Do Brokers Need to Give VIP Treatment to Luxury Agents?

Real Estate Heaven Do Brokers Need to Give VIP Treatment to Luxury Agents

People would have laughed at you if you had told them a decade ago that they could give VIP Treatment to Luxury Agents if they are a broker. The internet has made it easier than ever to learn just about anything you want. So with all this content and information available, how did you know which ones to learn from and which ones actually work?

Luckily, you are in Real Estate Heaven and for today’s blog we will be talking about brokers. Is it true that they need to give VIP treatment to luxury agents? Let’s find out! Remember, that while the first step is completing any of this amazing information, the second and possibly more important step is taking action even if it’s imperfect action.


Throughout the month of July, we examined the evolving luxury real estate market, interviewed top producers, and offered advice on how to advance — all leading up to the annual conference.

In this monthly column, one of our mentors examines a fictitious real estate scenario from both the broker and agent perspectives. He is the broker-owner of the largest RE/MAX office in South Florida and a real estate agent who sells more than 100 homes annually.

This month, a luxury real estate agent with an escalating record of success is negotiating a possible relocation to a new office. How far should a rival broker go to win her over?


Agent viewpoint

Real Estate Heaven Do Brokers Need to Give VIP Treatment to Luxury Agents Female BrokerHe has been a top producer for nearly two decades at the same company, and, like LeBron James in his heyday, I’m ready to take my talents to an exciting new location. The timing could not be better: ten years ago, he committed himself to becoming a top player in the luxury sector and educated himself on high-end architecture, fabrics, landscaping, furnishings, finishes, and automobiles, among other things.

He has been absolutely crushing it for the past five years, propelling himself into the top ten of our region’s list of luxury producers. While he appreciates his current employer, I find them to be a bit outdated, and I am excited to explore the free agency market.

Like anyone else in my position, he desires the best of everything: the highest possible compensation and benefits, but also a good “fit” between me and his business practices. When four top brokers aggressively recruit you, you can essentially write your own ticket in terms of commissions, bonuses, office space, and other perks.

He has observed the rise and fall of other agents in this industry for a long time, and now is clearly the time to ask for and receive what he desires. Who could fault me for expecting VIP treatment from my future workplace?


Broker viewpoint

This agent deserves praise for recognizing the value of her hard work and subsequent achievements. His office is extremely eager to add her to its current roster of luxury-oriented agents. She is the ideal candidate, and he is especially impressed with her knowledge of all the nuances that matter to high-end buyers and sellers.

If the agent and he determine that it’s a good fit for both of us, he’d be thrilled to have her join the team. “Team” is the essential word in this phrase. He is responsible for the overall profitability of the office, which includes maintaining a positive atmosphere for all of our agents, regardless of where they are on the road to success. Any addition must enhance the value they provide, as opposed to causing discord or ill will.

Real Estate Heaven Do Brokers Need to Give VIP Treatment to Luxury Agents BrokersTheir competitors are notorious for kowtowing to their luxury top performers, lavishing them with large offices, personal assistants, full-page advertisements announcing their hiring, and preferred placement in company listing advertisements. (Not to mention generous sign-on bonuses and splits.)

He wonders if this philosophy breeds resentment and jealousy among the new employee’s office coworkers. He also wonders if the recruit has asked enough questions prior to signing a contract that may have minimal guarantees for ongoing rights to the benefits, as well as penalties for leaving if the agent discovers that the reality does not match the promises.

While he agrees that this agent deserves all of the respect and recognition we can give, he also believes that all of our company’s agents should receive the same opportunities and benefits. In the office, it is my responsibility to keep everyone on an equal footing with the aim of helping more of them reach their full potential as top producers, despite the fact that their colleagues and customers may treat them differently.

Rather than “buying” this free agent, he intends to offer her an attractive, competitive package based on how she can grow and build an even more profitable business with our assistance.


How to address

On the surface, it appears that the highly principled broker faces a significant obstacle in meeting the demands of this rising rock-star luxury real estate agent. How can he convince her of the advantages of forgoing cool (but short-term) perks in favor of better long-term opportunities? There may be a path to victory for both parties if some layers are peeled back.

The distinction between the “visible” perks and benefits brokers can offer and those that are unlikely to be known or observed by others, namely control, is crucial in this context.

If the broker is concerned about the appearance of treating luxury agents the same as agents in other sectors, he can create an offer that minimizes obvious incentives such as free office space, personal assistants, and preferred advertising placement, and maximizes confidential factors such as the financial structure of building a team, and freedom (within the confines of law, ethics, and policies) of decision-making within the agent’s business.

This freedom enables the agent to run her own business without the typical costs and oversight of company ownership.

This strategy has the potential to satisfy all parties, with the agent securing the highly desirable compensation she deserves and the broker avoiding a negative precedent. It shouldn’t be too difficult for the broker to promote these benefits as the most desirable aspects of any offer, and to highlight his team-oriented approach as an additional strong selling point.

When competition in the real estate industry is fierce and technology is automating services everywhere, what sets you apart from the competition? Providing VIP clients with a memorable experience. Never lose sight of the fact that you are in the service industry. The experience your customers have will make or break your reputation, and exceptional experiences can lay the groundwork for a long-lasting, prosperous business.



Real Estate Heaven Do Brokers Need to Give VIP Treatment to Luxury Agents VIPGive customers an exceptional experience, and they will buy more, be more loyal, and tell their friends about it. This should be the objective of every business. Yet so many consumers appear dissatisfied. A 2018 PwC study found that consumers are willing to pay up to 16% more for a superior customer experience.

In contrast, negative experiences can quickly repel customers, with many stating that they would stop doing business with a company due to unfriendly service (60 percent), lack of company trust (50 percent), or uninformed employees (40 percent) (46 percent ). However, when it comes to customer experience, speed and efficiency (80%), knowledgeable and helpful employees (78%) and convenience (77%) are the most important factors.

Over forty percent of consumers expect a response to their inquiry within an hour, and fifty-two percent are willing to pay a premium price for greater speed and efficiency. In other words, customer satisfaction is paramount.



What is the significance of creating a VIP experience? This worldwide emphasis on creating a royal customer experience is indicative of the real estate industry’s shift toward customer experience. In an industry built on trusting relationships, delivering an exceptional customer experience is crucial for boosting customer satisfaction and retention, managing your reputation, and expanding your real estate business.

In addition, increased competition from new market entrants has increased the pressure on real estate agents to clearly articulate their value proposition and provide an exceptional experience as a point of differentiation. In a recent survey,, a customer-focused real estate brokerage, found that 42 percent of participants chose their real estate agent based on a referral from a friend or family member, making this a crucial strategy for acquiring and retaining clients.


With the above information in hand, here are five ways real estate agents can create a VIP experience for their clients.

  1. Specialize in a Niche

Real estate professionals have advocated for niche marketing for years. Regarding the customer experience, niche marketing still makes a great deal of sense: A niche can be based on specific geographic locations, architectural styles, lifestyles, etc. If you work in a niche, you have the answers that customers are searching for at your fingertips. You do not need to conduct research to determine what a buyer should look for in a horse property; the answers will be immediate and based on extensive knowledge.

A customer is more likely to sign a contract with someone who has a passion, expertise, and unique foothold for their interests. Find a suitable niche in your area by determining what types of properties are available, assessing your own interests, and connecting with like-minded groups to determine if the service is in demand.


  1. Anticipate (tech-savvy) Client Requirements

Real Estate Heaven Do Brokers Need to Give VIP Treatment to Luxury Agents ClientIf you meet your customers’ needs before they express them, you’ll demonstrate that you can empathize with their situation and that you care about providing them with everything they require. It is not sufficient to consider what your current customers want; you must also anticipate who will enter your establishment tomorrow. Start by conducting a survey to determine what your current customers feel is lacking and how they search for properties.

Consider adding QR codes to your property listings, sending out text messages, or providing live virtual tours with question-and-answer capabilities. Consider what types of knowledge your customers require beyond technology.

Using real estate robots and automation is another method for providing prospects and customers with timely assistance. Chatbots such as Aisa Holmes and Chatfuel, for instance, can be programmed to send messages based on specific actions or keywords in order to provide assistance and qualify leads at all hours of the day. This reduces the number of support requests, improves the customer experience, and saves time and money.


  1. Make the procedure simple and pleasurable

When dealing with life-altering purchases such as a new home, communication with your customers is essential. If you are terrified of picking up the phone, being a real estate agent may not be the best career choice for you. You must communicate with confidence, clarity, and frequency. In addition to phone skills, you should be adept at sending emails with professional language, checking in frequently, and connecting on social media.

Customers must immediately initiate contact and advance in the property-buying process. If you manage tenants, facilitate on-time payment with an online payment system and automatic reminders. Make it easy for customers to contact you for quick answers and solutions, regardless of their cell phone or wireless device.


  1. Cultivate Solid Relationships

As stated previously, you play a pivotal role in some of the most significant moments in your clients’ lives. You must demonstrate that you are trustworthy and reliable enough to engage in business. You can serve as a trusted advisor and resource if you take the time to cultivate relationships.

This requires dedication to your work and your customers. Exhibit enthusiasm for your chosen field. Ask customers non-invasive questions about their personal lives and then refer back to their responses. Reward loyal customers with gift baskets and expressions of gratitude. These are merely a few suggestions for fostering relationships that can endure for years.


  1. Determine Customer Satisfaction

Real Estate Heaven Do Brokers Need to Give VIP Treatment to Luxury Agents VIP 2In order to improve your real estate customer experience, it is essential to measure your current customer satisfaction levels. This will help you identify areas for improvement and provide a yearly benchmark for growth. While there are numerous research solutions for customer experience, customer surveys provide real-time results and authentic feedback. There are a variety of survey solutions that provide actionable insights at every level of the organisation, depending on your specific needs.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Surveys provide instant results, unlimited feedback, and the ability to offer incentives in exchange for survey participation. These straightforward surveys are economical and user-friendly. With QR codes or kiosk links, surveys can be administered on a mobile device or computer.

Crowdsourcing Live Insights: Engages actual customers to collect data vital to YOUR real estate brand and business objectives. The customer community is invited to perform “tasks”: collecting brand-critical information. Customers are rewarded for completing these “tasks,” incentivizing them to complete additional “tasks” in order to provide you with additional information.

Employee Engagement: Mobile learning on demand will put your employees in the center of their training. Reduce the time required away from their roles by providing them with short, engaging training that is tailored to their needs.

It is a crucial indicator of long-term growth and a key indicator of how your customers perceive your brand overall. By investing in customer experience research, your real estate organization can obtain vital information for making informed business decisions.


Creating a VIP experience for your customers can help you stand out from the competition. The shift towards customer experience in real estate reflects the changing needs and expectations of consumers worldwide: When it comes to a seamless customer experience, speed and efficiency, knowledgeable and helpful employees, and convenience are of the utmost importance.

Commit to implementing a few new strategies to enhance their experience, and you’ll find that your relationships will form more quickly and endure for longer, allowing you to expand your real estate business for decades.


Once you’ve experienced the added perks of hotel elite status, it’s difficult to return to a lower level. Room upgrades, extra space or a special view can make your trip extra memorable. Members save money due to complimentary breakfast, late checkout, and welcome amenities. In other words, loyalty is sometimes rewarded handsomely.

However, even if you travel frequently, it is nearly impossible to maintain status with every hotel program available. And that does not account for the thousands of properties around the world that do not participate in a loyalty program. In other words, you will inevitably experience a hotel stay where you are not eligible for additional perks.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Booking through specialty programs and the right travel agent can add a variety of little extras to your reservation at no additional cost and without the need for elite status.


What Can You Anticipate When Reserving Through VIP Programs?

Real Estate Heaven Do Brokers Need to Give VIP Treatment to Luxury Agents HomeGuests may receive early check-in and late check-out, complimentary breakfast, space-available room upgrades, and on-site credits toward food, beverages, or spa treatments, although the exact benefits vary depending on the specific program (and even the specific hotel) you’re booking. You can confirm your specific benefits at the time of booking. Note which amenities are guaranteed and which are contingent on the hotel’s availability.

To be eligible for these special perks, you must book through the appropriate program. You cannot add these perks to an existing booking, nor can you book directly with the hotel. This may necessitate additional planning or calling to make a reservation, as opposed to clicking a few buttons online.

Due to the inability to book directly, there are a few potential drawbacks to using these booking programs. For one thing, programs may require you to book the hotel’s “best available rate,” which does not include discounts available through AAA or other organizations. Those who are eligible for cash discounts rather than public prices may be better off reserving through alternative channels and forgoing the perks.

Typically, these programs allow you to enjoy multiple loyalty perks at once, such as earning rewards points or nights toward elite status. It is important to note, however, that loyalty points cannot be redeemed for free nights when booking through the majority of these specialty platforms. You must budget in the traditional manner.

Assuming you intend to pay full price for your hotel stay, these programs can result in substantial savings and privileged treatment. It is well worth the additional minute or two required to book your stay.


Popular Specialty Reservation Programs


Virtuoso is one of the best specialty booking programs because there are no membership or qualification requirements. They have hotel partners worldwide and concentrate on four- and five-star luxury properties.

Anyone who books a partner hotel through a Virtuoso travel agent will receive the following:

daily breakfast for up to two guests

Room upgrade (subject to availability)

Early check-in is permitted (subject to availability)

Untimely checkout (subject to availability)

A hotel amenity that (depending on the hotel) is typically a $100 property credit or perk of comparable value.

In the majority of hotels, there is no minimum stay requirement, so even a one-night reservation would qualify for the hotel amenity, which can result in spectacular savings.

To make a reservation, you must work with a Virtuoso travel agent.

Fine Hotels & Resorts by American Express

Similar to booking through Virtuoso, the Fine Hotels & Resorts program is exclusive to eligible U.S. cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, or Centurion® Card from American Express. Participating properties are predominantly five-star hotels.

Guests who book through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts may receive:

daily breakfast for up to two guests

Room upgrade (subject to availability)

Early check-in is permitted (subject to availability)

Untimely checkout (guaranteed until 4pm)

A hotel amenity that (depending on the hotel) is typically a $100 property credit or perk of comparable value.

WiFi is free of charge.

Online bookings are available, and cardholders have the option to redeem Membership Rewards points toward the room rate. If you would rather not use points, you must pay with an American Express card.

Luxury and Resort Collection by Chase

The Chase Luxury Hotel program provides additional perks at participating hotels for Chase cardholders, although benefits are less consistent in value than Virtuoso or Amex’s programs. Nevertheless, nearly every Chase credit card is eligible.

The Chase Luxury Hotel Benefits consist of:

daily breakfast for up to two guests

Room upgrade (subject to availability)

Early check-in is permitted (subject to availability)

Untimely checkout (subject to availability)

A hotel feature (varies by hotel)

Some hotels offer additional amenities, such as $25 to $100 in on-site credits per stay or more targeted perks such as complimentary greens fees or an airport transfer. In some instances, there is no additional hotel amenity, making programs like Virtuoso a better option if your preferred hotel is a member.

Online reservations can be made easily. Chase’s program is superior to Amex’s FHR in that many cards qualify, including some with no annual fee.

Visa Infinite Hotels

Visa Infinite Hotels is a similar program to the others discussed if you hold a U.S.-issued Visa infinite card (such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card*).

Visa Infinite Benefits include:

daily breakfast for up to two guests

Room upgrade (subject to availability)

Untimely checkout (subject to availability)

$25 credit for food and beverage (once per stay)

No charge for Wi-Fi

Some, but not all, Visa Infinite Hotels offer additional property credits toward spa, golf, and other room-charged purchases.

If you have a credit card that qualifies, you can book your stay online.

Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services – Five-Star Hotels & Resorts

Mastercard’s VIP booking program has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, almost every Mastercard offers access to the program, including a number of cards  with no annual fee. The travel search engine, however, leaves much to be desired.


When searching for and reserving a hotel through Mastercard Travel, travelers must exercise caution, as results include both participating luxury properties and standard hotels with no additional perks. Take the additional step of filtering for “Hotel Collection.” In addition, rates and special amenities are inconsistent, sometimes offering a great deal and at other times providing scant benefits and no discounts.

Among the Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Benefits are:

daily breakfast for up to two guests

Room upgrade (subject to availability)

Early check-in is permitted (subject to availability)

Untimely checkout (subject to availability)

Particularly if you register with a World Elite Mastercard, some properties may provide additional perks and amenities worth up to $100. Some hotels offer nothing more than a generic “welcome amenity,” whereas others offer bonus spa treatments, meals, or credits.


Hotel-Specific Applications

Multiple hotel chains offer their own specialized booking programs with additional perks at upscale properties. In fact, even if you have elite status with that hotel program, you may be eligible for on-site property credits by booking through one of their designated agents.


Hyatt Prive

Not all Hyatt hotels participate in the Hyatt Privé program, but all Park Hyatt, Andaz, and Miraval hotels do, as well as select hotels from their other brands.

On-site advantages consist of:

daily breakfast for up to two guests

Room upgrade (subject to availability and confirmed within 24 hours of booking)

Early check-in is permitted (subject to availability)

Untimely checkout (subject to availability)

Hotel credit (amount varies by hotel)

Some properties require a minimum stay of two nights in order to receive these additional benefits. Reservations must be made through a Privé-accredited agent.


Hilton Impresario

The Hilton Impresario VIP program includes nearly all Waldorf-Astoria, Conrad, and LXR properties worldwide.

On-site advantages consist of:

daily breakfast for up to two guests

Room upgrade (subject to availability)

Early check-in is permitted (subject to availability)

Untimely checkout (subject to availability)

$100 accommodation credit per stay

At certain hotels, you can earn double Hilton Honors points.

Working with and reserving a Hilton Impresario stay through an Impresario agent is required.


IHG Lifestyle and IHG Luxury

Based on the hotel brand, IHG Hotels divides its specialty booking programs into two distinct categories. IHG Luxury offers benefits at InterContinental, Regent, and international Kimpton hotels, whereas IHG Lifestyle provides benefits when booking select Hotel Indigo or U.S. Kimpton hotels. Kimpton real estate.

IHG Luxury advantages consist of:

daily breakfast for up to two guests

Room upgrade (subject to availability)

Untimely checkout (guaranteed until 2pm)

On-site property amenity (varies by property and typically costs approximately $100 per stay)

Complimentary fundamental WiFi

IHG Lifestyle advantages consist of:

Room upgrade (subject to availability)

Untimely checkout (guaranteed until 2pm)

(varies by property and typically costs approximately $50 per stay)

Complimentary fundamental WiFi

Many of these programs require a minimum two-night stay, and all reservations must be made via a preferred advisor.

Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous

Marriott has two distinct booking programs that offer unique perks. The Marriott STARS program focuses on luxury brands in the upper echelons, whereas the Marriott Luminous program focuses on their other premium brands.

Participating in the Marriott STARS program are Marriott-family luxury hotels, including the BVLGARI, EDITION, Luxury Collection, Ritz-Carlton, and St. Regis brands.

Autograph Collection, JW Marriott, Le Meridien, Marriott, Renaissance, Tribute Portfolio, Westin, and W Hotels are participating Marriott premium brands in Marriott Luminous.

Only Marriott STARS guarantees a hotel credit, which is the primary distinction between the two programs. With Luminous, select hotels may offer one as an option.

Among the Marriott STARS benefits are:

daily breakfast for up to two guests

Room upgrade (subject to availability)

Once per stay, a $100 property credit is provided.

Complimentary fundamental WiFi

Among the Marriott Luminous benefits are:

daily breakfast for up to two guests

Room upgrade (subject to availability)

Complimentary fundamental WiFi

Many agents will be able to assist you with both Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous, though you should verify this when making a reservation.

Additional Preferred Partner Programs for Hotel Reservations

While we have compiled some of the most popular hotel booking programs, you can also find similar programs for Belmond Hotels, Four Seasons, Langham, Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula, Relais & Châteaux, Shangri-La, Leading Hotels of the World, and others.

If you intend to stay at a luxury hotel in the future, you should inquire with affiliated travel agents about possible programs and perks.


How to Locate Reservation Representatives

Real Estate Heaven Do Brokers Need to Give VIP Treatment to Luxury Agents Male BrokerWhile the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts and Chase Luxury Hotel collections permit online reservations, the majority of these programs do not. To book a stay, you will need to work with a travel advisor.

If you already have a trusted agent with whom you’ve worked in the past, they should be your first port of call; it’s possible that they’re a preferred partner for your intended program and can help you make a reservation. Rather than specializing in a single hotel program, luxury advisors are typically affiliated with multiple hotel programs, allowing them to assist with multiple trips.

If you do not typically work with an advisor, it is as simple as conducting a Google search for advisors in that program to find one. For example, Virtuoso provides an online directory of travel advisors. However, as with any aspect of travel, asking friends and family for personal recommendations is always a good starting point.

Once you find a travel advisor you like, you should use them for all of your future trips. Even if your stay does not qualify for any of these programs’ benefits, a good advisor can still offer local recommendations and other travel advice.

Bottom Line

While not all properties offer bonus perks, many luxury hotels participate in one or more of these booking channels and offer you additional on-site benefits. To receive VIP treatment during your next hotel stay at no additional cost, simply contact the appropriate representative for assistance booking through the appropriate program.


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