Selling luxury to the affluent
The process of selling luxury real estate is unequivocally in a class of its own.
The affluent individuals and families who buy these properties have to be shown a good deal of deference for they are of a different breed—they are well-educated, extremely successful, and they know what they want, and how they want it to be.
It takes a special kind of real estate professional to manage the expectations of—and to service—these high-net-worth clientele.
“You have to approach them more intellectually. A gaudy, hard-sell approach will not likely work. We need to show them what’s possible since they just wouldn’t take no for an answer,” said Valerie Jane Lopez- Soliven, SVP of Rockwell Land Corp.’s High-End Residential Development.
And Soliven’s stint at Rockwell Land—she’s now in her 20th year—is definitely helping her get more and more of this most sought-after segment of homebuyers.
The trait to possess
“I learned a long time ago—from my mentor Mr. (Nestor) Padilla—that you are only as good as your last deal so being persistent is an excellent personal trait to possess,” she said.
Padilla is currently president and CEO of Rockwell Land.
A licensed broker, Soliven holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from the University of the Philippines. She also completed a Management Development Program from the Asian Institute of Management.
Soliven has had a short stint in overseeing the Manila Garden Suites, Edsa Shangri-la Hotel, and the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. But this gave her an extensive experience that enabled her to further hone her ability to serve and to provide people with their wants, needs and desires. She was able to use this experience when she joined Rockwell Land.
“Somehow, both the hotel and the property development industries are anchored towards providing quality products and excellent service. Here, I was able to understand early on what it takes to cultivate sales in this top tier segment,” Soliven said.
She recalled how it was a lot easier then to attract the wealthy clientele considering it was Rockwell Land that pioneered the concept of living in a self-sustained, thriving high-end community.
“The homes that we offer are unique, one-of-a-kind properties that have features that are highly valued. But going beyond that, we also let our wealthy clients realize that what we also sell the whole community, letting them know the kind of lifestyle they will soon enjoy. We aim to further boost their standard of living,” Soliven said.
Soliven said she let her team—160 people who work directly under her although she also coordinates with another 280 individuals—realize this fact so she pushes them to continue to build their competencies, skills, understand trends and gain market knowledge that will set them apart to be successful in serving high-end clientele.
Love your job
“I always tell them:
There are no shortcuts to success, only way is hard work. So love your job and it will love you back,” Soliven said.
Indeed, the market has definitely changed and continues to change. According to Soliven, many of these customers now are what they call “give it to me straight and give it to me now” kind of clientele.
“They expect you to respond to them in real time. They expect you to act accordingly,” she explained.
Perhaps, this is also the reason why much of Soliven’s day now revolves around work and family.
“My day is mostly occupied with numerous meetings with our valued clients and shareholders. These days, I also go to the provinces to look for potential sites since Rockwell Land is now expanding outside the National Capital Region. Unless there is an exceptional activity at work, my weekends will always be dedicated for my family,” she concluded.
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