By Amy Chorew
Summer Greene, regional manager at Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Florida 1st and Florida REALTORS® president says, “Now is a great time to dive into the luxury market as the sizzle is back.” Greene went on to say that the state of Florida’s luxury housing market is hot; a trend she expects to continue.
While it’s true that the market downturn impacted Florida and housing markets across the United States, the improving luxury niche may now provide real estate professionals the right incentives to dive in.
So how can you position yourself as an area luxury expert and tap into the needs, wants and desires of this sophisticated niche?
Let’s begin by understanding whom todays luxury homebuyer really is.
• The luxury buyer is a limited bunch. Recent statistics show that only nine percent of first-time and repeat buyers bought homes priced $500,000 and above. That makes the luxury niche a much smaller pond for real estate professionals to fish in.
• With the pervasiveness of internet search, they are far more sophisticated, savvy and informed about industry trends and market conditions than ever before. From websites to mobile apps, they have done their research and are coming to the market organized, equipped and educated.
• Buyers in the $1 million plus range have very definite and unique purchase requirements. In order to capitalize on this burgeoning market niche, you must be able to not only understand their needs, but also directly speak to those needs. For example, a buyer purchasing an ocean front property would be concerned about privacy, security and upkeep of the grounds. You should be prepared to answer their questions and assuage any concerns.
• Quite often, they have very specific and distinctive purchase requirements, looking for lifestyle items and amenities that meet their precise needs. For example, in Florida, a three or more car garage, dockage for boats and additional living quarters for family are all popular requests. When advising a luxury home buyer, you have to possess an astute appreciation for their distinctive must-haves.
• There is also a new type of luxury buyer, the young buyer who has different needs than listed above. This buyer will search based on the type of rooms they need and how they will use them. For example, a formal dining room may become an office or a media room. Keep in mind that due to this, a home that was decorated for the boomer lifestyle may need a staging facelift.
As an agent or broker working with today’s luxury home buyer, you must be educated, but also connected. As a brand, we see more homes sell within this niche due to the sphere and networking know-how of the agent. It does come back to that old saying that it’s all about whom you know and who they know.
It is also about what you know. The discriminating luxury buyer including international buyers has expressed the need for elite service from a seasoned professional who can specifically address their interests. Whether it’s an extended garage for their recreational vehicles or the dream kitchen with a sub-zero freezer they have always wanted, your intimate knowledge, selectivity and scrutinizing eye within this niche are requirements they desire when searching for a home.
If you are interested in capitalizing on this burgeoning market, make sure to take advantage of the luxury marketing materials your brand offers. Leveraging resources designed specifically for this high-end tier affords brokers and agents a unique branding edge within the industry and market.
Distinctive Collection by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate ™ is a luxury residential real estate marketing program designed to offer brokers and agents innovative marketing materials, specialized training and branding opportunities to capture listings in the competitive luxury market. If you have these materials available to you, there is no need to reinvent the marketing wheel when you could be focused on lead generation and sales strategies.
Is the luxury market on your “to-do” list? There is no time like the present to make the most of this lucrative and highly rewarding real estate niche!
To read this article on Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s blog, “Clean Slate,” click here.
Amy Chorew is the Vice President of Platform Development at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate.
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