Serving the luxury real estate market comes with its own unique set of communication challenges. You are providing value to top executives, entrepreneurs, tech giants, and other clientele that carry a particular set of expectations when it comes to purchasing their next home. As a successful luxury real estate agent, you’ve already built a strong reputation for offering an enhanced level of care – but when was the last time you evaluated your communication strategy to identify areas for improvement?
With the year coming to a close, now is the time to:
- Take a look at what’s working (and what isn’t)
- Commit to updating or implementing new communication practices to leave your clients feeling more satisfied
In an interview with director of growth for KW Luxury Brady Sandahl, three top Keller Williams agents share communication best practices. Whether you are serving a primary market or providing value to incoming secondary or resort homeowners, here are three strategies to put into play.
Care + Curiosity + Consulting = A Recipe for Effective Communication
For Seth Levin, real estate broker of the LevinKong Team in New York, business begets business. Since COVID started, his communication approach has been creating deeper contact with the most important members of his sphere. “We’re bringing opportunity and talking to our sphere about ways to take advantage of specific arbitrage in our market,” Levin shares. “I’m trying to share opportunities at least once a week with my client base and stepping in as a consultant to have deeper conversations.” According to Levin, a luxury agent’s job is to investigate and ask questions (Where do you see yourself? What are your goals?) in order to discover the buyer’s motivations and be able to provide sound advice.
In Seattle, Washington, Vija Williams, director of growth at Ben Kinney Companies, has a similar inquisitive process. Williams will ask a series of questions to determine specific motivations, take current market data, and connect the two. Essentially, she looks at communication through a problem, button, plan lens. Questioning motivations will identify the problem, the problem can be addressed by finding the button, or the ‘why,’ and the plan is where her team truly gets to shine by providing expertise. When identifying motivations for a specific property, Williams has one go-to question that cuts through all the noise: “Are you going to lose more sleep if you DON’T get the house, or are you going to lose more sleep if you DO?” she shares. “If I call you to say ‘we lost the house by X amount,’ are you relieved or are you gutted?”
The most effective way to ensure a smooth path throughout the transaction is to manage expectations from the very beginning. Levin not only begins every relationship by going into the intricacies of the New York market (which has more stringent regulations surrounding real estate than many other areas in the country), but also having conversations around timeframes and discussing different scenarios. In order to help clients visualize a variety of outcomes, he uses past market cycles as an example to set his clients up for movement moving forward. “Right now, I have a lot of clientele looking at property in anticipation of things slowing down again in December and January,” he says.
In her own communication, Tosha Corrigan, of the Tosha Corrigan Group in Destin, Florida, manages expectations by keeping a level of transparency around the amount of offers her clients are up against on each individual home. “I tell them: This is what you’re up against. If you are willing to play the game, I can help you get there. Here is how.” In addition, Corrigan is adamant about getting clients on the phone for extra-clear communication. Because she recognizes that clients, particularly sellers, may be hesitant to get on the phone for fear of being talked down on prices, she puts care into reminding them that she is on their team. “I will say, ‘I want you to get the most money. When can we get on the phone in order to make that happen?’”
Train Your Points of Leverage
The most successful and reassuring agents recognize that effective communication doesn’t end with the discourse between a top producer and their client. If you are a leader within a team, your team is an extension of your brand, and it is just as important for team members to feel empowered with the knowledge to properly represent your brand, as it is for clients to view them as extensions of your own services.
In Corrigan’s world, her three assistants are trained and knowledgeable in every aspect of a property in case the need for a showing arises. She relays all information shared by her sellers to her assistants and role-plays various scenarios to make sure they are prepared to take on any client questions.
Williams arms her team with similar knowledge by employing a team orientation method – having an initial walk-through led by the seller with all members involved in the transaction present. She establishes the benefits of team involvement to her clients by saying: “It’s really important for me that if anyone calls and inquires about your home, these are the people that will be handling that.”
Ultimately, the most important asset in your luxury strategy is your expertise. Know your market, know your product, and tell the story of your previous clients’ success loud and proud. Luxury is the language of mastery. How you disseminate it is a matter of finding the best fit for your clientele.
Curious to hear more? KW agents can watch the full interview on KWConnect.