High end real estate is a highly sought-after sector and, for many, the stuff of dreams. There are many highly motivated professionals and real estate enthusiasts who would love to break into this niche market. Although this profession does have obvious advantages, it’s important to know all the ins and outs if you’re to make a success of your career.
A luxury real estate agent is a particularly elitist profession, associated with a certain kind of freedom, appealing to those who want to work in an exclusive sector.
Luxury real estate agent: a career synonymous with independence
Although he/she may be attached to an agency such as ENGEL & VOLKERS, a luxury real estate agent often operates very independently. This freedom allows him/her to manage his/her own time as he/she sees fit and choose his/her clients depending on any affinities he/she develops. However, this independence also requires considerable organizational skills and autonomy to take the initiatives needed to develop a successful practice.
A profession with an international focus
A Loire château, a vineyard in the Bordeaux countryside, a Haussmann flat in Paris, a villa on the Côte d’Azur etc. Thanks to its rich and exclusive heritage, France attracts numerous buyers from all over the world looking to purchase high-end properties. Working as a luxury estate agent allows you to meet people from lots of different countries and backgrounds. Although routine wouldn’t seem to be part of the job, proficiency in English is required.
To be a real estate agent you need to have an obvious enthusiasm for sales and negotiation. But it’s not the only skill that you need. The diversity of the job means that the workload is rich and varied but it’s a profession that also requires genuine intellectual curiosity.
A love of design and architecture
Having knowledge of architecture and interior design is essential if you want to establish yourself as a luxury real estate agent. It will help you spot the potential of a property and build up an exceptional real estate portfolio. This will also help you meet the requirements of some of your more demanding clients searching for an exceptional or remarkable property.
Knowledge of law and taxation
A solid knowledge of law and taxation is also necessary so you can support your clients through every step of the purchasing process. This expertise is essential so you can be the point of reference for potential clients and someone on whom they can rely throughout the property purchasing process.
In addition to this knowledge, there are other qualities that are important if you're a luxury real estate agent. You need to be honest about your personality type if you’re to thrive in this career.
Have good inter-personal skills
Because working in luxury real estate involves sales and human contact, it’s essential to have good inter-personal skills. This helps build client trust but also helps the agent develop a portfolio of properties. You need to be able to have your own contacts to help you unearth those rare gems which you can then show to your particularly demanding clients. So, you have to enjoy meeting people and initiating encounters but also be able to maintain client anonymity.
Know how to manage stress
Most of the time, estate agents are paid by commission earned on the properties that they sell. The commission is proportional to the price of the property sold which means that in the luxury real estate sector, salaries can rise very quickly - something that makes the job very appealing. But you also need to remember that sales volumes in the luxury residential market are often lower than those in the traditional housing market. Given that sales can take longer to complete, if you're to thrive in this profession, you need to be patient and know how to manage the stress associated with not having a regular income. However, in competitive markets, sales can be finalised in a single day, a sign of the need to know how to adapt to the market and your clients.