So you’ve signed that big luxury listing–how do you make sure you get to the finish line and reap the reward, without the risk of breaking the bank on marketing or exposing your business to losses if the listing breaks down? We’ve compiled some real estate strategies from our most successful agents.
Understand your client early on
Pay close attention during the early days when working with your seller, and even take notes about their personality to refer back to later. What small problems seem to cause them stress? What points of your marketing campaign do they seem most excited or interested in? Are there milestone moments such as retirement or the birth of a child or grandchild that are going to affect how they perceive the process? Their stress will grow as they approach these milestones; you can help defray them by being prepared and communicating at key moments.
Prepare for the long haul
Because your high-end listings may take months or even years to sell, you need to focus on developing trust that will last through the challenges and setbacks of the time to come. At the start of the listing campaign, create a working timetable and budget of when to introduce new marketing initiatives. Try to time them around milestones such as when you plan to revisit price, or when the agreement is up for renewal. And spread it out–don’t do everything at once. You’ve got to make your budget last, potentially for months, so make sure to leave some ammo for later in the campaign.
Ease sellers into the reality zone
Keeping your seller informed about market conditions and comparable listings should not stop when you get the listing. This will help focus your client on the realities of the market and help ease down unrealistic price expectations, without drawing fire to YOUR performance. Evidence is essential when you do have to talk about a price change–make sure you can SHOW them all the marketing efforts you’ve made and all the places their home is being promoted. Otherwise, they might think that YOU are the problem, NOT the price.
Regular reporting back to your client about the progress of the sale is critical. Weekly updates, even if there is little to report, demonstrate that they are still top-of-mind to you. Make sure you respond to seller’s phone calls, emails or texts immediately, even if you don’t have an answer on the spot. A perceived lack of communication is the most common reason Agents lose higher end listings, and it’s also the easiest and cheapest to avoid.
Be prepared to say no–and offer alternative real estate strategies
Your seller may have grand visions for marketing their home, from professional staging to costly magazine spreads. Some will be useful and others will only create risk for you. Be ready to suggest compelling alternatives to pricey promotions, especially if they do not create exposure and value for your business and brand. Some savvy agents will even require a price concession before agreeing to an expensive marketing component, declining to spend when they know the price is wrong.
Share the risk
You may have vendors or service providers that are willing to wait to get paid until the listing sells. Inquire about these arrangements with photographers, advertising partners and more – you may find they are willing to work with you to gain your business.
1. Analyse and take notes about your seller’s personality type and life milestones
2. Design a long-term budget and timetable for marketing and pricing
3. Provide evidence and reporting throughout the sales process
4. Be ready to offer alternative marketing options to your clients