Luxury Home Features Meant to Capture Attraction Shifts
When it comes to selling luxury homes, you really can’t pigeonhole who the ‘typical’ buyer is likely to be. The 9% of buyers that make up the pool of ‘affluent’ prospects are themselves pretty much profile-proof—and the dollar value that 9% represents fluctuates substantially from one end of the country to the other. On the other hand, it is possible to take advantage of features that are growing in popularity with today’s luxury home buyers.
Realtytimes researchers found that affluent buyers are increasingly attracted to features that belong in the smart-home technology category. Smart thermostats that owners control right from their smartphones, wireless homes security camera arrays, and fully tricked-out home theaters are draws. To qualify at the high end, an entertainment center really should be controlled by a single device. Let’s face it: no matter how fancy a home theater might be, if three or four remote controls are visible, they’re certain to draw scowls!
Kitchen tech—of the kind that marries function with fashion—continues to gain in popularity. Bringing professional-level tools into domestic kitchens is a goal being incorporated in more and more top kitchen appliance offerings. On the leading edge: ovens with high-performance steam generators as well as blast chillers with touch-sensitive, intuitive user interfaces. All are designed “to create the kitchen that’s right”—one to match a buyer’s “level of culinary daring.” Digital Interiors found that 94% of such buyers “would sacrifice 1,00 square feet of living space for more technology…”—but keep in mind that most researchers find that, with few exceptions, 3,500 square feet is the non-urban baseline for qualifying in this market.
Selling luxury homes used to begin with location, location, location. But that may be undergoing a subtle shift. In Luxurydefined, one leading point is made that traditionally prominent ZIP codes are “no longer the defining baseline” for luxury homes. Newly included are areas where there is a “slower perceived tempo of life”—which fits in with the emerging interest in homes with ‘experiential’ features (like meditation gardens or outdoor showers).
Few luxury homes have those particular features, but being turnkey-ready is another matter. Brand new homes qualify automatically, but as has always been the case, existing residences that compete with other high-end homes can be expected to do best when they qualify as one of the ‘just bring your toothbrush’ properties.
Affluent prospects may be well-heeled, but they are also increasingly attentive to energy-efficient features. Some new homes designed with the luxury market in the crosshairs boast of ‘super-efficient’ floorplans built to consume 50% less energy than typical new homes. The draw is not entirely economical, either. That’s evidenced in how the current dip in energy costs hasn’t resulted in a proportional tapering in demand for homes reflecting conscious living (features reflecting environmental awareness and sustainability).
Luxury home owners, like their prospective buyers, have a pretty clear idea of what they demand when it comes to selling their properties. First and foremost: an agent with comprehensive knowledge of the local market—and experience with luxury homes. According to Money magazine, sales at the high end are growing faster than in any other market segment…which is another way of pointing out that if you are looking to get into the luxury home market, now is a pretty good time to give me a call!
Cindy Hanson Welu, team lead for the JCT Group with Keller Williams Realty Elite is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and member of the Luxury Home Institute. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit JCTGroup.com.