Luxury shouldn’t be limited to the top of the market or a certain price point. Instead, luxury service is all about how you make your clients feel, no matter what their budget may be.
When you were shopping for the holidays, did your list take you to a luxury retailer or an upscale department store? What did you take away from the experience? Whether you were buying a keyfob or a $10,000 purse, how did it feel to shop there, and, more importantly, how did they make you feel during the process?
Everyone talks a lot about the ease and convenience of shopping online, but I still love the experience of in-person shopping, especially at an upscale store. I love going to Nordstrom for shoes, luggage or other essentials because I know how they’ll treat me in a year or two if something goes wrong. In fact, they’re famous for their dedication to flawless customer service.
Applying the luxury retail experience to real estate
Defining the luxury experience and translating it to real estate should be a goal for all of us. Whether you consider yourself a luxury real estate agent or not, you can still provide a luxury level of service. Luxury isn’t just a price point — it’s about your level of expertise. It’s taking excellent care of your clients. It’s providing service after the sale.
It’s caring, on a deep level, about the experience your client has whenever they interact with you or anyone in your office.
“Being associated with a self-proclaimed ‘luxury’ brand elevated my career,” said Doora agent Katie Connelly. “I’m able to offer my condo and lower price point clients a level of service that other agents can’t match.”
According to Connelly, a luxury brand and a luxury experience not only results in clients choosing her over other agents they may have encountered but also helps to get her listings sold more quickly.
During one transaction, the cooperating agent had more respect for me because of my high-end branding and marketing, which netted my clients more money and helped the transaction run more smoothly.
Luxury is simply a state of mind, not a price point.
A luxury mindset can do wonders for your bottom line, according to Lancaster, California, agent Christina “Queen” Stratford, even without the luxury listings.
“Luxury listings take a while to turn,” she said. “While one agent is focused on only that high-end clientele and that high-end property that can take six months to sell, I can make up to and over $100,000 a month selling low-end properties and treating people the same.”
Real estate is relationship-based. So if you treat each person like a VIP, you will always get repeat business. They will always remember you.
How you can offer a luxury level of service
People buy Hermes belts and scarves to get just a taste of the luxury experience. In the same way, give clients a taste of what it’s like to work with you. Provide an upgraded experience, whether it’s at a lead-gen event or an open house; elevate the small things.
What can you learn from luxury brands about real estate marketing? Does your branding convey luxury? Does your listing deserve professional photography? Does it deserve a well-written property description vs. two sentences with just the basics?
Everyone needs professional photos, a professional property description, and a professionally printed flyer or brochure. Spend a little bit more money on nicer quality paper with a little heavier weight.
It’s the same with direct mail to your geographic farm or to the neighbors around your latest listing. Don’t spend time and money on the photographs and copy, then mail it out on the cheapest postcard you can find. Small details can make a big difference and are a tell-tale sign of quality.
Time and dedication spent to tailor marketing for each individual property pays dividends, both on the sale and on the way you’re perceived. Even if it’s in a tract or a condominium community, that house is different from the others. Find something special to focus on when you market it.
Even if they’re just buying a candle, providing exemplary service every time gives them a taste of what it would be like to work with us on a real estate transaction or on a full-home renovation.
Why do we focus on luxury being limited to multi-million dollar homes? The person who’s selling the $300,000 condo deserves the same type of experience and the same level of service as the $3 million home. It’s about the professionalism that’s conveyed.
One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Do you want a steady stream of referrals from former clients? Do you want your sphere to sing your praises to their family and friends? Give them something to sing about.
Provide a better, more elevated experience, no matter the price point. Your clients deserve it, and it can only make you look good.