The commissions alone in luxury real estate often surpass the entire yearly wage of some real estate agents. Breaking into the luxury market, however, isn’t an easy task. Here are some tips the top producing Realtors told FitSmallBusiness on how to make it in the luxury real estate market.
Spend Money to Make Money – “When it comes to marketing, you have to spend money to make money. Selling a $2 million house might earn you a $50-$60,000 commission, but you’re going to need to spend $10,000 in order to get the lead and eventually market the home,” said Ryan Hardy, Chicago broker at Gold Coast Realty. “
“There are no guarantees your marketing dollars will get the results you want. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Sell yourself, because nobody else will. I put a lot of hard work and time into my personal website to position myself as a high-end broker in my local market, Chicago.”
Create an Experience – “The marketing plan for each home will be unique,” says Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Previews International, “but the experience should be extraordinary.”
Her associate Arthur Sharif adds: “You need to have the panache so that what you do makes people feel like everything about the home is special … it’s like you can’t sell a $4,000 suit at Kmart. Everything has to be just perfect because people will judge the presentation as much as the product.”
Join a Brokerage with Experience in Marketing & Selling Luxury Listings – “Align yourself with a broker or firm that has experience marketing and selling luxury listings,” recommended Kristin Harris, Denver broker at Sotheby’s International Realty. “Bring the more experienced agent along to your listing appointment. You may have to split the commission on one or two transactions, but it gives you the vital luxury experience you need to take your business to the next level.”
Co-Market with Other High-End Realtors – “Network with other high-end realtors in your market and try to co-buy, co-list, or co-market a high-end property with them first before landing your own first high-end buyer,” said Radner Reyes, broker at Sutton West Coast Realty.
“High-end sellers will want to know that they can trust you and that you have experience in the high-end market, so do this while also networking at places with the types of clientele you want to attract.”
Buy Luxury Leads from Sites like Zillow – “As an agent who learned how to break into the luxury real estate market across multiple states, I suggest purchasing leads,” said Michael Kelczewski, Realtor for Brandywine Fine Properties.
“Realtor.com and Zillow/Trulia allow new agents to gain tremendous exposure. [But] it is up the ability of the agent to sell themselves. Potentially, however, many owners will not trust the responsibility of trading a high end property to a novice. Unless an individual possess unique marketing experience and/or networked connections cracking the luxury market requires considerable effort. Seek to generate rapport first and foremost, as many agents assume the position of a trusted adviser.”
Dress and Act Professionally at All Times – “Being prepared to meet high end clients at any time is crucial. That means dressing and acting professionally anywhere and anytime you may run into clients. That means no sweatpants at the coffee shop! You never know when you’ll meet your next high end lead,” said Emile L’Eplattenier, real estate analyst at FitSmallBusiness.
Study the Best Luxury Agents – “Look at what these agents are doing now. See how they present their brand and how do they market themselves. Review their websites, business cards and how they dress at events. If you can shadow them, even better,” said Marianne Curran, real estate coach at Tom Ferry International.
Get Plenty of Experience Under Your Belt – Josh Altman, West LA real estate agent for his company The Altman Brothers, says that fear is the number one inhibitor that prevents real estate agents from breaking into the luxury market. That lack of confidence can be remedied with experience, he adds.