There is a saying that the very wealthy are not like ordinary people: in some ways this is true, but not so in others. Everything is relative to an individual’s ideas of normality.
While Ultra High Net Worth (UHNWs) individuals may live a life quite removed from the majority of people, they too have preferences, likes, dislikes and things they want to do and achieve. In working with them it is important to appreciate and be mindful of their particular position, preferences, sensitivities and situation.
Firstly, UHNWs are usually short on time as they have full schedules with a wide range of people placing demands on their time: from business colleagues and potential collaborators, to charities and family members, all calling for time and attention.
While their time may short, they will expect and require flexibility on scheduling from others. They may have no immediate need, but this can change at any moment so any time shared with them should not be wasted and is an opportunity build the relationship and show them the latest an newest relevant instructions.
I have had calls from clients on a Sunday, stating that they have no interest in buying anything, but that they have 30 minutes free later that day and can I show them something: I have made the time, shown three properties and on occasion made the sale.
The very wealthy are able to buy things on a whim, responding immediately to new needs they have just discovered, or that you have shown them.
Gary’s Top 5 Tips On Working With Ultra-High Net Worths
1) Know your market
2) Be available and flexible
3) Be subtle
4) Be deferential but never obsequious
5) Always remember: they are in the driving seat
Where there is a brief it may be no more specific than the words “London” and “property”, while there will be an expectation for you to instinctively know what they are interested in or looking for: my task has been to work with clients and translate this into something more specific.
The brief may also need to accommodate other properties they currently own in the world and what would complement their portfolio and work best for their life, family and business.
Regardless of how little or how much time you are afforded with a client, even in the absence of a brief, the key is to make effective use of it.
While it is rare to see tempers lost, little and quiet speech can quite often indicate that things are not going well. In navigating interactions and trying to identify what clients are looking for, or might like, it is essential not to create a situation where they may be offended: one small inappropriate remark or shortness of temper will almost invariably bring a meeting or relationship to an abrupt end, that no uncertain amount of apologies can put right.
Know your market, be available, be flexible, be subtle, be deferential but never obsequious and always remember they are in the driving seat.
Gary Hersham is Managing Director and Founder of Beauchamp Estates, a privately owned property firm in the luxury homes market. Beauchamp sell, acquire, invest and rent exclusive luxury residential homes around the world.