Archive for the ‘Luxury Services’ Category

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The changing luxury market

April 20, 2010

 

The Changing Luxury Market

I am a specialist in luxury homes and marketing luxury goods to clients throughout the world. This current economic climate though has changed my opinion of the definition of luxury. Times change, people change and luxury has changed.

Luxury clients were once an elite group of individuals who were fairly obvious to even the most amateur of sales executives. But luxury elite status has dimmed somewhat as firstly, many people are now able to afford luxury goods and secondly, many luxury clients are experiencing their first economic crisis of a lifetime.

Today’s luxury homeowner may look and feel like luxury (expensive diamonds, cars, art) but underneath their demeanor is a homeowner who is living month to month and wondering how to maintain appearances.  It’s a fragile world and frankly, they are not prepared for what is to come.

Today’s TRUE luxury client may look different and seem different. The smart ones are people who have not fallen prey to every excess on the market, purchased a bucket load of baubles and continue to drive the latest most expensive cars. I am finding many luxury clients asking me to assist them as they work through a financial downturn they never anticipated or saved for. It’s a scary world.

Today’s luxury client could mean dreadlocks and diamonds. In other words – today’s luxury is not the obvious…in fact, it’s the reverse. They are the people you least expect and they have invested well and with discretion. They may drive a Ford and not have a multi-million dollar medieval castle. They wear jeans and Nikes. They are totally unique and totally in tune with the market. 80% of today’s luxury buyer is tech savvy and researches every purchase. And most importantly, today’s luxury customer rarely buys on impulse. Long term investments are the rule with multiple properties instead of one show home. It’s actually an interesting turn of events.

I am reminded of my grandmother who came from great wealth but lived her later years in a charming bungalow of about 970 square feet. She mowed her own yard in knee highs and pearls. She drank her tea on fine china in a tiny kitchen. That’s today’s luxury. They are different, they act different and they have a certain rule for living that is going to redefine the future. They may not have a million dollar home but their home will be chic and charming. Gaudy is out and tasteful and charming is in. Small is the new big. This is going to be amazing to watch the old world appeal of  outrageous display transformed by a new era of discrete buyers.

To quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The rich are different…”

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Where is Real Estate Going?

March 25, 2008

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What is going on in real estate in Orlando? I must get asked this question about a hundred times per day. I’m beginning to think I need to whip on my swami turban and cart around my “8” ball and start coming up with some snappy retorts. Where is it going? Well I think it’s going UP! Lord knows…we have been down long enough and it can’t go any lower. Good people are walking away from their homes and facing foreclosure, bad people are walking away from their homes and facing foreclosure, smart people are walking away from their homes and facing foreclosure…it’s an epidemic. Good news is that for most epidemics, there is a cure. It’s just sometimes the cure is as bad as the disease. Will we see many more months of price declines, will we see more foreclosures, and will we see more rentals? What will we see? I wish I knew. But this I do know…it WILL rebound. The market will turn. Real estate is a life force and you can not stop it. Everyone STILL wants to own a home. Many people are returning to the thought process that it’s actually a HOME and not JUST an investment. Everything points to the good. The paper (and this is totally shocking) actually reported some positive news about real estate and the fact that it looks like the bottom has hit. Heck, even Donald Trump is buying, buying and buying real estate. Why not? It’s a great time to buy. What is going on in real estate? It’s all a gamble but it has ALWAYS been a gamble. But one thing I know. It’s worth owning a home and it’s still the greatest job on the planet. I love real estate!

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Say What?

March 8, 2008

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THE LOST ART OF LISTENING…

One of the best pieces of advice that was given to me when I started this business can be summed up in two simple words (although not very eloquent) and they are “shut up”. When you work with clients, they need to be THE focus. It sounds simple but too often sales executives want to talk and they can simply talk too much. I practice the art of questioning and then paying attention to the answers provided. It is so important to really pay attention to the client’s responses instead of thinking about the next question you wish to ask…our client wants to know that we comprehend and are paying close attention to their verbalized needs, wants, and desires. The skill of listening is truly an art form

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Luxury Luggage Services

September 26, 2007

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By Linda Hutchinson 

As airports become more and more strict about checked luggage on air flights there is a service being offered by Luggage Forward that picks up your luggage and delivers it to your destination. Celebrities have been using this service for some time. The company says that they are “the premier door-to-door luggage delivery service to more than 200 countries. Whether shipping golf clubs or excess baggage, your bags are guaranteed to arrive safely and on time. Luggage shipping provides total travel convenience.” You can get a quote on their website to see what it would cost you to have your luggage delivered to your next travel destination.