A night of networking and a day of indispensable knowledge from illustrious industry insiders.
By Riki Altman-Yee
The fourth annual The RE/MAX Collection Luxury Forum, held in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona, was all about star power. Thanks to a roster of renowned speakers, RE/MAX agents received invaluable advice to help them deliver incredible service to discerning homebuyers and attract affluent sellers worldwide.
The morning of the event, RE/MAX agents from around the country settled in their seats for a full day of learning, kicking off with a tutorial about making marketing consultations count from expert trainer Tammi Simms of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. Next Anne Miller, Director of Brand Marketing, The RE/MAX Collection and David Collins, Founder and President of REAL Marketing, discussed best practices with regards to branding. Other top speakers included Peter Mueller, founder and CEO of The Profit Centre, executive business coach Starla West and panel of top RE/MAX Affiliates.
Perhaps the mostly highly anticipated speaker was renowned designer Vern Yip.
Yip, a renowned expert on staging, has vast experience working with luxury homeowners worldwide. Recognized for his multiple television appearances on HGTV and from TLC’s Trading Spaces, Yip recently became an author with Vern Yip’s Design Wise. He told attendees his goal was to create a resource guide with specific recommendations that eliminate guesswork.
The advice he imparted at The RE/MAX Collection Luxury Forum proved especially priceless, including suggestions on everything from the types of accent flowers and fruits that last longest (real orchids and apples) to the importance of hanging mirrors to create “windows” in rooms lacking natural light.
Traci Nicodemus, from RE/MAX Advantage in Lewisville, Texas, says she walked away with more than a few helpful design tips.
“I’ll be giving [Yip’s] book as my 2017 closing gifts,” she said.
Kevin Weil from RE/MAX Excalibur in Scottsdale, Arizona, says he learned a lot from Yip, and he intends to educate his clients, as well. “There were basic things people consistently miss, like ending tile on an inside corner and ensuring there’s consistent flooring throughout the home. The average person doesn’t get professional advice.”
Here are some basic measurements Yip suggests for placement:
1. Proper placement for lighting is critical. Light fixtures above dining tables should be hung so 66 inches remain between the underside of the main portion of the fixture and the finished floor.
2. Make a statement with artwork. Artwork should hang 60 inches from the finished floor to the center of the piece (except when above a mantle or headboard).
3. Make sure there’s leg room. The edge of a coffee table should be placed 18 inches from the edge of the sofa.
Seen & Heard
After a gourmet lunch in the gorgeous Arizona sun, Starla West discussed key strategies and tools for enhancing visibility and status.”
“Your brand is dictated by the vision you have for your business,” said West, founder and president of Starla West International. “You need to have clarity about who you want to be and where you want to reside in the market.”
West provided three primary strategies for agents seeking higher visibility and enhanced credibility in the luxury market:
1. Cultivate the right relationships. Be proactive and strategic with the people you spend time with. Identify and leverage your strategic partners to learn and apply the necessary information needed to grow your business.
2. Create the right associations. Which connections do you need to generate leads and stimulate business growth? What professional associations can you join to create and enhance your brand?
3. Become known for the right things. West broke down the six major tools that can be used to establish and anchor luxury market brands: networking, speaking, writing, events, volunteer work and awards/recognition. She suggests carefully selecting the activities in which you engage, or creating your own avenues (radio shows, hosting upscale events, posting online videos, etc.), if necessary.
“She helped me learn more about where I should show up, the places where I can meet the type of clients that I’m looking for,” Cathie Richard of RE/MAX Austin Skyline says. “This has given me a new appreciation for the people I have met and a realization of the vast amount of opportunity I have in my business and theirs.”
You need to have clarity about who you want to be and where you want to reside in the market.Starla West