What's Involved With Marketing a Luxury Home? by John Brian Losh

By John Brian Losh Real estate brokers specializing in multimillion-dollar homes have a keen appreciation for the specific needs of high net-worth clientele. Commissions are substantial on a luxury home sale, but so are the costs and demands of marketing upper-end residences. Due to the small pool of prospective buyers, it typically takes well over a year to sell a premier luxury home. These homes are often highly customized; one persons dream home may have narrow appeal to the masses. Security concerns limit an agent’s use of conveniences such as lock boxes, yard signs and open houses. Most wealthy homeowners demand that their agent attend every showing – not only for security purposes but also because high-end homes often have extensive special features that need explanation. The homeowners are very involved in selling their multi-million dollar homes. They expect a detailed follow-up report on the prospective buyer’s reaction to their property. Standard tools for marketing luxury homes include: a pen-and-ink artist’s sketch of the house, because they appear crisper than photographs in newspaper ads; a glossy, full-color brochure with an extensive listing of the home’s special features; property listings in national publications and online; and at times, professional videos of the property for direct mailings and virtual tours. These innovative marketing tools can be very expensive. Videos $1,000 and run up to $10,000. These costs are frequently borne by the real estate agent. Often the most innovative and elaborate marketing presentations are often not enough to reach the audience necessary for selling a luxury home. The Internet is an increasingly important medium for luxury real estate professionals; the Web provides exposure to potential buyers anywhere in the world. The Internet also helps agents to market themselves by providing them an opportunity to list their qualifications for prospective clients. LuxuryRealEstate.com serves as the world’s only all-inclusive database of global luxury properties and receives over 20 million hits monthly. LuxuryRealEstate.com also helps members set up their own Web sites to showcase their firm and its listings, with links to the international Web site. Professional organizations, like Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, serve as an important tool for agents to develop a network of other agents and associates who work with wealthy clients. In luxury real estate, the right connections make a difference. Who’s Who hosts three annual networking conferences to present members with an opportunity to network with the best of the best in the real estate industry. Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate helps real estate professions and homebuyers in regions throughout the world connect with agents who specialize in luxury listings elsewhere. The marketing techniques utilized by real estate agents who specialize in luxury real estate are innovative and often draw on cutting edge technology to appeal to both the wealthy buyers and sellers of multi-million dollar homes. The challenges in selling luxury real estate are great, and a broker must remain creative and determined in order to stay at the top of this highly competitive industry.