Jordan Cohen – the No. 1 agent in the RE/MAX network in 2017 – has done business and built relationships with many well-known clients, including Pete Sampras, Reggie Bush, Jared Goff and over 75 professional athletes and celebrities. He landed his recent $85 million listing in Westlake Village, California after previous business dealings with the entertainment-mogul seller.
So how did Cohen earn these sellers’ business in the first place?
“It’s all about the listing presentation,” Cohen says. “The number-one most important step for a luxury real estate agent – whether you’re new or already successful – is to create, practice and be confident in your listing presentation.”
In fact, Cohen says, the listing presentation is the most important element for any real estate agent, at any experience level. “If you don’t have a dominating listing presentation, you’ll always be a deal-to-deal Realtor who happens to get lucky on some real estate transactions.”
Cohen learned this the hard way at the start of his career 27 years ago, after losing out on his first two listing appointments, both for homes in the $200,000s. Those setbacks pushed him to focus his time creating and practicing what is now – in his words, and backed up by the facts of his ultra-successful career – “an unbeatable presentation.”
“The listing presentation is the most important aspect a real estate agent should focus on to have longevity and a high level of success.”
It’s not a canned, one-and-done presentation. He relentlessly preps for each one, tailoring it to the potential client and property. “Jordan is a master at perfecting his skills,” says Anne Miller, executive director of The RE/MAX Collection, the luxury portfolio containing Cohen’s $85 million listing, as well as every property he represents. “He continues to get better and better and better.”
Cohen pays attention to every detail, Miller explains. “He’s the complete package: the way he presents’ himself, the marketing plan, relevant market data, his confidence – whatever it is, he has it all when he presents. He’s the epitome of a luxury real estate professional.”
The RE/MAX Collection is the global luxury brand of RE/MAX, the worldwide leader in real estate transactions*. Luxury agents with RE/MAX can leverage a premium listing website as well as a variety of elegant marketing templates that can be tailored to their clients’ preferences.
Two Keys to Domination
Although each presentation is unique, they all share two common elements, Cohen says. First, you must establish credibility. “The goal with every presentation is to make the seller truly believe that they not only want to list with you, but they need to list with you,” he asserts.
Second, outline a detailed plan of action. This is important with any client, but it’s especially vital in the luxury market. “You’re dealing with well-educated, experienced and savvy real estate owners,” Cohen says. “They will interview a few specialists before they select whom they feel gives them the best chance to sell the home for the most amount of money. You have to tell them how you’re going to do that.”
A Plan of Action
For Cohen, the “how” is different for each property. “My philosophy is that each listing is its own business, and I am the CEO of that business,” he says. “I develop a custom marketing plan for each listing.”
All of Cohen’s plans include components of print, internet and social media. “But you also can’t discount old-fashioned hustle – picking up the phone and making calls. That way, potential buyers can hear in my voice that I’m passionate about the listing.”
That’s key because passion is one of Cohen’s trademarks. “The first and foremost quality that sets Jordan apart is his enthusiasm,” says his assistant Kristi Dougherty. “It’s not an act. He has more passion and energy than anyone I know.”
Cohen channels that passion into maximizing the exposure — both locally and internationally — of every listing he represents.
For internet marketing, Cohen speaks highly of The RE/MAX Collection website as a tool for agents. “It’s fantastic,” he says. “The RE/MAX brand is in over 100 countries, and sellers love to hear that – that you’re marketing internationally, and the ad is translated into different languages.” The RE/MAX Collection also offers agents premium brochure templates and assistance with listing presentations.
Cohen also strongly believes in print marketing, even in an age when many agents are focused on digital. That’s because print opens buyers’ eyes to consider properties in areas they may not have thought to search online. He explains it like this: “I’ve sold homes in Westlake Village to people who were searching in Calabasas, which is 10 minutes farther east. But they see the listing in a print magazine and say, ‘I didn’t even think about Westlake.’”
For print, he chooses only the very best high-end publications with the broadest reach. Favorites include regional publications like Dream Homes Los Angeles as well as global avenues such as Dream Homes International and Unique Homes China.
Recently, however, social media has risen as a bright star in Cohen’s marketing plans. Especially his Instagram account @jordancohen1. In two years, Cohen has gone from zero followers to 154,000 – all developed organically (see “Insta-Sales” for his tips on marketing through social media). What’s more, his Instagram presence is translating into actual sales – roughly 12 in 2017. “Social media is the fastest way to get your listings in front of people, right on their cell phones, without them having to search a particular city or house,” he says. He has a Twitter presence, but he puts most of his energy into Instagram because it’s photo-driven, making it an ideal venue to display the gorgeous properties he represents.
Personalized showings are another essential piece of Cohen’s marketing plans. He avoids using showing agents, preferring to show properties himself whenever possible. “That way I can overcome objections, talk about comparables and close,” he says. His showings are by appointment only, and because his properties tend to be among the highest of the high end, he prescreens all potential buyers. “No one gets in any of my listings unless I can qualify them first. I don’t want to waste my time or my seller’s time with people coming to see it just because it’s cheaper than going to a movie.”
Vetting the potential buyers also helps him hone his pitch. “I learn as much as I can about them – where they’re moving from, how many children, what they do for work, so I can sell them on how my listings fit their lifestyle.”
These strategies, while imperative for the luxury market, apply to all areas of real estate sales, Cohen says. “If you’re a great real estate agent and you have a dominating listing presentation, you’ll excel whether you’re in entry-level housing or in luxury real estate. It’s all about building up your skill set to be the best at what you do.”
Follow Jordan Cohen on Instagram @jordancohen1
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