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— by Hana LaRock

The Pros and Cons of Marketing Yourself as a “Luxury Real Estate Agent” When You’re Not

Marketing can take all kinds of forms, and some people will go to whatever means necessary to make a sale, regardless of how extreme their marketing tactics are. In terms of real estate, there are many ways in which an agent can market him or herself to attract a broader audience as well as certain demographic of clients that will inevitably get you paid more. To do this, many brokers ask the question whether or not they can market themselves as a luxury real estate agent, even though they are considered more “commercial.” No matter what your opinion is, we’ve going to take a look at this controversial topic more in depth to perhaps see if people can be swayed the other way. 

What Defines a “Luxury Real Estate Agent?” 

When you hear the word “luxury,” you know what that term entails. Luxury homes can’t really be explained — you just need to see one to know it belongs in that category. They may be homes that have a spectacular view of the city or water, a home that’s built and filled with only the best materials, or a condo that comes with only the best amenities. Of course, location is a big part of it, and depending on where you work, the value of a luxury home may be much different than it would be somewhere else. Ultimately, agents who are selling luxurious homes are essentially selling homes that have a much higher price tag on them. A higher price tag means, of course, a higher fee for your services.  

The Pros of Marketing Yourself as a Luxury Real Estate Agent 

If you market yourself as a luxury real estate agent, then you can attract high-end clients. Many people argue that it doesn’t really matter if you can be defined as a luxury agent or not, because at the end of the day, as long as the client likes you and wants to work with you, that’s the most important thing. It doesn’t take much of an extra effort to market yourself as a luxury real estate agent, as long as you’re confident about what you’re doing.  

If you’re not sure, think about the first home you ever closed on. Most brokers will recall that they didn’t really know what they were doing then, but whatever they did, they were successful. Everyone needs to start somewhere, so there’s no reason you can’t start here and “dress for the job you want.” Sometimes, the best way to learn is by experience, and if you give it a go and you’re successful, then you’ll be rewarded with a lot more money than usual.  

 But, is the whole “fake it ’til you make it” thing really okay to do in this industry? Here’s why some may disagree. 

The Cons of Marketing Yourself as a Luxury Real Estate 

If the only reason you’d ever consider marketing yourself as a luxury real estate agent is because of the money, then take a step back. Agents may get paid more off a single listing when they work in luxury real estate, but they may also have fewer listings altogether. If a transaction falls through on a commercial listing, a broker is able to pick him or herself back up rather quickly. But, this isn’t quite the case with luxury listings, and if you can’t close a deal, you might be struggling financially for quite some time thereafter. After all, if you’re not actually qualified, it can be quite a risk. 

And, speaking of qualifications, there are certifications for luxury agents, like the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist certification, or CLHMS. Though it’s not necessarily required, those who don’t get it may feel as though they are scamming the system, which may affect their authenticity. 

Tips for Those on the Fence 

These days, things are much different than they were twenty, ten, or even five years ago. Today, people can essentially be and do whatever they want, without necessarily needing to go through the training or courses to do so. For instance, there are people today becoming web designers, coders, or even TV stars, without even having an ounce of experience — and they are getting paid loads to do it. The same goes for real estate agents who want to try their hand at luxury listings and branding themselves as a luxury agent. The best advice is to learn as much as possible about this particular subset of the industry, before you get in too deep. See how it goes, but keep your commercial properties readily available in case it’s not working out as well as you had hoped. 

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