Home Agent ‘A Palpable Sense Of Hesitancy’: Luxe Agents Shift Gears

‘A Palpable Sense Of Hesitancy’: Luxe Agents Shift Gears

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Owners of high-priced homes aren’t sure it’s the best time to list, and even buyers with deep pockets are sometimes afraid to wade in. Top agents shared ways to adapt at Inman Luxury Connect.

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For Jon Grauman’s luxury real estate clients, the decision to make a multimillion-dollar offer has been complicated by the slowdown in home demand. 

Owners of high-priced homes aren’t sure it’s the best time to list. And even buyers with deep pockets are sometimes afraid to wade in.

“The market’s literally shifted beneath our feet,” said Grauman, a Los Angeles area agent with The Agency. “Until it finds its footing, I think that you’re going to continue to experience a palpable sense of hesitancy in the market.”

Luxury agents across the country are now shifting gears to find business in an expensive but slowing market, where high-end properties may have lost their sheen as a potential investment. A panel of top real estate agents discussed how they’re navigating this environment Wednesday at Inman Luxury Connect conference in Las Vegas.

Lisa Robinson, an Engel & Volkers luxury broker, said her clients in Atlanta tend to be savvier investors, which can open up opportunities to work with them even in a slowing luxury market.

“It was just on fire for, I’d say, the last 18 months, and then it came to a screeching halt,” Robinson said. “But I think the opportunities are different now. … I think there are going to be a lot more REO opportunities coming up soon.” 

Her niece and associate broker Leah Robinson said the scaleback in luxury home demand has heightened the importance of getting back to basics. 

Luxury agents have had to spend more time reaching out directly to their past clients and maintaining those relationships, she said. That makes the importance of maintaining a quality database even more important than it was last year when the market was busier.

“There are a million different CRMs out there,” Leah Robinson said. “Whatever you’re doing, even if it’s an Excel document, keep it tight [and] right.”

The market also presents unique challenges for agents working in areas where markets were warped by the behavior patterns of the wealthy earlier in the pandemic.

In Florida, the initial lifting of pandemic-related restrictions opened the floodgates of buyer interest in the state’s higher-end properties, said Engel & Volkers agent Beau Blankenship. Some of the state’s sleepier communities became big markets, he said.

But now that the market has slowed Blankenship has had to focus on the price points that are still selling with ease — those listed $20 million and higher. Interest in properties on the lower end of the luxury spectrum has waned, he said.

Grauman said that agents can bridge the gap with wealthy clients if they earn their place as a trusted adviser who demonstrates clear knowledge of the real estate market in their area.

“Time isn’t what they need in order to make a decision,” Grauman said, “Information is.”

Email Daniel Houston

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