11 Tips To Break Into Luxury Sales


Breaking into the multimillion-dollar luxury market can help raise your visibility and sales volume. But don’t jump in without solid preparation, says David Collins, founder/president of high-end marketing firm Real Estate Marketing.
Collins, who presented luxury sales tips at RE/MAX R4 earlier this month, shares these ideas for a strong start in the high-end arena:

1. Know every inch of your luxury listings. If you have a listing appointment on Thursday, ask to preview the property on Tuesday so you can get acquainted with the home’s unique features and other details you can’t gauge by phone. As you walk through properties, ask homeowners (or spouses), maids, groundskeepers and personal assistants for details about items like paintings or flooring that catch your eye. You want to walk into your presentation fully prepared to offer spot-on comps, as well as describe accurately the home’s key features.

2. Preview the competition. In the luxury arena, you must know what’s selling down the block. You also need to know other sellers’ names, if they’re people of influence and as much background as you can about other listings in the neighborhood. Luxury sellers are savvy about the market, and they will likely refer to other listings; be ready to answer their questions.

3. Use The RE/MAX Collection logo prominently on your marketing. It’s a simple way to stand out in the luxury market. Companies that consistently use high-end materials and branding present a more united front and are seen as more credible in the luxury arena. RE/MAX has a tremendous opportunity to show strength in numbers if all luxury agents use The RE/MAX Collection logo and materials.

4. Invest in your marketing. At high-end price points, agents will typically sell one of every two homes they list. Knowing that, it’s not wise to spend your entire budget on one property if it never sells. Create a pre-determined marketing plan, and look for the most effective ways (not the cheapest) to market luxury listings. Postcards have non-measurable response rates; property brochures, professional photography, virtual tours, magazine ads and catered broker preview events are the highest ROI ways to market in this niche.

5. Always ask for financials to qualify buyers before showings. This should be done for any listing but it’s especially critical for luxury properties. There are some lookie-loos who just want to see the inside of a $10 million home, and that wastes your time, your seller’s time and the buyer agent’s time. High-end sellers will want to know who’s looking at their home, and you should spend time showing the property only to serious buyers.

6. Get specialized training in listing luxury homes. The Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and the International Real Estate Specialist designations are the best for learning the ropes of luxury listings. Also, create a marketing piece that explains what your luxury designations are, how they add value to transactions, and how working with a trained agent will make the process more efficient and effective.

7. Present yourself like a professional. This seems obvious, right? But some agents go on appointments with décolletage baring, disheveled clothes or gaudy jewelry. Even if you get the sense your clients are more on the casual side, it’s crucial to make a good first impression, so dress to impress in business attire and minimal jewelry and makeup.

8. Build local luxury alliances. In order to be seen by the upwardly mobile in your market, join forces with businesses that cater to high-net worth individuals. Fine restaurants, spas, exclusive jewelry stores, plastic surgeons, car dealerships and country clubs are just a few places to start. Offer advertising space in your monthly market reports to these businesses in exchange for permission to put your marketing materials in their lobbies. With restaurants, offer to sponsor their menus of the week, and offer to print valet parking tickets if you can put your logo on the back of the tear-off stub.

9. Attend charitable events. This is the easiest and best way to get in front of luxury homeowners and become a part of influential circles. Attend banquets, fundraisers and other events, and consider sponsoring some functions. Make sure you introduce yourself to people and that they know you work in luxury real estate.

10. Save up money. Most agents, unless they’re independently wealthy, need a mid-range community to support their high-end habit. Agents need to understand there are longer time frames involved with luxury homes; they can take months – even years – to sell. Partner with another luxury agent and learn how much it will cost per year to market in your area. Before diving in, start putting that money aside. Some agents don’t understand that they won’t get an instant return on luxury marketing expenses, and many of them run out of money before they see results. Plan wisely!

11. Don’t mix mid-range and high-end marketing. Your luxury clients want to know that you cater exclusively to high-end clientele. Likewise, clients in the mid-range price point want to feel like you understand their needs and motivations. That’s why it’s imperative to segregate your marketing and operations, and avoid cross-promoting a $400,000 property to a luxury buyer and vice versa.

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What Were You Doing In The 80s?

Posted Under Rob Scaralia,
RE/MAX 1st Choice

From enormous, car-mounted beasts to tiny terminals in our back pockets, mobile phones have come a long way. What once cost thousands, weighed 2 pounds, and packed 60 minutes of battery life, now costs $99, weighs 4 ounces, and packs 5 to 10 hours of battery life–and also includes a full-fledged computer, a video camera, audio/video playback, and high-speed Internet access.

The mobile phone, commonly known as the “Smart Phone” is just one example of how on-going changes  in technology, affects our behavior, and more importantly, as Realtors, how we do business. The speed with which technology has evolved is mind boggling.

Just ask Rob Scaralia, Broker Owner of RE/MAX 1st Choice, who has been a Realtor in Rhode Island since 1985.

“When I was first licensed as a Realtor in 1985, communication with anyone was a laborious task. During the course of a day, if you happened to be out on the road and someone tried to call you, a message was written on a pink message slip because we did not have voice mail systems in our offices. Sometimes it could actually take days to connect with someone because we both had to be tethered to a land line at the same time to communicate with each other.  In addition, once I finally connected to a client, the next step was giving them access to real estate data. At that time, the most efficient way for buyers to get information about real estate was for them to meet in person, and flip through an MLS book which contained one black and white exterior photo of the home and a brief property description. Plus, the book was only updated once every two weeks.  If a buyer wanted timely information, classified ads in the Providence Journal seemed the best bet, and therefore newspaper advertising was extremely important for a realtor.”

Rob Scaralia and his father on one of his first listing appointments

Today, the role of a Realtor has changed dramatically. Beginning with the internet and online listings, clients already have instant access to MLS. Therefore, a realtor’s value proposition is found assisting the client and navigating the complex buying and/or selling process, as opposed to just supplying them with property information.

“Real Estate professionals need to be equal to the consumer’s ability to access information on demand from any location they find themselves as it relates to home ownership and all the qualitative and quantitative considerations that go hand in hand with a Real Estate Experience,” Scaralia adds.

There have been many technological advances over the past several years and there will be more to come, shaping the way we handle business. As many people often resist change, it is more imperative than ever to embrace it, becoming more efficient and effective. Imagine where you would be, as a realtor, if you still were relying on MLS books and pink message slips.

Where do you Want to be?

Check Out This Video From The Past

Interesting Facts About the Mobile Phone

-      According to The 2012 Swanepoel Trends Report, starting in 1973 mobile phone    growth was very slow. After 20 years there were only 12.4 million users worldwide. However, the numbers exploded over the next 20 years to 4.6 billion.
–      In 2012 smart phones are expected to exceed personal computers.
–      Currently 9 out of 10 Americans have a mobile phone!
–      Many trends state that because of the capabilities of a hand held device, ultimately the PC will be obsolete
–      An estimated 30 million apps are downloaded every day transforming the mobile device.

RE/MAX Top Housing Predictions For 2012

Not sure what to expect in 2012 for the Real Estate Market?
Dave Liniger, Chairman and Co-Founder of RE/MAX has put together
The Top 10 Housing Predictions for 2012

1. Low Interest Rates
2. Stable, then rising prices
3. Increased home sales
4. Rising Inventory
5. 50% distressed property
6. Improved short sale process
7. Lower home ownership rates
8. 25% investors
9. Reliance on real estate agents
10. Use of mobile and social media

What Will Help Speed Up The Recovery
1. Jobs
2. Refinance underwater loans
3. Sound, reasonable lending standards
4. Accurate appraisals
5. Improved foreclosure, short sale processes

RE/MAX Sells Homes…Saves Lives TOO!

Posted Under Richard Zompa
RE/MAX Preferred, Properties & Town & Country

2 Years ago, RE/MAX Preferred Administrator, Linda Rossi, went to Richard Zompa, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Preferred, Properties & Town & Country with an idea to do a blood drive at one of their RE/MAX Offices. Today, RE/MAX Preferred, organizes a blood drive every 8 weeks!
The idea to set up a blood drive came to Linda when her father was diagnosed with colon cancer. She wanted to do something to help her dad, as well as others in need. The office staff and real estate agents came together and continue to support this initiation.

Every 8 weeks – the RI Blood Mobile, parks at the office for 3 hours, giving agents and the local community an opportunity to donate blood.
For every pint of blood – 3 lives are saved! Collectively, over 50 pints of blood have been collected at the RE/MAX Preferred Blood Drives- saving 150 Lives!

Ann Hall, an agent at RE/MAX Preferred, regularly donates blood at these drives. “I participate to help others.  The few minutes of my time it takes to donate blood every few months is an honor to help others live longer and healthier in their life.”