Every week, we ask a real estate professional for thoughts on the top trends in real estate.
This week, we talked with Mark Kaminsky, a real estate coach with tradeMARK coaching, and broker with Coldwell Banker.
Miami Agent (MA): How do you make sure you’re meeting the expectations of luxury clients?
Mark Kaminsky (MK): Luxury clients are not always what I would presume to be any different than all other clients. Sometimes, the intimidation of the property can overwhelm and misguide an agent into over thinking and under listening. As rudimentary as it may seem, listening closely to what clients are saying is paramount to establishing my position with them. Most, if not all expectations are set from the onset of the relationship. I put a major emphasis on detailing all layers of the process. I feel that I must remain authentic to who I am and how I earned their business to begin with. I have to be able to pivot with different personalities and remain consistent and smart with my communication. Most importantly, I simply ask them all along the way if they are satisfied with how things are going. It may seem odd, but it’s all in the way I articulate it.
MA: What are some of the challenges that new agents might face when working with luxury real estate?
MK: I often share the story that Leonardo DiCaprio had to beg, borrow and steal in making 10 movies before he got the leading role in Titanic. After that, he became one of the most sought after actors to date. Luxury agents are not far off that track. They work incredibly hard to get that one big listing and then instant credibility along with thorough post marketing, puts them in race. For new agents, they are first competing with the properties they never get a shot at due to the established luxury agents getting that call. Most new agents also struggle with intimidation and that’s not entirely a bad thing. I am not at all suggesting they should succumb to that, but luxury properties are not considered low hanging fruit, which is what they are taught to start with.
A big challenge for new agents is not having the sufficient budget established to service luxury real estate properly. It takes a sincere investment to market globally and a commitment to all mediums, inclusive but not limited to online search presence, social media boosts, print magazines, professional photography and videography, and a variety of catered social events. These are mostly all required with no guarantee that a property will ultimately sell. Lastly, new agents simply don’t have the experience to know granular details of the processes for either the buy or list side. It shouldn’t deter them and there are ways to get there, but in the beginning, it’s simply a fact.
MA: What are some of the most common mistakes you see as a real estate coach?
MK: The most common mistake is ignoring continuous education and training. In fact the word “training” is considered taboo to most agents and even more so, top producers. Granted agents are very busy, but they allow their schedule and lack of time (blocking) management to inhibit reinvesting back into themselves. I would not say this is arrogance; rather it is just a lack of awareness, masked by their success.
Another common mistake is softening up on the friends/family client list. Agents tend to let their guard down and sometimes their efforts do not match their promises. This becomes very dangerous because most friends and family will not share their true feelings of the experience and as a result, become reticent to refer business.
The most challenging mistake is not having a legitimate business plan. The “wing-it” mentality can only carry you so far. Writing and adhering to a stem to stern business plan is very difficult for most agents because it requires a particular skill set that isn’t always acquired. As a result it becomes frustrating.
Lastly, and the one that irks me the most, is not understanding the contract. There is a story, subject, conflict and lesson with every line of the contract. As a former Branch Manager, I can fairly state that the majority of conflicts I had to settle came from the agents not understanding the contract to adequately represent and advise.
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