Can’t wait for May 18th, a.k.a. “Facebook Day”! Two more days to speculate on how much the IPO is going to raise and what will be the valuation of the company, both Guinness Book of Records instant new entries. Of course my main interest lies somewhere else: what are the top employees, the “lottery winners”, going to do with their millions? To tell you the truth, I already know the answer, and so do you. We have been there before. The new millionaires will buy million dollar homes. Simple as that. You and I would do the same, right?
The second question, even more interesting to me, goes as follows: who are they going to trust with their home search and the negotiation? What brokerage firms? What agents? Why?
Last year, Luxury Portfolio, our partner for international marketing, released a White Paper on the subject, titled a mouth full: “How Today’s Highly Affluent U.S. Consumer Selects Luxury Real Estate Associates and Brokerages”. Reading it is always an education as 5 years of recession changed consumers’ mindsets, motivations, expectations and market sensibilities. Today’s luxury buyers and sellers know the difference between acts and empty promises, between the brokers who can deliver and those who wish they could, although they are not sharing the scoop with their clients.
Because, as the study suggests, high net worth individuals are savvy and used to conducting their own research online on domestic and international markets, agents must be able to serve as a resource by having both a global perspective and an even greater store of research and information at their fingertips. Few do. Few can. That goes especially for service, which is predicated on the brokerage’ and the agent’s ability to market globally high-end properties in high-end ways.
The wealthy, today, want to feel that they have made an instant profit the day they close on a purchase. And they know what they are talking about. The access to internet research has empowered them to access information which previously resided only with the professionals. The luxury market is not to be confused with all other price segments. Six out of ten consumers say that an agent who specializes in high-end real estate is important to them. They want their agent to be affiliated with a strong organization and network. Intero, through Luxury Portfolio International’s website, helps its agents meet this criterion as about 85% of the property listings from all over the globe are priced over $1M.
According to the White Paper, internet presence, high visibility print and reporting tools are key. 71% of the affluent consumers say that it is critical for their listings to appear in Google search results. 48% wish to see placements in Unique Homes and 47% in the Wall Street Journal. 38% say representation in the DuPont Registry is important. Consumers are also interested in receiving customized and personalized reports showing where their property is being marketed.
The bottom line, according to the White Paper? Good reporting on all marketing tools and services is critical. We should note in that respect that Luxury Portfolio International is the only luxury real estate program that gives agents the ability to report on comprehensive listing metrics, from inquiries and views down to which city, state, country a visitor came from and even what language or currency they use. It is as good as Luxury Marketing gets.