Being a luxury real estate agent is a great career choice with many benefits. However, becoming a luxury realtor will take hard work and dedication to be successful. Below is everything you need to know on how to become a luxury agent, and more importantly, how to be successful.
Steps on How to Become a Luxury Real Estate Agent
- Locate an accredited real estate school
- Take the necessary coursework and licensing exam
- Build your social network
- Save money for marketing and preparing homes
- Locate a sponsoring brokerage
- Stay up to date on the market and trends
- Dress the part
- Understanding Clients Needs & Building a team
- NAR Luxury Home Certification
- Bonus: How to Find Luxury Sellers and Buyers
Full Guide to Become a Luxury Real Estate Agent
A big part of how to become a luxury real estate agent is to start early and continue scaling upward. It’s difficult for a novice agent with little to no experience to begin taking on major sales and high-profile clients. Instead, agents should spend time working their way up the ladder, gaining experience, and ultimately accomplishing the goal of becoming a luxury real estate agent. The steps below are broken down to help accomplish this.
Step One: Locate an Accredited Real Estate School
Depending on the state you reside in, there will be different requirements for obtaining your real estate license. Be sure to study those requirements thoroughly as your state may require post-licensing, continuing education, and more. However, before you can become a luxury real estate agent, you must get your real estate license like everyone else.
To locate an accredited real estate school in your state, you can head to the state’s commission site and find a list of preapproved institutions listed there. Additionally, you will need to decide whether you’re going to attend an online or in-person school. Depending on where you live, the only option may be online learning.
Online schools we typically recommend include:
Be sure to take time to fully research education options as a luxury agent will need extensive experience and knowledge in the field. Not only will a subpar education not prepare you for a successful career in luxury real estate, but it may also mean that you have a harder time getting licensed.
Depending on the school you select, you may be able to take bonus classes that directly correspond with luxury homes – so choose wisely!
Step Two: Take the necessary coursework and licensing exam
Once you’ve completed your education at the school of your choice and passed the final exam, it’s time to schedule your state licensing exam. Typically this exam will be a few hours in duration and consists of both state-specific and national guidelines relating to real estate.
Your chosen real estate school should supply exam prep to make sure you’re ready for the exam, but if not, there are plenty of third-party online exam prep options.
Once you’ve passed your state licensing exam, your state will have different next steps for getting ready to practice. Generally, you’ll be ready to submit your application to the state next. The application process consists of a background check, fingerprinting, submitting insurance, and more.
While tedious, this is a necessary step to begin legally practicing in your state and gives you the credibility you’ll need to secure clients.
Step Three: Build your social network
Coming in at number three is the building of a social network. Luxury real estate and real estate, in general, are heavily dependent on who you know. Without an extensive client pool, it’s difficult to make sales and make a living.
One of the easiest ways to grow your social network these days is online, especially with technology as accessible as ever and many online creating tools. Examples include Canva for designing your own social media posts, or Etsy which has templates for real estate agents to choose from that match their theme.
Though this isn’t to say that word of mouth and in-person networking opportunities are not an important part of bringing in business. In fact, a human connection face to face is often more charming and helps build stronger relationships easier.
Regardless of the choice of your networking, though we recommend both, be sure you’re making your occupation known in every setting. It’s the only way to grow your brand, get your name out there, and continue moving up in the business.
This step is not one that requires a specific time to get started. In fact, it should be done throughout the process of obtaining your license and thereafter. It takes time to build a brand. You’ll want to be sure that you’ve been working on it all along to guarantee it is as strong as possible.
Taking time to strengthen your brand throughout will reap many rewards, and you’ll thank yourself for getting an early start!
Step Four: Save money for marketing and preparing homes
The age-old saying “you have to spend money to make money” is especially true in the real estate industry. In fact, it is very difficult to establish yourself without spending a bit of money first. Business cards, social media templates, flyers, ad space – all of these will require money upfront – money you’ll want to be sure you have saved so that you can afford it when the time comes.
Hopefully, after the first few sales, you won’t need to spend money out of pocket as you will have generated enough revenue to use business money to progress the business. Additionally, depending on the brokerage and sometimes the real estate school you attend, you may be able to receive a discount on getting started and building your brand.
If you find a sponsoring broker that is taking you under their wing, they may allow you to work under them to gain experience. As such, you may not need to make any purchases in the beginning. Instead, you can allow them to front costs for repairs and marketing and still make a small percentage of the sale to help you get started.
This leads us to the next step, locating a brokerage to sponsor you.
Step Five: Locate a sponsoring brokerage
Once you’ve obtained your license, and even during the process of that, it’s important to narrow down and eventually select a brokerage to sign to. This is an important step in the process of becoming a well-respected agent. Though you can change the broker you’re signed to later on, you’ll want to select the one that most aligns with your values and has the most benefits to get started.
Begin by researching local offices in your area and take notes of the things you like or don’t like about each of them. Despite how it may seem, you have the decision-making power here. You should take time to interview prospective brokers and ask them about fees, office materials they cover, lead management systems, lead generation tools, and more.
It’s important to note that beginning with a luxury brand as soon as you become licensed will be incredibly difficult. You may find it easiest to begin at a more accessible entry point and work your way upward, gaining knowledge and notoriety along the way before attempting to join a luxury brand.
Securing a great broker early on means that you can get practicing immediately and grow your resume. As a “regular” real estate agent, there is no rule that says you cannot still try and secure luxury homes to sell or buy for clients. Again, it may just be a little more difficult.
Working your way up is a big part of the luxury real estate game, and you’ll need a good team behind you to make that happen.
Step Six: Stay up to date on the market and trends
An important part of being a real estate agent is staying up-to-date on all things real estate. Having a wealth of knowledge will make you a respectable figure that naturally draws potential clients to you.
Luxury real estate agents especially need to know their stuff. High-profile clients won’t like questions that can’t be answered or mistakes due to lack of knowledge. Be sure you’re as prepared as possible to help clients.
Part of this knowledgeable status comes with experience and turning everything you learn into your own personal database. So even though you’re licensed, or you’ve made a dozen sales, continue to stay on top of data and market trends.
Step Seven: Dress the part
Real estate is a career that requires a certain professional dress code from agents, but especially so for luxury agents. Be sure that you are dressing the part of a luxury agent, even early on when you’re still establishing yourself as one.
High-profile clients with luxurious homes, or who are shopping for them, tend to understand basic style and fashion trends, so make sure you do as well.
This doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend excessive amounts of money on designer brands. It can be something as simple as matching your belt to your shoes and patching holes and snags in your dress clothes.
Whatever you decide you are comfortable with is the best option. After all, being uncomfortable to the point of losing confidence may only hurt your efforts!
Step Eight: Understand Client Needs and Build a Team
Luxury properties are different from the average home’s assets. A luxury realtor will need to understand what luxury clients want and need. Also, be sure you have a team ready to address those needs. Networking is great for establishing go-to’s, but it can also be word of mouth and finding your own.
Some things that luxury clients might need that the average person does not may include special insurance, asset privacy, legacy planning, special banking and lending sources, prenuptial agreements, and more.
Clients will be impressed if you have a team behind you ready and able to help whenever necessary without having to find a random person you have no experience with. Trust is a big part of real estate in general, but especially so when it comes to luxury real estate as there is much more at stake.
Step Nine: NAR Luxury Home Certification
A great way to add credibility to your name and as a professional in the luxury space is to secure additional certification from NAR. The organization offers a Luxury Homes Certification course, and through it, you’ll learn what it takes to secure high-profile/end buyers and sellers.
The course is easy to follow and in a convenient format of online learning. While it’s not absolutely necessary, this provides an extra layer of insight into the luxury space that a typical real estate education will not.
The course will teach students how to work with these buyers and sellers, how to promote or market homes in that market space, and how to list those properties, and how to show them when the time comes.
Included with that course purchase is one-year access to the Luxury Home Council, a perfect space for luxury home marketing.
Bonus: How to Find Luxury Sellers and Buyers
Finding and securing luxury buyers and sellers do not need to be impossibly difficult. In fact, it can be as easy as taking up skiing or surfing the web.
Luxury sellers may be difficult to locate via traditional efforts like cold calling, but it is still possible. A great way to do so is by looking up FSBOs, also known as for sale by owners. These listings can be found on Zillow or Craigslist. Sometimes people will list on the multiple listing service (MLS), but only if they’ve paid a fee to list there.
This is an easy way to find motivated sellers. Beware, they are often branded difficult to work with because they believe they know best, and that is why they are choosing to list themselves. But still, the best agents will know how to win them over and win the listing. This is where extensive experience and knowledge come into play so that you can build a connection.
Buyers can be found via lead generation tools and online, especially if you’ve built a following. Another great way to find buyers is by social networking so that your name is out there more and you’re building friendships with people who may eventually buy or even sell.
An interesting tip is to take up a “rich” person hobby that allows you to constantly be surrounded by high-profile clients. This way, you can promote yourself in a more targeted attempt.
Is it hard to get into luxury real estate?
When considering how to become a luxury real estate agent, it is not the easiest task as it is a highly selective marketplace. The most successful agents have been in the business for many years, if not decades. At a certain point, their clients come to them rather than them having to go searching for more.
For those just beginning, the process of becoming a luxury real estate agent can be difficult, and many will give up, which clears up room for those that truly want to reach that status. The steps for becoming a luxury agent are generally the same, and the rate at which it happens will depend on your commitment.
Keep in mind that every person who wants to become a luxury real estate agent started with no understanding of the market and grew from there, just as you will.
Can you get rich as a real estate agent?
Yes, you can become rich as a real estate agent. Real estate is one of the few careers where the amount you make depends solely on your skills and efforts. Those that have been practicing the longest, picking up tricks and skills along the way, will be the most successful and earn the highest wages.
If you want to make a lot of money as a real estate agent, you will need to put in a lot of effort, especially as a luxury agent. You can only get as much as you give in the real estate industry.
Top real estate agents are multi-millionaires. More realistically, real estate agents operating in average markets in major cities can make multiple six figures as a real estate agent.
How do you become an elite real estate agent?
When it comes to becoming an elite real estate agent, you’ll want to follow the steps listed above. First, you will need to become a licensed real estate agent in any state you hope to operate in. Unless you have connections, most agents will begin at the same point after licensing and need to work their way up.
Experience speaks volumes in graduating from an average agent to an elite real estate agent. You will find many of the highest-earning agents have been operating for decades, and clients will come to them. This status also results in a team that works beneath them so that they earn a percentage of those sales and continue to grow.
Who is the richest real estate agent?
The richest real estate agent is Donald Bren, and he earned an estimated net worth of $15.5 billion.