Join the exceptional and become a Sotheby's International Realty agent.
The highest honor for a luxury real estate professional is a returning or referred client. When people I’ve worked with recommend my services to others or want to change properties, there’s nothing more affirming than working with them again.
In my experience, the more bespoke and exceptional the service, the more likely it is that you will earn a client’s loyalty. This has truly been the key to building my business in Manhattan for over 20 years.
So as a luxury agent, how can you deliver the personalized service that ensures your clients will never want to work with anyone else? Here are my thoughts based on my real estate success.
The fundamentals of personalized service
Real estate business is based on referrals, and referrals come from personalized service. I keep in touch regularly with my clients and sphere of influence, share relevant information, and take excellent care of any buyer or seller another broker sends my way.
I encourage every agent to consider developing these essential qualities that clients look for when selecting agents to represent them:
Discretion: High net-worth individuals value trust and confidentiality above all, and are very particular about who they work with.
Attentiveness: Show that you’re listening. This is the cornerstone of all great service and allows you to customize your approach.
Negotiation: A client will only come back if they’re certain they’re getting the best possible deal time and time again.
Relevance: You need to be a global expert, but local intel is just as important. Acquaint yourself with your city and its communities.
Timeliness: If a home hits the market and is a potential fit for your client, they need to know about it. Punctuality is everything.
Your extensive expertise is the best service
One critical consideration for agents to remember is that personalized service isn’t just what you do — it’s what you know. The insight you provide to your clients is one of your top differentiators, and is further supported by these three strategies:
1. Deliver individualized market knowledge and insight
By maintaining a comprehensive understanding of the markets you serve, you’ll be able to strategically apply that insight into the needs, values, and aspirations of clients with very specific demands. Don’t just tell them about trends and changes in the marketplace — show them how these impact the neighborhoods, price points, and types of properties that are relevant to them.
By extending this thinking to markets beyond your normal scope, you can serve clients who want to move abroad by connecting them to an agent in your referral network. As a Senior Global Advisor with Sotheby’s International Realty, this is one of the greatest value-adds I’m able to provide for my own buyers and sellers. It’s a capacity nurtured through years of fostering professional relationships worldwide, and I encourage all luxury agents to invest in their referral networks.
2. Demonstrate your wide-ranging industry knowledge
Any real estate agent should be an expert on buying and selling properties. But numerous allied and adjacent industries pertain to real estate — from the developers and architects who build and renovate homes to the skilled tradespeople and artisans who finish and furnish them, to the designers and decorators who curate their interiors and exteriors.
Whether it’s the latest building codes and standards or the best vendor for a particular service, having a wide knowledge of these fields brings huge value to clients. For example, I’ve leveraged my connections to help clients find collectors for their valuable antiques when listing their historic New York City apartments.
3. Educate clients throughout their real estate journey
Your expertise is only valuable to your clients if it can be effectively and articulately shared. Every time you work with a client is an opportunity to help them navigate and appreciate the real estate journey a bit better.
You’re constantly coaching your buyers through the bidding and purchasing process, so take pride in explaining unfamiliar processes and market mechanisms. For sellers, help them understand certain elements such as the best time to list, the best way to stage, and the how and why of strategically pricing their properties.
After more than two decades of selling real estate in New York, helping buyers and sellers attain their dreams and goals still brings me so much excitement and satisfaction. Providing exceptional service is rewarding on both a personal and professional level, and it’s an area where luxury agents are uniquely positioned to excel.
Accomplished in her field and well respected by her clients, Claire Groome has been selling real estate in New York since 2001. Ranked among REALTrends Top Real Estate Agents by Sales Volume in 2019, Claire is an award-winning agent who has sold over $300 million in real estate. Claire’s success comes from the fact that she knows her business well, has a keen eye for value and potential, and delivers honest service to every client. She works with an extensive global referral network that positions her clients in the best capable hands, no matter where they are looking to live in the world.
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