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As pointed out by the speakers at the Luxury Focused Breakout at Inman Connect Now, luxury agents need to be less focused on getting that immediate, flashy deal. Instead, they should be building relationships, showing potential clients how they could live, and then being there when they are ready to take the plunge and buy.
“Nothing works quickly in luxury real estate,” Seth O’Byrne of San Diego Compass told listeners Tuesday. “I don’t think that we should be advertising to people with the sense that they’re going to buy the things that we’re trying to sell them.”
Here are six tips for breaking out and earning clients’ trust as a luxury real estate agent.
Sing your praises (loudly)
When so many others are clamoring for the same markets and top-earning clients, being seen as the go-to luxury agent means remaining in your clients’ minds. This means stepping up your game and putting extra effort into every kind of marketing you do. Get professional shots of properties to put on Instagram, explore new social media platforms such as TikTok and otherwise don’t being afraid to use video. Also do not forget to connect to clients directly through emails, door-knocking and traditional event networking (when safe, of course).
“I shifted my strategy to becoming known and that will continue to be my strategy for a while,” Ben Belack, Director of Residential Estates at The Agency, told the audience. “People hire who they know. You can’t be a secret agent.”
Beginner agents are often afraid of making mistakes or appearing unprofessional — as a result, they are not able to build the kind of fun and light-hearted touch that often ends up winning over the hearts of social media followers and eventual clients. Instead, successful agents will pepper their regular posts about homes that are up for sale with interesting facts, humor and even personal anecdotes.
“Humility and hustle, crucial conversations and having a motivational masseuse is key,” Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland’s Williams Estates Group said at the panel.
At the same time, do not feel that you need to put on a certain persona of what a luxury agent should look like, an image usually based on an unrealistic reality TV shows or another agents’ Instagram page. Trying too hard always comes through and makes you lose the trust of your clients.
Take the time to figure out what you stand for, the type of work you want to be doing and then build a professional and social media presence around that vision.
“Stop trying to please everybody on the other side of it,” Belack said. “Be unapologetically yourself and your tribe will find you.”
Create content for loyal subscribers
When you see luxury agents with enormous social media followers, it can be tempting to focus on reaching as many people as you possibly can. That, as O’Byrne points out, is a mistake — by trying to reach everybody with flashy posts, you can lose out on those who are already there and could give you their business.
Use technology to find out which clients that stick around (whether by commenting or spending more time on your site) and then build your content in a way that will be valuable to them.
“I’m not as concerned about what someone who is just stumbling on my page for the first time will think,” O’Byrne said. “I am all about incubating and bombarding and retargeting.”
Don’t be afraid of competitors, learn from them
From professional tips to full-on referrals, so much of being a successful real estate agent comes from being able to work with and learn from others in the business. If you’re a young agent, this might mean asking more senior colleagues for advice or even shadowing them for a day.
More seasoned agents can act as mentors — not just to be nice but also to keep on top of new industry trends or technologies you might otherwise have missed.
“Networking turns into relationships and relationships turn into business,” Nash Luxury founder Billy Nash told the audience. “Whether it’s with other agents or with other people, think about bringing value to the real estate community and being of service.”
Luxury real estate, in particular, is a marathon rather than a sprint — getting people to trust you to lead them through a multi-million purchase will take time. Stay on track, continue investing in social media and other forms of marketing, build those relationships and trust that the seeds you sow now will start leading to deals with time.
“We have to give them a reason to keep following and build that trust and rapport and then when the time comes, hopefully you get that call,” O’Byrne said.