“It’s a different lifestyle, it’s a different language,” Cindy Raney of the Cindy Raney & Team told attendees at ICNY on Wednesday about luxury — and that luxe clients appreciate attention to the details.

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When building a luxury real estate brand everything is different, panelists told moderator Kendall Bonner of RE/MAX Capital Realty at Inman Connect New York on Wednesday during the panel “Building Luxury Into Your Brand at Any Price Point.”

Cindy Raney

“Luxury is different than selling any other residential home,” Cindy Raney, founder of the Cindy Raney & Team at Coldwell Banker in Fairfield, Connecticut, said.

“It’s extremely different — it’s a different lifestyle, it’s a different language … and it’s extremely data-driven. You need to know your numbers, literally everything about why things are selling the way they are down to the neighborhood because all areas are different.”

Cathy Taub, associate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty in New York City, said that relatability between agent and client is a huge component of working with luxury clients.

“Luxury equals lifestyle, equals quality, across the board,” Taub said. “When you’re dealing with high-net-worth individuals, you want to be able to relate to them and have them relate to you.”

It’s important for agents to dress the part and cater to their specific luxury clients, whether they’re finance executives or entertainers, and have the ability to speak to them about their topics of interest.

Cathy Taub

“You might not be called upon to talk about all those things, but you really need to be able to be conversant,” Taub said, noting that there are resources online where agents can learn about their high-net-worth clients, like through a subscription to WealthX.

Following a transition into real estate from law, Taub added that she was fortunate because she had already established connections with a number of wealthy individuals in her market because of her law career, which helped give her more credibility.

Raney only recently rebranded her team into a luxury one, roughly three years ago, and employed the assistance of an outside marketing and PR team based in her market, The Bananaland.

“It wasn’t just creating a brand, it was creating a whole lifestyle about what we’re selling,” Raney said.

Through their rebranding and marketing efforts, the team grew its business from about $25 million in closed transactions about three years ago to $100 million this year.

The biggest change Taub has brought to her business in recent years has been ramping up her social media presence in order to better connect with luxury clients.

“It isn’t just about real estate — it’s about lifestyle, culture,” she said. “I’m trying to exercise my sense of humor because I think that’s really important, having a personality, having people like you.”

Kendall Bonner

“Everyone here should be on social,” she urged. “If you’re uncomfortable doing it, hire someone.”

In addition to working to create connections with clients, the panelists agreed that community involvement is another crucial component to strengthening one’s business.

Taub co-founded the New York Residential Agent Continuum (NYRAC) to promote relationships between agents, brokers and consumers in 2018. Meanwhile, Raney’s team is involved in two major community clubs in her area and serves on the Bridgeport Hospital board.

“People who are buying and selling homes want to know you’re involved in the community,” Raney said.

Get Inman’s Luxury Lens Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. A weekly deep dive into the biggest news in the world of high-end real estate delivered every Friday. Click here to subscribe.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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