I spent every holiday during my childhood visiting my grandparents at their Miami Beach condo that was only three buildings away from the iconic Fontainebleau Hotel. Recently I was thrilled to be back on Florida’s East Coast, and this time by invitation only, for the Luxury Portfolio Summit at the Fontainebleau, a conference attended by national and international independent brokers and their agents who focus on real estate at the upper end of their communities.
My broker, Michael Saunders, is a member of the parent company, the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, which happens to be the largest network of independent real estate companies in the world.
The Performance Summit brought together top sales associates for three days of networking and sessions led by industry thought leaders.
What I learned was invaluable. Not only did I get insights into the modern-day luxury buyer (they aren’t the same people who flocked to Miami Beach during my grandparents era), but I also was reminded of how important it is to make a property stand out from other options on the market.
I thought you might be interested in my biggest takeaways from the summit:
Educate buyers quickly. The luxury buyers of today are smart and savvy. The average high-net-worth client has four homes, often including urban, beach, ski and weekend getaway properties. These buyers want to make educated purchases, so it’s important to give them the facts and figures up front, without fluff. They are busy people, and they don’t have much time to spare.
Build the brand. High-level listings call for more than the average marketing materials. The best real estate agents create a brand around the property that draws potential buyers in with each element of the campaign, from the brochure to the website. Everything should not only impress, but it should all work toward the overall integrated marketing campaign.
Deliver top-notch service. Build trust with your clients by putting their particular needs first and communicating clearly. Boutique brokerage firms like Michael Saunders and other members of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World are perfectly positioned to build trust with their clients because they value personal interactions and individual satisfaction over quantity.
Welcome international buyers. Many of today’s luxury buyers, particularly in Sarasota, are not from the United States. Since many are based in Europe and Asia, they often send a surrogate or work through a lawyer to do initial research and even complete the purchase of a property. The best real estate agents learn to work successfully directly with buyers and through intermediaries.
Embrace independence. Luxury buyers are turning away from big real estate companies in favor of boutique firms like Michael Saunders because they are hyper-focused locally and they know these firms can offer better, more personalized service. And we’re seeing this trend echoing throughout the luxury market, as consumers are choosing hip, independent hotels over chains and choosing stylish, smaller fashion brands over powerhouse labels.
The Performance Summit was a wonderful opportunity to meet with top international brokers and learn more about the changing world of luxury buyers. But perhaps my favorite piece of information I picked up is this: Discerning luxury buyers will increasingly seek out firms like Michael Saunders because we have a reputation for delivering what they want – the very best.