“Belong to the private clubs, golf at the best golf clubs,” Jean Merkelbach, of Engel & Völkers said at Inman Luxury Connect. “Be where they are so they recognize you.”
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When the owner of a $3 million home in Chicago called Carrie McCormick about a listing appointment, she had a choice to make.
Did she take a leap and try for a listing that was well above her typical price point of around $1 million? Did she pass it up or do something else?
“I could go into this listing appointment and hope that I get this listing,” McCormick, an agent with @properties, told a crowd at Inman Luxury Connect on Monday. “Or should I co-list this with somebody who is a true expert in this price point?”
McCormick ended up pulling in another agent who was more experienced in higher price points, and the two got the listing.
“We sold the stainless steel apartment and then I used that moment and leveraged it through the media, through different social media channels, through everything I possibly could to raise my bar,” McCormick said. “The next call I got was the seller of what they call the Glass House.”
McCormick spoke alongside Stuart Vetterick, of Hilton & Hyland; and Jean Merkelbach, of Engel & Völkers; on a panel moderated by Gary Gold, of Coldwell Banker, at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Vetterick started in residential real estate in Los Angeles in 2016 after moving from Dallas.
He started out by becoming an expert in neighborhoods and home types that he hoped to eventually sell. Then he offered to sit in at open houses for agents.
“I’d talk to neighbors before the open house. I’d go knock on their door and say this house is available if you’d like to come and see,” Vetterick said. “I did just about everything I could to familiarize myself with that environment and then speak to it as if I had sold there.”
“That helped me transition through the various levels of $1 million to 10 to 20 and up,” he said.
Gold chimed in: “That’s another key one. You gotta know what the f*ck you’re doing.”
Merkelbach, who works around Lake Tahoe, said she also started gaining connections by starting with open houses.
She and McCormick also stressed that luxury clients like to feel that they’ve hired a full-service agent.
“I think you want to become the person that they look to for everything,” Merkelbach said. “The person that they call if they need help with getting their car fixed, or childcare, or what school their child should go to.”
On top of that, she said, luxury agents should adapt to the lifestyles of their clients.
“You need to spend the time really getting to know everything in your community and being a resource for your client, but also going to the places that they go,” Merkelbach said. “Go to the better restaurants if you’re going out, and belong to the private clubs, golf at the best golf clubs.
“Be where they are so they recognize you.”