How to Attract Affluent Clients and Make Luxury Sales
You don't have to drive the best car and live in the 90210 zip code to work with affluent clients - you just have to know what they're looking for.
There are a lot of reasons to break into the high-end real estate market. The biggest reason is pretty obvious. The bigger the sales price, the bigger your commission check.
And if you’re looking to make a lot of money in real estate, listing a few high-end homes will get you there more quickly than listing dozens of moderately priced homes.
The biggest hurdle in listing with luxury clients is securing their business in the first place.
Even more than other leads, a lot of high-end homeowners rely on referrals from their friends and family members who also own luxury homes. For example, if Jim worked with Sandy to sell his $1.5 million home, he’s going to tell all of his friends to hire her, too.
People who consistently work in high-end markets build up a reputation and can keep up a continuous flow of listings.
So how do you get in with the high-end crowd?
Listing with high-end clients is like getting over the hurdle of finding a job when you’re fresh out of college and everyone tells you you don’t have enough job experience. You think to yourself, “How am I supposed to get any experience if no one gives me a chance?”
But inevitably, someone will. And that someone could be your “in.”
On a recent press tour, Lady Gaga said about her fame: “There can be 100 people in a room, and 99 of them don't believe in you, but all it takes is one and it just changes your whole life."
Understand How Affluent Clients Think
Affluent clients want the best of everything — and they also want the best real estate agent.
There are certain things high-end homeowners consider when they’re looking for an agent, even more than any other homeowner:
- Service - High-end clients expect high-end service. That means they want someone who will respond quickly, resolve any issues quickly, and work hard to make sure their home is marketed in the best way to reach the right people.
- Quality - They expect top-notch everything: Top-notch photos, videos, virtual tours, listing descriptions, staging, and more. Make sure you have a reliable team in your corner to demonstrate the quality you bring to the table.
- Professionalism - High-end homeowners want someone who exudes professionalism. They want someone who dresses well, drives a nice car, has a quality website, and can represent them well at any meetings or events.
- Reputation - As I mentioned before, affluent clients like a sure thing. They want someone who has a reputation of closing deals and who exudes success.
- Price - High-end clients know what their neighbors’ and friends’ homes sold for, and they want to sell for even more. They stand to lose more than your average client, and they also have more to gain. But never focus on price alone (that’s why we put it at the bottom of this list!). Show what you can do better than other agents to sell homes for more money.
Establish Your Credibility
To land a listing with a high-end owner, you have to establish your credibility. Here are some things you can do to improve your reputation and draw positive attention.
- Become an expert in your area’s high-end market. Know which homes in which areas are selling for top dollar, how long they’re taking to sell, and what buyers in that market are looking for. Even if you haven’t worked in high-end real estate before, if you can demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about, your leads will trust you to sell their homes.
- Be confident in your abilities. Never come across too desperate to make the sale. If you act like you NEED the sale, you’ll drive people away. Don’t be too pushy, and instead, focus on how you can help your leads and educate them to make the right decision that meets their needs and desires.
- Use a book to establish credibility. Many high-end leads are well-read, and they probably respect the authors of their favorite books. If you approach them with a book in hand, you’ll automatically stand out from every other agent attempting to win their business. One of our members, Liza, said her books made a world of difference in her prospecting efforts with high-end clients.
“My book is setting me apart as an ‘excellent’ Realtor with the high-end clients. They add that element of credibility. One client said she would have gladly paid for the book. She couldn’t believe I was giving it away for free.”
Grow Your Luxury Listing Sphere
The more people you know in the high-end market, the better your chances of listing with them. But if you’re not a member of a high-end golf club or the owner of a Porsche, don’t panic. You can still reach high-end clients in other ways.
- Offer to host open houses for people in your brokerage who already list high-end homes. This is a great opportunity to meet people and give them your business card or book. You can strike up a conversation and make connections with people. Collect names and email addresses of open house attendees and enter them into a drawing for a gift card to the best high-end restaurant in your area.
- Join social media groups most likely to attract high-end clients. Local art enthusiasts, car collectors, and other high-end hobbyist groups are a good place to start.
- Attend events where high-end clients are likely to go. Wine tastings, luxury car shows, dinner parties, and auctions are great places to meet people. Come dressed to impress with a few books stashed in your car or bag, and you can be prepared when you establish connections with potential leads.
Focus on the Benefits
There’s a famous book called “Tested Sentences that Sell” by Elmer Wheeler that talks about “selling the sizzle, not the steak.” In other words, when you’re trying to sell your prospects on hiring you, you need to focus on the most exciting and unique parts of what you offer rather than the literal service you offer.
In the book, Wheeler writes, “The sizzling of the steak starts the sale more than the cow ever did, though the cow is, of course, very necessary. Hidden in everything you sell, whether a tangible or an intangible, are ‘sizzles.’ Find them and use them to start the sale. Then, after desire has been established in the prospect’s thinking, you can bring in the necessary technical points.”
Applying this concept to real estate, you don’t need to sell high-end sellers on everything you technically do — sign contracts, coordinate showings, negotiate deals, and everything else. You need to focus on the most appealing aspects of what you offer — top-notch marketing, photos, staging, the ability to close difficult deals, etc.
The easiest way to convey your own “sizzle” is with your book. The benefits of what you offer — including your expertise as a published author — are laid out in a memorable format. And unlike traditional business cards, books hold value and are likely to be passed from one client to their neighbors down the street, helping you to build a rapport and consistent business with affluent sellers in your area.