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What comes to mind when you think of a luxury nomad? Maybe it’s someone with a restless wanderlust who would rather travel from city to city and stay in five-star hotels rather than owning or renting residences. Maybe it’s a dreamer who hits the road and seeks exclusive glamping experiences in fanciful yurts that look like a Four Seasons retreat. Or maybe it’s a traveler who journeys abroad by booking trips on the world’s most prestigious airlines and cruise lines.
While all of these could describe a luxury nomad, these particular nomads are not necessarily property buyers. As a luxury real estate agent and global real estate advisor with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, the nomads I’m most interested in, and who I encounter most commonly, are ultra-high net-worth individuals whose expansive portfolios include multiple properties.
With many affluent clients no longer bound to the downtown office five days a week, there has been a notable uptick in buyers wanting to have options when it comes to their living environments or experiences. They want their favorites to be consistent and recurring — available at their convenience and within their control. This is why they hold real estate in multiple communities and locations, and it’s why they are “nomads” who move between them frequently.
As this category of buyer becomes more prevalent, it creates both challenges and opportunities for the luxury real estate professionals who work with them. Here are three ways luxury nomads are redefining how we conduct our business.
1. Luxury nomads raise the bar for residential real estate
Not only do these buyers desire residences in multiple locations, but they insist on homes that meet their high standards — and that often means well-appointed offices, entertainment areas, high-end kitchens, wine cellars, pools, and gyms.
As I mentioned, they return to specific destinations over and over because they love the lifestyle, recreation, and scenery that these places afford, and want to experience them repeatedly. And this appreciation for consistency extends to their secondary properties, which should offer a perfect continuation of the comforts and conveniences they are accustomed to.
During periods when inventory is extremely low, finding multiple homes that exceed clients’ expectations can be a challenge, which is why having a strong, extensive network of colleagues is more critical than ever.
2. Higher turnover for properties opens new opportunities
Another characteristic of luxury nomads is that they have the desire to change and trade properties more frequently than traditional buyers or sellers. I have a client with a stunning home in Los Altos Hills and a condo in Hawaii used as a pied-à-terre, but while they originally had a mountain home so their children could ski, they’ve now sold it in favor of a 4,000 acre ranch.
The lesson here is that when it comes to luxury nomads, clients who were recent buyers can become sellers very quickly, creating new opportunities on both sides of the transaction. Professional networks will prove vital as you not only help your clients find their next property, but connect with prospects who will purchase their former home.
3. Brokers need to embrace excellence like never before
Because these clients desire a high-quality experience regardless of where they are in the world, they may already use property managers or concierges to ensure their needs are met. But often, they’ll look to their real estate agent for expertise, and this is a chance to wow them and win their loyalty as they continue to trade and change homes in future.
I have made calls on behalf of clients to find car services, butlers, decorators, personal chefs, pet sitters, and more. And while these calls have been outside my “normal” duties, they’ve been met with both enthusiasm and appreciation from my clients. You need to be their trusted advisor, as their lives change frequently and they welcome having a guide who helps them assimilate into their new community and elevate their experience.
As luxury nomads set out, luxury agents are there to lead
Even the most satisfied client may only close two or three deals with you over the course of your relationship. But luxury nomads have the potential to close many more if you know what it takes to ensure they’re thrilled and fulfilled. Understanding these ultra-high net-worth individuals can help luxury real estate professionals truly differentiate and redefine their businesses.
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Laura is a dedicated and experienced real estate advisor who takes pride in helping clients find their dream homes. With a background in the fast-moving fashion industry, she knows the value of agility and preparation and has developed a deep bench of trusted resources that she can call upon to assist her clients. Laura is affiliated with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, which has a global reach and a network of colleagues that are the best in the business. She enjoys serving as a global real estate advisor and takes pleasure in finding hidden treasures for her clients. Whether working with a CEO on a multi-million dollar listing or a first-time home buyer, Laura provides her clients with her full attention and best advice. With over 30 years of experience living in the Bay Area, Laura understands the challenges of cross-country transitions and settling into a new place. She considers it a privilege to be a part of her clients’ journeys. In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time at her legacy property in Morgan Hill with her two poodles.