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5 Ways to Break Into the Luxury Market
By Mark Mathis, VP of Sales for Homes.com
Real estate agents often hope to focus on a specific niche. For some, this could be first-time homebuyers, green-home enthusiasts or renters. An especially popular market many agents try to get a foothold in is the luxury home market.
 
While there are agents who excel in the luxury market, it can be a difficult niche to break into. These types of clients often prefer private listings and aren't likely to reach out to agents to buy or sell. Instead, they likely work through their connections. Here are five tips to help you become that connection and break into this elusive market.
 
1. Define Luxury
When thinking about working with luxury buyers and sellers, it's important to consider what luxury is for your area. A $600,000 home in rural Georgia isn't the same as a $600,000 home in Los Angeles. This will help you determine who you want to target and how you can meet them. On the other hand, if you determine that you're already working with the luxury clients of your area, you can continue with what's already working.
 
2. Find the Right Network
Since your next luxury buyers won't likely just walk into your office, you'll need to network with the kinds of people you want to attract. If you know your area, you should be able to think of a few places that luxury clients would gather. It may be worth investigating community beautification boards or arts committees, or even attend a benefit for a non-profit. While you obviously wouldn't be able to turn the focus on yourself, you would be able to get your face in front of potential clients and start building some connections. Another option is to network with private lenders or bankers. Since they'll likely see the types of clients you're looking to work with, they could pass your name along.
 
3. Use Your Referrals
Keep in mind that the people you're working with today could introduce you to a high-end client tomorrow. Be sure that you're always giving your best, even if you're looking to work with buyers and sellers in a higher price bracket. In addition to this, don't be afraid to request referrals or ask your clients if they know of anyone else looking to buy or sell. It's likely that, if you've been helpful, your clients would be happy to introduce you to their friends.
 
4. Team Up
While many shy away from the idea of co-listing, there are some major advantages. If you're working with a strong professional, you're both bringing a number of skills to the table that can be highly advantageous. When trying to work with luxury clientele, finding another agent who is already familiar with the process and has closed some of these sales is beneficial, especially if they're willing to take you on as a partner. Luxury buyers and sellers often value someone who is familiar with these types of transactions, so being a part of one could give you that experience.
 
5. Look at Your Marketing
Take a look at your current marketing materials. Would they do justice to a high-end listing? If not, now's the time to look at revamping your materials. Keep in mind that this doesn't just mean your flyers or business cards. Think about your social media and web presence. Do you offer listing videos to show off your properties? How do you rank in Google searches? Also, think about your open houses. Is there something you could do to make them even more special? These are the kinds of touches that could push you into the next bracket of real estate.
 
To make sure you're selling those listings, you should try out programs such as Homes.com's City Sponsor Ads that allow active buyers searching for a home online to interact with you. By prominently displaying your listings among the first search results in your city, your listings will be in a great position to sell.
 
Mark Mathis is vice president of Sales for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.

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