Being an outstanding buyer’s agent is only half of the real estate equation. Here’s how to generate the luxury listings to take your agency next level.
Trading as a luxury real estate buyer’s agent can certainly be a rewarding and lucrative career. There’s plenty of satisfaction that comes with helping a client find their perfect home—and the commission on multi-million dollar property doesn’t hurt either.
But working with buyers also means a hectic schedule over which you have little control. There are showings, inspections, and the constant ups and downs of working with exacting, emotional, or indecisive buyers.
As a listing agent, you possess greater sway over the process and can hold down more reasonable hours, too. Make no mistake: sellers can be every bit as demanding as buyers. But the satisfaction one gains from helping clients dramatically increases when you’re imparting more of your knowledge and real estate acumen over the transaction. And, as a bonus, for each listing you represent, it often results in multiple leads for both future buyers and sellers.
Transitioning to listings, though, can take time. Generating that first luxury listing requires plenty of sweat equity, including learning a whole new side to the upscale real estate business. Of course, there’s no need to quit being a buyers’ agent if you enjoy it, but if you’re looking for consistency in your work and are ready to take your career to the next level, it’s time you considered the coveted role of listing agent.
Let’s explore five ways to generate high-end real estate listings.
Network and Cultivate Relationships
There are several different approaches to generating high-end listings, but the single most important factor to remember is that real estate (and luxury real estate in particular) is all about relationships. Most critical in developing those relationships is having a presence, putting yourself out there, and networking.
Identify organizations and industries where high-end clients are most prevalent. Take advantage of sponsorship and attendance opportunities at events where those individuals are certain to mingle. Target firms that possess a transient workforce and develop inroads as a contact to assist with employees both coming and going. Even if they don’t result in an immediate listing, you’ll form connections that you can continue to call upon. Persistence and a willingness to get involved will prove fruitful as your network starts to expand.
But networking is more than just getting dressed up and attending events with the fête set. Getting involved with the community will demonstrate your civic-minded bonafides—a trait many high-end clients look for in those they choose to do business with—even if that business is personal. Most of the top-producing real estate agents we’ve worked with share a common trait, namely a vast referral network of past clients and fellow agents in other markets.
From working with the Chamber of Commerce to committing time and resources to local nonprofits, these activities increase your reach and profile. You’ll also gain greater satisfaction and purpose knowing you’re making a difference in the community.
Find an Experienced Partner
Real estate is a highly competitive business, and any advantage you can gain is worth the effort. Seeking out a more knowledgeable partner or mentor when trying to scale up to listings can help spur your efforts forward. And while there’s a high probability that any commissions you garner will be divided, with you receiving the lesser share, the insight and experience you’ll gain (not to mention potential access to a wealth of resources) makes up for any lost income in the short term.
Even if it’s merely a group of peers for you to network and share ideas with, find those who’ve had experience building the listing side of their business. Foremost, a great mentor will help you learn from their past mistakes so you can avoid making your own in the future. You’ll gain valuable insight into best practices: what’s effective for specific markets or how to appeal to a particular type of client.
Most importantly, you’ll get a fresh perspective gained from years of wisdom. A genuinely effective ally or mentor helps guide you early on, gives you room to grow, and positions you to take their lessons and adapt them towards your goals.
Decide What You Bring to the Table
We’ve highlighted the fact that relationships are a critical aspect of generating high-end listings. But so too is confidence and the expertise and intangibles you bring to the relationship.
Are you a marketing guru? A numbers person? Possess a deft touch with staging and design? Bring a large pool of aggressive buyers to the table? Figure out where you excel, and highlight those attributes when making your case for a listing. High-end clients love to connect with those whose interests align with their own. Don’t hesitate to play up that fact to secure a listing.
Specialization is another way to solidify your standing with those looking for listing representation. We already noted that relocation isn’t just about clients moving in but also those moving out. Luxury real estate also possesses a large need for assisting foreign sellers in marketing and selling their domestic properties. You can also opt to focus on unique homes or those in “destination” locales—beach and mountain resorts or island and waterfront neighborhoods, for example.
And, in the areas where you might be less confident, have a plan for addressing those topics should they come up with a client. Partner with another agent whose skill set complements your own, or draw upon the resources that working within a brokerage can provide.
High-end luxury clients appreciate knowing their property is in good hands. They value an agent who exudes confidence over a market, has a solid plan for how and to whom to promote their listing, and knows how to command top dollar for a property. From market dynamics to staging and scheduling open houses to bringing the right buyers through the door, doing your homework will pay dividends not just on your current listing but with your future clients.
Leverage Your Buyer’s Network
As we mentioned, building relationships is a critical aspect of the real estate industry. However, one of the most straightforward paths to generating listings is to leverage the relationships and client base you already have: your buyers.
How does it help build luxury listings if many of your buyers initially purchase conventional property and not luxury housing? Simple—buyers ultimately become sellers. As they move upwards in their careers, the level of home they purchase and sell moves with them.
Cultivating those relationships early on will help you reap the rewards later when satisfied clients move from a $300,000 home to a $500,000 home to those that may eventually exceed $1 million.
In addition to putting out those feelers for those considering selling, don’t be shy about asking for referrals. Almost everyone has a boss, co-worker, acquaintance, friend, or family member at a higher pay grade with luxury housing needs. The trusted word of someone close to them goes a long way for those whose aim is to sell high-end property.
Stay Hungry and Sweat the Small Stuff
Generating that first luxury listing can prove a daunting task, but those who succeed in the upper echelons of real estate are those who persist. By being tenacious, well-studied, and well-prepared, potential clients will take notice.
In addition to networking, civic involvement, and gleaning knowledge from others, the early stages of tracking down those coveted luxury listings present an opportunity for you to build your skillset and business. There’s plenty of small, tangible steps you can take that are both good business practices and push you towards a listing breakthrough, including:
Cold call: All it takes is one yes.
Establish and maintain an engaging presence on social media: Wealthy buyers and sellers are more active online than you think.
Build and maintain an email marketing list: Contrary to popular belief, email is not dead. It’s alive and well on everyone’s computer, laptop, tablet, phone, and—in many cases—even their watch.
Rethink your open house strategy: Curious onlookers are often the ones thinking about selling soon, so pay them the proper attention.
Increase your marketing exposure: From small scale mailers to hosting large scale meet and greets, make sure people know who you are.
Stay in touch and follow-up: From celebrating birthdays, holidays, or personal milestones, adding a personal touch to your communication and follow-up will keep you front and center in a client’s mind when the time comes to list.
Maintain a strong digital presence: This includes your real estate website, social profiles, YouTube channel, and profiles across platforms like Zillow.
Most first listing success stories follow a similar theme, from a chance meeting in a networking event to a well-timed cold call to following up with a referral—that first listing doesn’t happen unless you go after it. And the second and third listings don’t appear unless you keep your momentum going.
If you keep moving forward and stay hungry, all of that hard work will pay off with a healthy list of satisfied luxury clients—both buyers and sellers. One day you may be the mentor sharing your experience in the listing game and helping the next generation of real estate professionals generate their high-end listings.