Working with affluent clientele can lead to more referrals, more closed transactions, and more reputational success. But working with this market is not something to be taken lightly. It requires hard work, dedication and a superior level of customer service. At Family Reunion, KW Luxury Homes agent Diane Kink who leads The Kink Team in the Woodlands, TX, facilitated a panel of three luxury agents to discuss how they work with the affluent.
Lee Ziff of Beverly Hills, Calif. had plenty of tips about his experience working with buyers in the Los Angeles area. Although the average price point is higher in LA than it is in most other areas, not all buyers have the money for that price point. While it can sometimes be hard to tell whether or not the buyer is qualified, Ziff cautions agents to be careful about pre-judging people when they walk in the door because just never know what they can afford.
Kent Temple of Mooresville, NC emphasized the importance of customer service in this market with one phrase: “it doesn’t flow down but it flows up”. Referrals are likely to come from the higher end of the market and spread down, but never the other way around. When you work with a luxury buyer or seller it’s essential to show them the best level of service and expertise you and your team can offer. The affluent audience is used to a high level of service and that’s what they expect.
When it comes to communicating with this market, staying in touch shows that you are working hard for them. Zana Dillard of Atlanta, Ga., says the biggest mistake you can make in this market is assuming that you have the client. It’s best to get them to sign the listing paperwork or buyers agreement before so you don’t waste your time and your superb customer service on someone who doesn’t follow through.
It is not uncommon to go above and beyond for the affluent clientele. Some agents will offer to pick them up from the airport or hotel if they are from another area. Others have dedicated endless amounts of time for showings. It’s important to know where to draw the line. Temple suggests setting the expectations up front, how far you go for them at the beginning is what they will come to expect. On the other hand, Dillard’s team sets up an “on-call” person in order to protect her time on weekends.
No matter what market you are working with, as a realtor, customer service will always be important and expected. Communication and respect are the best ways you can treat your clients and will help you to grow your business.