What does it take to sell multi-million dollar homes and work with high-end clientele such as pro athletes, entrepreneurs and executives? Chicago luxury agent Michael LaFido joins us to share his tactics and techniques; from taking your first luxury listing and creating lifestyle marketing to attract luxury buyers, to attracting high-end clients through networking and referrals.
Takeaways + Tactics
1. Develop networks and relationships with referral partners who work with high-end clientele
2. Offer different packages of services and don’t be afraid to charge more than other agents
3. Know your metrics - both local housing and economic stats and your own sale stats
Many luxury sellers, they have a lot of money, they’re smarter, they’re business owner, CEO-types. They’re going to do their due diligence and vet you out. They’re going to ask tough questions. -Michael LaFido
We start by answering a couple questions from the Facebook Group on how to prep buyers to compete in a seller’s market. Greg shared what he’s doing, and we contrast that with Michael’s market in Chicago which is heavily in favor of the buyer, with few luxury homes selling. Michael also shared how estate sales can be a good lead source and how he developed a referral relationship with estate sale company. Michael and Greg riff on how they used moving trucks to generate referrals and use them as a local billboard.
Then we dive into how the economy and political climate is affecting luxury home sales in Chicago, how he listed the 8th highest priced home in the state (ranking just behind Michael Jordan’s home). Michael shared the motivations he sees with luxury sellers, which include more downsizing and 2nd home activity, and what he’s seeing with overseas affluent buyers.
With luxury homes taking so long to sell, we talk about how Michael pushes for 1-year listings and sets seller expectations, and some of his best sources of client leads and referrals. He explained that in order to go head-to-head with established luxury agents you must have a track record of success and the ability to demonstrate superior marketing to differentiate yourself.
Michael explained how creating lifestyle videos for his own listings led to starting his own consulting company to help agents and homeowners market their luxury listings. But where do you start if you’ve never sold a luxury home? Michael pointed out that you must be in your database and sphere of influence, you must demonstrate expertise and connect high-level people to position yourself as a leading source of knowledge. For example, Michael created a networking/referral group with companies and services that deal with affluent homeowners.
Commission is always an interesting subject in the luxury market, and Greg pointed out that the typical commission in his area is 5%. Michael challenged Greg that this may be a limiting belief, and explained that he has multiple packages, including 10% packages, that add more and more value. Michael shared a bit of his scripting, including how he explains right up front that he probably charges more than either other agent they work with. It’s an approach inspired by Dan Kennedy, a marketing expert Michael has followed for years. Check out the book No BS Marketing to the Affluent for more details on this approach.
We finish up by talking about the DISC profile, how to adjust your approach to different client types, how to deal with spouses who are radically different DISC profiles from each other, and why he tracks the listings he didn’t take to see how they performed.
Michael’s approach - mixing direct-response marketing with a deep knowledge of local stats and metrics - is very effective for working with high-end clientele. So whether you’re looking to work with pro athletes and executives to sell the most exclusive properties in the world, or you simply want to raise your average price point, there’s some great tactics and strategies you can implement in your business right away.