Luxury clients want more from their agent than fantastic service at a high price point — that’s just the baseline. They expect a true luxury experience from beginning to end.
Few rise to meet these expectations as intuitively as Kofi Nartey: legendary sports and entertainment agent, Side partner, and founder of the Beverly Hills-based GLOBL RED. Kofi is a leading authority on luxury real estate, an Amazon bestselling author, and a featured at this year’s Inman Luxury Connect in Las Vegas.
Here are some of Kofi’s go-to strategies for creating incredible customer experiences for luxury clients.
1. Present yourself as an investment advisor
Luxury clients typically have a team of advisors — from wealth managers to CPAs to lawyers — with whom they work closely over decades. Your goal as a luxury agent is to be the real estate arm of that team.
“We’ve seen a transition with agent-client relationships going from being transaction-based to advisor-based,” says Kofi. “We’re not here just for a one-off transaction; we’re here to bring long-term value to the client and the rest of their advisory team.”
2. Encourage your clients to treat real estate as an investment opportunity
As your client’s real estate investment advisor, it’s your job to recommend savvy investment strategies like diversification to manage risk. “You hear a lot about having a diverse portfolio in investing,” says Kofi. “It’s no different in real estate.”
In Kofi’s case, his firm GLOBL RED focuses on geographic diversification, helping luxury clients buy and sell homes, vacation properties, and new developments around the world.
“Our clients are constantly traveling,” Kofi explains, “so there’s an opportunity for them to invest in real estate in locations where they’re going to be spending time anyways. There’s an opportunity for those properties to become part of their broader investment portfolio. It’s a natural fit.”
3. Go for substance over sizzle
The way you present yourself is important, but what you deliver matters way more.
“Whenever you get people in a room promoting a luxury good or service, people will buy into the sizzle,” says Kofi. “But to keep them in the room, you have to have genuine depth and authenticity. At GLOBL RED, we genuinely care and want to help people achieve their goals. And even if their goal isn’t something we can immediately help them with, we can connect them with the right people.”
You need to be ready to back up every glamorous presentation with tangible results — even if those results involve referring the client to someone else in your network.
4. Prioritize building your brand
“Your brand is a promise,” says Kofi. “It’s a promise of what the experience of working with you is going to be like.
For luxury clients who have come to expect a heightened level of service, it’s especially important that your brand clearly communicates what you bring to the table — and how smooth and valuable the experience will be of hiring you.
Leveraging his background in both professional football and acting, Kofi built his personal brand around high-profile sports and entertainment clients. After years working for other brokerages, Kofi decided to go all-in on his own brand and launched GLOBL RED in partnership with Side.
5. But don’t neglect your systems and processes
“We have an exciting, flashy brand that pulls people in,” says Kofi. “But it’s how we deliver on the backend that really keeps people engaged. You can have the right vehicle and the right tires, but you need to make sure you have the right engine, too. To build a luxury firm that not only supports you, but supports your agents and clients, you have to find the right partner.”
6. Think beyond what’s currently built
Sometimes, the best luxury investment from an ROI perspective is a property that hasn’t been built yet.
“A lot of our clients are doing what we call land banking, where they purchase a lot in a development they know is coming but hasn’t been built yet,” says Kofi. “Sometimes if they purchase early, they will sell their lot before the rest of the development is even built because it’s already increased so much in value.”
7. Find common ground
You may not be living quite as large as they are, but being able to relate to their experience will go a long way towards building trust.
“I remember one person who scheduled a 1-hour meeting because he was trying to decide if he wanted to do business with me, and we spent 48 minutes of it talking about watches,” says Kofi. “Because I love watches. And then at the end, he asked me maybe two qualifying questions. But by then we had built rapport, and it was good to go.”
8. Focus on “beats per feet”
“As you walk through different parts of a property with your clients, you should be getting your client’s heartbeat to change,” says Kofi. “‘See how the ceiling drops here? This is the perfect place to have intimate conversations. And here, where the room opens up, your imagination will open up.’ We call it ‘beats per feet,’ and it’s all part of the luxury experience.”
9. Keep an eye out for mutually beneficial moments
Says Kofi: “If you get a $700,000 listing, that’s amazing — treat it like a $5 million listing. Get extra nice photos taken, have a property video filmed.”
Not only will that attention to detail help your seller, but having those assets in your portfolio will make it easier for you to attract additional luxury clients down the line.
“I once sold a house that went into escrow within two weeks,” Kofi recalls. “I hadn’t even had time to do the video yet, but it was this incredible 10,000-square-foot house with a pool, a grotto, and a cave. So I asked if we could please do the video anyway, and that video has 77,000 views on my YouTube page.”
10. Understand what luxury looks like in your market.
“When I showed up to my first luxury listing in Manhattan Beach,” says Kofi, “I was wearing a suit. I had professional catering and flyers ready. But it’s a way more laid-back beach community than Los Angeles, and broker after broker walked in wearing a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops looking at me like, ‘Who are you?!’”
The luxury lifestyle can vary significantly from community to community. Don’t assume your baseline understanding of luxury applies to every market.
11. Remember: Luxury is about the experience, not the numbers
Typically, a home is considered “luxury” if it’s priced in the top 10% of its market. But just because you’re selling a home that meets that criteria doesn’t mean you’re offering a luxury experience.
As Kofi explains: “When I leave my car with the valet at the Waldorf and go to the front desk, they greet me by name. That’s because the attendant who took my car called the front desk to say: ‘Mr. Nartey is coming up.’ That’s unexpected and elevated — and that’s what the luxury experience should be.”
“When I leave my car with the valet at the Waldorf and go to the front desk, they greet me by name. That’s because the attendant who took my car called the front desk to say: ‘Mr. Nartey is coming up.’ That’s unexpected and elevated — and that’s what the luxury experience should be.”
– Kofi Nartey, founder of the Beverly Hills-based GLOBL RED