Navigating the Luxury Real Estate Market: An Inside Look from Top Agents

by Chuck Roper 30. September 2019 07:21

St. Louis continues to enjoy a thriving luxury real estate market, with sales of residential homes priced at $1 million and above during the first six months of 2019 coming in at 13.9% higher than the same period last year. This is consistent with the upward trend since 2015. 


For those who are dedicated and willing to learn, now is a great time to be a luxury real estate agent. So, we sat down with three top-performing agents at Janet McAfee and discussed the most frequently asked questions on how to navigate the luxury market.  



Stephanie Connell has been a top luxury real estate agent since 2002, and with Janet McAfee for the past year. 


Julie Lane has been a top agent in the luxury real estate market with Janet McAfee for 11 years. 


Lisa Coulter has been a top luxury market agent at Janet McAfee for 25 years. 


 

How can someone get started as a luxury real estate agent?


Stephanie Connell: Somebody thinking about getting into luxury real estate should know the area, market and type of luxury real estate that they’d like to concentrate on. In St. Louis, we define the luxury market as being $1 million and up. So, really discover what price point to concentrate on, define that and become an educator...not just educated. People who see you at social events often ask questions, and you want to be able to have information readily available so you’re marketing yourself wisely. 


Lisa Coulter:  It’s not easy in the beginning, but it really pays off to get a good base of knowledge. It would be great to shadow top producers so you can see what they do and how they do it on a daily basis. Ultimately, you have to have knowledge of pricing and recent sales in all the areas you want to work. That knowledge will help you as you make the connections you need to build your business. 


Julie Lane: With this job, even when everyone else is not working, that’s when you have to be working. This segment of the market doesn’t follow the typical real estate calendar — meaning they don’t all buy and sell in the spring. It’s an ever-changing timeline. So, it helps to be very familiar with the area you’re trying to do business in. When you're armed with knowledge of the market that potential clients are trying to buy and sell in, it makes them feel really comfortable with you.


How do you become a successful luxury real estate agent? 


SC:  For luxury buyers and sellers, it’s a lifestyle. They don’t always have to move. So, you have to be able to communicate with clients and know what type of information they’re receptive to, like presenting data and facts to help with their decision. 


LC: You have to develop good relationships, not just with your clients, but also other agents. If you build a reputation of being fair, good and communicative — all the things that other agents want to deal with — people want to work with you. It's important to make connections with other top producers, not only to build your reputation with them, but also to learn about homes that may not be on the market yet that would be perfect for your clients. 


What would you say is the best way to market luxury real estate?


JL:  I think it’s really important to get to know the client and the property. Ask sellers why they fell in love with the house in the first place, because that same reason can attract the next buyer. It can also help you make key decisions about what type of promotional materials to gather, like aerial shots, twilight shots or video.  


SC: Everything has to be professional. From brochures to pictures, your marketing always needs to be that higher end presentation. Also, getting creative with open houses. We try to get other agents to come in and preview the house so they can share it with their clients however we can — whether it’s hosting lunch, a cocktail hour or by invitation only. 


LC: The pre-market stage is the most important, working with the client to get the home market-ready before gathering photography and videography. Then, teasing the upcoming listing using those assets.  


At Janet McAfee, we’re so lucky to be a part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and Luxury Portfolio International. Those marketing platforms have a global reach and expose our listings to a wide audience well beyond St. Louis. Being a part of organizations like this to market listings is a huge help. 


What advice can you give on navigating a down market? 


JL:  Don’t stop working, continue on. You have to be even more focused on what’s happening when the market is down to be able to give sound advice to your clients. For example, you may know that a house in a great neighborhood is going to sell whether the market is down or not. But, you have to be able to discern that. 


LC:  Connections and networking are everything. Just as an example, the recession 10 years ago was a tough time for the real estate market, but my business partner and I actually had one of our highest producing years. This was mainly because we had connections with sellers that we knew had been talking to us about selling their house, and buyers that we knew were looking. So, we could put together deals on houses that weren't even on the market, which worked well for us. Looking at current listings in MLS just isn't enough to be in this luxury market.


Janet McAfee is a recognized luxury real estate agency in the St. Louis area. For more details about careers at our boutique firm or the luxury market, visit our website!

 

Here's What $5 Million Can Buy in Greater St. Louis

by Chuck Roper 20. August 2019 05:35

Affluent buyers with at least $1 million to invest in their luxury home can experience refined living in the Midwest. Increase that to $5 million in St. Louis’ highly sought-after luxury market, and buyers can lavish in vistas, exceptional craftsmanship, wine cellars, heated pools and more. 


Here’s a closer look at what $5 Million can buy in Greater St. Louis:

1. St. Albans

[1091 Wings Road, St. Albans, MO 63073]


List Price: $4.9 million 

Square footage: 12,031 

Acres: 15.7

Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 6 beds, 7 baths 


The 5,400 acre community of St. Albans is recognized as a premier golf course development within Missouri offering exclusive courses, exquisite country clubs and the utmost privacy. For buyers who enjoy a quiet neighborhood, this St. Albans home offers stunning amenities. 


At $4.9 million, "La Charrette" sits on 15.7 acres of land offering spectacular bluff views of the Missouri River. It was designed by renowned architect Jack Arnold and features breathtaking architectural details, including Cathedral ceilings and interior trusses made from 800-year-old Douglas Fir. 


Take a look around:


2. Huntleigh

[18 Huntleigh Woods, Huntleigh, MO 63131]


List Price: $4.25 million 

Square footage: 6,517

Acres: 2.05

Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 4 beds, 5.5 baths 


Huntleigh is one of the most alluring and exclusive neighborhoods in all of Greater St. Louis. A grand, two-story entryway, spacious walk-in closets, in-ground pool, luxurious pool house, bonus studio apartment and wet bar are all included in this sophisticated estate. Situated upon 2.05 acres, the home is just a short drive to fine dining, boutique shopping and top-rated public and private schools.  


Take a look around:


3. Ladue 

[809 South Warson Road, St. Louis, MO 63124]


List Price: $4.125 million 

Square footage: 7,240

Acres: 1

Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 5 beds, 7 baths 


Affluent buyers will find this St. Louis estate a stunning oasis. The tree-lined property offers extreme privacy, with multiple amenities for outdoor entertaining, alfresco dining and lasting memories. 


Inside is a work of true art and craftsmanship, from the wood floors to the immaculate finishes. A 2,000-bottle wine cellar, media room, exercise room, and suede granite countertops offer the true splendor of luxury living. 


Take a look around: 


4. Clayton

[29 West Brentmoor Park, Clayton, MO 63105]


List Price: $3.45 million 

Square footage: 8,876

Acres: 1.51

Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 5 beds, 7 baths 


Clayton has significant buyer appeal and a prominent luxury market that attracts businesses and resident owners alike. There’s certainly no shortage of things to do in the gorgeous community. Shaw Park includes a pool, skating rink, ball fields, gardens, sculptures, gorgeous pavilions and more. 


For $3.45 million, buyers can get an 8,876 square foot home with over three stories, five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, five fireplaces and an attached guest apartment. Not to mention, a 5,000-bottle wine cellar that replicates a cave for the true collector.  


Take a look around:



These sophisticated luxury homes are just a slice of the thriving St. Louis luxury market. To view more fine homes in key central corridor communities, view Janet McAfee’s Luxury Collection


We are a recognized local leader in luxury real estate. For more information, give us a call at (314) 997-4800 or visit our website.

Luxury Home Market: 6 Features that Make the Sale

by Chuck Roper 24. July 2019 09:22

The 2019 St. Louis luxury home market is on pace to become the decades best year. In fact, the most recent Luxury Real Estate Report by Luxury Portfolio International (LPI) on what matters most to luxury buyers reveals that residential buying interest among North America’s elite remains high—with 30 percent of affluent buyers considering a purchase in the next three years. When it comes to price, 44 percent say they plan on spending up to $1.49 million.


What is it that takes affluent buyers from consideration to an actual luxury home purchase? We combined our expert knowledge of the luxury real estate market and findings from the LPI report to narrow down the top six features that make the sale. 

1. The Physical Space

When it comes to the most important thing affluent buyers look at when making an investment, it all boils down to the physical space. More specifically, the location (ranked at 53 percent), the community (ranked at 51 percent) and the layout (ranked at 50 percent) of the home. 


[Ellen Kurtz Interiors]


[Janet McAfee Luxury Listing]

2. Traditional and Contemporary Architecture and Style

Traditional and contemporary homes were ranked as the top two styles. Timeless, European-inspired structures bring a classic elegance that buyers can’t resist. Yet soft, neutral elements mesh the new with the old in a contemporary style that also attracts affluent buyers. 


Traditional

[Janet McAfee Luxury Listing]


[Janet McAfee Luxury Listing]


Contemporary

[Janet McAfee Luxury Listing]


         

[Marcia Moore Design, Suzy Gorman Photography]                [Marcia Moore Design]

3. Health and Wellness Rooms  

Luxury buyers are increasingly looking for amenities that allow them to incorporate their health and wellness lifestyles into the home—be it in-home gyms for a quick workout, saunas to sweat out the day’s toxins or biophilic designs for tranquility. The Miami-based Global Wellness Institute found that the number of wellness-oriented properties has grown by 6.4 percent annually since 2015; it’s projected to be a $180 billion industry by 2022. 


[Janet McAfee Luxury Listing]


[S&K Interiors]


[Janet McAfee Luxury Listing]

4. Privacy and Security 

The higher the price, the more privacy the buyers expect. They want to feel safe, comfortable, and secure in their homes without distractions from neighbors. Tree-lined yards, aesthetically pleasing gates and integrated smart security systems are all of value. 


[Luxury Portfolio International Listing by Hilton & Hyland]


[Janet McAfee Luxury Listing]


5. Eco-Friendly Installations 

Green is the new black! Recent innovations have shown that homes can not only be eco-friendly, but also opulent, sleek and desirable. Solar panels to increase passive energy, LED lighting for improved efficiency and sustainably sourced materials to reduce the carbon footprint are all top installations affluent buyers desire. 


[Luxury Portfolio International Listing by Bahamas Realty Limited]


[S&K Interiors]


6. Smart Home Tech 

Smart home tech has seen a tremendous rise over the last few years. According to Business Insider, Millennial buyers especially love being able to control home features like thermostats, lighting and appliances at the touch of their mobile devices. 





Keeping a pulse on market trends and elite buyers’ must-haves allows you to make informed recommendations to the seller on features that will deliver a quick sale. 


What luxury features do your affluent buyers always look for? Comment below!

6 Luxury Home Must-Haves for 2018

by Chuck Roper 12. September 2018 04:02

 

 

You own a beautiful homenow, how can you make it better? Luxury homeowners all over the globe are adding amenities to their houses that increase the resale value and give homeowners an even more luxurious quality of life. Consider some of these gorgeous (sometimes unusual!) improvements to your home:

 

 

 

1. Dog Shower


Dog showers are becoming popular design features in many luxury homes. Architect William Harrison reports that he’s been asked to design dog showers for many clients. These are often designed for large dog breeds, who have difficulty bathing in a traditionally-sized bathtub. Dog showers are low to the ground, designed with extra-tough, dirt- and wear-resistant tiles and shower heads with long flexible hoses. These custom showers leave both owner and pooch happy!


2. Bathroom Fireplace


A hot bath is the perfect way to relax after a long day. The only thing that could make the experience more relaxing would be a crackling fireplace. This trend has taken over luxury homes, with many owners choosing to improve their properties with a bathroom fireplace. A luxurious, relaxing bathroom can add greatly to a home’s resale value, as well as giving the homeowner many peaceful nights.


3. Observatory


Turn a top floor room into a luxurious observatory with the addition of a telescope! This is a new trend in luxury homes and is particularly popular with homeowners who already have large skylights or glass-enclosed rooms. Companies like High Point and Frontgate make excellent at-home telescopes that can transform any home into a beautiful observatory.


4. Home Theater

 

 

 


One of the hallmarks of a luxury home is a fully-functioning home theater. Modern technology allows homeowners to have full movie screens, surround sound speakers, and luxury seating. You can even design your own.


5. Sauna


Sitting in a personal steam room is the height of luxury. Specially designed benches, custom sauna decor, and particular rocks and wood are all sold to help homeowners personalize their saunas. Saunas have been proven to have many health benefits, helping people sweat out toxins and decrease stress.



6. Wine Cellar


Tried and true, the wine cellar has been a cornerstone of luxury homes. And, this classic is as relevant as ever in 2018. Amassing a wine collection is a wonderful hobby, and storing it in an aesthetically pleasing wine cellar is a privilege that comes from owning a luxury home. Play with lighting, shelving, and even seating to create a space perfect for storage and tasting.



Any of these amenities will add beauty and value to your home. You already own an amazing house--now make it truly luxurious!


If you’re ready to start the search for your luxury home, contact Janet McAfee for access to our listings over $750,000 as part of our exclusive affiliation with Luxury Portfolio.

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