Ever wondered what it takes to work in real estate with celebrities? You need both an understanding of luxury and the unique lifestyle that celebrities pursue. Here are some tips on how to work with celebrities, and how to tailor your approach when speaking with clients.
First, some main takeaways from Amy Herman, who has worked as an agent to the stars with Nest Seekers International. Here’s her approach to working with celebrities:
Do keep everything private.
“Privacy is usually the No. 1 most treasured quality when working with a REALTOR®. In NYC, many of the newspapers and television crews are waiting to pounce when they hear stirrings of a celebrity moving.
“We want to always protect the client’s best interest so when selling a celebrity home, we have a vetting process which includes the buyer’s representative sending over documents regarding the buyer, such as a bio and a potential letter of employment. We also use non-disclosure agreements before we go into the details of the property.
“In turn, we have our celebrity or well-recognized seller put away all family photos and awards which would have their name or information and give away who lives in the home. When taking a purchaser around who is well-recognized, we usually register them with the listing agent under their manager’s name and we have the listing agent sign an NDA as well.”
Do over-deliver on customer service.
“Other items that help with celebrities feeling more comfortable are understanding their favorite food and beverages and any other items we as REALTORS® can have in the wings to make them feel at home. In the winter, cashmere blankets and gloves are great ideas for the commute around town to [view] different properties.
“We always have fresh water, gum, and candy and sugar-free snacks on hand, too.”
Do realize you’re working with a team.
“Lawyers and business managers and even personal assistants are heavily relied upon in these transactions. Being versatile and flexible enough to help with furniture deliveries or other items, and meeting with designers and contractors during and post-purchase, will also ensure that you have gone above and beyond your role as a real estate agent and the A-list client will hopefully remember you and your skillset this way.”
Don’t promise you’ll find a home by a specific date.
“Whether your clients are pressuring you to find them a home by Christmas, before their film starts shooting or before the next sports season, don’t make any promises. You can certainly set goals and targets, but promising a definitive date makes you accountable for factors beyond your control, including the inventory on the market, your client’s budget and your client’s personal taste.”
Don’t tell your clients you’ll be available whenever.
“When you’re first learning how to be a real estate agent, it’s important to maintain a work-life balance. One way to sabotage your work-life balance goals right from the beginning? Telling your clients you’ll be available no matter what.
“While it might sound like great customer service to be available at any time for your clients, it can be unrealistic. Making a huge promise that you can’t keep could even cause more frustration in your relationship down the line.”
Diane Hartley is the president of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the upper-tier residential market. Hartley brings her passion for luxury marketing and more than 20 years of experience growing and leading businesses to her role as president of The Institute.