I am a lucky guy. Over the years, I had the privilege of working, whether directly or indirectly, with many of the most successful Realtors in the country specializing in the luxury market. All of them are still around today, and so am I. It’s a good sign.
I hope I helped them become who they now are. Conversely, there is no question they helped me be the leader I became. Together, we worked and re-worked on everything that spells success at the high-end, from vision to strategy, from activities to tactics, from planning to coaching, from image to branding.
From my point of observation, I can say without a doubt that all the top guns in the multi-million dollar market have 5 things in common, 5 traits which are all required to get to the top, and to stay there. Here they are:
- They are all LISTING AGENTS: it does not mean that they do not represent buyers, they do, but their power comes from being the purveyors of the most exclusive properties and estates in their marketplace. Their reputation, old or newly established, earns them the trust of the wealthiest and knowledgeable home sellers. Believe it or not, most anyone (given the good fortune of being at the right place & at the right time), can sell a multi-million dollar property, but in my book, that does not qualify the jackpot winners as high-end specialists. Only at the listing end can you rightfully claim the title.
- They are all specializing in their LOCAL MARKET: Only in their primary market (their town + those towns immediately adjacent) can they make roots, grow, achieve notoriety and harvest recurring business. What they could do elsewhere would only distract them from better exploiting their preferred turf. Most of these agents, even when given the opportunity to list a luxury property 10 miles from “home” would turn down the offer and refer the business to agents with whom they work in the market where the property is located. It is worth mentioning that, at that level, knowing your local market goes well beyond knowing neighborhoods, streets and values, it means knowing by name the people who live in these magnificent homes.
- They are all associated with TOP REAL ESTATE FIRMS: You cannot gravitate your way to the top if your company keeps you small. The vast majority of real estate firms cannot compete at that level, even though they try and may suggest they do. It takes power, manpower, a specialized estates division and high-end marketing program, a network of offices, a regional scope of coverage and partnerships with the best international high end marketing networks to reach out to wealthy buyers from all over the globe, who are both interested in and qualified to purchase the local trophy properties.
- They are all excellent BUSINESS PEOPLE: They know and feel comfortable with facts, statistics, P&L and trends. They also master marketing. Many of them play solo, wearing different hats with amazing ease. They are contracting specialized services through their personal affinity group. Many others choose to hire team members to handle the logistics, the day-to-day marketing, the admin work and the follow-up with clients, title, lenders, and vendors. Each his/her own way to get results and deliver the best service to the client.
- They are all AMBITIOUS: This one is a no-brainer. Ambition is the fuel that keeps them driving uphill. It could be money but, more often than not, it is success, recognition, and the fulfillment of reaching the end-result: selling extraordinary homes for the benefit of the owners (road companions during the listing period). Without ambition, there is no passion; without passion, you lose what makes you the best.
Many agents are likely to recognize themselves in those lines. As for the others, those who are dreaming of making it big one day at the high-end, they hopefully will know now what it takes to get there. May the force be with all!