We've all heard the term "luxury estate sales," but what are they? Today we are speaking with Rachel Fitch from Fitch Estate Sales to give us the ins and outs of these estate sales. From setting client expectations to cleanouts, Rachel gives us a peek into how she does things in the hill country of Texas. This is just a summary of the different topics we touched on, so I urge you to check out the full video!
Rachel defines luxury estate sales in simple terms. It's houses that contain highly sought-after items that high-end buyers are looking for. Jewelry, coin collections, and fine art are a few things that most luxury sales have in common. She also mentions that it's quality over quantity with most of these sales, and the houses aren't usually jam-packed with stuff.
Setting Client Expectations
Managing your client's expectations right out of the gate is one of the most critical parts of the process, and luxury sales are no different. Rachel mentions that having a solid contract is a great way to set your client's expectations. She also noted that she usually works with a financial institution and not an heir when conducting the sale. Rachel finds that luxury sales tend to be easier for her, given that the client usually isn't in a financial bind or selling out of necessity. Building a reputation as a company that can handle high-end sales will net you that clientele.
Are Luxury Sales for You?
Around five years ago, Rachel decided to stop conducting smaller sales. She realized that she could make as much money working 10-12 luxury sales as she could with 90 smaller sales a year. One of the first questions you need to ask yourself as an estate sale company is, "Can you handle it?" Knowledge of a wide variety of items, having resources you can use to value these items, and having resources you trust are essential. The second question Rachel asks is, "Do you have a team behind you that can handle it?" Not only being knowledgeable yourself but having a team behind you that knows their stuff is critical when dealing in the realm of luxury estate sales.
Building anticipation is the key to marketing your sales. While we want you to advertise your sales on EstateSales.NET, other marketing avenues can be very valuable. In addition to making sure you have your social media ducks in a row, Rachel mentions taking out an ad in the local newspaper to attract customers. She uses a full-page ad for luxury sales because it can bring in a completely different demographic to the sale and is a great way to reach those folks that may not have been to one of your sales before. Use various marketing tools to reach as many people as possible.
When faced with a house full of high-end items, security should be a top concern. To keep items safe until the sale, Rachel mentions storing jewelry and other smaller items in a vault or something similar (not in your own home). Installing cameras and hiring off-duty police officers are a few ways she keeps the sale secure and gives her clients peace of mind.
While several facets of luxury estate sales are different from traditional sales, cleanouts are handled the same way as a standard sale. Including the cleanout process in your contract sets that expectation in the beginning. Rachel also mentions working with a local auction house for some items that don't sell or items she doesn't want to discount to get the most money for her client.
Unicorns are Everywhere!
Pay attention. Rachel tells a great story about finding an item that ended up being the only one known to exist. Taking the time to do your research can seriously pay off for you and your client. Treat every sale like it has the potential to be a million-dollar sale. Even seasoned luxury sales veterans need assistance in valuing and authenticating items sometimes. Rachel uses an authentication tool called Entrupy to help determine whether something is authentic or not. This is just one of the many tools she uses to run a successful luxury estate sale.