How to Compete in the Luxury Home Market


Ahh, luxury. You can almost feel the sophisticated beauty and amenities when you walk through the front door of a Kansas City home with a $1 million price tag.

Don’t let that feeling fool you, though — luxury won’t sell itself.

The handful of agents who work the area luxury market will tell you that representing upper-end clients takes the same sales and client service skills you use for other properties. Even if you don’t work this coveted market, I’d advise you to learn the inventory and understand what it takes to serve high-end sellers and buyers. Kansas City boasts an active and growing luxury market, and using a trusted brand like ReeceNichols is paramount to luxury clients.

What defines a luxury home depends on the city’s residential real estate prices — specifically, its average prices. Luxury homes range from $500,000 in smaller markets to an astounding $8 million in Beverly Hills. Kansas City has moved up to the $1 million range.

Currently, there are 177 active Kansas City listings (homes for sale) over $1 million. 38 of those listings, or 20%, are priced over $2 million.

Luxury home sales (actual closings) have risen consistently since 2011. In 2016, there were 185 sales, a 32% increase from 2015, with 140 closed sales. That trajectory followed a 20% increase from 2014.

ReeceNichols maintains 40% market share in this segment of the market — the most of any other area brokerage.

Same but different

As you would expect, high-end clients require many of the same principles you adhere to for clients in any price range: timely response, excellent follow-through, accurate information and strong advocacy for the client.

However, there are a few additional areas of focus for luxury sellers and buyers.

Value: While a buyer and seller of these price points may not be as worried about budget and overall dollars spent, they remain attuned to value. If a home is overpriced, it will not sell, even in the $1 million to $3 million range.

Confidentiality: You must adhere stringently to this principle for high net worth clients. Following this precept includes not sharing who you are working with, at least at the outset.

Different knowledge: Know high end products and materials. What’s new, stylish and unique? Is there a home not yet on the market you can show your client? Where is the premier location, and why?

Specific wants: High-end clients may want spaces to display art, store collectible cars or house other products. Pay attention to entertainment factors, space for events, kitchen, serving areas, flow of the house, among other considerations. They may plan on hosting charity events and large family gatherings.

Relationships: Where can you network and give back while meeting potential high-end clients? Make it a point to develop relationships with agents in the luxury market.

Marketing: Definitely think quality over quantity for photos, video, presentations and tours/parties.

While we can’t brag about $50 and $100 million sales like New York, L.A. and Miami, we can be proud of the direction we are headed in Kansas City. We could see investors from around the country and the world enter our market in the future. Let’s be prepared.

Written by Gregg Davidson
Managing Broker
ReeceNichols Real Estate, Southgate