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Getting your clients to complete a successful transaction is as much about managing their personalities as it is about finding the right property.

For those looking to find a buyer for a higher-end property, it’s important to note that affluent clients have a different mindset than many of those in the traditional market. Learning the psychology behind why these clients are looking to buy or sell, and how they prioritize their decisions, could help you interact with your potential clients more effectively.

Here are a few tips that can help you work with the upper-tier.

  1. It’s about the experience.
    Affluent clients appreciate the importance of beautiful properties and making a sound real estate investment, but there’s an added element that needs to be recognized in today’s market: lifestyle. If buyers are looking for properties that’ll cater to the experiences they dream of, then sellers need to answer their needs by reflecting the lifestyle opportunity of their home. Your job is to find out what experiences buyers are looking for, what sellers have to offer, and connect the dots for them.
  1. Don’t put people in a box.
    You might be tempted to categorize your clients based on how much their property is worth or by how much money they seemingly have by the price point they request to view. While you need to do some work to pre-qualify these buyers and sellers, make sure you don’t rely too strongly on data and metrics to determine what you think your client wants. Focus on their specific needs and wants instead of looking at a list of prices and drawing an arbitrary line around what they should and shouldn’t do.
  1. Find opportunities to steward family wealth.
    Most wealthy clients are concerned about keeping their wealth in the family for future generations. Providing your clients with insights on how other families or individuals have passed wealth on to their children can help you establish yourself as an expert. In addition, let them know how you’ll work in tandem with their financial advisor, accountant or wealth planner to find properties that best fit these goals.
  1. Find like-minded segments.
    Not all high-net worth individuals are the same, so don’t treat them as a homogenous group. By finding segments where you feel you can naturally fit in, you’ll have an easier time blending into the psychology of high-net worth individuals. Here are some categories high-net worth individuals tend to fall into and how you can better interact with these segments:
  • VIPs – This segment tends to be motivated by social standing and prestige. These clients will focus on the opinions of others in their circle. To break through to them, make them feel like a priority.
  • Entrepreneurs – These people are successful because of their innovations, hard work and ability to stick to projects. They’re used to taking a hands-on approach and may be less comfortable completely outsourcing all of the duties to you. Allow them to be as engaged as they want while guiding them to their desired goal.
  • Moguls – Due to their experience leading their field, moguls feel confident proclaiming that they’re subject matter experts. If you feel like a mogul yourself, bring your inner mogul into the decision-making process by creating points for them to give their approval throughout the transaction.

While it’s useful to understand these factors when working with clients, it’s important to stay genuine. Putting honesty at the forefront of all your transactions and acting out of a sincere desire to create wins for your client will be mutually beneficial for both you and your clients.

Diane Hartley is president of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, the independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the luxury residential market. She is passionate about luxury marketing and has more than 20 years of experience growing and leading businesses. For more information, please visit