As originally featured on Inman News
By Anthony Hitt, President & CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas
As the real estate industry continues to evolve, the importance and value of delivering an exceptional client experience has never been higher.
Yet, every day seems to bring a new entrant to the market that claims to provide better, faster transactions — without the need for human touch.
But real estate will always be deeply human with great service marked by standout personal service. With all of the noise in the market today it has never been more important for real estate professionals to deliver a luxury experience to every client they work with.
However, as the real estate industry has evolved, so has the definition of luxury and what it means to deliver a luxury experience.
That said, there are four key concepts real estate professionals working in our fast-changing, modern industry should understand and apply to ensure they provide luxury service that will never go out of style.
Luxury is personal
It’s important to recognize that the concept of luxury in the modern real estate market is no longer restricted to ornate properties and high price points.
Modern luxury service is for every real estate buyer and seller. Providing luxury service means something different for each client, be it time, convenience, privacy, location — the list goes on.
With as many meanings of luxury as there are clients, real estate professionals must adapt their marketing and services to match each client’s needs. Today, luxury is all about personalization — we all have to dive deeper into understanding our clients and provide them tailored service.
If technology can replace it, it’s not luxury
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when having a car service pick you up whenever and wherever you wanted was considered luxury. Then Uber came along, bringing on-demand transportation to the masses.
Examples of technology similarly democratizing a previously exclusive experience exist in many industries, and real estate is no exception.
Amid this tech-driven change, real estate professionals should keep in mind that technology doesn’t equal luxury — it’s a tool to deliver luxury experiences, but no more critical to luxury than great marketing materials, timely, clear communication and friendly manner.
To stand out, agents must lead with personalization, using technology to enhance rather than define each client’s individual experience.
Buyers want an expert
Technology has enabled prospective homebuyers to do their own in-depth research. However, even the most informed buyers are looking for real estate experts to advise them through the homebuying journey.
For most people, buying a home is one of the biggest investments they will make. Real estate professionals must add value to clients whether it be providing access to coming-soon and off-market listings, deep neighborhood knowledge, community concierge services or the reassurance of a seasoned expert guiding them through the process.
In short, real estate buyers and sellers value the assurance that comes with working with a stellar agent.
Luxury will continue to evolve
One thing we know for sure is that technology will continue to advance and change. As it does, agents need to hone timeless skills that will never go out of style.
No matter how technology changes the industry, real estate professionals must focus on giving each client a tailored, white-glove experience. The attention to detail, personalization, and added value that we bring to each client interaction creates a luxury experience.
Technological disruption has many industry professionals scrambling to redefine themselves. However, changing your brand or services in response to every new technology is a losing game, and ultimately weakens your brand.
By focusing on providing personalized service and a luxury experience will allow real estate professionals to succeed no matter the technology and new models that emerge around them.