Markets are becoming ever more interconnected and global in the 21st century. The freedom afforded by international travel and the internet is widening out the luxury real estate market as well. With buyers having the flexibility to live and operate all across the globe—from New York to Paris to Tokyo—luxury real estate agents are having to become more and more cosmopolitan.
In a recent interview with Inman, Laurent Demeure, CEO of Coldwell Banker France & Monaco, lays out trends in the current global luxury real estate market, as well as the skills needed to capitalize on said trends. While COVID kept everyone stuck in their own countries for the last year or so, now that borders are beginning to re-open there is a lot of pent-up demand on a global scale.
Demeure says, “Even given the situation with COVID-19, most of my clients are buying real estate all over the globe…Nowadays, wealthy people have properties in different countries and travel the world. They’re in the U.S., they’re in Europe, they’re in Asia. With the internet, people can work from everywhere. Our situation is global. We started locally but luxury real estate is now a truly global business.”
The internet has been a real game-changer. The events of 2020 have made remote work the rule rather than the exception. And many people will continue to work remotely even after widespread vaccination brings a return to normalcy.
In this context, Demeure gives several tips for real estate agents who want to work at the high end. The first is know the territory you’re working with and don’t make assumptions that what you know about one country necessarily transfers to another. You have to be up to speed on all the local quirks, he says, for example “In Manhattan, you need to know the difference between a co-op and a condo. In London, you need to know the differences between freehold and leasehold. For most of the apartments in the city, you do not own the land because it is owned by the Queen. “
Another point Demeure emphasized is to be respectful of clients’ budgets. Just because you work in the luxury real estate market with high-end clients, does not mean that all of those clients have infinite amounts of money to spend on homes.
But the thing Demeure focuses on the most is the necessity of knowledge and education. It is critical to always be informed. On the global scale this means at least staying up to date on the news in several different countries and cities. Demeure also recommends picking up new languages, saying, “My advice to agents is to keep learning every day.”