First-class service, thoughtful follow-up and a professional approach are all steps on the pathway to success in the luxury space, says Laura Stace, vice president of luxury marketing for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Here’s how to look more put-together from Day 1.
This April, one of Inman’s most popular recurring theme months returns: Back to Basics. All month, real estate professionals from across the country share what’s working for them, how they’ve evolved their systems and tools, and where they’re investing personally and professionally to drive growth in 2022. It’s always smart to go Back to Basics with Inman.
Breaking into the luxury sector can take a lot of training and coaching, years of pounding the pavement or simply a lucky break. However, once you break into the luxury space, most agents will tell you that the common ingredient was hard work. I have outlined four ways to look more experienced at selling luxury real estate so when the perfect moment presents itself, you will be ready.
Dress for the job you want
Many professionals subscribe to the philosophy that you have to show an image of success in order to create more success. While this is true, it’s important to keep within your financial limits.
For example, we have all seen successful agents arrive at listing appointments with luxury cars, designer clothes and expensive jewelry. That’s great if your salary supports it, but I do not recommend leasing a car that’s out of your budget and stocking your wardrobe full of designer gear if you can’t afford it.
Instead, make sure that you are well-groomed and dress appropriately for the occasion. Invest in a well-tailored suit or dress and blazer, smart and comfortable shoes (for all those hours on your feet) and a professional bag or briefcase for carrying your laptop/iPad and papers to appointments.
At the end of the day, no one is going to check the label on your jacket to see if it’s a designer or not, but they will remember if you came to a luxury listing appointment or showing in gym clothes or shorts.
Hone your elevator pitch and talking points
As I mentioned before, breaking into the luxury space does take a lot of hard work and it can also happen with a chance encounter. Meeting someone at a networking event, a referral, meeting someone in the line to get your morning coffee, at the dog park, at a restaurant — the list is endless. This is why a real estate agent must always be prepared.
It’s a given that you should have your business cards on you at all times — either hard copy or electronic — but also be prepared to talk about your experience and the market. You should have an elevator pitch honed and ready. Be prepared to share what qualifies you as someone who should be trusted with a luxury real estate translation.
If you can’t point to experience — what is it? Have you lived in the area and know each street like the back of your hand? Do you have experience in interior design or remodeling and can help a client achieve top dollar for their home or help them evaluate a home that has potential? Whatever qualifies you, be ready to share.
Also, nothing demonstrates ability and experience more than being able to provide useful information to a person in a short conversation. Keep up to date with current luxury real estate topics and trends via news articles, networking events and seminars. Never miss an opportunity to present yourself as an expert in luxury real estate by not having some useful talking points prepared.
Follow up, thoughtfully
Once you have made a new connection, be sure to keep up with your follow-up. However, make sure the follow up is thoughtful, informative and personal. The same can be said for Realtors working in any price point, but specifically in the luxury space.
Clients want and expect first-class, useful and personal communication. This can be in the form of news articles that are relevant to the client on market trends or the like, custom comps that you have compiled or even a friendly note about something you spoke about that may not be real estate related. Luxury agents know and understand that first-class service and communication is paramount.
Utilize all resources
Company real estate marketing teams are creating collateral daily for agents to use to their advantage, from plug-and-play e-cards, to customizable social media templates, market reports and more. All of these items are designed for agents to be able to easily use without having to become a graphic design expert or spend hours compiling and analyzing market data. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all that is available from your company and create a calendar and system so you can use these pieces to your advantage.
Additionally, seek out training and educational opportunities provided by your company. Many offer university sessions, lunch-and-learns, seminars and more. The best luxury real estate agents use all the tools they have at their fingertips to their advantage. Be sure to do the same to help you present yourself as a luxury agent and also to hone your craft.
When working on breaking into the luxury space, always be sure to present yourself professionally and have your elevator pitch and your talking points ready to go at a moment’s notice. When opportunity presents, you will want to not only look the part, but also be ready to speak knowledgeably and with confidence.
Once you have made a connection, follow up thoughtfully. First-class and personalized service is a winning formula in the luxury real estate space. Lastly, make sure you are taking advantage of all the resources and materials available to you for client communication and education.
Laura Stace is vice president of luxury marketing for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.