Are you showing condos and dreaming of castles? Would you like to break into the high end market, or are you already in it but not maximizing your potential? Here are five strategies that can help you make that dream a reality.
- Look the part
- Create the vision
- Target the market
- Pamper the client
- Exercise patience
Look the part. Dealing with luxury clientele demands a high-end mind set. Think Neiman-Marcus, the Ritz-Carlton, Dom Perignon and filet mignon. You don’t need to go out and break the bank on a new wardrobe, but you do need to add a touch of class to your image. That goes for more than just your personal appearance. You need to monitor your corporate appearance as well. Do your yard signs look tired? Are your newspaper ads fuzzy or boring? Do your email blasts suffer from bad grammar and spelling?
Create the vision. If you’re going to compete at the high end of the market, it’s not enough to just say you sell “high end properties.” You need to highlight the special features that truly set your listings apart from the competition. Price is important of course, but it’s the intangibles such as a view, custom interior finishes, or unusual landscaping that are your value proposition. Once you’ve isolated those unique features, start by investing some of your marketing dollars in a professional video.
Video makes a property seem much more real for a prospective buyer than the standard still photos, no matter how professional they are. Home buyers trust video because they know it can’t be Photoshopped or otherwise altered. Video is the medium of choice for Internet users and can be embedded into other websites that might pick it up. Hire a professional videographer, write (or have it written and yes we can do that for you here at Winning Agent) a good script, and utilize the Internet to the max.
Target the market. When planning your communication strategy, you need to isolate just the right market profile. People of wealth cross many market segments. Is the home ideal for the corporate executive who entertains a lot? Perhaps it’s perfect for a soon-to-be retiree who plays a lot of golf, or a family who needs plenty of land and a stable for their horses. Reach these special audiences by going where they are. Corporate executives read the Wall Street Journal. Retiring golfers probably read Golf Magazine or Golf Digest. Horse owners have their own specialty publications. And they are all on the Internet where you can purchase relatively inexpensive ads on the web sites they frequent that will link them directly to your property.
Possibly the best way to target your market niche is with Facebook. With its almost 1 billion users, Facebook allows you to select only horse owners, corporate executives or avid golfers to see your ads. Go where your market spends its time and make it easy for prospective buyers to link directly to your site and see themselves in your pictures.
Pamper the client. Impeccable service is one of the hallmarks of luxury. Both your sellers and your buyers will expect it, and you will need to deliver. This means going the extra mile with private showings on short notice. They will expect elegant refreshments during open houses, and lots of attention to little details and unique demands. Service also means that you display a high level of professional competence. Make sure you have all the pertinent facts about your listing readily available. High end buyers are often picky about things you might consider trivial, so figure out how you can get them what they need, with a smile on your face.
Exercise patience. Those high end listings may bring you some juicy commissions, but the unfortunate downside is that it will take a while. Pricey properties almost always take longer to sell — sometimes a lot longer! You’ll need to plan your budget carefully because you’ll be spending extra money on high end marketing materials, and you won’t necessarily get a return on your investment in a few weeks, or even a few months in some cases.
When you begin to break into the high end market, you’ll be running into a whole different class of Realtors. Many of these people are high profile, wildly successful and wealthy in their own right. Don’t let them intimidate you. Everyone has been a beginner, and they were just as green as you are, once upon a time. Develop your self-confidence by making sure you know your properties, your neighborhoods, and the latest luxury market stats by heart. Competence leads to confidence.
The strategy for success with high end listings is no different from what you’ve done with all the other listings you’ve successfully sold in your career. Just focus on the basics: creative marketing, superior communication and flawless follow-through.
The rewards will be well worth it.