Catering To The Affluent Client

Posted by — December 19, 2004

By John Brian Losh

Luxury real estate (homes valued at million or more in most markets) is a highly competitive industry, but brokers who understand two simple principles will always have an edge.

These principles are:

  1. Knowing how to attract affluent clients to your business.
  2. Knowing how to meet the needs of those affluent clients.

The most effective method of attracting high-net-worth individuals to your business is by rubbing elbows with them. When you surround yourself with the movers and shakers in your community, you constantly expand your client base, both through the people you meet and through word-of-mouth.

Do some detective work and find out what circles the well-heeled set in your area travel in. Join your local country or golf club and other esteemed organizations. Keep in mind that many of your community’s wealthiest citizens are probably also leaders in the business community. When you meet prospective clients, cement the relationship by bonding with them over a shared interest, such as golf, fine wine or international travel.

Networking through your existing clients, as well as industry organizations, is also helpful. Consider hosting an annual dinner for your clients as a way of maintaining contact, demonstrating appreciation for their business and prospecting for new clients. Industry organizations, in addition to raising your level of prestige, will put you in touch will other brokers worldwide who might refer business to you.

When you land a high-net-worth client, make sure you have the knowledge and expertise he or she expects. Clients want to see a demonstrable level of knowledge when they engage the services of a professional -- particularly clients buying multi-million dollar homes. To succeed in luxury real estate, you must be willing and able to step up your level of expertise. Obtaining designations from recognized organizations will help you do this, as will staying abreast of industry trends and reading industry publications.

Yet as important as it is to instill the client with a sense of confidence about your knowledge and ability, it is just as essential to be a good listener. Listen carefully to what your client values and prefers in a home, ask questions and be open to discussion. The more insight you gain into the client’s wants and needs -- and the better you know your community -- the more likely you are to help your client find the home of his or her dreams.For more information about this article, e-mail jen@luxuryrealestate.com.

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