By Scott Newman
I recently had the privilege to do some work for high-profile clients. While I did enjoy working with them, I was reminded of just how different their expectations can be. As such, I thought it would be pertinent to review some simple tips and strategies so that should you ever have the opportunity to work with such a client, you’ll be prepared and ready to do a great job.
Respect their privacy: This is the first and most important rule when working with high profile clients. Nothing will get you blackballed in the VIP community faster than blabbing to the press, or anyone, really, about where they’re living or how much they spent, etc. Keep in mind that while people finding out where you live wouldn’t be too much of a hassle for you, it can become a huge problem — and even a safety issue — for high profile people.
Understanding how important privacy is to VIP clients can not only make or break your reputation, but it can also be used as a selling point. Make sure you let them know right up front that you are trustworthy and will keep their information confidential…and make sure you don’t go back on your word for any reason.
Be flexible with your schedule and plan accordingly: Many VIP clients do not do well with schedules because they often have many people pulling them in many directions, and getting them places on time can be difficult. I have had several clients in the past who routinely showed up 30-45 minutes late and that was just something I had to learn to work around. I quickly figured out that I should give the agents we are meeting a time-window and explain the likelihood of my client being late.
Another simple strategy is to schedule more than enough time between showings. Despite the fact that my most recent outing only included showings in a tightly-clustered area of town, I still scheduled 45 minutes in between them to give us ample time to make it through without my client feeling rushed. When we were early a few times I simply took advantage and grabbed us some coffees. I used the time to talk about the area and all the great things available to do there.
Remember, they’re just people: Lastly, remember that at the end of the day, regardless of what someone does for a living, how famous they are, or how much money they make, we all are regular people deep down and want to be treated as such. Despite the common misconception, most VIP clients are not any more difficult than other clients and simply want to be spoken to and treated as such. Don’t make a big deal of who they are or what they do. Just focus on being yourself and doing the same great job you do for all of your clients and you’ll do just fine!
Working with VIP clients can be an exciting and profitable niche market to work. Make a plan for how you’ll handle the opportunity prior to it arriving, and ensure that you’re prepared and knowledgeable about how to make the experience the best it can be for both of you.
Scott Newman is the broker-owner of Newman Realty in Chicago. Connect with Scott at www.newmanknowschicago.com or @newmanrealty.