As the real estate market continues to improve, real estate professionals are more committed than ever to upping their game. While branching out and ascending the tiers in order to corner the move-up, upscale and international markets may seem like a challenging proposition, the latest installment of RISMedia’s monthly Agent Webinar Series featuring Dano Sayles from RE/MAX Lifestyle Maui and Melinda Estridge from The Estridge Group, Long & Foster Real Estate drilled down to the heart and soul of the matter.
During the “Take Sales to a New Level: How to Captivate Move-Up, Upscale & International Buyers & Sellers” webinar on May 20, sponsored by Quicken Loans and moderated by Verl Workman—founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems—Sayles and Estridge shared their tried-and-true strategies with attendees. One key takeaway? If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, it all boils down to strategy.
For Sayles, that strategy revolves around going out and creating business. “There’s always going to be business out there, so it’s not just about waiting for people to come to you,” says Sayles, who has been working the luxury market for 31 years now, venturing into the international arena as the market began to change in 2008. In addition to attracting buyers from all corners of the world, Sayles goes on to explain that showing sellers how his company differs from others is just as important.
“We’re trying to mix it up and do as many different things as we can,” says Sayles. From a revamped website that’s cleaner and easier to navigate to direct mail pieces that are sent on a monthly basis, Sayles is committed to setting both himself and his company apart by spending more time growing different markets.
While each and every transaction revolves around the client, understanding what’s driving a particular client is crucial when it comes to finding success—no matter what the market looks like or what niche you’re going after.
As far as understanding the mindset of a luxury client, “it’s important to be able to speak their language,” says Estridge.
With 38 years of experience under her belt in the luxury D.C. market, Estridge notes that being socially connected is a surefire way to generate business. “When dealing with the luxury market, not only is it important that you present yourself well, you must also be connected with the public. Getting involved with charities, black tie events, country clubs, etc., will catapult you into social networking, which many times translates into business.
“Luxury clients are looking for someone to help stage their home and market it in the right periodicals while knowing how to speak to buyers and network with agents who will be able to represent them,” says Estridge, who strategically structured her team to be able to appeal to all types of clients.
And when it comes to attracting move-up buyers, Estridge notes that finding success in this area is a function of having been in the business for a while. “While it’s great to go out and farm the luxury market, you also have to pay attention to the market just below that, providing the perfect segue to connect with people who may be looking to move up.”
Whether it’s move-up, upscale or international clients, Sayles and Estridge agree that content can’t be overlooked. “We provide a whole lot of content on our website, which is a key piece of our strategy,” says Sayles, who takes advantage of blog posts and direct mail to keep prospective buyers and sellers informed as to what’s going on in the market—all in real-time. “A lot of people are shying away from direct mail, but we’re spending money in this area and seeing a good return on our investment.”
Having sent direct mail her entire career, Estridge says there’s no question that she’s seen a return in this area year after year. “We send direct mail every six weeks and pack it full of content.” From information about what’s happening in the community to featuring homes the company currently has listed as well as upcoming open houses, Estridge’s direct mail pieces spread the word about who she is and what she does, all while giving back to the community.
In the end, taking your career to the next level is all about tailoring your process to the goal at hand. “Take something you have a passion for and try to involve yourself with the community and that organization or cause, and make it your own,” concludes Estridge.
For more information about taking your business to the next level, watch the webinar in full: