Matching your client’s home-buying goals and preferences with suitable properties at the right price is essential to your success in the luxury real estate market. You should use specific tools to qualify prospective buyers by separating passive “lookers” from serious prospects to provide a more targeted marketing approach that (hopefully) results in partnering with more new clients.
What types of tools are available to help you better qualify luxury homebuyers? Members of The Institute have access to various tools in our database that can help verify the financial capabilities of potential clients. Read on to learn two proprietary tools The Institute offers its members and an alternative option you can use right away.
The Institute’s Online Wealth Lookup
The Institute’s Online Wealth Lookup (OWL) tool provides a simplified interface to WealthEngine’s FindWealth 8™ platform. It offers a simple, quick and understandable financial overview of prospects and provides an invaluable resource that will help you begin the qualifying process. As a powerful tool offered only to members, OWL can provide a quick glimpse into your prospect’s financial position, help you assess credibility and gain leverage for negotiations. These data points could help you build credibility and rapport with your clients while enhancing your targeted marketing strategy. As a result, you’ll potentially find yourself in a better position to expand your business in luxury real estate.
A powerful prospecting tool, the Wealth Engine (WE) Search mines data from 60 unique sources to offer insights into the individual wealth of approximately 122 million households and 300 million individuals. Whether you choose to use it as a prospecting tool to gain new business or as a way to gain insights into the goals, motivations and financial capabilities of existing clients, it has become the “gold standard” for more than 4,000 modern businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Wealth Engine provides invaluable access to data on income and assets, real estate holdings, stocks, charitable contributions, and overall net worth. Profiles offer each individual wealth ratings and comparative scores, and select business and personal contact information.
Seek Verification From a Financial Institution
A third meaningful way to assess financial strength is to confirm and verify the information a client provides with a financial institution rather than a certified public accountant.
For high-end transactions, you will want to obtain a Proof of Funds (POF) document from a credible financial institution. The POF document is similar to a pre-qualification letter for a mortgage in some ways. It should confirm the financial stability and capabilities of the buyer rather than the ability to repay a loan.
A POF document will typically include the following:
- Bank name and address
- An official bank statement, printed at a branch or online statement
- Balance of total funds in the account
- Balance of funds in other or associated accounts
- Copy of an online banking statement
The documentation should be dated and signed by an authorized bank employee or notary. And, if such documentation is from various sources, you will want to confirm that funds are liquid and available to the buyer on the date the real estate transaction is scheduled to close.
These three tools are not the only resources to build your business, but they can be among the most effective and valuable in your arsenal.
Dealing with luxury homebuyers can be a demanding but rewarding experience. As a Member of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, you’ll enjoy the advantage of member benefits and unique resources to enhance your professional expertise. Reach out to our team for more information on elevating your real estate career.
Diane Hartley is the president of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the upper-tier 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.