A research conducted by Sotheby's International Realty US reveals that 'new affluent' consumers are more self-reliant than established consumers when it comes to looking to buy or sell property. This has revolutionised the real estate market; stirring agents to think out of the box to provide more personalised services and amenities, which this new global band of rich ultras have not looked for or thought of themselves.
Who is the new affluent consumer?
New affluent consumers are generally young and urban. Their employment profile aligns with their educational qualifications and achievements. Most affluent households have multiple earners and homeownership is extremely important for them in order to be affluent.
The new affluent are technology savvy and conduct their own research when purchasing or selling a property. Therefore, real estate agents have to alter their traditional role in order to keep up. The report suggests that there has been a considerable decrease in the use of real estate associates by new affluent consumers when selling their properties as compared to established consumers.
In 2017, only 26 per cent of new affluent used the services of a real estate agent while 64 per cent of established affluent seek the expertise of real estate agents. Similarly, when buying a property, 28 per cent of new affluent reported using professional services in contrast to 72 per cent of established affluent. This is because this group is highly confident and motivated as well as independent when it comes to tasks being accomplished.
In addition, they are also getting help from technology. In the age of digital advancement real estate websites like Knock, REDFIN, Opendoor, Zillow, realtor.com, etc. have made the work of real estate agents extremely challenging especially when the answers to most of your solutions are just a few clicks away.
What is important to the new affluent consumer?
The study reveals three important factors that determine the decision of new affluent consumers when selecting an individual or company for buying or selling property. These factors are brand, attentive service, and use of latest technology. When it comes to brand these consumers want to experience something that is highly worth their time to justify their spending. They want the services and amenities to be memorable. That means that a real estate agent should concentrate on selling the experience rather than products.
This wil also make real estate agents work harder to provide personalised services that cater to one's needs and requirements, creating a niche for themselves in regards to the services they are providing to their clients. Here, active learning comes to play as the aim is to make it right the first time, saving the client's time and money and not make them look at properties, which do not match their lifestyle at all.
The research also reveals that the new affluent consider Sotheby's International Realty as a brand that stands apart from other real estate brands. In fact, Sotheby's International Realty is considered a highly prestigious commodity outside the real estate arena. It ranks fairly high when compared to Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Cartier... New Affluent also consider Sotheby's International Realty as luxurious, high quality, exclusive, classic and global. The research suggested that the company is able to build a long lasting connection with the new affluent group because of the customised services they provide. The study further states 27 per cent of consumers who have homes over $1 million (US) avail the services of Sotheby's International Realty.
Canadian affluent consumers
From the Canadian perspective, Richard Silver, Sales Representative and Senior Vice President-Sales at Sotheby's International Realty Canada states that there are some traits common to all new affluent consumers.
Our new affluent clients prefer shorter commutes; choosing to spend more family time and less time travelling. They insist on good schools and easy access to restaurant, shops and entertainment.
Good real estate agents should be aware of some of their clientele needs and requirements even before they meet.
Take for example an agent today has to be keenly aware of schools, their ratings as well as proximity to playgrounds and other family amenities. They should know clients with children consider parenting their top most priority. In this case agents should start their neighbourhood search with this important nugget in mind.
Silver also notes that the new affluent are very busy people and that is why it is imperative that a thorough research be conducted before presenting the properties to them.
Most of our new affluent are young couples who are both motivated to work and have careers. If they are stay-at-home parents, they are equally busy in their daily chores. They are highly determined and will challenge the most seasoned agent in getting what they desire. These are the traits of about half of our clientele.
Silver adds that their clients are technologically sophisticated and like using different types of gadgets and online resources to get information.
This is why it is more important than ever for an associate to speak their language and communicate with them at their level of digital suaveness. Real estate agents should continuously educate themselves of latest devices and gizmos that are being used in transmitting information to the clients faster and conveniently.
The new affluent are born in the age of digital revolution, they feast on information, which they get on the internet and use different tools to remain online 24/7. This band of social media savvy are aware of new trends and innovations in real estate as well also other sectors compared to established affluent. In the world of start-ups, people are not shy of taking risks and doing things by themselves. The new affluent have embraced this mantra and with technology on their side, businesses have to be on top of their game while catering to this section of clientele.