Understanding the Needs of the Affluent Homebuyer

    Last year at this time, the news was full of the gloom and doom the president’s new tax plan was going to drop on the real estate market – especially the high-end second-home market.

    Some experts predicted that owners who can’t find a tax loophole may end up selling, thus adding to the luxury home inventory.

    Selling any home requires an understanding of the buyer pool. When the home is high-end, it’s even more important, as this pool is significantly smaller and those swimming in it are much more specific in their wants and needs.

    While the list changes frequently, a few features that attract affluent homebuyers remain the same decade after decade. These include privacy and security, a personalized or custom space and a home that helps build “happy memories with family and friends,” according to a 2018 Luxury Portfolio International® study.

    Putting these qualities into words and highlighting them is critical when marketing a luxury property.

    What else are today’s wealthy homebuyers seeking? Read on to learn more.

    What are the affluent homebuyer’s hot buttons?

    It’s challenging to lump together any group of individuals and assume they all want the same things. The luxury homebuying pool is no exception. International buyers, for instance, have vastly different desires than the luxury buyer planning to live in the home full-time.

    Then, the more expensive the home, the longer the list of must-haves.

    Available in the postcard section under the Luxury Series.

    But, when studying domestic luxury homebuyers, certain themes become apparent. These include their desire for privacy, energy efficiency and a spa-like master suite, among others.


    Privacy tops the list of concerns of affluent homebuyers, according to the Luxury Portfolio International study of the top 10 percent (by income) of real estate consumers.

    This is particularly evident in land-starved areas, such as Silicon Valley, where Mark Zuckerberg bought four of his neighbor’s homes to provide a buffer between his family and the rest of us. He also walled off his neighbor’s ocean views near his Hawaii home, trying to create even more privacy.

    Wealthy homebuyers want tech-friendly homes

    When we think “tech-friendly” we typically picture a millennial homebuyer. Recent surveys show, however that 87 percent of buyers shopping in the luxury market won’t purchase a home that doesn’t offer tech features.

    App-driven security systems are the most in-demand feature (with more than half of high-end property buyers requesting them), followed by automated climate control.

    If your luxury listing’s tech system also extends to controlling other home systems, you’ll want to hit the feature hard in your marketing materials.

    Scaled back swimming pool

    A Redfin study finds that luxury buyers, for the most part, still insist on a swimming pool, but they want it to be smaller. This makes sense when we understand their desire for more backyard entertainment features. A smaller pool leaves more room for these additional features.

    What the affluent seek in a real estate agent

    According to a 2017 Luxury Portfolio International white paper, there are three qualities that the high-end home shopper or seller is seeking in an agent.

    The first is trustworthiness. Let your testimonials do the heavy lifting on this one. Ensure that you place your best one above the fold on your website and that the others are easily accessible.

    The second quality you’ll need to attract affluent real estate consumers is proof that you understand the “details that distinguish the best.” This means understanding “artistic craftsmanship.”

    Yes, it’s something that can be learned, but it takes time. Immerse yourself in architecture and art. Tour high-end homes to get a feel for what constitutes “aesthetic quality.” Get to know the luxury brands that this pool of homebuyers finds valuable.

    Finally, when asked about their ideal real estate agent, luxury homebuyers say they want to work with someone who is willing to “take the time to understand my needs.”

    Now that one is universal.

    A great resource for agents interested in entering the luxury market is Michael LaFido’s Luxury Blueprint Video Series. It’s a three-part series on how to break into and sell more high-end and luxury homes.

    You can also listen to his podcast “Luxury Listing Specialist” on iTunes or Stitcher. For information on Michael’s Luxury Listing Specialist Certification Click Here.

    Luxury Property Flyers (available under the Luxury Marketing tab on our website)
    If you have a luxury property listing be sure to order Luxury Property Flyers to enhance your client’s property and highlight its outstanding features.

    Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

    PLUS: When you have time…here are Free killer tools to help your success this year!

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    Lisa is an accomplished marketer with years of expertise in direct response marketing, digital marketing, data analytics and business development working with both B2C and B2B.