It’s no surprise that luxury buyers have high expectations. Rising to the occasion and over-delivering in your interactions with luxury buyers is key to retaining their business and earning referrals to other potential clients—not to mention it’s crucial when it comes to actually getting a property sold. Knowing just what luxury buyers are looking for is the hard part, because their mindset isn’t the same as a traditional buyer.
Here’s what you need to know about the expectations luxury buyers have when it comes to their dealings with you.
- They’re looking for a hassle-free experience.
Luxury buyers want a seamless experience and are looking for agents and properties that won’t unnecessarily complicate their already-busy lives. When you’re working with luxury buyers, find ways to reduce the friction of each experience whenever possible. Here are some ideas:
- Use digital files and e-signatures when possible.
- Be prepared to be available over text or email, whichever the buyer prefers.
- Respond immediately to any communications.
- Follow up and follow through on everything.
- Be ultra-available to accommodate a luxury buyer’s schedule.
- They expect you to know the market.
Luxury buyers are going to expect that you know and understand the local market and where it sits in the context of the national and global market. Luxury buyers are highly regarded in their fields and are often highly educated. They expect to be able to have top-level discussions with you about what’s happening in the market. Here are some ways to increase and showcase your knowledge:
- Read the monthly market report released by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.
- Create a personalized dossier for each buyer with local market information.
- They expect you to have strong luxury market connections.
Luxury buyers are generally well-connected in their fields and expect the same out of people they work with. Often times, strong connections are key to finding luxury buyers the properties they’re looking for, especially if these properties have yet to hit the market. By maintaining a long list of connections, you’re also better suited to help clients looking for value-added experiences. Lining up tee times, party invites or a day on the slopes can go a long way in securing valuable business.
- They want you to be a good listener.
When it comes to luxury buyers, cultivating an ability to listen is going to work in your favor. It’s important to truly hear what they’re looking for in a property so that you aren’t wasting their time, and yours, with properties that don’t have the qualities they’re looking for. Luxury buyers can be meticulous and are likely looking for properties with specific attributes. You need to understand how the needs of your client will be suited in various neighborhoods and listen carefully to know what lifestyle influences will inform their decisions.
Here are other things to listen for to truly show you care:
- Personal backstory
- Important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries
- Hobbies and interests
- School zones they’re interested in
- Where their office is and how long their commute will be
- They’re looking for added value.
The trend in luxury right now is to begin offering value-added products and services that enhance the buyer’s experience. Buyers are increasingly coming to expect this from agents. This doesn’t mean you should add gimmicky services, but consider what elements of a property might add value to a buyer.
Here are some typical value-added elements of a property, or a real estate experience with you, that a buyer could be interested in:
- The guarantee of a protected view
- Location that qualifies their children for the best school districts
- Reliable and outstanding customer service
- Location that fits their lifestyle perfectly
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.