5 Success Tips on How to Get the Luxury Business

Your Ticket Just Might be the Tennis Pro

July 1, 1998

You don’t have to be born into wealth to market yourself to high-end buyers.

John Cotton says, “I wasn't a bit wealthy while growing up.” But he has managed to build a business, Cotton Real Estate, Osterville, Mass., working with luxury buyers on Cape Cod.

Here are some of his success strategies:

  • Build relationships with people who serve high-end buyers, because they’re in a position to refer you. They could be the local golf pro, the person who restrings tennis rackets, or the salesperson at the Mercedes or Porsche dealership. “I recently found a $3 million buyer through a guy who works at the boatyard.”
  • Take classes in taxes, surveying, and appraising so that you can talk intelligently about your marketplace. Build up a knowledge of what has happened in your market the past two years.
  • Improve the quality of everything you regularly do for real estate. For instance, upgrade the paper and print quality of all your marketing pieces and newsletters. Instead of just putting a mailing label on your envelope, use a handwritten envelope.
  • Write newsletters, newspaper articles, and press releases. Writers are perceived as experts, and the more you get published, the more you are perceived as an expert. “I write articles about the high-end market, and people who are interested in luxury real estate will read those articles and tie them to me.”
  • Locate your office among high-end stores or boutiques, and don’t make it look like a typical real estate office. “Our office atmosphere is that of a gallery and draws people as they walk by. Your office becomes one of your marketing tools.”

Elyse Umlauf-Garneau is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former senior editor with REALTOR® Magazine.

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