10 Tips on How to Become a Luxury Real Estate Agent
This article is part of a larger series on Real Estate Lead Generation and Marketing.
Getting involved in the luxury real estate market is appealing for many agents. After all, one luxury real estate property sale could equate to what other real estate agents make in a year. However, breaking into the luxury market doesn’t happen by accident. It requires you to penetrate the right network of professionals and clientele, develop targeted marketing strategies, and create high-end experiences. If you feel intimidated about working with luxury properties and clients, read the following tips to learn how to become a luxury real estate agent.
1. Join a Brokerage With Experience in Selling Luxury Listings
When you decide that you want to break into the luxury real estate market, you’ll find that there’s a big learning curve. The best way to learn anything quickly is to surround yourself with like-minded experts and mentors in that field. By joining a brokerage that specializes in luxury properties, you’ll start gaining experience and making connections that can help the long-term growth of your business.
Don’t forget to study other luxury agents in your area, regardless of what brokerage they are associated with. Pay special attention to their branding, marketing strategies, and even how they dress at events. In the beginning, it’s important to be ready to learn anything and everything to get the right experience in luxury real estate. Keep in mind that you may have to start by splitting the commission on your first few properties. However, taking a short-term loss for the benefit of your business is likely an investment worth making.
If you need help deciding which brokerage is right for you, read through our article on how to choose a real estate company to work for.
2. Co-market With Other Luxury Realtors & Professionals
Networking is a core element of every successful real estate agent’s business strategy, and an especially important way to get into luxury real estate. You won’t stumble into any deals or ideal clients if no one knows who you are or what you do. A great way to establish your place in the luxury real estate market is by creating partnerships with other professionals who serve the same audience.
Other high-end realtors in your market can partner with you to co-list or co-market a luxury home. Even if you have limited experience, it can be appealing to luxury clients to have two agents working on their property. Other high-end professionals, like private lenders and bankers, can offer an incredible level of value and connections. Implementing a real estate referral system with your network could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions.
3. Target the Right Area or Clientele
No matter how incredible your marketing strategy is, you won’t become a luxury real estate agent if you aren’t targeting the right area or clientele within your real estate niche. Instead of focusing on a location, many agents choose to work their way into a specific demographic, like doctors, lawyers, or tech executives.
The key is to get specific about your audience and the best ways to connect with them. With this foundation, it’s relatively simple to create organic marketing pieces that help you connect with them further. Depending on your audience, they may be most active on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
On the other hand, you may choose to target a geographic area. In this case, it’s important to find a farm area with 500 or more homes at a luxury price point for your city. You can also further simplify the process of becoming a listing agent for luxury properties by using SmartZip. With a predictive algorithm, SmartZip will show you which homeowners are most likely to sell their property and help you create a marketing strategy to reach them effectively.
4. Create an Experience at Open Houses
Open houses are a valuable business opportunity to network and create relationships with potential homebuyers and sellers. If another high-end agent within your brokerage has multiple listings, ask them if you can take one off their hands. This can put you directly in the path of luxury buyers and provide valuable connections.
Although it’s important to establish go-to marketing systems, you should treat every property differently. You wouldn’t buy a $4,000 suit from Walmart, and luxury clients aren’t going to buy a multimillion dollar property from a quick walk-through during an open house. Instead, go the extra mile and take advantage of open house ideas that create a full experience to attract luxury clients.
This experience will depend on the home you are selling, but it could mean serving drinks at the bar or offering a gift with every showing. Make sure that you focus on the details in the home, so that everything feels special—from the size or architecture all the way down to the furniture, staging, and even the open house invitation.
An open house in a 7-plus figure home should be considered an event instead of a typical Sunday afternoon open house. Hosting real estate events should be a thorough and well-thought-out process, starting with your budget, guest list, invitations, and potential vendors. Take the extra time to match the quality of the open house with the quality of the home.
5. Be Willing to Spend Money to Make Money
The first step to moving into the high-end markets is to make the decision and commit to the process. Selling a $2 million house might earn you a $50,000 to $60,000 commission, but you may need to spend $10,000 in marketing to find the right buyer. Lower or mid-range properties often sell themselves, but high-end listings require high-end services, like custom branding, advertising, and event planning.
While you might be able to create your own ads and marketing materials with tools online, it might not be the best decision for the property. Instead, it’s important to invest in the right expertise and automation to appeal to high-end tastes.
With Constant Contact, you can simultaneously send your listings to your current email subscribers while creating, scheduling and optimizing social and paid ads to target potential leads. Use Constant Contact to grow your audience and strengthen your expertise as a luxury agent. Get 20% off your first three months today.
6. Advertise in Luxury ZIP Codes
One way to ensure that you are putting your services in front of the right clientele is by advertising in specific ZIP codes. If you aren’t already well familiar with the neighborhoods, ZIP codes, and home types in your area, use a data source like Claritas to get insights.
Generate a one-time report for up to three locations with market data and graphs to show your audience’s demographics and lifestyle behaviors like shopping, technology, insurance, and purchase behaviors. This will be able to guide you to the luxury market and target your marketing toward that clientele.
As a Zillow Premier Agent, get your name on high-value listings even if they aren’t yours. Since Zillow is the top real estate platform in the world, with millions of monthly viewers, this is the most sure-fire way to connect with luxury buyers and sellers. Set up your account and claim listings in your area to get started with collecting luxury real estate leads. Learn more about how Zillow Premier Agent can boost your business today.
7. Immerse Yourself in the Luxury World
Real estate is all about making the right connections at the right time, and that’s especially true when figuring out how to get into luxury real estate. You should always be prepared to meet your next client, which means dressing and acting professionally everywhere you go. If you typically wear pajamas to the grocery store, it may be time to reconsider your audience and your goals.
You should naturally be able to connect with your clients in order to build rapport and trust. Therefore, you need to be familiar with their preferences. Start attending charity events, art galleries, happy hours at upscale bars and restaurants, and designer boutiques with the intention of connecting with your future clientele. Even if you can’t afford to buy anything in the beginning, you will be knowledgeable about the environment and be ready to make conversation.
Don’t forget to have business cards ready at all times to hand out to potential clients or partners. With VistaPrint, you can easily design and customize unique business cards of many different sizes and types. There are specialty cards with foil accents or embossing to help you further stand out from the competition. Check out VistaPrint today.
8. Become the Local Market Expert
Like any real estate market, luxury buyers and sellers want an agent who is a local market expert. It’s important to understand the pros, cons, and differences between various neighborhoods with luxury properties in order to accurately guide your clients.
If you don’t already have this knowledge, it’s time to take to the streets. Drive or walk through the neighborhoods, visit the local coffee shops and boutiques, and talk to residents. You can even set up a meeting with a homeowner’s association (HOA) board member to ask for more specific details.
Then, determine the best way for you to showcase your local expertise to potential clients. An effective way to do this is through real estate content marketing. Create a plan to discuss different neighborhoods and answer commonly asked questions, then start developing that content in the form of written articles or videos.
With the right website development company like Placester, it’s easy to get a professional and custom website built by experts to preview within 48 hours. Placester ensures each website is SEO-friendly and built for the needs of real estate professionals. It’s an ideal place to establish your presence and start driving traffic. Trust the professionals to create a website that reflects the luxury market and build your brand as a luxury real estate agent with their premade templates. Also, enjoy unlimited website updates provided by their experts.
9. Use Both Digital & ‘Old-school’ Marketing Tactics
In luxury real estate, trust is more important than ever because clients are making a larger financial investment than typical residential real estate. Using multiple marketing channels will produce a continual pipeline of luxury clients. Even though digital marketing can be extremely useful when generating leads, it will likely need to be combined with “old-school” tactics to truly get across to your ideal clients.
Here are a few ways to utilize both digital marketing and classic marketing to break into luxury real estate:
Digital marketing has completely transformed the landscape of real estate marketing, and it can help you become a luxury real estate agent. In general, it provides much stronger targeting capabilities than classic marketing techniques, meaning you can create extremely specific campaigns for maximum results. You can even target an audience based on multiple factors, like location, income, profession, and behavior.
Digital marketing can include a wide range of communication and advertising channels and strategies, like:
- Social media marketing and advertising (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube)
- Email marketing
- Content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO)
- Advertising on Google
Real estate agents are constantly bombarded with messaging about the power of online marketing. As true as this is, don’t forget about the marketing methods that have decades of proven results. Make sure that you’re still putting in the work to get to know the right people in the industry. Building face-to-face rapport will never be replaced by digital marketing.
Don’t forget to utilize “old-school” marketing techniques like:
- Print ads
- Real estate signs
- Flyers and brochures
- Sponsoring events
It doesn’t matter that real estate agents have been sending mailers for decades—it just matters whether or not they work for you. Try sending direct mail with a modern twist by leveraging the variety of topics from ProspectsPLUS!. You can easily customize postcards with recipes, home maintenance tips, life events, and even postcards for entertainment value. ProspectsPLUS! offers the widest variety of mailers and direct mail campaign strategies.
10. Give Your Best to Every Connection
There’s no substitute for old-fashioned diligence and hard work. Diane Ramirez, the Chief Strategy Officer of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, recalls the story of one greenhorn agent she once hired. He gave it his all, pouring his very heart, soul, and being into helping one of his first clients rent out a very modest apartment.
That particular deal didn’t make him a millionaire, but the relationship did. When the client’s family decided later on to sell a seven-building “compound,” they selected him. The listings they gave him ended up selling for more than $200 million. Here’s the lesson: word-of-mouth referrals are ripe for picking when you do your job well.
What Defines a Luxury Home
Depending on your area and your experience, your version of a “luxury home” could mean $750,000 or $10 million. This is because a luxury home is relative to the area and doesn’t have a cut-and-dry definition. In general, a home is considered high-end when it is in the top 10% of properties in the local real estate.
The price is the most obvious way to value a home, but luxury homes are also defined by their:
- Location: Proximity to features or popular locations like a lake or city.
- Price point: Homes priced in the top 10% of the area are considered high end.
- Square footage and amenities: Size is a big part of determining the value of high-end homes. Luxury homes typically have an excess of space, storage, and bedrooms, and include features like tennis courts, outdoor kitchens, or theater rooms.
- High-quality construction and materials: True luxury homes are special down to the details. You’ll see materials like herringbone floors, marble countertops, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
When working with luxury properties, it’s important to know how to navigate relationships with high-end homeowners and buyers. Make sure that your marketing and follow-up strategies are proactive and that you never let a potential five-figure commission fall through the cracks.
With a customer relationship manager (CRM) like Top Producer, you can build genuine relationships without manually spending hours individually crafting messages. Top Producer provides insights on each of your leads through each communication channel and even helps you stay organized during transactions. See how Top Producer can help your business today.
Agents who work in the luxury real estate market have to learn to effectively connect with and attract high-end real estate clients and sell the most expensive homes in their area. While luxury real estate isn’t the best fit for all real estate agents, it is possible to break into the industry with the right connections and skills. Use the tips above to learn how to become a luxury real estate agent and get more familiar with luxury clients and professionals in your area. For more ideas on how to generate leads, read our article on real estate prospecting tips.