I recently had the pleasure of attending Inman’s Luxury Connect in Las Vegas — yet another expertly produced event by Inman for networking, learning and celebrating each other’s success.
Among the many takeaways I had from the conference was the personal agent attributes that will bring success as we enter a new era of real estate. The past few years have been underscored by rapid price growth, limited inventory and an incredibly active market that has kept us all extremely busy.
But as the market corrects and the pace steadies, what truly matters is becoming ever more clear. Below I share five points from Inman Luxury Connect on what will help agents succeed as we look toward this new horizon together.
Trust and honesty
If there is one thing that needs to be present in any type of relationship — it’s trust and honesty. Top producers at Inman Luxury Connect shared just how much clients truly appreciated working with someone that displays these qualities, even if sometimes that means you have to demonstrate this by saying no.
Sometimes if a client is heading toward making a bad decision — driven by emotions or other factors that are not conducive to meeting their end goals — you have to say no.
Agents shared examples of when and why they said no, and in each example, they were rewarded tenfold with either a relationship that has endured for not just one transaction, but a lifetime of transactions, or bountiful referrals.
Sometimes saying no means you have to be prepared to walk away from the business, but at the end of the day, if it is the right decision to do so, you will only benefit in the end.
When working in the luxury space, it is easy to get swept up in the glitz and glamor of it all. The more experience I have working with top producers, the more I learn that it’s not about the car they drive or the designer clothes they wear to the listing appointment, it’s about being a true and authentic version of themselves that resonates with others.
The most successful agents I have worked with, and those that presented on the Inman Luxury Connect stage, are unapologetically authentic and true to who they are. Nice cars and clothes come with success, of course, but it’s a perk you can enjoy once at the top, not a requirement to get there.
Hard work, being authentic and creating relationships founded on trust and honesty will ultimately be what pays off in the end. During the conference, a lot of discussions also centered around conducting business gracefully and with gratitude, two great attributes when working in any profession, but especially in one that is as personal as real estate.
Clients want real numbers, real advice and real facts. Becoming a trusted advisor when working in real estate means that you have to be open and honest with your clients and always present them with factual information that they can apply to their real estate journey.
Sharing this factual information with clients and potential clients can be executed in many forms — via social media, a blog on your agent website, an email campaign or direct mail marketing. Make sure what you are sharing is useful, relevant and factual, and you will become the go-to source for many seeking the best real estate representation.
Real estate is a relationship-based business — not transactional. This message was delivered loud and clear at Inman Luxury Connect. Being someone’s forever agent should be top of mind when starting to work with a new client.
Now, as the pace of business slows, it might be time to reconnect with past clients and really work on nurturing all of those relationships that you have. This is going to help you remain in the minds of clients and also work on deepening that relationship of trust and honesty.
Working hand-in-hand with nurturing relationships is keeping up with communication. In maintaining a positive relationship founded on trust and honesty between a real estate professional and client, an important component of that is to keep communication lines open and active.
With this in mind, sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to spend one-on-one time with everyone that you want to. However, keep in mind that communication can also be in the form of a quick check-in call or text, social media message, or an email or handwritten note. There are so many ways to touch base, and all are great to let your client know that you are thinking of them.
As we enter this new chapter of real estate together, one message was clear at Inman Luxury Connect — nurturing great relationships founded on trust and honesty is going to help agents set themselves up for success. Delivering clear communication and real and useful facts and information with authenticity will further help create, grow and nurture relationships that will endure for a lifetime.
Laura Stace is vice president of luxury marketing for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.