The 5 home features milliennials love

How the emerging affluent buyer is choosing where to live

It seems like just yesterday that the millennials were considered tomorrow’s emerging affluents. Now, many are in their mid-to-late thirties and constitute an ever-increasing share of the luxury real estate market. Some millennials may be looking to enter the market for the first time, while others are established homeowners and perhaps already looking for second or third properties.

But regardless of their age or real estate experience, many members of this generation desire similar things in their dream homes. Here, three top real estate agents give a glimpse into the five features millennials look for first.

1. Streamlined, convenient living

Convenience comes in many forms, but it’s always a leading consideration for millennials. “They are looking for ease of maintenance and prefer full-service condominiums versus townhomes, with a gym and swimming pool in the building and rooftops for entertaining,” says Mae Bagai, Global Real Estate Advisor and Associate Broker with Sotheby’s International Realty in New York. “If they can afford it, they will solely focus on new constructions which include smart home integration for their appliances and devices.”

Elliot Machado, Broker Associate with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, sees similar demands in the Miami market, with amenities such as rooftop pools, dedicated entertainment spaces, and gyms driving buyers to certain buildings. “The attention to detail and quality of the build are really starting to be focused on,” he says. “This is a big plus for the millennial buyer and just the overall market.”

In Denver, where detached homes are still popular among millennials, Kylie Russell, Broker Associate with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty likewise sees a strong demand for intelligent, connected technology. “Another feature that I see buyers seeking — if square footage allows — is a home office space,” she says. And if their condos won’t allow space for an office, her clients opt to live close to work.

2. Urban settings

That leads to another top priority for millennials: location. “It’s a lifestyle identity for millennials,” says Machado. “Some of my buyers’ decisions can change if they’re even a couple of blocks away from the action.”

Bagai has buyers who will limit their search to specific blocks to be near their offices. “In Manhattan in particular, we are seeing millennials wanting to live downtown — particularly Chelsea and Flatiron, as there is an influx of tech companies in those neighborhoods,” she says. “Both locations are centrally located and walking distance to the best restaurants, lounges, shopping, parks, fitness facilities, and major transportation.”

While millennial buyers in markets like Miami and New York opt for condos in the city center over larger homes out in the suburbs, the trend of downtown living extends to more outdoorsy markets like Denver.

“I see a lot of my millennial clients choosing to buy closer-in, prioritizing location over square footage, but also seeking nearby parks, trails, and easy access to public transportation,” says Russell. “Being able to walk to at least a few restaurants and bars is a top priority to my younger clients; and bonus points for walkability to coffee shops and yoga studios where they feel like they belong to a community.”

3. Built for socializing

luxury living area interior

This desire for a sense of community is another critical consideration for millennials, who seek places that let them nurture their pastimes. “Whatever their passions are, they want their home to complement and enhance it,” says Russell.

Because this demographic is so socially inclined, open-concept spaces are still very much in vogue. Bagai cites open kitchen layouts as one of the main things her millennial clients look for, as does Machado. And he has a theory as to why that is. “Being able to cook in an open gourmet kitchen that flows seamlessly into the living spaces means millennials never have FOMO, or ‘fear of missing out,’” he says.

Young affluent buyers also tend to spend more money on creating memories, as opposed to amassing possessions, and Russell sometimes notices this in the properties they choose. “I see my millennial buyers being a bit conservative on their budget and seeking to buy below their means in order to save money for travel, experiences, and long-term plans.”

4. Room to grow

Many millennials are thinking long-term and big-picture, for themselves and for future generations. “My millennial buyers, like most buyers, want a place they are proud to call home — a place that has longevity and gives them the flexibility to grow as they get their first pet, have roommates, couple up, and maybe even start a family,” says Russell. “They are ambitious and up for DIY projects that help differentiate their home. They grew up with HGTV and are not intimidated to do work.”

This eagerness to renovate doesn’t apply in all markets, as Bagai notes that many of her clients have multiple residences around the world and are looking for turnkey smart homes that require as little work as possible. However, there’s a consensus that millennials are more aware of environmental problems than their predecessors, and place more emphasis on sustainability.

“LEED-certified, energy-efficient buildings and homes are important to my clients,” says Bagai. It seems that when millennials think long-term, they’re not only thinking of their own personal wellbeing, but the planet’s as well.

5. Outdoor access

luxury patio

Knowing that preserving the planet is of high value to millennials, it’s not surprising that this generation prizes greater access to green spaces. Russell mentioned that her clients often want homes near trails and parks — but it goes further than that. “More than ever, my clients are into gardening,” she says. “We see a lot more composting and an increasing number of buyers that want chickens.” And in Denver, clients are often able to choose between detached housing with a yard or a condo or townhome with amazing rooftop mountain views.

Downtown-dwellers in Miami and New York may have to settle for houseplants — and their affinity for them is well-documented. But they also want to feel the fresh air. “A big expectation for my market is larger terraces that open up and seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living,” says Machado.

To engage, anticipate

Millennials have high expectations of their agents, as well as their homes. For agents, this means leaning on the time-honored tradition of responsiveness. “They’re looking for efficiency and streamlining in their homebuying process,” says Bagai of her younger clients. “They want quick response times and someone who understands their lifestyle and needs.”

This generation prefers to communicate with agents by text, not email or phone, and Russell utilizes group chats to ensure all her clients are on the same page. She also relies on video chat apps like Marco Polo where videos can be rewatched multiple times — helpful for clients reviewing footage of a potential home. Machado, for his part, leverages automation. “For me, it’s all about personalization and creating real-time e-alerts so they get the right properties directly to their phones,” he says. “I always try to stay as innovative as possible to add value.”

No matter what your millennial buyers are looking for, providing exemplary service tailored to their preferences ensures that you’ll be with them when they find it.



Source: The 5 home features millennials love, Leading in Luxury, Inman

Trending interior designs in 3 different markets

The styles you should know about to better advise your clients

All great designs start somewhere. Tastes that seem universal across global luxury markets are inevitably inspired by unique, trendy micro markets. So what types of interior decoration should you be paying attention to as you advise your clients and prepare your next listing?

Three leading agents share their insights based on the neighborhoods where they work, live, and list.

Going nautical on the Emerald Coast

luxury home interiorScenic Sotheby’s International Realty

Seaside luxury living has always had a signature look, but the upscale beach community of Florida’s Emerald Coast has its own understated flair.

“Our market is a very intentional play on the Hamptons’ refined luxury, but a southern take,” says Blake Jones, Owner and Partner of the Carroll Jones Beckman Team with Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty. “Interiors are unadorned yet comfortable, encapsulating the feeling of true luxury in a non-pretentious way.”

Rustic woods and linens come together with clean, sleek lines to create an interplay of old and new, hard and soft, worn and smooth. “The look is a mix of traditional and farmhouse finishes, combined with light colors like grey and white,” says Jones. “All of this is set against a backdrop of white monochromatic paints on shiplap, or pecky cypress wood for surfaces and wall coverings.”

When new trends do make their way into this classic oceanfront design style, they’re subtle and on-theme — for instance, Jones has noticed slightly bolder colors, such as naval blues, bringing another level of depth to these spaces.

“I’m also starting to see more contrasting elements in structural components,” he says. “There’s more brass hardware and waterfall countertops to push a more contemporary finish. It will be interesting to see if this stays the course.”

Crafting calm transitional spaces in Palo Alto

luxury home exteriorGolden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

When John and Gloria Young, Real Estate Professionals and Developers with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, transferred from the luxury markets in New York City to Palo Alto and Atherton, the first thing they noticed was the emphasis on indoor-outdoor living.

“I was initially amazed at what new options there were,” says John. “People dine outside year-round, walls slide open to connect living rooms with decks, and residents don’t worry about condensation around their skylights in winter.”

In Palo Alto, an abundance of glass bridges the gap between a home’s interiors and its natural surroundings, while plenty of greenery helps to create a sense of privacy. And more often than not, these glass walls and panels can be moved to open new possibilities.

“Transitional outdoor spaces increasingly blur the line — if you have a ceiling with lights, heat lamps, and speakers, but no walls, are you inside or out?” posits John. “And when this space now lies between your airy living room with a retractable wall and your pool area, you can choose where on the spectrum of indoor-outdoor you really want to be.”

While the exteriors of Palo Alto’s high-end homes present an eclectic mix — “a modern farmhouse stands comfortably between a Victorian mansion and a transitional Mediterranean villa, while facing a modernist masterpiece,” describes Young — interior design usually tends toward minimalism.

“Today’s buyers in Palo Alto and Atherton do not have uniform tastes, but most prefer more simplicity and cleanliness than twenty years ago,” notes John. “Perhaps it is the influence of the Apple Store, or a desire to declutter life, or perhaps the home acts as a respite from demanding jobs in the tech industry, but calm is definitely in.”

Redefining tradition in Dallas and Fort Worth

luxury home interiorBriggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Sam Saladino, Global Real Estate Advisor at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, recalls when he first moved into his market: “Dallas and Fort Worth homeowners are very house proud, and it was amazing to come across so many homes where the original architecture and furnishings were still in situ,” he says. “Whether mid-century modern or Hollywood Regency, many of these homes provide excellent templates for thoughtful restoration and renovation.”

In the Dallas and Fort Worth market, the interior décor of each home echoes its distinct history, even as more modern elements are added. “Buyers in our market seek substantial, well-designed properties with a sense of permanence,” he says. “So many homes here are from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and immaculately kept in their original condition.”

The key, of course, is to keep them authentic. “If it’s mid-century, then it should have great sight-lines and natural materials; if it’s French, then it must reflect the best fixtures and finishes of a hôtel particulier,” says Saladino. “Yet the Dallas interior design community has an appetite for everything from the most cutting-edge to the most restrained classicism, all layered with global touches and textures, and juxtaposed with contemporary art and furnishings.”

Simplicity with a global focus

Today’s luxury design trends share an international aesthetic, regardless of market. In Palo Alto, neutrals act as a base for creativity. “It’s more common to see new constructions with neutral tones, soft golds, and clean smooth lines, but the motifs and styles referenced throughout can be quite varied,” says John. “Our buyers tend to be global in their backgrounds and tastes.”

Since the Emerald Coast is primarily a second-home market, many of Jones’s clients are likewise looking for move-in ready properties that feel both familiar and one-of-a-kind. “When they come here, they want clean and simple,” he says. “Our buyers are generally very busy individuals and are looking for turnkey options to create their true family getaway.”

“People here travel, stay informed, and are hungry for the latest in architecture, fashion, art, and design. It’s a true melting pot of influences,” says Saladino of Dallas and Fort Worth. “Collecting and commissioning works from artists across all socioeconomic backgrounds has been a great driver of diversity and design inspiration for my clients.”

It’s understanding trends like these — intercultural, while simultaneously local and authentic — that will help you attract the right buyers for the right homes, and deliver the best results for your sellers.



Source: Leading in Luxury, Inman, Trending Interior Designs in 3 Different Markets

3 tips to create email marketing your clients will actually read

How to rise above the noise in a crowded inbox

Email is a staple of office productivity, and one of the easiest ways for real estate agents to engage their spheres of influence. But it’s just as easy to alienate clients and teams with marketing emails that miss the mark and fail to deliver value in exchange for your readers’ time. How can you reconcile these two conflicting truths, and deliver regular content that is a benefit to your clients, colleagues, and prospects?

It takes vision, strategy, and diligence, but it can be done. Here are actionable recommendations from two leading agents who have found a way to make email marketing work wonders.

Create a database — or several

Luxury home libraryDaniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty

Skylar Champion, Global Real Estate Advisor with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty in Dallas, Texas, maintains a database of her complete network, featuring over 25,000 names and addresses — but she’s quick to qualify that she would only rarely send an email to everyone at the same time.

“Targeting who I send emails to depending on what the content is has made all the difference in the effectiveness of each campaign,” she says. “I have a database of California agents that I may send an email to regarding a specific listing, or I might send an email to a small number of clients in a specific area that may be interested in a certain type of home. I sometimes send an email to my entire sphere regarding an upcoming event or market data.” She adds, “I only email open house information if someone requests it.”

To enhance email effectiveness, she advises agents to start making a database, cataloging each address in their network with specific tags so that they can quickly pull together a list of potential buyers, top agents, brokerages, and any other contacts they might need to reach out to.

But ultimately, having multiple streams of email content makes the biggest difference. Nikki Sturges, Global Real Estate Advisor at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Huntington, New York, uses this tactic to streamline her communication. “My advice would be to create a database of your real estate colleagues, your family and friends, and your clients, and then create three templates that offer the reader a concise and thought-provoking summary for everything they need to know about you, your listing, and your market,” she advises.

Depending on the goal of the email, Champion has different lists that she sends emails to as well. This purposefulness has gotten her some great outcomes. “I was able to sell a home directly from one of my emails,” she recalls. “I sent one out about hip neighborhoods and my buyer fell in love with one of the homes on that list. It resulted in a sale.”

Add value with variety, but keep it relevant

There are certain elements that enable email campaigns to perform better, capturing the attention of their recipients and delivering real meaning to clients and contacts. “Overall, visual elements are the most important aspect of my email marketing, with videos being the most popular items in terms of clicks and shares,” says Sturges.

She identifies three key topics that her correspondences tend to cover:

  1. News that may impact her sphere of influence in their decision to buy or sell properties in the current market.
  2. Calls to action regarding any recent or relevant listings, ensuring that her colleagues and buyers are aware of any adjustments in prices.
  3. Personal, authentic stories — whether it’s professional tips on handling negotiations, or something interesting in the neighborhood.

Sturges and Champion abide by the same simple rule—quality over quantity—curating bespoke, meaningful messaging that reaches the right audiences at the right time. “I send both marketing emails for listings, as well as branding emails, which include market stats, holiday e-blasts, business updates, and other important and pertinent information,” says Champion.

“The most important element is creating something of value to be delivered to your audience,” she elaborates. “No one wants to receive emails from you every week about generic information that doesn’t pertain to them.” Champion, therefore, goes to great lengths to think empathetically, and question what information her contacts will genuinely enjoy.

Sturges agrees that tact and consideration are critical. “I have a surprisingly receptive audience, but it starts by my getting permission to email my clients from the outset,” she says.

The medium makes the message

luxury living room interiorBriggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Changing audience behaviors and digital platforms are transforming how people connect with campaigns — something that Sturges has kept an eye on. “Email marketing is constantly evolving, and this year I’ve been monitoring the increase of emails being read on a mobile device or tablet. It’s over 60%,” she says. “So my presentation and templates have been adapted to the screen size.”

She has also integrated her email marketing into her client relationship management (CRM) system, which notifies her automatically of who she needs to reach out to, as well as when and why.

This relates to one of the biggest benefits of digital communication for luxury agents: the ability to collect and analyze data, and track campaign success in real time.

How readers respond to your emails can show you how to adjust and tailor them in the future. “I fully understand the power of email marketing due to a recent ask for help I made on behalf of a charitable event,” notes Sturges. “The email became the most shared of the month and I even had clients calling to ask what more they could do.” It’s capabilities like these that enable top agents to differentiate themselves and ensure that email remains a reliable, versatile tool for delivering value to a large and diverse network.


Skylar Champion
Global Real Estate Advisor
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty


Nikki Sturges
Global Real Estate Advisor
Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty


Source: 3 tips to create email marketing your clients will actually read – Inman

The 4 industry conferences top producers never miss

How to make the most of your convention calendar

With busy schedules and set budgets, it can be challenging for agents to choose which annual conferences to attend from among the myriad options available. Which gatherings will yield the most useful learnings and the best opportunities to connect with peers?

Michael Valdes, REALOGY

There’s no surefire way to know which event will deliver the greatest benefit for your practice, but one rule holds true: you get out what you put in. “I think the right conferences provide an excellent return on investment if the agent is invested in the process,” says Michael Valdes, Senior Vice President of Global Servicing at REALOGY.

With investment in mind, we spoke with three leaders in real estate to hear their insights on how to make the most of any convention — and their recommendations on the industry conferences agents should have on their radars.

A conference tour de force

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

One of the value-adds of conferences is that they often take you to other cities, granting you a chance to visit global real estate hubs where you may represent a property or homebuyer in the future. “Those events that have an international component to them are the most rewarding,” says Valdes.

For luxury agents, here are some favorite stops on the conference circuit:

  • The National Association of REALTORSⓇ Conference & Expo is a November tradition that offers hundreds of sessions and features learnings from the industry’s top experts. It’s an excellent opportunity to network with both national and international peers, as the conference attracts some 1,500 global guests.
  • MIPIM is high on the list for many luxury agents. The annual event takes place in March at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, and connects high-level professionals from across the entire real estate value chain. The nearly 27,000 participants include financial institutions and investors, developers, tech innovators, and business leaders, among many others.
  • As the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) understands, there’s an ever-growing roster of Asian luxury buyers who are investing globally in high-end real estate. The AREAA Global & Luxury Summit is therefore a unique opportunity to make inroads with this exclusive market.
  • The annual Inman Luxury Connect conference is the perfect milieu for luxury agents looking to focus in on the issues that affect the higher end of the real estate market. Not only can you meet fellow luxury professionals, but break-out sessions and immersive discussions ensure that agents are receiving information and connections that can directly lead to new business. Stay an extra day or two to catch the broader Inman Connect Las Vegas conference, where franchise executives, marketers, and tech entrepreneurs all come together to trade business cards and expertise.

Tye Stockton,

LIV Sotheby’s
International Realty

“Industry conferences have been vital to my success,” says Tye Stockton, Global Real Estate Advisor with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. “In a small community like Vail, having the ability to tap into knowledge and talent outside of our market has been a great way to bring a fresh approach to my buyers and sellers.”

Conferences provide an opportunity to expand your horizons — literally and figuratively — through traveling abroad and connecting with colleagues from outside your own niche. Stockton says he averages three to four conferences per year, though if you haven’t been in the business for long, it can be in your best interests to register more often.

“Newer agents should be attending as much as possible, as their learning curve is more important,” notes Joel Schemmel, J.D., REALTORⓇ with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.

Bigger isn’t always better

Joel Schemmel, J.D.,

Premier Sotheby’s
International Realty

A smaller-scale conference may not have the pomp and circumstance of the year’s major events, but they can be just as educational. They’re often thematically designed to target select issues, and may speak to a challenge you’re experiencing in your own day-to-day.

“I have attended large and small conferences and have found the smaller regional conferences sponsored by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates to pack in a lot of valuable information,” says Stockton. “They tend to have a meaningful and targeted message most relevant to expanding my marketing offerings and deal negotiations.”

Likewise, Schemmel is a regular at real estate seminars because of the specialized lens they provide — whether it’s examining the intricacies of 1031 exchanges or working with international clients. “The most beneficial seminar I attended recently was on Ninja Selling,” he recalls. “It was almost a full week, and was interesting for me, as an experienced and high-volume agent, to see how many aspects of my business could be refined.”

Ask the experts

Luxury home dining room interior

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

Networking with other agents at conferences is a good opportunity to grow your sphere of influence and lay the groundwork for future referrals. To that end, Valdes recommends seeking out agents in your direct feeder markets. But the greatest benefits are the connections you can forge with other industries. “Ancillary allies like finance and legal are important to have so that you can offer consumers a ‘one-stop’ deliverable,” he says. “That’s going the extra mile for a client.”

For Stockton, building these connections at conferences has been critical to his business. “I consider these contacts to be personal consultants to my business, and I stay in regular contact with several I have met,” he says. “Don’t think of conferences and networking as a referral source but rather as a best practice opportunity. What you learn will make you successful every day, unlike a referral, which may deliver a good piece of business once.”

As Schemmel points out, conferences should never be a passive exercise. “Just going and listening is not going to do it,” he says. “You need to attend with the goal of learning and building your network. Only with effort and commitment will you reap the benefits.” Most importantly, you can then share those benefits with your colleagues, your team, and of course, your clients.

Source: The 4 industry conferences top producers never miss – Inman

Beyond leads: What are other metrics of real estate marketing success? 

When it comes to spreading a message in the luxury real estate space, agents are often covering familiar ground. They treasure each and every existing client and spend time and resources nurturing those relationships — yet bringing in new leads is what truly keeps businesses alive.

When it comes to spreading a message in the luxury real estate space, agents are often covering familiar ground. They treasure each and every existing client and spend time and resources nurturing those relationships — yet bringing in new leads is what truly keeps businesses alive. So how can agents ensure they’re reaching the broad yet exclusive audience they want? How can they guarantee that their marketing efforts are really working?

Frank and Dawn Bodenchak

Frank and Dawn Bodenchak

Looking at lead generation is the most basic indicator that outreach is being received by the right stakeholders. But Frank and Dawn Bodenchak, Real Estate Professionals with Sotheby’s International Realty in Bridgehampton, New York, recognize that today’s marketing can go so much further. Gone are the days when agents put their promotional materials out into the world and wait passively to hear back: the digital age has brought better data-driven metrics that help agents get a much more granular look at how their content is performing. Here are some of the key performance indicators to keep an eye on.

Start with simple math

It’s still important to begin with the essentials. “I track the number of phone and email inquiries on a listing, the number of showing requests per week, and the percentage conversion of showings into interested parties,” says Frank Bodenchak of his monitoring process. In luxury real estate, metrics like these have always been the easiest way to see, at a glance, whether your marketing efforts are generating the results you want.

But there are two more simple stats that ought to be monitored: the number of days a home has been on the market, and the number of showings per home. “If you aren’t getting enough showings, or if showings aren’t generating offers, then marketing, product offering, and price need to be revisited to improve these metrics,” notes Dawn Bodenchak. The longer a property sits, the likelier potential buyers will expect that either the seller will lower the price or that there is something amiss with the home.

No one likes to wait

luxury kitchen interior

Sotheby’s International Realty – Bridgehampton Brokerage

If you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system, chances are it’s measuring how often you correspond with your leads and clients, and reminding you periodically to follow up with them. If you’re not using a CRM system, then it’s critical to proactively track your email, phone, and in-person exchanges.

The Bodenchaks make a habit of always tracking response time — how much time has elapsed since a lead’s initial inquiry. The average response time, according to one study by Inside Real Estate, is about 15 hours and 30 minutes, though research has also shown that a staggering 48% of inquiries fall through the cracks.

You also need to be cognizant of the time that elapses between follow-ups, which, surprisingly, is reported to be the most overlooked aspect of real estate lead generation. By closing these gaps, agents will easily start to see a growing number of qualified leads.

Make the most of online

“We still use magazine ads for brand awareness and reminding buyers and brokers about a listing, but the first line of contact is internet-based,” says Frank Bodenchak. “Over the past decade, we’ve moved away from relying on print for information dissemination to relying on email blasts, real estate search engines, and social media.”

Google Analytics is a fundamental way to watch your web traffic. You can review how many people visit your site and track their browsing behavior. For instance, keeping an eye on your bounce rate will inform how quickly visitors leave your site after they arrive. You’ll also be able to assess which of your pages are the most popular. Adding these metrics to your marketing rubric gives you the bigger picture of how your efforts are succeeding.

Frank and Dawn Bodenchak have seen firsthand the benefits that social media brings to their marketing. Facebook and Instagram provide feedback to help agents monitor their social channels, stay notified on engagement and responses, and maintain real-time marketing awareness. “By switching to a business account on Instagram, we are now receiving all kinds of key insights from posts,” says Frank Bodenchak. “Beyond likes and comments, Instagram tells us the gender, age, and location of our audience. With even a small budget for online marketing, we can make an impact.”

The basics still apply

Luxury living room interior

Sotheby’s International Realty – Bridgehampton Brokerage

“Know the landscape, know the pricing, and know the product — and most importantly, know how the product can be adapted to work for a buyer,” says Dawn Bodenchak. “The metrics we use to evaluate our marketing success may not have changed, but the means to achieve them have.” Now there are more tools in agents’ inventory to make sure that their strategies are successful — and, by extension, that their leads, prospects, and clients enjoy the best service possible.

Source: Beyond leads: What are other metrics of real estate marketing success? – Inman

You’ve landed an exclusive off-market listing. Now what?

How to make the most of every exclusive opportunity

As someone who enjoys a challenge, there’s nothing more invigorating for me than handling a one-of-a-kind, off-market sale. They’re not easy; and because of their exclusive nature, they won’t necessarily help you build your CV.

As someone who enjoys a challenge, there’s nothing more invigorating for me than handling a one-of-a-kind, off-market sale. They’re not easy; and because of their exclusive nature, they won’t necessarily help you build your CV. But they will help you build your reputation and contacts within the industry, even if it’s only with a select circle. And for real estate professionals, being trusted to provide such a high level of care, tact, and sensitivity is a reward in itself.

Know why your client is choosing off-market

There are many reasons why individuals want to keep their real estate transactions out of the public eye; but of course, the most common scenario you’ll encounter in the luxury space is that you’re working with high-profile, high-net-worth clients. They expect privacy, and they neither want nor need the notoriety of having their luxury property on the active market.

There are other cases that need to be handled with care. For example, there may be clients who need to keep their names and addresses out of market listings for reasons of personal security. These instances are relatively rare, but the key principle is the same: you cannot be too protective of your client’s interests.

In some ways, off-market sales like this run counter to the prevailing ethos of the real estate industry, which prides itself on openness and transparency. Ideally, listings should be public knowledge, and so should information regarding the prices paid for properties. However, there are extenuating circumstances to consider when selling off-market, and it’s the job of real estate professionals to ensure their clients are their priority.

With that in mind, here are three rules that can help agents manage their own off-market listings.

1. Be clear about the level of confidentiality

Luxury Home exterior

Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

Sometimes, concepts like confidentiality and privacy can seem relative. Are you allowed to talk about the property or the sale in anonymized terms? Can you circulate photographs to prospects? Can you promote the home on a password-protected site? It’s worth having that conversation with all sellers, agents, and brokers you’re working with, so that you know which lines not to cross.

For many off-market luxury listings, the answer to these questions is a resounding no. All parties involved in the transaction will often be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and that means no coverage online, no coverage in the press, and no public listing. I’ve had high-end clients who list the name of an LLC or trust on their deeds, or else have their attorney sign the document.

2. Network proactively with colleagues

Off-market listings can seem like the ultimate catch-22: the client wants to sell their property, but they don’t want you to show it to anyone. So, what do you do?

It’s critical to maintain strong relationships with your clients so that they enlist your help with their off-market sales, but it’s also essential to build and nurture a network of agents and brokers who can connect you to the right buyers.

Everywhere I travel, I reach out to my affiliated real estate offices to connect with local agents. I value building new professional relationships, creating a roster of colleagues who represent affluent clients and to whom I can turn when an exclusive opportunity arises. It’s important to know off the top of your head which of your peers may have a matching buyer for your off-market property, and contact them directly. There are no “six degrees of separation” in the world of off-market listings. There are maybe two or three, at most.

Another challenge is that you’re unable to produce and distribute the types of marketing materials you might be used to. As an alternative, you may be able to raise awareness with an exclusive event to which you would only invite your most trusted circle of colleagues. For instance, I’ve hosted a cocktail party at one of my own under-the-radar listings.

Proactive networking has been a priority for me over the last 30 years, and it’s served me well. If you’re a newer agent, it’s never too late to begin.

3. Always practice diligence and discretion

Luxury Home interior

Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

Lastly, I want to reiterate that representing an off-market listing is a serious responsibility, and must be handled with delicacy, decency, and common sense. It might be tempting to tell others in your sphere of influence that you’ve closed a multimillion-dollar deal — but don’t. All luxury agents want, and need, this type of business on their books, and just because you can’t talk about it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Trust that the right contacts know about it. There is never a need to brag.

The golden rule is to always ask, “What’s in the best interest of my client?” Let that guide your thinking and your process, keep your word, and stick with the program. The goal of any professional in the luxury real estate space is to provide the best possible service to buyers and sellers. That doesn’t change when dealing with an off-market listing; if anything, it becomes more imperative — and, perhaps, more exciting.

K. Ann Brizolis,
Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

Consistently ranked in the top 1/10 of 1% of all real estate agents in the United States as recognized in The Wall Street Journal, K. Ann Brizolis is the recipient of numerous sales achievement and consumer service awards. She collaborates with attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors to provide real estate expertise and to create a professional and team-oriented environment on behalf of her clients. She is highly respected by her peers and associates for her deep commitment to integrity and ethics and her contribution to the industry. A resident of Rancho Santa Fe for the past 33 years, Ann is recognized as a dedicated and knowledgeable community leader.


Source: You’ve landed an exclusive off-market listing. Now what? – Inman

How To Sell The Most ‘Luxury’ Home In The Neighborhood

When your listing is a cut above the rest, appealing to buyers takes a creative approach

It can be lonely at the top. But in the world of luxury real estate, it’s not uncommon for there to be a single home that stands apart from its peers, whether in the finish of its interiors, the character of its architecture, or the quality of its views and vantage points. The top home in a neighborhood isn’t lonely: it’s an opportunity.

Because the value of a home isn’t always apparent from looking at the house or counting the square footage, agents often need to stretch outside their usual patterns to sell these premium properties. That process has been top-of-mind for my own team, as we’ve focused our efforts not only on luxury beachfront homes in Florida, but on selling the top echelon within that market. After four years of honing this craft, here are a few of my favorite takeaways.

Tell a compelling story

Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty

When agents and clients look at a home, they don’t always see the same thing. Homebuyers can tend to focus on factors like cost: they may very well wonder why the house next door is on the market for $1,000 per square foot, while your listing is $2,500 per square foot. It’s your job as the agent to convey how a home’s design, construction, and view corridor set it apart.

That’s why it’s essential for us to speak the same language as our clients, know their tastes, and live their lifestyle. Buyers will be more receptive to an agent that speaks to them as a friend or colleague from the same community, rather than a real estate insider talking technicalities to an outsider. By being a connoisseur of luxury in your own life and sharing commonalities with your clients, you can help them better appreciate what makes your listing so unique, and why its price is right.

It’s really about telling the whole story, so that you not only craft a memorable and meaningful experience for your client but generate an emotional response. When we buy, we go with our gut as often as we trust our logic.

Bring them back to the property at sunset with a bottle of wine; let them see what it’s like to live in the home. By sharing the story of the property, you’re helping clients see past the cost, and to truly feel the magical moments they can create there with their family in the years to come.

Surpass expectations

Personalizing the homebuying experience is a hallmark of luxury real estate, and that’s even truer when presenting a property that outpaces its neighbors. That’s why I work with a team of interior designers who help ensure the homes I sell are tailored to my clients’ expectations and preferences.

Beyond staging a home, it can be just as effective for me to invite my designers along when I take my clients for a tour so that we can have a dialogue in real time about what each room could look like. That really builds excitement for buyers and helps them start to imagine the home, positioning themselves in it and thinking about it as if it’s already theirs.

Right now, the interior designers I work with are decorating a vacation home for one of my long-time clients, so that it feels festive when the family visits at Christmas. This is something I do for my prospects as well: Florida is very much a second-home market where people are looking for a place to spend the holidays. I make sure we do seasonal decorations in an authentic way to show them what they can look forward to when this home-away-from-home is theirs.

Cultivate patience

Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty

Connecting the right client with the right property can be a process. You’re working with an exclusive buyer pool who oftentimes are not locals. Expect your prospects to scope you out online for a long time before they actually begin their homebuying journey in earnest.

Like any luxury agent today, online marketing channels are a major focus for me and my team, to make sure that our properties can be viewed from anywhere, anytime. We invest in high-quality video to bring buyers closer to the listing — but we also like to hold back a bit. We’re very conscious about not showing potential buyers everything, so that even when they’ve read our content and watched our videos, they’re still excited to visit the home and complete their experience.

Finally, remember that luxury real estate is always a long play. Finding the right buyer takes time and effort, but once it happens, you’ll be building and nurturing that relationship for years. You become a trusted advisor, an on-call expert, a luxury concierge. In our market, it may take a while to close a sale, but when it happens, that’s not the end — it’s only beginning. And that may be my favorite thing about this business.


C.J. Adams

Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty

After graduating from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee with a BBA in Entrepreneurship, C.J. returned to his home state of Alabama and began a successful career in real estate development. In this position, he worked closely with builders, investors, and clients for several years before moving on as a marketing consultant for various architects and interior designers throughout the Southeast. In 2016, Adams made the switch to real estate sales throughout Walton County, Florida, using his wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects regarding the housing market to bring a well-rounded understanding of current trends in the real estate industry to his clients. The CJ Adams Team has eagerly grown their production within the niche communities they serve, and currently sit in the top 1% of agents in their market area.

Source: How To Sell The Most ‘Luxury’ Home In The Neighborhood – Inman

Trending interior décor styles that sell

The right look connects to buyers immediately, but it doesn’t require a huge change all at once

Of all the factors that influence a buyer’s decision to put in an offer on a home, there’s only one that sellers can fully control: how the home looks at first viewing. While clients may be used to hearing that they need to declutter and repaint rooms, they may not be fully aware of the impression their décor makes on a potential buyer — especially if they’ve already invested money in a specific look.

“In our area, everyone went crazy for the heavy ‘Tuscan-inspired’ style with lots of browns, golds, blacks, and speckled granites for about a decade in the early 2000s,” says Haley Rodriguez, REALTORⓇ and Luxury Home Specialist with Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in San Antonio, Texas. “When these houses hit the market now, buyers comment on how dated they are.”

Haley Rodriguez, REALTORⓇ and Luxury Home Specialist, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

Though you can’t go back in time, you can encourage sellers to make strategic changes that will create a more current feel that resonates with buyers. And the sooner they know, the better.

 “Whenever you have a gut feeling that the décor is outdated or overwhelming, or if something strikes you as very personal, custom, or is crowding or compromising a space, replace it,” advises Corey Crawford, Real Estate Professional with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty in Park City, Utah. “Your seller is going to need to mobilize everything anyway, so why not get ahead of the curve?”

Corey Crawford, Real Estate Professional, Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

Whether working with a seller to make improvements or recommending staging, get acquainted with the décor styles that will stop buyers in their tracks.

Calm and classic

Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

When it comes to selling homes, it’s hard to go wrong by sticking to the trends that resurface over seasons. “I’m seeing buyers getting excited about classics,” says Rodriguez. “Shapes that have stood the test of time: Barcelona chairs, Eames Lounge Chairs.”

Even the recently beloved gray walls are already out of style. Instead, buyers are responding to wall colors and décor that cultivate a light and bright feeling in a home. “White walls, simple countertops, neutral drapes and furnishings, neutral art — these traits always sell a house,” notes Rodriguez.

The only risk? Simplicity can read as uninviting when overdone. Rodriguez advises her clients to avoid cold rooms by adding soft lighting throughout and bringing in blacks and aged brass as complements. Simple lines, flat-front style sliding doors, accent pillows, and tall, modern baseboards can support more classic design. “Less is always more,” she says. And when in doubt, add greenery. “Interesting houseplants are so on trend, and they make the home feel alive.”

Mountain contemporary and industrial chic

“The best aesthetics I’ve seen have been the blend of mountain rustic with proper modern,” says Crawford of homes in Park City. “A style that is more timeless, with vintage and organic elements that present warmth. Handcrafted tiles that feel fully custom. Bespoke lighting that lends a low volt wash to a wall.”

He taps into the expertise of designers in his market to get a sense of what’s happening from a style perspective. “I’ve learned a lot from the designers I work with on a regular basis. They’re adept at creating a sense of authentic spaciousness — that juxtaposition of clean architectural lines, the use of metals and stone with a simple edge detail, organic textiles and finishes, and items that have a patina.”

Crawford is also seeing his clients gravitate towards industrial trends. The hallmarks of industrial chic include concrete floors, wood cladding, and solid timbers. Stacked stone, ultra-luxury kitchens and cabinetry by Poliform, and solid slabs in bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes ensure that homes in this style strike a balance of natural elements and contemporary finishes.

Source: Trending interior décor styles that sell