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Luxury Home Marketing: Network with Your Competition

Mar 16, 2013

Posted by

Laurie Moore-Moore

Laurie Moore-Moore is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, an international training and membership organization for agents who work in the upper tier. The Institute offers Read more

As you become more and more involved in the luxury market, one of your greatest resources will be other agents who work in the upper-tier.  Yes, you compete for prospects, but you will also find that lots of benefits come from networking.

In many markets, luxury agents are formalizing their interactions and creating networking groups which tour each other’s listings and provide written feedback, share wants and needs, provide vendor referrals to one another, and cooperate in a variety of other ways. You may want to establish or be part of such a group in the future.  For starters, put some informal networking to work for you.

Here’s how you can begin to enjoy the benefits of networking with other top upper-tier sales professionals in your market.

1.  Start by identifying who is really listing and selling in the upper-tier. When you take the time to look closely at who is doing the business, you may find names you thought would be on the list are not, and others you weren’t aware of who do lots of upscale business.  Access your MLS information and do an analysis of who has the top properties in your market and create a list of luxury market agents.

2.  If you have a luxury listing, send brochures and notes to agents on this list.  Also send them a personal invitation to a broker open or invite them to preview your listing.  When you co-broke with someone on the list, send a “nice to work with a pro” note.  If you find a really interesting article which relates to the luxury market, send a copy with “thought you’d find this interesting” note.

3.  Attend their broker opens and introduce yourself.  Preview their properties (you need to know the inventory anyway).  In short, work to build positive relationships with the agents who are doing business in the market segment where you want to work.

This will pay off in lots of ways.  You will show and sell each other’s listings.  You’ll discover there are certain agents with whom you enjoy working and who are eager to show and sell your listings, too.  Over time, you may even want to refer expired listings which you are about to lose to a competitor, who is willing to reciprocate.  At the very least, you’ll ultimately find that you have a resource group to turn to when you need a vendor referral or other bit of information.

An example of how informal networking can become formalized is the Luxury Home Marketing Group of the Triangle, in Raleigh/Durham (NC). 

The Group was formed in 2004, reacting to client feedback and recognizing than an inter-brokerage networking group of top luxury experts would be a powerful force in meeting client's needs.  The objective was to provide an unsurpassed network of the industry's top producing agents with home tours, unbiased feedback and monthly meetings.

The Group consists of ten successful agents from a variety of companies who meet every month and tour properties listed by agents in the group.  These are often situations where the listing agent would like group input on pricing, condition or other marketability factors. 

The Group approaches this touring process with style.  They use a white stretch limo to take them on tour.  Of course there is a Luxury Home Marketing Group sign on the side of the vehicle.  The limo wheels up to the subject properties, fourteen snappily dressed ladies pile out, tour the home and then off they go.  As you can imagine, this creates lots of buzz in the neighborhoods they visit.  Neighbors are calling home owners asking, “What was going on at your house this morning?  What’s the Luxury Home Marketing Group?”  This kind of word of mouth creates visibility for the group and creates business for its members.

More important, are the results of the tours.  Each agent provides written feedback to the listing agent, including positive recommendations that increase the home-seller's prospects for a quick and successful sale.  Suddenly, it isn’t just the listing agent saying, we need to adjust the price or we really need to stage your home -- she is backed up by a group of the area’s most knowledgeable upper-tier experts.  After the tour the group meets for a brief working lunch and discusses market conditions and brainstorms wants and needs.  This is business networking at its best.

It is not unusual for homes to sell within the "Luxury Home Marketing Group" as a direct result of the tour, with one member representing the seller and the other, the buyer. Members alert the group of their new listings or a request for a home matching specific buyer needs.  Members frequently have exclusive knowledge of unlisted available properties.

If the luxury market is one you are targeting, why not look for ways to network effectively with the competition?  Cooperation is a strategy which can result in the individuals who are working together outperforming those who don’t understand that networking can be a winning way to work.  Yes, these agents are competitors, but they are also important resources for each other.  Not only do they prosper through cooperation, their buyers and sellers also benefit from an improved level of service.