The Luxe Life

by Chicago Agent

There’s always a market for luxury. Just ask Jim Kinney, vice president of luxury at Baird and Warner, who graces this issue’s cover. Even though it might not seem like it, upper-bracket buyers exist throughout up and down cycles. “It’s not impossible. You just have to understand this market and be willing to do what it takes,” he says in our cover story. Beth Burtt and Houda Chedid, big-time luxury agents who were also interviewed, agreed. They each say that being a luxury specialist and an expert when it comes to the market help – the education of sellers is still key, even in the luxury market.

Landing these upper-bracket listings with vast rooms, the finest finishes and appliances and amazing amenities requires skill. In our cover story, agents gave us the rundown of what it takes to be a successful luxury agent – from how to deal with high-maintenance clients to how to educate sellers about property values in the current market – and how they’ve become so good at selling luxury. It’s not that luxury is a hard sell, but just because a buyer is looking at a $10 million house doesn’t always mean that the sky is the limit. Special skills and techniques need to be pulled out of an agent’s toolbox for these kinds of sales.

Luxury agents, who deal with high-end listings and clients regularly, might not often remember their first listings when they entered the real estate industry. In our “Humble Beginnings” sidebar, three luxury agents revisit their roots – and surprisingly, one agent’s first listing was a luxury listing! But it doesn’t entirely count because it was her parents’ house…read more on page 18.

This issue is chock full of luxury – from our My Style, which was shot in a model suite in the Trump International Hotel and Tower, to our Improving Your Business column, with real estate lessons from the late Elizabeth Taylor, who is known for loving luxury and diamonds, besides her acting and beauty. Hopefully you’ll feel luxurious reading this issue cover to cover!

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