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Every niche market runs by a different set of rules, and the luxury market is no different. In the following interview, Paul Benson, a License Partner with Engel & Völkers Park City in Park City, Utah, gives us some insight into the luxury market.

Benson_PaulRegion served: Utah, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco area, Napa/Sonoma, Marin County and Newport Beach
Years in business: 10
Number of offices: 4
Number of agents: 55
Best tip for getting the right listing price: Be an expert in your area. Know every detail about the sales and listings and be able to speak it. If you’re an expert, you’ll have the credibility to set the proper price.
Best tip for dealing with luxury market customers: Respond instantly. When working the luxury market, it’s all about service and integrity.
Best time management tip: Prioritize your calendar. Anything that’s not a priority can probably be delegated.
Most effective way to motivate agents: Show them how to create a plan to succeed that’s tailored specifically to them.

How is the ratio between your Web and print marketing changing, and why?
To successfully balance Web and print marketing, you must first understand how one compliments the other. For instance, I know that our print marketing is instrumental in creating listings and access to more customized websites by being part of the publication. A consistent marketing look in the right print publications also goes a long way toward building credibility among your clients, prospects and peers. Once you have a good listing inventory, you’ll generate many website impressions due to the numerous sites used to expose listings today. This creates the funnel of buyer leads that allows you to sell your listings.

What client retention strategies may be more unique to the luxury market client?
When working with luxury market clients, always be sincere. In addition, don’t call just to call. Have a reason that matters before you pick up the phone. And take time to thank your clients, especially when not expected.

Can you discuss any basic differences when it comes to interacting with a domestic luxury client versus similar clients who come from abroad?
Most importantly, you need to understand that the basic systems we use in the U.S. today are not necessarily the same as those in play overseas. Therefore, when working with clients who come from abroad, it’s crucial that you take the time to explain the details that you would normally assume are known. Your services will be much more appreciated if you clearly outline the laws and risks associated with the process as well.

Do you think there’s a demand or desire among clients for a new luxury brand and the type of new boutique treatment you’re now providing in the western U.S.?
Yes, I absolutely believe there is. The “other” international brands have become too big, which has reflected on their ability to pay attention to the quality and level of service they offer. Clients are beginning to take notice, providing perfect timing for the Engel & Völkers brand.

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