We asked sales experts in the high-end market for advice on getting your foot in that ultra-luxe door and they gave us three key pieces of advice.
1 – Make the right kind of contacts
Your contacts in the luxury world are your bread and butter, say our expert agents, but making those connections is a lot harder than it seems. Alex Pino, a broker with Sotheby’s International, says finding yourself among your target client base is key to meeting and networking with potential buyers and sellers who have a high price point.
“That’s a tricky part of it,” Pino says. “[Making those contacts] could be done through business networks, through associations. It could be done through acquaintances and friends, hanging out in the neighbourhoods [where agents] want to sell, even volunteering at some of the galas that are promoting services for the community.”
2 – Get ready for the competition
If you thought the real estate market was already over-saturated with agents, you’re in for a shock: the luxury market is chalk-full of agents vying for a very limited number of listings.
“The luxury market is harder than just making a living,” says Arthur Caplan, a sales rep with Chestnut Park. “The competition is intense and the product is limited. Good luck, it’s about as hard as anything can be.”
Caplan says you need to be ready to work seven days – and nights – a week. It’ll be hard on your family, too, he says, and it doesn’t get easier over time.
“Those particular products don’t sell overnight normally,” he says. “They require a lot of work, to even get your hands on a listing. It’s not a one shot and you’re done.”
3 – Find the high-end brands
Pino says it’s important to align your brand with the luxury market. That means discount brokerages and commission-free brands are (obviously) out of the question.
“There are many brands dealing with real estate listings, but for high end properties you have to be associated with a brand that carries that kind of client,” he says. “When you see those brands, you can associate them with high-end [products]. Some of the other brands, I don’t think the consumer associates them with higher-end properties.”
Pino, meanwhile, says agents would be wise to associate themselves with those brokers who are already servicing the area.
“Teamwork today is quite important,” Pino says. “You could be part of a team whose leader is already servicing that target audience, so you’re learning as you go.”
How did you break into the luxury real estate market?
Let’s be honest: you didn’t become an agent to sell cheap condos forever. No, you want your name attached to the mansions and the penthouse suites, but how do you make the jump?