What Makes A Luxury Brokerage A Luxury Brokerage

Dated: January 8 2014

Views: 14754

It occurred to me when a very successful local real estate brokerage firm changed franchises here in Steamboat to, by their own admission, affiliate themselves with a name that connotes "luxury real estate" that there is much confusion in the marketplace about what makes a real estate brokerage a luxury brand.  In the resort market, it appears that every real estate agency is scrambling to re-invent themselves to attract the luxury seller.

To that end, companies like Luxury Portfolio International, that boasts 200 member firms that have joined together to showcase their luxury properties (lets say anything over $1MIL) on a joint website. are making it easy for any real estate company to slap a luxury brand on their logo.
But what is the purpose of a luxury division and how does it help a seller sell their luxury property? I have to look to Coldwell Banker Previews International to help the consumer define a luxury marketing program. Previews International, the brain child of director Henderson Talbot, was invented in 1933 during the Great  Depression when many large Hollywood mansions were sitting empty and were un-sellable. He got the idea that by creating "trailers" of these properties and shipping them around the world perhaps he could attract European buyers who still had money to buy these distressed mansions.
Why do I bring this up?  Because it worked! Today, with the internet it is possible to put a house out there into cyberspace, tell the seller he is getting world=wide coverage and make them believe they actually have world-wide coverage through the internet. But there is a fallacy in this strategy.  With all the noise on the web, few luxury buyers use it to find a luxury property.  So how do they find that great ski property or that villa in Tuscany?   Well it turns out, it is basically, the "old fashioned way", through a trusted real estate adviser, someone they have transacted business with before. who they trust will continue to have their best interests at heart.
So, what makes a firm a true specialist in luxury marketing? The first thing is market saturation, not locally but internationally. If you have a relationship with brokers around the world and are known for your reputation of selling multimillon dollar properties you have infiltrated the exclusive world of the luxury broker.  Then the question becomes, how many luxury brokers do you know and know you around the world? That is why Coldwell Banker bought Previews International in the 1980's becoming the first International luxury real estate marketing company in the world.  What Coldwell Banker brought to the tablet was over 85,000 sales agents in 3100 offices in 52 countries worldwide.....thus the agent network.  Then to further accomplish the goal of being the number one brand in luxury real estate they created a program for agents who sell multimillionaire dollar properties to become educated and interact with each other to create the strongest referral network in the world. 
So the next time you are faced with the challenge of determining what makes one agency a luxury property specialist or not, simply remember one thing, agents sell real estate not the internet and size really does matter when it comes to marketing your luxury home!
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Victoria Jackson and Mike Shuttleworth

The Steamboat Luxury Team -Vicki Jackson and Mike Shuttleworth Vicki Jackson has been a Realtor for 11 + years and comes from a long line of Realtors. She has specialized in luxury resort and ranc....

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