How to Break Into the Competitive Luxury Real Estate Niche

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When it comes to the world of real estate listings, no niche is more competitive or desirable than luxury real estate. And though there isn’t an agent alive who wouldn’t want to break into this niche, actually doing so requires a considerable amount of energy and effort.  But with the right plan, you can do it.

The ”What” of Luxury Real Estate

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There isn’t really a definitive price point or home style that gives a piece of real estate the “luxury” label. Every city, market, and neighborhood is different. For example, what’s considered a luxury home in lower Alabama might not be considered a luxury property in Beverly Hills. It all depends on the market.

In Los Angeles, luxury homes are typically multi-million dollar estates in gated communities that come with ample square footage, a pool, and a view of the hills.

In New York City, it’s not necessarily square footage or views. It’s all about location and finishes. A one-bedroom condo in Manhattan can be considered a luxury piece of real estate if it has a doorman and top-notch finishes (like marble countertops, a subzero refrigerator, designer lighting, etc.).

In Atlanta, a luxury property might sit on five acres of land and feature a six-car garage, lots of outdoor living space, and a wide-open floor plan with a home theater and a gym in the basement.

For years, the $1 million-plus price tag has been associated with luxury real estate, but it’s hard to name a price. Values have increased so dramatically over the past five years that multi-million dollar listings are now the luxury “baseline” in most markets. But again, price reflects value. It’s the location, amenities, and prestige that people are after. Price just follows after these things.

The ”Why” of Luxury Real Estate

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Becoming a luxury real estate agent is tough work. It can take years – decades even – to position yourself in this space. So the question becomes, why? Why would you spend so much time and money becoming a luxury real estate agent when millions can be made as a traditional listing agent for middle and upper class homeowners? Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Luxury real estate agents have a much higher earning potential. A single $10 million listing could net you a cool $300,000 in commissions. That’s four-to-five times as much as the average agent makes in a year.
  • It’s all about quality over quantity. You can focus your energy on just a couple of listings, rather than spreading yourself out across dozens of listings per year. (If you sell one $5 million property and one $9 million property, that’s the equivalent of selling 47 $300,000 properties.)
  • As a luxury real estate agent, you have the freedom to choose which listings you take and when you work. If you want to travel for a month in the summer, you simply work your tail off in the spring and fall.
  • Selfishly, there’s a degree of prestige that comes with working as a luxury real estate agent. It allows you to rub shoulders with other wealthy people and forge connections that you’d otherwise never have.

The life of a luxury real estate agent isn’t for everyone, but it certainly tickles the fancy of those ambitious agents who want unlimited lifetime earning potential. If that’s you, keep reading.

Tips for Becoming a Luxury Real Estate Agent

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If you’re looking for an X + Y= Z type of equation for becoming a luxury real estate agent, this probably isn’t the article for you. No matter what anyone else tells you, each situation is different. Having said that, here are several tips you can use to carve out a career in this space:

  • Choose a Market and Become an All-Around Expert

It’s not enough to be a luxury real estate agent in the Greater Atlanta Area. You need to choose a very specific market and become an all-around expert in that market. So, for example, you might specialize in the Buckhead neighborhood of the Atlanta market.

When you choose a market, you need to live in that market. That’s the only way to truly learn it from the inside out. When you live somewhere, you learn about the restaurants and bars, businesses, new developments, local news, trends, and even the gossip. All of this becomes useful information as you talk with prospective homeowners and buyers.

  • Invest in Consistent Marketing and Promotion

You have to put yourself out there. As vain as it may sound, you have to make yourself seem like a big deal. You can do this in small and large ways, but consistency is the key. This is one of the reasons that real estate postcards from WisePelican.com work so well. They allow you to consistently drip on homeowners in a very specific neighborhood multiple times per year without breaking the bank.

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  • Solve a Very Specific Problem

Real estate knowledge is one thing, but a discerning homeowner will expect you to have more than just expertise on the market. They have very real problems that come with owning luxury real estate, and they want someone who can solve those problems.

Take time to develop your own unique sales proposition (USP) that addresses a problem that luxury homeowners are likely to have. For example, luxury listings tend to sit for weeks (even months) because there are fewer buyers in this price point. If you’re someone who has an incredibly deep network, you could position yourself as the agent who sells luxury homes much faster than the rest. Or maybe you have an eye for design and offer to stage and style luxury listings on your own dime?

Figure out which problem you solve and make that part of your USP and brand.

Adding it All Up

Truth be told, the biggest secret to becoming a luxury real estate agent is persistence. You can’t label yourself a luxury agent and then expect someone to hand you a $10 million listing. It just doesn’t work like that. The key is to work your way up, learn from failures and misses, and never expect anyone to hand you anything. It could take five years for you to land your first high-seven-figure listing – and that’s okay!

Learn from those around you and be persistent enough to stick with it.

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