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Advice for Agents: How to Break Into the Luxury Market

Posted by Russ Laggan on August 9, 2016 at 1:54 PM

Whether you are just getting started as a real estate agent or have years of experience under your belt already, it doesn’t take an advanced mathematics degree to understand that the most expensive listings in your community offer the highest commissions.

Have you ever noticed that some agents tend to gravitate toward these larger listings while others spend their time working their tails off to sell listings at bargain basement prices?

As someone who is paid based on the price of the houses you sell, it makes sense for every real estate agent to spend at least a portion of their time focused on luxury listings in their local market. But how do you get that proverbial foot in the door? We’ve got a few ideas that will definitely help to get you moving in the right direction!

Luxury_Real_Estate_Market.jpgExperience Isn’t Everything, But It’s a Big Help

The first thing you need to know about luxury listings is that the people selling them are going to want to work with agents who have a vast amount of experience selling these types of listings. Of course, getting that experience can be difficult when most people don’t want to hire someone who is just getting into the luxury market.

Barring a miraculous stroke of luck, you probably aren’t going to have many million-dollar listings simply fall into your lap. But if you ask one of the top luxury agents in your market to mentor you, there is a good chance you can get some real experience under your belt before signing your own luxury clients.

Put Everything You Have Into Every Deal

Although luck doesn’t happen very often, when it does it happens to agents who are willing to put everything they have into each and every deal, no matter the size.

There are countless stories out there about agents who worked hard to sell a small home in their community, and their efforts suddenly led them into much bigger opportunities.

It’s important to remember that everyone you work with on any deal, no matter the size, is likely to have a lot of friends, family, and co-workers they can potentially refer you to.

If you do the kind of job that causes those people to tell their connections about how great you are to work with, that information will eventually find its way to someone looking to sell a luxury home in your community.

You Have to Look the Part

As much as we would all like to believe that first impressions don’t matter, it has been proven over and over again that they absolutely do. If you want to break into the luxury real estate market in any community, you have to dress like someone who is qualified to sell real estate in that community every single time you step foot outside of your house.

One of the oldest business quotes in the book is Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." and in this case it couldn't be more true. Luxury sellers and buyers usually want to know they are hiring an actual professional and that doesn't include shorts and flip flops, even if you are in our California or Florida marketplaces.

Understand Your Local Luxury Market

Now that we have the basics of having some experience, working hard, and looking the part out of the way, let’s talk about having an understanding of what luxury means in your local market.

We asked one of Carrington's premier luxury agents Raini Gordy from Del Mar, California what the one piece of advice she would give to agents looking to break into the luxury market and she went straight towards knowledge saying "More than anything the people (buyers and sellers) in the luxury market are very educated people. They are very smart. You want to make sure you are familiar with the marketplace. You need to educate yourself about the community and the local marketplace."

Each and every community is different, so luxury homes in your area could be worth $300,000 or $300 million. You need to take some time on a regular basis to study the high-end listings in your area. Take note of which neighborhoods to focus on and what features those sellers are highlighting as well as what changes are going on frequently in that specific market place. You want to make sure that you are the smartest person in the room when it comes to real estate.

Network, Network, Network

Luxury buyers and sellers, as well as almost any buyer and seller, look to work with people they already know. Someone who they have either heard about through a friend or have personally met and had conversations with on multiple occasions. Because of this getting yourself out there to events is crucial in breaking into this specific market. Search local events that you believe would cater towards the luxury market and do your best to attend and network with anybody and everybody at the function.

Once at these events, make sure that you are providing value in conversations. It is great to be personable and to be a friendly face but if the conversation turns to real estate, which let's face it usually happens once you state you are a Realtor®, make sure you have some substance and facts ready about the luxury market not only in your immediate local market place but nationally as well. Take the time to study and be the expert of the conversation if it turns into real estate so that you not only look good but you also can be confident if any question arises.

Don’t Be Shy About Promoting Yourself

It might seem obvious, but one last thing that most luxury real estate agents are really good at is promoting themselves. If you want to break into the luxury market, you’re going to have to do a good job of promoting yourself. This can include a plethora of different online and offline advertising options, but make sure your message is constant across all of them.

You should also make sure that your personal website conveys the message that you are an experienced agent who is willing to work hard to sell luxury properties. This is often the first place potential sellers will check to vet an agent.

Becoming the go-to agent for luxury listings in your community is not going to be easy. But if you follow these basic steps and work hard, there is no doubt that you will see the average price of your listings start to rise over time. And that means more money in your pocket at the end of the day!

Topics: Agent Resources

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