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If you own a luxury home, it’s safe to say you are accustomed to some of the finer things in life, and your real estate agent should fall into that category as well. To successfully sell luxury real estate, the agent must create an unforgettable experience for the buyer. This requires state-of-the-art marketing tools, superb social skills, creative storytelling abilities, and a expert insight into the housing market.
To make sure the sale of your luxury home goes smoothly and you are able to sell it for the highest price based on your home’s value, take the time to make sure you find the right real estate agent. First, we will define what the term luxury real estate really means. Then, read on to learn the top four essential qualities to look for in a luxury real estate agent.
How do you define luxury real estate?
As a general rule of thumb, houses that are at price points $1 million and over can be considered luxury, but it really varies depending on the area you are selling in and what the market is like there. “I would say if you’re buying above $1 million in Chicago it would be considered luxury,” unlike high-priced areas of California, says top luxury real estate agent Matt Laricy of Chicago, Illinois, who is in the top 1% for real estate sales.
The 4 essential qualities of a luxury real estate agent
1. Networking ability
To get your luxury home off the market as quickly as possible, you need to make sure you hire a luxury real estate agent that is plugged into a network that can lead you to the audience of buyers you are looking for. Many agents build these types of networks through involvement in organizations such as country clubs, and getting involved in sports like golf, tennis and horseback riding.
Another method of building a strong network is through involvement in charitable causes. Laricy says that his involvement in the Make-A-Wish Foundation makes him more relatable to high-end luxury clientele. You want an agent that is tuned into your lifestyle, and charitable causes may be a big part of that.
You can also vet a luxury real estate agent’s credibility and the strength of their network by asking if they belong to any exclusive real estate organizations. Many of these organizations are invite-only, usually based on an agent’s record of successful sales. These memberships can be a great way for agents to promote luxury listings and connect with seller agents that have clients interested in buying.
Utilizing the network
But beyond just rubbing elbows with a network of potential buyers and sellers and other agents that are tapped into luxury real estate, a good real estate agent should know how to properly utilize these networks and stay connected. Top luxury real estate agent John Gluch of Phoenix, Arizona, says it’s essential that luxury agents continue to add value to the lives of their network of wealthy clientele. Gluch, who sells properties more than 47 percent quicker than the average Phoenix agent, sends monthly newsletters to clue his network into what’s happening in the market, using both snail mail and e-mail.
2. Marketing acumen
Successful luxury real estate agents do not miss a beat when it comes to marketing. From the technology they use to their eye for design and their ability to craft enticing narratives that attract luxury buyers, luxury agents must be on top of their game.
Video and photography
Laricy says high-end marketing is a must when it comes to luxury real estate, and video and photography are a staple of this. He says that “[buyers] are not just buying the building, they are buying the lifestyle that the building brings you.” As an example, Laricy recalls a recent high-rise luxury building in Chicago he marketed. He and his team went all-out to create a professionally produced video to capture the attention of buyers. “We’re doing an actual movie trailer for the building, we hired actors, rented out cars, bought out a restaurant.”
This level of marketing requires the best quality cameras and lenses, experience shooting videos and photos with the purpose of highlighting high-end features, and knowing the right furniture to use for staging video shoots of luxury homes. You want a luxury real estate agent who is willing to go all out on every aspect of marketing your home, even when it requires a lot of time and money.
Below are some specific digital marketing tactics your luxury real estate agent should be well-versed in:
- Matterport 3D tours
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography
- Drone camera photography. In 2021, homes marketed with drone photography sold 68% faster on average than homes without it.
- Staging with Restoration Hardware furniture
It’s essential that the luxury agent you choose has developed a strong personal brand. Gluch points out that if you type an agent’s name in a search engine and you see impressive results that reflect their powerful branding, “then that shows that they know a thing or two about marketing and will transfer that to listing your house and marketing your home.”
A top luxury real estate agent should have a social media presence that shows their industry knowledge about certain types of homes, or certain markets. When looking for a luxury real estate agent, Gluch recommends seeking out a “neighborhood expert” that tends to focus on a certain area, and regularly tours new listings that appear in that area. This should all reflect on their social media profile.
Gluch says that he has seen even newer real estate agents have a lot of success with luxury open houses. This is one of the simplest ways to market a high-end home, yet, in Gluch’s opinion, agents don’t do it nearly enough. So when looking for a luxury real estate agent, try to find one that has held some successful open houses in this particular market.
You also should make sure your agent is willing to go the extra mile and arrange invite-only open house gatherings for top agents that are connected to the kind of buyer clientele you are looking to attract. This type of open house can become a necessity in situations where luxury homes are sold off-the-market per request of the buyer or seller. And you want a luxury real estate agent that can handle this type of transaction discreetly and seamlessly.
For a luxury real estate agent, attitude is an important asset, because it can make or break the sale of your house. If a real estate agent can interact and negotiate with clients successfully, that will make all the difference in how fast your home sells, whether it sells for the right price, and how easy your life is throughout the process:
Respectful and confident
A successful luxury real estate agent is not easily intimidated, or afraid to take control of the situation, acting as an authoritative expert to help guide clients toward meeting their goals. “Whether it’s a celebrity, sports player, Big CFO or whatever, you have to be able to talk to them and say, ‘this is the way it’s going to be,’” says Laricy.
It’s the job of a real estate agent to make your life easier, and make sure you aren’t sweating the small stuff. Laricy is well aware that luxury homeowners are willing to pay a hefty fee in exchange for saving them time and stress, and he makes sure he runs his real estate business as a full service for clients, saving clients as much time as possible. Here is an idea of how his full-service role as a luxury real estate agent goes, according to Laricy: “You need this done? Here’s proof that it’s taken care of, the documents will be faxed to your office, it’s already labeled, you just have to sign it and put it in the envelope, and we paid for it so you can just drop it in the mailbox…”
Solid understanding of the neighborhood and the market
Your luxury real estate agent should be a “neighborhood expert” and that should reflect in their personal brand. But they also need to be familiar with the specific features of luxury homes and common wish-list items luxury buyers look for. Gluch says that open floor plans, high ceilings, and extra room for parking are examples of sought-after features in the luxury market. He also notes that luxury homeowners “want that feel of an estate,” referring to swimming pools and well-done outdoor landscaping.
Laricy says it’s crucial that luxury real estate agents be able to “walk the walk, talk the talk,” meaning they are informed about world issues such as the stock market, political events, and trends and patterns in the housing market. To ensure a successful sale of your home, an agent must not only be aware of the current state of the housing market and price ranges, but should also have a strong sense of what direction the market is headed in.
Of course, while the above qualities are very important, nothing replaces a solid track record of closing luxury home sales efficiently and in a desirable price range. While everyone has to start somewhere, the only way to know for sure if an agent can pull off a high-end sale is if their portfolio showcases that they have already done this.
To find top-selling luxury real estate agents in your area, use HomeLight’s Agent Finder tool. Once you provide details about your home, we will match you with three top real estate agents, based on factors like how fast they have sold homes, average home price, and client reviews. Then the rest is up to you and the agent of your choice!
Header Image (Source: iAlicante Mediterranean Homes / Unsplash)