By Laurie Moore-Moore, President, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing
For real estate professionals, the price of admission to the upper-tier real estate game is service and competence. The next step is sophisticated marketing. To help you woo your rich buyers and sellers, here is some information about the affluent from Laurie Moore-Moore, the founder and president of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, which offers the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist designation. For more information visit www.luxuryhomemarketing.com.
• The wealthy client is more concerned about the price:value equation than about price alone. He is willing to pay a premium price for the best products and services. This means if you can differentiate yourself as truly unique and better, negotiating your full professional fee shouldn’t be an issue.
• The wealthy client is Internet focused. The Internet is a powerful marketing tool for reaching upscale buyers and sellers who are early adopters of technology. Be sure you have a strategy for managing leads you receive online and have a variety of Internet options for promoting your listings.
• The wealthy client will do his homework. He will most likely come to you with an existing base of information. He expects you to have done your homework, too, and will look to you as a resource for detailed market statistics and other information.
• The wealthy client is looking for luxury lifestyle experiences. This desire for pleasurable experiences translates to his home as well as his travel, dining, driving and other experiences. The home he chooses will be primarily a lifestyle choice. This lifestyle focus should influence your marketing of a property, as well. One reason a “party to sell the house” is effective is that the special event can be designed to highlight the specific lifestyle the home represents. These high-touch, intimate gatherings are increasingly used to market pricey properties and to create buzz in the market.
• The wealthy client is striving to be a connoisseur. How do you identify fine wine, select a great steak and recognize a handmade suit? Today’s affluent client wants to be an expert in identifying and appreciating quality. This makes your product knowledge important. Do you know the top-of-the-line appliances and fixtures, recognize top-notch finishes and understand what adds value to a luxury property? You must be a connoisseur of fine homes to be credible with your clients and customers and to market fine properties effectively.
Understanding the motivation and attitudes of the affluent provides valuable insights into how to meet needs and expectations. Many in the luxury segment spend to be part of the right group as defined by lifestyle. Spending for many represents power. For others, it is a source of self-worth or a reward for hard work. It has been said that wealth even implies prowess and achievement (assuming it is conspicuous). But whatever the specific motivation of the affluent prospect, those of us in real estate are selling more than sticks and bricks; we are selling dreams of the perfect lifestyle.
Laurie Moore-Moore is a guest columnist for Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches (RAMB). RAMB offers the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist Designation (CLHMS) course: Approved 11 Hours CE Credit in Florida, June 12 and 13, The Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables, Fla. 33137.