HOW TO BECOME A LUXURY REAL ESTATE AGENT
BANYAN BRIDGE GROUP
BANYAN BRIDGE GROUP
As home prices have skyrocketed, so have real estate commissions and so are the number of agents looking to figure out how to become a luxury real estate agent.
And for good reason… Every real estate agent should be looking at ways to capitalize on these trends in real estate.
Becoming a luxury real estate agent can skyrocket your income, but it takes more upfront work, expenses and a well thought-out go to market strategy.
In this guide, we’ll give you insights into what goes into becoming a luxury real estate agent, plus 5 specific strategies that will be the foundation of your success as a luxury agent.
A luxury real estate agent is a real estate agent who specializes in the buying and selling of high-end and expensive properties, such as luxury homes, estates, and vacation properties.
Luxury real estate agents typically work with high net worth clients who are seeking properties that are not only expensive but also exclusive and luxurious, often featuring high-end amenities, unique architecture, and stunning locations.
Luxury real estate agents are expected to have a deep understanding of the luxury real estate market, including knowledge of high-end properties, market trends, and the buying and selling process for luxury real estate.
Many luxury agents also hold additional certifications or designations, such as the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) designation, which demonstrates their expertise in the luxury market.
They also often have extensive networks of contacts within the industry, which can help them to connect buyers and sellers of luxury properties.
Luxury real estate agents may work independently or as part of a larger brokerage firm that specializes in luxury properties.
They often provide personalized service and attention to their clients, offering a range of services beyond the typical real estate transaction, such as arranging private showings, coordinating with attorneys and financial advisors, and providing assistance with relocation and property management.
Becoming a luxury real estate agent can be a lucrative career choice for several reasons:
High earning potential
Luxury properties generally have higher price points, which means that commissions for selling these properties can be substantial. Luxury real estate agents can earn significant income through their transactions, particularly if they have a successful track record and a strong reputation in the industry.
Prestige and exclusivity
Working in the luxury real estate market can bring a sense of prestige and exclusivity. Luxury real estate agents often work with high-profile clients and prestigious properties, which can be rewarding for those who enjoy working in this environment.
Interesting and challenging work
Selling luxury properties often involves unique challenges and requires a high level of skill and knowledge. Luxury real estate agents may need to develop specialized marketing strategies, negotiate complex deals, and navigate the unique needs of high-end clients. This can be a stimulating and rewarding experience for those who enjoy problem-solving and working on complex projects.
Luxury real estate agents often have the opportunity to network with other high-profile professionals, including attorneys, financial advisors, and other real estate agents. This can help agents to build their professional networks and expand their opportunities for future business.
Overall, becoming a luxury real estate agent can be a rewarding career choice for those who are passionate about real estate, enjoy working with high-end clients, and are willing to put in the effort to develop the skills and expertise needed to succeed in this competitive market.
There are several luxury real estate agent designations that agents can earn to demonstrate their expertise in the luxury real estate market. Here are a few of the most common designations:
There are several designations and certifications explicitly designed for agents in the luxury real estate market, including:
Keep in mind that these designations are not required to work in the luxury real estate market, but they can demonstrate an agent’s expertise and dedication to providing exceptional service to their clients.
When it comes to networking and meeting high net worth individuals, there are two strategies that you’ll ultimately want to employ, each of which will give you the best chances of landing luxury property listings or your next buyer.
Direct networking for high net worth clientele
Direct networking means you are networking for the purpose of meeting high net worth clientele in person.
In order to get luxury listings, you’ll need to find out where affluent people in your city spend their time.
And this means you’ll need to go where they live, work, relax and play.
In these settings, your prospective clients will be in a more casual, non-business setting, which means it’s less likely, and less appreciated, if you were to approach them specifically for their business. This type of networking is perfect for relationship starting, and building, plus getting on the radar of high net worth individuals.
Indirect networking for high net worth individuals
Indirect networking is targeted at individuals who work, interact and are aligned in positions of influence with high net worth individuals.
This could include anyone in financial services that directly influences high net worth individuals on topics such as
Many of these topics ultimately land in the disciplines of legal, financial services and accounting. Specialists in these fields work for stand-alone companies catering to high net worth individuals or sit within smaller offices within large firms, banks or companies.
These individuals, while still somewhat sheltered from the general public, are more accessible to a luxury agent looking to network. Additionally, they are likely going to be a gatekeeper of sorts for their particular specialty.
These are the individuals you need to stay top of mind with – at any given time, they may receive a call from one of their clients and let them know they are considering liquidating their real estate portfolio or one home.
What’s likely to happen is you’ll be one of several in the specialists list of contacts who’ll be asked to submit a presentation or speak with the specialist first to qualify your experience.
Since they too are reactive to the whims of their client base, you can’t predict when or how much business you can generate through this form of networking, but it’s still critical to be “on the list” when the time comes.
Along with high-end, luxury real estate comes big price tags and inevitably larger than life considerations that go beyond normal tax, appreciation and market value issues.
High net worth individuals use real estate, especially their non-primary holdings, as wealth management tools, just as they do with stocks, bonds and other investments.
With this comes a whole myriad of complex challenges, especially when an individual considers disposing of or rebalancing their investment portfolio. Or consider the zoning and regulatory requirements for building new construction on the ocean or along a mountaintop.
For high net worth individuals, these are inconveniences and obstacles along the way to their end goal. But for luxury real estate agents, these are opportunities to provide value-added services.
The most successful luxury real estate agents become specialists in the tedious, sometimes complex and oftentimes time-consuming elements of high-end real estate sales that other agents avoid.
The more specific the issue, like retaining wall repair or erosion control analysis, the more likely the agent will be top of mind when that type of issue arise or, more often than not, in a particular neighborhood.
Consider empty lots along an oceanfront that haven’t been developed.
A proactive luxury agent looking to corner the market on that location will know every inch of that land, the type of construction that’s allowed, all the municipal codes, the status of the codes politically and who the go to engineers and specialists are.
If marketed strategically to high net worth individuals who want to live in that area, that agent will get the first call when those lots are being considered.
If that agent manages a project successfully for one client in this area, the odds are stacked heavily in their favor to get the next property and the one after that.
Becoming a problem solver in these types of specialized situations makes it all the more imperative to network with other specialists in financial services, architecture, engineering, local government, construction and law.
It can be advantageous, once you’ve accumulated some expertise and confidence around a particular subject, to host seminars or lunch and learn events for high net worth individuals and their advisors.
Here you’ll be marketing and networking directly to and with both the actual luxury home buyers AND the people that influence them the most.
Some great topics to consider and familiarize yourself with are below – note that many of these are dependent on your location.
As a luxury real estate agent, marketing plays a crucial role in attracting high-end clients and promoting premium properties.
In any given market, there is a finite amount of high-end luxury real estate; at the same time, most real estate agents, focused as luxury agents or not, are vying for the eyeballs and attention of these luxury home buyers and sellers as well.
That’s why every aspect of your brand, online and offline, needs to be on point. A key step to breaking into the luxury market is to make sure all your marketing materials, including your business cards, website, advertising, and social media look both cohesive and sophisticated.
Here are some key marketing strategies that can be effective for luxury real estate agents:
Develop a strong online presence
A strong online presence is critical for luxury real estate agents.
Every platform, your website, social media profiles, online listings and advertisements, should be high quality and visually stunning.
Your website should showcase your expertise and experience, while your social media profiles should reflect your brand and target audience.
High-quality photography and videos
Luxury real estate, visuals and architectural design elements are a focus that are pored over, analyzed and talked about by high net worth clientele. The manner in which homes are portrayed in print is just as important as how the home looks in real life.
High gloss print advertising is where luxury real estate stands out and differentiates itself from lower price point markets.
Your photography and video needs to be optimized – drone photography and video for luxury real estate showcasing elevation changes, lot size, location and other unique and differentiating features are requirements in the luxury market today.
When it comes to luxury real estate, visuals are essential.
High-quality photography and videos are key to showcasing the unique features and benefits of a luxury property.
You may consider hiring a professional photographer and videographer to capture the property in the best light.
Targeted advertising can help you reach your ideal audience and generate leads.
This can include online ads, print ads in luxury publications, and targeted direct mail campaigns.
Targeted advertising can be expensive, but it can also be highly effective when done correctly.
Host special events
Hosting events can be an effective way to attract potential buyers. Invite high net worth individuals and their inner circles, especially their advisors and companies that cater to luxury clientele.
These don’t have to be social events – as outlined above, these events can revolve around specific topics that are important to luxury home buyers and owners in a specific area.
To offset the cost of these events, you can even co-market with a company that does the fulfillment work on these types of issues, whether it be legal, financial, engineering or construction related.
These events can also help you build relationships with clients and other industry professionals.
Partner with other luxury brands
Partnering with luxury brands can help you establish credibility and attract high-end clients.
This can include partnerships with luxury car brands, high-end clothing brands, and other luxury brands that appeal to your target audience.
Stretching your marketing budget
Your marketing budget is finite and landing high net worth clients does not typically happen overnight, so stretch your budget over as many different platforms, events and strategies as you can.
Getting on a high net worth individual’s radar requires multiple(think dozens) times before you register as a luxury specialist.
Your goal is to be top of mind WHEN they are ready to buy or sell.
That’s why investing in yourself to become an expert problem solver and developing a marketing strategy around that pays off better than general advertising and marketing labeling you as a luxury agent with additional expertise.
What are the first 3 or 4 things you learn as a real estate rookie when it comes to finding your first listing? Do these sound familiar?
Believe it or not, this advice will serve you just as well, if not better, in the luxury real estate market than at lower price points.
While a high percentage of realtors are spending time, money and energy on marketing that takes them away from the nuts and bolts of buying and selling, you are IN your market immersed in the numbers, the transactions, the history and the data.
Effective lead generation like these examples above, only occur as a result of DOING the actual work of real estate.
Marketing is a great way of expressing how you want to be perceived, but if you’re actively calling on expired and canceled listings, showing up at open houses, co-listing properties with an experienced agent and actually interacting with people in the neighborhoods in which you work, you’re showing your clients who you really are and how you operate as an agent – your real, authentic self.
That doesn’t mean you can cut back on the quality of your marketing collateral – it just means that the ultimate value to your high net worth clients will be based on the quality of your work and the return on investment and satisfaction they receive from buying or selling their high-end home.
Building a career in the luxury real estate market can be emotionally and financially rewarding.
In addition to these 5 keys, some of which are just extensions of your basic real estate fundamentals being executed at a different price point, remember this one thing.
High net worth individuals appreciate personal service, a good listener and someone who advocates for their best interests.
These attributes can’t be faked, and people with significant wealth are approached on a daily basis by people looking to separate them from their money.
The more you integrate this guide and the tips included into your authentic self and how you operate your business the better.
Your presentation and your brand won’t be fake, or manufactured, and in the long run your results and your customer base will appreciate your sincerity, your expertise, your integrity and your authenticity.