On Sept. 14, RISMedia held its annual Real Estate CEO & Agent Leadership Exchange, co-presented this year by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The exclusive full-day, virtual event attracted thousands of industry professionals and featured broker- and agent-focused sessions with some of real estate’s most successful and innovative executives, brokers, agents, coaches and influencers.
In an incisive look at high-end marketing strategies during an agent-track session at the event—How to Shift Marketing Strategies for Today’s Luxury Climate—moderator Diane Hartley, president of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, asked three industry leaders how they maximize marketing opportunities in the luxury home arena.
Nashville has been a hot spot in the market since before the onset of COVID-19, noted panelist Jack Miller, principal listing broker with Parks Realty, who three years ago listed the estate home of Kelly Clarkson and her then-husband Brandon Blackstone for an aspirational $9 million.
“In a market where the high-end was typically $1 to 3 million, we felt $6 to $7 million was more realistic,” Miller said. “But they were not yet highly motivated to sell, and in the three years the home was on the market, we were able to create a lot of exposure for it—even hosted an episode of ‘Million Dollar Properties’ on HGTV, which generated interest from a pool of wealthy buyers.”
The home ultimately sold for $6.9 million, he said, but competition was keen, and in a rising market, he was able to sell several other multi-million-dollar properties, including a Nashville country bar with a $35 million price tag.
“You have to focus on what will help your client accomplish their goals,” said Miller. “In this case, taking on a property with an aspirational list price when the market was going up and the seller was in no hurry—and capitalizing on the exposure—was definitely the way to go.”
Taking on an overpriced property can indeed open doors, agreed panelist Roman Pavlik, director of the Luxury, Sports and Entertainment Division of Laurie Reeder Luxury Real Estate in South Florida.
“The state of the market is critical,” said Pavlik, who has been selling real estate in the Metro Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach triangle for more than 20 years. “If it’s going up, it can easily catch up to your pricing—and create a lot of press.”
The state of inventory also has a lot to do with marketing strategy, Pavlik added.
“There are more upscale buyers than available properties, and many buyers are searching on their own,” he said. “But we have access to MLS information that the public can’t access. I look for high-end leased properties at the end of the lease period, for example, and call the seller. Maybe they’ve been leasing it because they couldn’t get their price, but once they realize how much the property has appreciated, they often decide it’s time to sell.”
Consider the relocation market, offered Miller.
“The majority of people moving to Nashville today are after a lifestyle change,” he said.
“I had one out-of-state buyer looking to spend up to $10 million on a waterfront property and/or one with an indoor basketball court. But after we’d exhausted every property we had to show him, he decided to look in Florida.”
Unwilling to lose the client, Miller said, he made the referral to a Florida broker, who ultimately sold the client a property for $18.5 million.
“The client was delighted, as was the broker, and I collected a great referral fee,” he said.
In any inventory situation, a seller can benefit from accelerated marketing, noted panelist Jennie Heal, president of Supreme Auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“We work with homeowners—typically owners who don’t need to sell, but rather want to sell,” she said. “Maybe they have three or four houses around the country, and they want to sell one and invest the proceeds—or they’re tired of the maintenance cost. We partner with high-end agents all over the country, set a window of 30 to 45 days, and create great exposure for the home through the auction process.”
The strategy, Heal explained, is to spotlight the property and create pressure to act.
“That culminates in a competitive bidding war that brings the highest possible market value for the seller,” she said.
Pavlik vouched for the process.
“We had a home on the market for two years, priced at $1.8 million,” he said. “The accelerated sale option brought in 120 buyers in 30 days and the property sold for $2.4 million.”
But everyone knows a REALTOR® noted Hartley. How do you win the business in the first place?
“You do what it takes to set yourself up as the local high-end expert,” said Pavlik. “When clients don’t want to alienate their country club friends by choosing one broker over another, they are likely to turn to you instead.”
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Barbara Pronin is a contributing editor to RISMedia.