More Profits in Less Time

Luxury travel is a great business for travel agents. There are four primary reasons why I encourage every agency (traditional or home-based) to explore the luxury market. 1. When done correctly, luxury travel is more profitable than almost any other segment of the industry. The luxury buyer is deman


Luxury travel is a great business for travel agents. There are four primary reasons why I encourage every agency (traditional or home-based) to explore the luxury market.

1. When done correctly, luxury travel is more profitable than almost any other segment of the industry.

The luxury buyer is demanding and will take a lot of your time, however he or she is willing to pay for excellent service. That will more than compensate you for the time required.

A friend of mine sells real estate in a resort area just outside Yosemite Park in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The area she works in offers a mix of vacation houses as well as permanent housing with the vast majority of homes priced between $80,000 and about $600,000.

In California, realtors traditionally earn 6 percent commission. That means the value of the average sale in this area to the realtor is between $4,800 and $36,000. Like most markets, the majority of the homes are priced toward the lower end of the range. She makes a lot more sales with commissions that are under $12,000 than over $12,000 (the commission for a $200,000 home).

However she has repeatedly told me, “There is far less work in handling a $300,000 sale generally than a $100,000 sale.” She cites the following reasons:

A. The buyers are smarter. They understand the process of buying a home and what’s involved. They ask more intelligent questions and as a result, end up taking much less of her time.

B. They are more likely to have sufficient money and good credit to buy what they want. Another time-saving factor for the realtor: the wealthier shopper is well prepared. They are pre-approved for loans and have a very good idea of the features that are most important to them in finding a new home. That saves time because they only want to look at homes that meet their criteria.

C. They have reasonable expectations of what their money will buy. They don’t waste my friend’s time looking at homes they cannot afford. One of her recent prospects described what they wanted in a home and told her what they could afford. Unfortunately the two were way out of sync. As she put it, “they want a $250,000 home for less than $100,000. After showing them a few homes, I realized they must get their expectations in line with what they can afford or come up with a lot more money.”

If you sell travel, this should all sound very familiar.

An excerpt from Bruce B. Tepper’s new book, “Mastering the Art of Selling & Marketing Luxury Travel,” available by calling 480-443-0098 or on the Web at www.joselyntepper.com.

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