The goal of most real estate, home staging and interior design firms is to secure luxury clientele. Everyone wants to work with buyers who are willing to pay top dollar for their homes and interiors. At the high end of the market, everything is more attractive: properties, furnishings and profits.
But how can real estate agents attract luxury clients in a competitive atmosphere?
Meridith Baer, founder and chief executive officer of Meridith Baer Home, recently shared her perspectives on this topic at the 2017 Keller Williams Luxury International Retreat. After 19 years of luxury home staging, it’s safe to say Baer knows a thing or two about winning with the luxury market.
In 1998, with no plans to start a business, I furnished a friend’s home that had been sitting on the market – empty for over a year. The house sold in days to a Hollywood studio executive for $500,000 over asking, and when word got out, other brokers asked me to stage their properties. Nearly two decades years later, I find myself head of an international staging and design firm.
It’s all about quality.
I’ve learned that everything centers on quality of design. Luxury clients expect the best, and that almost always involves a personalized experience. That is why we hire the most talented designers we can find and supply luxury clients with furnishings and accessories elegant enough to install in the most lavish estates. For high-end jobs, we custom-manufacture furnishings to perfectly fit a given home. This custom element is the difference between a mid-market and concierge service.
Lesli Akers, president of KW Luxury International, stresses the importance of understanding quality design and products.
“Product knowledge is critical for a luxury agent. You have to broaden your knowledge base in the different kind of products and price points,” she says. “Your clients may ask, ‘What type of brick is that? What kind of stucco is that? Is it concrete, synthetic? What does that mean?’ You have to know the difference, because it changes the value in construction. Cast stone and cantera stone are both very beautiful, but different. The expectation of a buyer looking to purchase an $8 million home is different than one purchasing an $800,000 home.”
The luxury market is small. Word travels. Do great work and the clientele will follow.
It’s important to support your word-of-mouth referrals with expert branding. In one glance, high-end buyers should be able to identify your brand online and in print. Make sure that every step of your sales process communicates your identity and elegance. In real estate, gorgeous imagery is particularly important. A beautiful website or advertisement will not engage your clients unless the photos are breathtaking. Hire a professional photographer; it’s a worthwhile investment!
The luxury clientele you’re looking for is looking for you also.
Like attracts like. So sell an amazing product, provide flawless customer service, brand yourself beautifully, and you should attract the buyers you want in no time!