Did you know CPAs are often rated the most trusted advisers in successful circles?
Still, most folks associate CPAs with “tax season” and tend to forget about them the rest of the year. On the other hand, successful individuals rely on CPAs all year round—and having a CPA in your luxury real estate network is key for giving and receiving high-quality referrals, as well as understanding how your clients with “complex income” make financial decisions.
What is “complex income”?
Complex income refers to “non-traditional” income. Many affluent and high-net-worth individuals own their own business, earn bonuses or commission, get paid in equity, pay taxes in multiple states or some even earn income in other non-traditional streams.
Since their income isn’t as straightforward as, say, a corporate executive receiving a W-2 from one single company, they need a specialized tax professional to help them maximize their income and manage taxes all year long.
And, since “complex income” comes into play when taking out a mortgage, it’s important for luxury real estate professionals to understand their clients’ best options.
So, if you don’t have a tax professional who deals with financial complexities in your luxury real estate network yet, here are three good reasons to seek one out:
1. Your clients’ CPAs are influencing their real estate decisions.
CPAs are tasked with managing tax issues, implementing strategies that minimize risk and cost for their clients, navigating financial investments and estate planning—all of which can influence your clients’ decision to buy, sell or invest in luxury real estate if they have a CPA in their circle.
With that in mind, it makes sense to have a tax professional in your luxury real estate network who can help you understand where clients may be coming from.
For instance, in one of the Institute’s most recent Estate of Mind podcast episodes, guest and CPA Jonathan March explained how recent tax laws are changing the way affluent and high-net-worth individuals are purchasing homes.
With mortgage rate principals capped at $750,000 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, simply encouraging a client to buy a new home and take advantage of low mortgage rates may not be in their best interest when you consider they could be sitting on a better mortgage deal already.
Having a CPA in your corner can help you stay on top of nuances like these and make you a better adviser to your clients.
2. CPAs can be a great source of referrals.
Believe it or not, CPAs aren’t just sitting around crunching numbers every day—they’re out in the field networking, too.
In fact, CPAs who specialize in working with high-net-worth individuals are typically connected to other professionals like investment advisers, private bankers and estate planning attorneys.
All of these specialists share similar clientele with luxury real estate professionals, and having a CPA in your network can help you expand your sphere of influence.
3. Referring a CPA can add value to your clients’ experience.
As a luxury real estate professional, your job goes far beyond closing listings and finding dream homes. When clients work with you, they’re relying on you to make the entire buying, selling or investing process easy—and having other trusted professionals you can refer them to is part of providing that seamless experience.
While many affluent and high-net-worth individuals you come across will already have a CPA, you never know when one will want a second opinion or are hoping to get a referral from you.
Being able to hand them over to a vetted tax professional if asked helps raise your perceived value as an adviser and creates a referral-worthy experience.
Looking to expand your luxury real estate network?
The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s (The Institute) Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™ designation is a globally-recognized designation for luxury real estate professionals.
While this special designation is reserved for luxury professionals with a certain amount of experience and training from The Institute, you can start working toward that experience and training now, no matter where you are on your path to become a luxury real estate professional.
Click here to learn more about what it’s like to become a member and what’s required to eventually earn your designation.
Diane Hartley is president of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, an independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the luxury residential market. Hartley brings her passion for luxury marketing and more than 20 years of experience growing and leading businesses to her role as president of The Institute. For more information, please visit www.luxuryhomemarketing.com.