Confidence is key if you’re in the business of buying and selling real estate, and it’s especially crucial if you’re trying to break into the high-end market. That said, there are other factors that will help you get your foot in the door. Here are a few.

Every real estate professional’s journey begins differently. Almost two decades ago, I came to the United States, began working as a busboy, learning English and saving all the money I earned.

Fast-forward to today — I’m now ranked as one of the top real estate agents in the country and have the privilege to represent some of the most incredible properties. While I had to work very hard to gain the reputation I have today, one thing has always been constant; I’ve always believed I would be successful.

Although confidence and self-empowerment is necessary to work in this profession — and especially in the luxury market — there are other recommendations I have for agents looking to elevate their business and break into the high-end market. Here are my top three tips.

1. Educate yourself

For any market you work in, to be the best of the best in the business, you need to become the go-to expert of that region. Study the market’s history, recent trends and buyer movement. Keep up to date with the number of listings, sales, pending transactions, expired listings and more.

In addition to being an expert in current and past inventory, agents need to educate themselves on property values, tax assessments and other details that will benefit their clients. Whether working an open house or networking at a community event, this level of attention and expertise will not go unnoticed, and it’ll prove to be an excellent way to elevate your business.

Today, there are endless resources available (both in person and digitally) to continue to educate yourself and advance in this field. Take a course at a local educational institution on a specific sector of the industry. Maybe there’s a class on real estate investing or digital marketing, which would help a new agent learn crucial aspects of the business.

I personally did this when I got into the industry. I would take all sorts of classes, from investing to management, all of which have helped me to this day.

Sign up to listen to experts speak on panels. Inman alone has endless virtual and in-person events that provide invaluable tools, expert insight and more for agents of all experience levels.

In your free time, read market reports that describe the latest trends and economic updates. By continuing to stay informed, agents will keep their fingers on the pulse of the market and impress their clients.

2. Leverage your past experience

While you may be looking to secure a listing in a high-end neighborhood or at a higher price point, one of the most important ways to do this is by leveraging your past successes. Showcase the ways you recently sold a property with past case studies.

Show off all the tools at your disposal and how you would apply them should you represent their property. When I work with a new client, I always come prepared with a custom campaign, which details all my past experience as well as my strategy involving the powerful marketing, digital media and PR experts within my team.

Also, if you had a past career before entering real estate, leverage the expertise to both attract luxury clients and become even more relatable. Reflecting on your career as a whole and the experiences you’ve had, drawing from the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired will be seen as an added value to a luxury client.

I personally have leveraged my deep knowledge of interior design, construction and new developments while working with clients. Because of this, I’m able to guide clients through every step of the process if they are building a home from the ground up to remodeling. I’m able to provide invaluable advice, recommendations and more, which proves invaluable to my clientele.

3. Engage with the community

Tap into your local community. In addition to immersing yourself within as many local organizations as possible, be informed about the best local schools, social clubs, fitness groups, golf and tennis centers that make your market unique.

Your community is a powerful sphere of influence. By engaging with it regularly, agents will personally connect with existing clients and the price points they’d like to enter.

Additionally, I recommend considering local and national charities you’d like to become involved with. Your compassion for the cause at hand will naturally extend relationships and opportunities within the community. In addition to feeling good about helping others, you will build a network that will naturally lead to new opportunities.

Another suggestion for breaking into the luxury market is working to become a well-rounded professional. I recommend studying your clientele; learn their interests and passions.

If your ideal client might be a car collector, learn more about the latest news in the luxury automobile industry. Subscribe to high-end publications such as Robb Report and Departures, and regularly read the lifestyle content to better understand the interests and lifestyle of your target client.

Join local organizations, such as community boards, your child’s school parent organization, local alumni groups or even humanitarian organizations. Over the years, I’ve become involved in as many local groups as possible. I have always tried to collaborate and engage with other businesses within our building and in our nearby community.

Whether it’s the dentist office in your building or the local organic market on the corner, always find ways to connect with the community directly around you.

Additionally, we recently launched a new office in Pacific Palisades and hosted a community event during the Sunday Farmer’s market. It was a family-friendly event, with lots of engaging activations such as a custom ice cream cart, candy wall, fresh blooms and more.

It was a huge success and we were able to connect and reconnect with so many people in our area, which was even more special after a year of social distancing. The more you understand and can collaborate with the networks in your local community, the more connections you will make for your business.

Santiago Arana is a managing partner at The Agency, in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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