October is Luxury Month at Inman. All month, we’ll be talking to top producers from across the country, offering advice on how to join their ranks, and more. That all leads up to Luxury Connect at the Aria Hotel (Oct. 25-26, 2021, join us) and the live presentation of the Inman Golden I Club honorees for this year.
Breaking into the luxury real estate market is a goal that many agents dream of attaining. Between the generous commission checks, amazing properties and networking opportunities, working with high-net-worth clients has the potential to skyrocket your career.
While the extravagant lifestyle has its many perks, it’s not always fun and games. Luxury buyers have high standards for their homes — and even higher expectations for their agents.
If you want to succeed in this competitive market, you’ll need to go above and beyond to make sure you stand out from what other agents in the area have to offer. Here are four things that high-net-worth buyers are looking for when searching for an agent they can trust.
1. A shopping companion
Shopping is often more fun with a friend. Whether they’re offering advice, providing a second opinion or just being a companion, their presence can make a difference. I’ve found that the same rule applies to the homebuying experience for high-end clients.
The Bahamas is attractive to clients for the many amenities the islands offer, particularly boating, fishing and water sports. When clients travel here to look at properties, they enjoy mixing business and pleasure.
I make it my business to provide them with memorable experiences during their stay, including events, excursions, dinners, drinks, you name it. This is a great time to form a relationship with my clients that leverages our shared interests and also showcases my in-depth local knowledge.
One of my favorite activities to do with my clients is to take them out on the water. We’ll go fishing, free diving, play some water sports — there’s something for everyone to enjoy and they all love it.
2. Deep market knowledge
The luxury real estate space is highly competitive, especially if you’re within a smaller market like Nassau, where I’m based. When faced with buyers who are not familiar with the area, they’re going to look for the most knowledgeable agent with the best connections and the most access.
Not only should you be familiar with market conditions such as pricing, appreciation and investment potential, you should also be intimately aware of all of the available listings — those actively listed as well as those that may be coming onto the market.
This can also be said with the connections you have in your area. Your clients are probably not from the island, so they will come to rely on you for recommendations — and not just those related to the home purchase.
I work hard to familiarize myself with all types of local business owners and create relationships that my clients may benefit from. This adds to the level of trust they have in me because they know I can get things done.
On the island, a large majority of the buyers we encounter come from other countries, and they may only be around for a week or so. With such a short period of time, the pressure is on to find their ideal property or at least get the process moving along.
In my experience, many of my clients ask to view properties that they came across while exploring the island. I’ve found that I must be available on very short notice, especially because their time is limited.
In such cases, having a supportive team behind you can make a world of difference. If I have a tight schedule, and it’s impossible for me to squeeze in a showing or appointment for a client, I have trust in my team that they’re capable of helping me out.
The most important part of growing your business is building your brand. Being in such a referral-based environment, it’s critical that you are one of the top three names that come to mind if someone asks about real estate.
To get that visibility in my community, I invest a lot in my personal brand. I’ve spent significant time mastering social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. Not long ago, I posted a TikTok walkthrough video showcasing a recent listing, and it received almost 30,000 views on the app!
This is a great way to generate exposure among potential buyers, all while demonstrating to sellers what tactics I’m doing differently to get their listing seen across as many eyes as possible.
Aside from digital marketing, I will also put my name and image on bus stops downtown and other highly visible out-of-home advertising channels. I do this so that people on the island will have no choice but to know who I am and what I do.
Just the other day, I was taking a client out on a boat trip on another island and one of the workers recognized me as “Tim the Real Estate Guy.” In terms of exposure, this method is incredibly effective in getting your name out there.
With high prices come high expectations for luxury clients, so the process requires you to bring out your A-game to provide the highest level of service. Remember: They’re looking for the best of the best, and it’s your job to prove that you can give it to them.