As seen on Inman: The 4-step approach to success in luxury real estate

High-net-worth clients require extraordinary white-glove treatment. Here’s how one top brokerage empowers agents to deliver it.

Luxury real estate is exciting, glamorous, and often filled with breathtaking properties in stunning locations. But it’s also characterized by non-stop attention to every client service detail, intense pressure to deliver, and highly personalized approach to each client’s luxury vision and home desire.

“Luxury clients are different in their expectations,” explained Ryan Raveis, co-president of William Raveis Real Estate. “They’ve gotten to this place in their lives by being hyper-focused, diligent, and competent. We need to match or exceed that. Everything that we do has to be incredibly well thought out and delivered in a polished, exceptionally professional, and expedient way.”

It was Raveis’ father Bill that started the brokerage 47 years ago. Today, the William Raveis family of companies is a $21 billion business that includes real estate, mortgage, and insurance. It dominates the market and is on the lookout for more high-performing brokers in its eight-state footprint across the Northeast and down the Eastern Seaboard, including the number one market share in the affluent, waterfront neighborhood of Port Royal in Naples, Florida.

Here’s how they approach success in luxury real estate.

Start with the data. End with the insights.
There is market data and there is marketing data. Both should be deeply considered when starting out with any luxury client engagement. At William Raveis Real Estate, the in-house luxury group is a dedicated team of specialists that helps market to the luxury community and has access to data—but more importantly insights—that an individual agent may not.

As Raveis asks, “What does the data say about properties like this? Then, what about the buyers? Who are they? Where do we find them? What channels are they using? All that intelligence is delivered on our internal platform.”

Develop the right strategy — and be ready to quickly pivot
Once agents are empowered with the right insights about each property, the plan should be centered and shaped around this intelligence. And needs to be re-assessed at every step.

“We are unique in that we treat each luxury property as its own brand,” Raveis explained. “We integrate our robust data and insights to bring out the essence of the home or the property. What type of lifestyle are we trying to portray when marketing this property? What is the story we need to tell, now that we know the target buyer? Then we put the tools in place to execute that strategy.”

But what good is a strategy without measurement of success? At William Raveis, each aspect of a campaign is assessed and reported on.

“One thing that sets us apart is the feedback that we generate and deliver to our sellers. We measure how well each of the campaigns perform, from engagement to clicks and impressions across channels. Then we go one step further by sharing those analytics with the client in real time. And that’s invaluable, transparent accountability—clients see first hand what we said we’re going to do and what we’re actually doing. We’re able to make sure that we have the right strategy but also the in-depth analytics to pivot and adjust any elements of the strategy based on what is working or not.

Enhance everything with creativity

Across luxury real estate, and particularly in the offices of William Raveis Real Estate, the goal is to create and deliver a high-end retail experience for each home. This can’t happen unless the tools to execute the data-driven strategy are superior at every step.

“Photography has to be pristine. The videography and drone footage has to have a wow factor. The virtual tours and dollhouse views have to be seamless, and the SEO and SEM around those digital assets have to be fully realized,” Raveis noted.

Now that the foundation of the strategy is informed, it’s time to lean into the branding and find that unique positioning.

“Once you manage the basics of the strategy and bring those to the forefront,” he continued, “you might do more press around the home. Maybe there’s a fascinating history behind the home that should be highlighted. Maybe there’s a seven-car garage, an indoor golf simulator or a separate art studio that an enthusiast might love. This is where the agent’s creativity can shine.”

Set on eleven bucolic acres in New Canaan, Connecticut, this exceptional compound is an $8 million listing with William Raveis Real Estate.

Embrace growth opportunities

The luxury real estate agent that stops learning has stopped growing. Even the most experienced, veteran agent can develop new skills and incorporate tools, as well as refresh evergreen best practices of their craft.

At William Raveis Real Estate, there is an entire Career Development Department built around keeping agents up to date on shifting trends and emerging technology.

In addition to training, the very top luxury real estate agents have coaches and mentors committed to accelerating their success. The Raveis team includes them as part of the brokerage structure, where each office manager is a certified Strategic Growth Manager and coach. Like professional athletes, the right coach can make a fundamental difference, even for someone who is at the top of their game already.

“Sometimes it’s necessary to pick your head up,” Ryan Raveis explained. “It doesn’t matter how good you are or how many transactions you’ve had. You should always want to perform that much better.”

For the Raveis team, efficiency is the true luxury. And being efficient and effective is the hallmark of a luxury agent whose level of excellence is above and beyond.
“The one asset that we don’t have is more time,” Raveis noted. “There are no 25-hour days. We owe it to our luxury clients and ourselves to leverage every tool, every skill, and every opportunity to ensure success.”


This article was published on Inman on March 14, 2022.

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