There is no special recipe for success in the high-end real estate market, but I can tell you a few key ingredients that you will certainly need. Hard work, dedication and above all else — loving what you do. I live, breathe, eat and sleep real estate, and I do it because I love it.
To get to the top, you have to pair that personal satisfaction with an unwavering work ethic and positive outlook where you can pick yourself up after a fall and keep moving forward. In addition to having this mindset, here are four tips for agents looking to set themselves apart in the high-end real estate industry.
Build your brand
The last financial recession was when my real estate career really took off. While my peers essentially closed up shop and went quiet, I decided it was the time to make some noise.
I took out as many ads as I could afford, so when people opened the newspaper, it looked as if I was the only agent still working. It was a tough time, but I hustled hard, and I never turned down the opportunity to get my name out there — whether it was through advertising, media or just meeting and connecting with new people.
Soon, people came to view me as someone who was hard-working and willing to go the extra mile for clients, and I would do deals of all sizes to keep my business going. I never turned my nose up. I kept it to the grindstone.
When the economy started to shift and the real estate market fired back up, I was the first person people called. I had essentially become the agent in town that people knew was working hard and doing deals, and that became the backbone of my personal brand.
The Agency and the television shows, amazing marketing and public relations, $100 million deals, celebrity clients and jaw-dropping homes came after this time, but my personal brand meant that the name Mauricio Umansky was one people could rely on and trust.
That was the backbone that set the stage for my foray into the high-end real estate market. At the end of the day, high-end clients want someone they know who works hard — and someone they can trust.
Hone in on your market
One strategy I recommend to help distinguish yourself from other top agents is by becoming an expert in a specific area, whether that’s a particular neighborhood or product type. One way to do this is by starting with a manageable size of area in your market and educating yourself on every aspect of this region. By applying this strategy, over time, you will become the go-to expert of this part of town.
For example, I have represented a number of properties in Los Angeles’ Beverly Park. By representing many properties and often selling a house multiple times, I’m now regarded as one of the top experts of this gated community.
I recommend honing in on one area and studying every home, the history of ownership and past transactions. Over time, you’ll establish a reputation like I have in Beverly Park, and you’ll be able to bolster that reputation throughout your region.
Once you’ve built your brand, you have to maintain it. I wanted to be someone high-end clients could rely on for the best service for their real estate needs, someone who could exercise discretion and maintain privacy when needed. I wanted to be that agent who’s always viewed in a positive light.
That said, growing a business isn’t without its issues. Despite the hiccups, I’ve always worked hard to maintain a reputation for myself and our company as someone who can be relied on and trusted. Remember — it can take a lifetime to build a reputation and only one minute to ruin it.
To set yourself apart and be successful in the high-end market, you need to have a strong brand and core business philosophy as well as an impeccable reputation and track record.
Keep working hard
If you’re someone who wants to stand out and do well in this business, you need to work hard. The high-end real estate market is certainly not all about glamorous parties and million-dollar paydays. It’s about serving your clients as best as you can and working as hard as you can to get the job done.
I pride myself on continuing to learn new things every day about the industry in terms of technological advancements, market trends, evolving rules and regulations, and much more. This allows me to better serve my clients and be a better leader. Striving for excellence pushes me to keep working hard each day, and that mindset is what can set agents apart from the crowd.
Agents who want to be in the high-end real estate market for all the wrong reasons will not succeed and soon, they’ll fall away. At the end of the day, this is a competitive business and one where honesty, reliability and accountability are key.
Build your brand, maintain your reputation, and keep working hard. This is what ultimately distinguishes the good agents from the great in the high-end real estate business.