isn’t going to sit with your clients to work through this issue. It’s you, the trusted adviser. I also walk clients through absorption analysis prior to listing. It will help your pricing strategy.
Luxury advisers add value in different ways. For more seasoned professionals that come from other industries draw from your former careers expertise.
For me, I spent 20 years as a licensed private banker, advising ultra-high-net-worth individuals. I like to add value by discussing the economy, interest rate trends, the stock market, global travel experiences and current events.
Adding value by negotiating deals and having the confidence to close them will always dominate over the so called virtual agent of the future.
Technological tools to enhance your capabilities are here to stay, and of course, add value to the overall process. As consolidation in the brokerage industry continues to pick up momentum and real estate technology is being pitched as the new normal, I just don’t see the relationship-driven luxury agent being replaced.
Whether five, 10 or 20 years in the future, it’s the human touch that will always win the business and make the difference.