Want to be a luxury agent (or just look like one)? It starts with the service you provide and the aesthetic you convey in your lifestyle and marketing.
In my last article, I talked about the importance of providing luxury-level service to clients, no matter what price point they’re buying or selling at. That includes relationship building, a full marketing plan, and optimal communication and follow-through with everyone you serve.
To follow up on the ideas in that piece, I thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance for agents who are trying to make the leap from selling entry-level homes to representing high-end properties and high-net-worth individuals.
We all know agents who put “Luxury” in their social media profile or take an extra online class and think that they’re suddenly upscale. But much of what it comes down to is walking the walk and differentiating your service — not to mention the way you present yourself and your listings.
Emphasize the personal
Don’t you love the feeling of going into your favorite restaurant and having them call you by name? That personal touch — remembering your favorite table or your drink order — often makes the difference between a place you go occasionally and a place where you’re a regular.
It’s essential for you to pay attention to details when you’re nurturing leads and following up with clients. Keep your CRM updated with as many personal details as possible and use them when you reach out.
In addition, market your listings with a personal touch. Don’t include a generic property description or the same-old-same-old photos. Look for those standout details in a listing and build your marketing plan around them.
After the transaction, send a handwritten thank you note and continue to reach out in a personal way every few weeks in order to stay top of mind. These strategies cost you nothing but time, yet they make all the difference in how you — and your services — are perceived.
Create leverage to expand your services
Being able to do more and go further in providing exceptional assistance is the key to a luxury level of service. We talk a lot about white-glove service, but what does that really mean?
If you can’t afford to hire an admin to help you do more in your business, connect with a group of trusted freelancers who can help you as needed. Copywriters, graphic designers, stagers, and other professionals can make all the difference in how your marketing looks and how effective it is.
Connect with interior designers, landscapers, contractors, and other professionals in your area who can help with large-scale, value-added improvements to your listings as needed. Have a reliable handyman or two to call on so that necessary repairs can be handled quickly.
Present yourself impeccably
We may laugh about “posers” and agents who act like they’re high-end even when they’re not. However, the reality is that the way you present yourself makes a difference in the way you’re perceived.
You may not be able to buy a luxury car, but you can keep your current car perfectly clean inside and out. You can also rent a car or hire a car for the day if you need to drive out-of-town clients around to look at listings.
Make sure that your grooming is always on point. Take extra care with your hair and skincare. You may not be able to afford designer clothing, but you can take your clothes to an alterations shop and have them tailored so that they fit well.
Create a capsule wardrobe of classic garments that convey luxury, then supplement with more affordable pieces that are on-trend. Clean and shine your shoes. Clean out your wallet or purse. Put your best foot forward wherever you go — you never know who you might meet.
Follow the money
Even if you don’t yet have the wealth to live a luxe lifestyle, you can put yourself where you need to be so that you’re rubbing elbows with more upscale clients. Rent or buy the smallest home in the best neighborhood you can afford. That means you’ll be going to the grocery store, park, restaurants, and dry cleaners with higher-end potential leads.
If the clients you want belong to the local country club, explore the various types of memberships available. You don’t have to have a full golf membership; get the social membership and have lunch or Sunday brunch at the club on a regular basis.
Join the Chamber or professional organizations in your area so that upscale clients see you as a peer. Attend social events and charitable events. Sit on committees.
Go where the people you want to serve already are and join in with the work they’re doing sincerely and wholeheartedly. You’ll get to know them and develop similar interests, allowing you to develop greater insight, understand their needs, and serve them better.
Think long-term gain instead of short-term compensation
Most of all, remember that this is a career, not a job. Think long-term when you’re making decisions. Does it cost you a little more to stage that starter home? It’s worth it when you market it well, earn a lifelong client, gather referrals, and improve your professional reputation.
The decisions you make today can go a long way toward building the career you want. Emulate the luxury style and service you want to embody so that when your opportunity to move up comes along, you’ll be ready.