Six visionaries in Chicago’s real estate market met at Prime & Provisions last month to discuss trends in the luxury market. Read more about this year’s real estate visionaries in the Summer 2018 digital edition of Modern Luxury Men’s Book Chicago.
- Sam Jenkins, Compass Real Estate
- Jason O’Beirne, Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty
- Joanne Nemerovski, Compass Real Estate
- Bruce Glazer, @properties
- Owen Duffy, Fulton Grace Realty
- Rebecca Thomson, Thomson Real Estate Group
Buyers Want Amenities
Joanne Nemerovski noted that in luxury condo developments, buildings are putting in incredible amenities such as a virtual golf course, sprawling dog runs and health clubs. “I think they are having to compete with some of these rental buildings,” she said. “When you walk into some of these rental buildings, you feel like you’re on vacation.”
Owen Duffy is seeing demand for higher end amenities in market rate condos. “Whereas two or three years ago, smart home technology was more of a wish or a want, I’m definitely seeing buyers viewing this as an expectation – at all price points,” he said. In particular, he predicts electric car chargers will rise to the top of many buyers’ wishlists within the next five years.
Sam Jenkins observed that buyers are no longer accepting anything but top-of-the-line finishes for homes in their neighborhoods, something he said developers need to be aware of. “The demand for finishes has changed dramatically post-recession,” he said.
Sellers Want a REALTOR® with a following
Duffy said many in the industry are seeing value in growing their follower counts on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook in response to seller demand. “People who are selling their home want an agent who has a following on social media and we’re seeing that more and more,” he said.
Perception is reality, so building a large following communicates value to potential clients.
Communicate Your Worth
Rebecca Thomson asked the panel if the competition between buildings to provide the best amenities could potentially price out potential buyers unwilling to accept higher assessments that come with such amenities.
Nemerovski said one building, No. 9 Walton, took a different approach to those concerns. “Nobody said, ‘This is a great value,’” she said. “They’re saying ‘This is the highest quality and the best amenities, and we have an unbelievable building. If you can afford it, come be part of it.”
Jason O’Beirne said in a softening market, a home with middle of the road finishes and amenities are not attractive to many buyers, making it very hard to control pricing. “The big takeaway I had when I was in real estate in 2008-2009 was, don’t get stuck in the middle. Either be minimalist and price accordingly, or be ultra luxury.”
Don’t Ignore Your Network
O’Beirne noted the importance of knowing where your network is, as sometimes, where a bar is opening or where younger people are moving can be lucrative trend indicators. “If you hung out in Bucktown with residents, they would tell you that’s where you should invest you money,” he said. “But it took ten years before big money figured that out because they followed financial studies or Crain’s reports.”
Duffy said other REALTORS® are a valuable resource towards helping him stay up to date. “We have an absolute army of real estate agents out there.”
Bruce Glazer uses social media as more than a marketing tool. Glazer said he’s a member of many smaller neighborhood Facebook Groups to help gain a more a local perspective.
Glazer also leverages technology to stay in front of clients and retain his business. Glazer said he uses a CRM called Follow Up Boss, especially useful for a feature that automatically sends short replies to messages from clients.
“These days, when people click on a property that they’re interested in, they want a reaction from the broker right away,” he said.
There are a lot of digital tools REALTORS® can use to maintain their book of business. Listen to our YPN Breakfast discussion on New & Efficient Technology for ways to use technology to grow your business.