By Onie Bolduc
The key to selling luxury real estate is emotion. You must find out what is driving the desire for each individual buyer to make a luxury purchase. About 99% of the time, it’s emotion driving the purchase but it’s not the same emotion for each buyer.
Luxury, according to Dictionary.com, is defined as “a material object, service, etc. conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance or refinement of living rather than a necessity.” Something luxurious is something above a necessity and the desire to have this luxurious thing—whether it be a house, a piece of jewelry or a high-end car—is driven by emotion.
As a real estate professional selling luxury real estate, you must start by asking questions in order to decipher what emotion is behind the luxury purchase. As Epictetus once said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Listening is an underrated skill as a real estate agent but especially in the luxury space, we must be fine-tuned listeners. We must approach our clients with an ear to hear their stories, rather than tell our own and discover what emotion is behind their desire to purchase a luxury home.
Studies have shown emotional and psychological appeals resonate more with buyers than feature and function. Don’t just point out spectacular features of the home; explain how this home will trigger the desired emotion. A gated community, a private country club or limited inventory are common emotional drivers. Some exclusive emotions are hidden in the desire to be ski-in ski-out, or beach front. Don’t market the ski-in ski-out/beach front but rather the exclusivity of the location. Only 5 homes with the same access as the buyer/seller can see the beach front already. When selling to a buyer, whether on the buyer side or listing side, know their emotion.
Other emotions driving a luxury real estate purchase is family. Many buyers, particularly Baby Boomers, are looking for a home that will appeal to their kids and grandkids. Again, know what emotion is driving the purchase and market the property accordingly
Some emotions are as simple as tranquility and privacy. Ending a long day in a home that makes a buyer feel relaxed may be enough to draw him or her in to purchase the property. What is it that the buyers want to feel when they walk into their new home?
Luxury real estate buyers are also well educated and need to trust their agents. It’s no secret that the consumer may doubt marketing claims or a sales pitch. If you highlight or focus on the same features as you enter every home, you are not garnering any verbal equity or trust as a sales professional. And don’t always focus on the positives. One way to raise credibility is to point out a blemish and not trying to sell the blemish will garner trust, credibility and verbal equity.
If you are selling luxury real estate you are also held to a higher standard. Know your market. Know your market stats and past sales. Do your homework on the home and the market. Keep these perspectives in mind as you work with your luxury clients.
ONIE BOLDUC is an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties. He is also a member of the national REthink Council. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.