The Short List: Sissy Lappin’s Tips on Servicing the Unique Needs of Luxury Clients

by James McClister


Sissy Lappin is the broker-owner of Lappin Properties and co-founder of ListingDoor.com working in Houston.

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we spoke with Sissy Lappin, the broker-owner of Lappin Properties and co-founder of ListingDoor.com, shared her tips for servicing the unique needs of luxury clients. 

6. Be smart – When you’re selling to luxury clients or helping them find a home, it’s important to understand that they’re likely to be very smart – they’ve needed to be to get where you are. With that being said, luxury agents need to be able communicate on their level, which means being well informed on relevant topics, like current economic trends. It helps build credibility and ultimately creates a rapport and lays the foundation for a trusting relationship.

5. Never stop learning – A lot of agents believe that once they’ve taken the initial real estate course and subsequently gotten their license that that’s it, they’re done and good to go. The truth is, a good Realtor never stops learning. Not only does it put you in a better position to negotiate and paint yourself as a qualified agent, but luxury clients will appreciate the effort. It shows them that you’re smart enough and you care enough to be the best at what you’re doing.

4. Specificity is key – Luxury clients tend to have tight schedules, so it’s important that agents provide specific instructions and timelines. For instance, all of the important dates on a contract, I put them in a separate form because they want it streamlined.

3. Succinct negotiations – It’s been my experience that luxury clients won’t usually go back and forth more than three or four times, which means that when you’re negotiating you need to be succinct and on point.

2. Have confidence – Liability is a big fear in real estate, and it shouldn’t be. The issues come when agents try to spread themselves too thin. You shouldn’t be afraid to turn down business, because if you can’t be you’re best, then what’s the point of doing the job.

1. Be honest – People are so manipulated by ads these days, I think what everyone’s really craving is a bit of honesty. I get a lot of my business through referrals, so I don’t have to do much marketing, but when I do send out something, I make sure it’s extremely honest and extremely targeted. Luxury clients don’t need a lot of pomp and frills, they’re already use to that, but they do appreciate honesty and something that comes from the heart. Mass marketing is dead.

With over 25 years of experience, Sissy Lappin is one of the most experienced residential brokers in the business. She has successfully marketed over $500 million in real estate.

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