Getting into the real estate business is one thing; succeeding is quite another. Only 2 percent of real estate agents make more than $250,000 a year, with the majority making about $43,000. While $43,000 a year isn't a slave wage, it's probably not the salary you had in mind when you decided to take the real estate exam.
Selling luxury real estate is the answer. The high prices on luxury properties make it easy to rake in a six-figure salary or even become a millionaire. You'll have to be patient to get into the luxury market, and learn how to market your properties and yourself.
Learn Your Stuff
Before you can break into the luxury real estate market, you need to be sure that you know what you're doing. Get an education in real estate so you can approach the market with knowledge and professionalism. But even after you have a Master's in Real Estate, be aware that you'll need several months â€” possibly even a year or more â€” to learn the business firsthand.
To get that education, join the team at a firm and spend some time shadowing a successful luxury real estate agent in your area. This will help you get a feel for what local clients want and give you a more intimate understanding of your market. Be patient; you might not get your first listing for several months, and even after you get that listing, it might take months more before you make the sale. But building a career in real estate is a marathon, not a sprint. You're in it for the long haul, so don't give up.
Nurture Every Relationship
You never know who's connected or who might become connected, so nurture every relationship and maintain your connections with former clients. Many an agent has made the leap into luxury real estate overnight, thanks to an old client who has become very wealthy in the days since they purchased their first starter home. Put everything you've got into every deal, and keep those relationships alive. When you foster a good relationship with every client, those who succeed in life will come to you to make their first â€” and second, and third â€” luxury home purchase.
To succeed in the luxury real estate market, you have to make sure that people who might be looking for luxury homes know your name. Part of that is making sure that people you meet know what you do for a living, without seeming pushy. A tried-and-true tactic that real estate agents use at parties and other events is to tell a fascinating story from your professional life that will allow you to reveal what you do for a living to a captivated audience.
Of course, you should also take advantage of conferences and industry events to look for buyers and sellers. It doesn't necessarily need to be a real estate conference or event; any event that attracts well-heeled homeowners could give you the chance to schmooze with potential clients. Try attending a Sotheby's auction or similar event to meet wealthy homeowners or buyers. Pitch yourself to luxury real estate firms. Most brokerages are happy to try out a motivated newbie, so don't be intimidated by a firm's name and reputation.
You also need to look and act the part. People who are interested in buying luxury real estate expect their agents to dress in expensive clothes and drive a luxury car. They will expect you to pamper them at nice restaurants and show you around in a high-end vehicle. Don't skimp on the luxury branding. If you're just starting out, get a couple of nice suits in a neutral color and several nice blouses or shirts.
As long as you change up your dress shirts or blouses, most people won't notice that you've worn the same suit repeatedly. If you really need a new luxury outfit, or you can't afford to buy even one luxury suit, you can rent the clothes and you can also use a service like UberLux to rent the car.
It's not as easy as you might think to make a good living in the real estate business, but if you can break into the luxury market, you'll enjoy a career that can take you far. With a little patience, dedication, and the right approach to marketing yourself, breaking into luxury real estate could be easier than you might think.