What to Look for in a Luxury Real Estate Agent
It’s understandable that, when it comes to luxury real estate, buyers and sellers alike are highly selective. After all, when the financial stakes are high for properties and the market is often competitive (as in Central Texas), you want someone whom you can trust to get the job done.
Many realty companies may promise that their agents and brokers offer premier or exceptional services, but what does that look like for you, as a client? And how can you vet an agent properly to ensure that your experience reflects your distinctive needs and wants?
Below are five qualities that mark an agent as being well-prepared to guide their clients through the process of buying or selling luxury properties, from upscale condominiums to sprawling ranches.
The 5 essential characteristics of a luxury real estate agent
1. Strong business communication skills
As exciting as the purchase of a new home may be for a family, the reality is that real estate transactions are fundamentally business transactions. At each step toward closing day, you’ll want someone who knows when to push and pull properly — and always with a professional demeanor.
When reviewing agents’ profiles or interviewing them, inquire about these skills. Ask them about experiences they may have dealing with colleagues who are hard to reach. Talk to them about their approach to price negotiations, contract details and a closing date. And don’t forget to ask them how attentive they are to clients after hours, at night and on weekends.
Another way to vet an agent’s prowess is to research whether they’ve won sales awards or consistently pursued special training in the luxury real estate market specifically.
Of course, how a prospective agent responds to your questions about their skills can be telling. Look for obvious signs of respectfulness, confidence and good etiquette. These “soft skills” — together with traits such as active listening and tactfulness — can be critical not only to your real estate success but also to your ability to have a satisfying professional relationship overall.
Remember: A good agent won’t hesitate to provide answers to your questions. A great agent may relish the opportunity to talk about their skills in ways that reflect how they’ll represent you and your specific needs to others, from other agents and mortgage lenders to title company representatives and beyond.
2. A clear understanding of the local real estate market
Even before the pandemic and inflation arrived, the remarkable influx of people to Central Texas and adjacent areas had transformed the area’s real estate market. Still, there can be marked variance in activity between individual neighborhoods and communities.
More than ever, it’s important to find an agent who has a deep knowledge of current local market realities — and how they can impact your personal realty journey.
Actively seek an agent with abundant experience in the geographic areas that interest you. Remember, too, that when it comes to luxury real estate, inventory may be limited in some areas, especially the further out from major metro areas you aspire to buy or sell.
For this reason, it can be especially helpful to select an agent with strong connections in adjacent or overlapping areas, perhaps through their own company or brokerage. When it’s necessary to draw upon knowledge from a broader pool, those personal ties and professional connections can help expedite the process considerably.
3. Solid marketing skills
Much like good business communication skills, marketing abilities are crucial. A clue that an agent’s expertise is a cut above? Take a look at their own personal brand, specifically how they optimize their social media accounts, maintain their webpage and approach print advertisements in newspapers and luxury magazines.
Consider, too, how they present properties through photography, video and copy. Does it align well with the market? Is it clear and engaging? Does the work on display show a commitment to detail and thoroughness? Even if you’re a buyer, these skills reveal a lot about an agent’s approach to their profession.
Selling a home? Take a look at how often they use cutting-edge technology in their marketing collateral (e.g., breathtaking aerial shots and drone camera photography), but don’t forget the value of an open house or luxury home tour. These events can be useful not only to showcase your property to prospective clients but also to agents active in the area.
Basically, seek an agent who is willing to put in the time and energy to market your home online and in person as much as possible. And don’t hesitate to ask about the average time their listings stay on the market, bearing in mind that high-end properties typically take longer to sell on average than lower-priced homes and land.
4. An excellent professional network
An agent is critical to your real estate journey, and their network of other realty professionals can be instrumental in you meeting your own goals.
Ask a prospective agent about the mortgage lenders, home inspectors and escrow officers with whom they work. How long have they known them? Why do they choose to work closely with them?
If you’re buying a home and anticipate making refinements so that it better suits your taste, ask about contractors, decorators and other professionals. Selling? Definitely inquire about people whom they recommend routinely to prepare a house to hit the market. A good property stager, for instance, can be a tremendous resource.
5. A commitment to the community
Real estate agents often work long, demanding hours. But, as your professional representative in the luxury real estate market, it’s important to align with someone who is known for their engagement with the local community.
From philanthropic work with charity balls and golf tournaments to humbly volunteering routinely at a soup kitchen or for their kid’s sports team, an agent engaged with their community is likely someone who engenders trust and respect beyond the real estate market.
When it comes to selecting an agent, it simply pays well to have someone who is known to care about the community in which they live, work and play. Plus, if you’re new to the area, it’s helpful to have an agent who is willing to open doors to local relationships.
Whether you’re planning to sell or buy a home soon, remember that Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty — RBFCU’s preferred real estate partner — is here to help you move beyond your expectations to provide an extraordinary real estate experience. From modest dwellings to luxury homes, our agents are committed to exceptional service.
Information in this article is general in nature and for your consideration, not as financial advice. Please contact your own financial professionals regarding your specific needs before taking any action based upon this information.
Kuper Realty Holding Company, LLC dba Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty is a subsidiary of RBFCU Services LLC. RBFCU Services LLC is affiliated with Randolph‑Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU).
“Luxury Properties.” Nar. Realtor, 6 Mar. 2017, https://www.nar.realtor/luxury-properties.
McLaughlin, Katherine. “Aerial Photography: 17 Incredible Pools Shot From Above | Architectural Digest.” Architectural Digest, Architectural Digest, 4 Nov. 2022, https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/aerial-photography-incredible-pools-shot-from-above.
“Social Media Optimization and Mindset With Harrison Beacher.” Nar. Realtor, 23 Feb. 2022, https://www.nar.realtor/center-for-realtor-development-podcast/social-media-optimization-and-mindset-with-harrison-beacher.