It’s a well-known fact that not all real estate is created equal. The luxury market—usually defined in the Boulder/Broomfield area as a listing priced at $1 million or more — has a very niche clientele. These buyers and sellers not only have the financial means to afford such properties, but they also have very specific criteria for homes they want to purchase. Whether it’s a buyer looking for a special new space, or a seller with a sizable asset they care about, WK Real Estate understands the delicate nature of luxury real estate. “Luxury properties will appeal to a different type of buyer than your average home,” says Dan Kingdom, president and owner of WK Real Estate. “The pool of buyers in the upper price ranges is a smaller one, and they need to be targeted with specific intention.”
The $1 million mark isn’t a hard line for luxury listings, explains Kingdom. Some townhomes and condos that cost closer to $800 or $900 thousand, but boast an excellent location or elegant finishes, could be considered luxury listings. Fixer-uppers are an exception on the other end of the spectrum. “Conversely,” says Kingdom, “there are some properties in the $1 to $1.5 million range where the value of the property is primarily in the land and location and not in the existing structures. Those types of properties would not be considered ‘luxury’ from a marketing standpoint.”
It is not only the clientele that are different when it comes to buying and selling luxury properties — the transaction itself is different, too. The high price of these properties comes with complications, and the buying and selling process is often more tangled than with homes in lesser price ranges. “Finishes, furnishings, systems, hardware, materials used, accessory buildings, lot size and location — a different level of knowledge and education is required to first understand and then effectively market these properties,” says Kingdom.
While the needs of these listings tend to be different, WK Real Estate understands that all successful real estate transactions begin with the same simple step: listening. “Our clients’ needs, goals and timing are paramount and supersede all else,” says Kingdom. “When working with buyers, it’s our job to follow their desires, on their timeline, and then guide them through the home selection and purchase process only when they are comfortable. At all times, we are their advocate.”
WK Real Estate associates present clients with all of their options, which can be especially plentiful when it comes to a luxury listing. The company empowers clients to be decisive and confident in real estate transactions. This philosophy carries over to those who are looking to sell, as well. “For our sellers, the single most important factor is ensuring that they are comfortable and able to make sound, quality decisions,” says Kingdom. This was the experience of Bart Macgillivray, who recently purchased a home in Niwot through WK Real Estate and is currently selling his previous home with the same WK associate, Chris Haught. “In order to sell the house, Chris had a list of things he wanted to see done to make it as marketable as it could be,” says Macgillivray. “WK Real Estate doesn’t put it on the market until they’ve done as much as they can to bring a high return back to the homeowner who is selling the property.” Macgillivray adds that Chris provided connections to a team of talented craftspeople who helped the home shine. “He had people who did staging, painting, landscape work — all at fair prices because they work with him a lot,” says Macgillivray. “That was an added benefit.”
Another benefit provided to sellers by WK Real Estate is a carefully thought-out pricing strategy, individualized for each home, which leads directly to a customized, multi-step marketing plan. “Our WK marketing plans utilize an intentional mix of online media tools and traditional marketing channels to position our clients’ distinctive properties to receive maximum exposure,” says Pam Metzger, vice president corporate services and relocation. “Every property listed with WK Real Estate, whether considered luxury or not, benefits from an impressive array of digital, print and other marketing options.”
For luxury listings specifically, sellers reap the benefits of WK Real Estate’s status as a founding member of Luxury Portfolio International. Luxury Portfolio International is a network of the world’s most experienced and respected experts in luxury real estate. “This valuable affiliation provides WK Real Estate with key channels to market and promote our luxury listings to a global audience,” says Metzger.
Luxury Portfolio International provides sellers with access to some of the most affluent buyers in the world. WK Real Estate converts at a rate of 73 percent when they work with referrals from this network.
“By listing with WK Real Estate, our clients increase their chances of not only attracting a qualified buyer, but also bringing the buyer and seller together to a mutually beneficial result,” says Kingdom. “Our affiliation with the exclusive members-only Luxury Portfolio International network gives us that essential global reach that most other local franchises and firms don’t benefit from. First, we are local. But we are also global, and that is the best of both worlds!”
By Emma Castleberry. Photos: WK Real Estate