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How to lease a multi-million-dollar property

By Larissa Gardner
25 November 2015 | 11 minute read
Larissa Gardner

When you receive a listing, there are a number of typical steps and motions you go through in the process of marketing and leasing that home.

Like organising photography, posting a sign out the front, advertising the home online and holding an open for inspection.

When you receive a multi-million-dollar listing, the way you go about leasing the property requires a different set of tactics. A sign in the front yard and an ad in the local newspaper simply won’t cut it in these special cases.

Here are six essential elements you should contemplate when marketing a multi-million-dollar property.  

  1. Networking

More often than not, luxury clients will be working with an agent who specialises in high-end real estate. So the best way to tap into this segment is to make sure your property is exposed to high-end agents and luxury agencies that already have relationships with high-end tenants.

You can foster your professional network by hosting private open houses for agents, advertising your listing in agent-only newsletters, even arranging private viewings with individual agents to get their feedback on what will drive enquiry for that particular property.

  1. Presentation is key

Street appeal and interior staging is more important than ever when working with a multi-million-dollar home. Luxury tenants are particularly visual, so having a clean, organised and visually pleasing home is vital to help them to envision themselves living there.

To ensure the home is ready for showings, you may need to advise the owner of minor changes they can make to increase the value of the property and make it more likely to lease. For instance, you could recommend a fresh coat of paint, window cleaning, to restain stairs or decking, pressure cleaning of paths and driveways, de-cluttering of spaces, rearranging or hiring furniture, to replace old carpeting and enhance the landscaping if need be. It’s also a good idea to remove any valuable or rare items (i.e. art or collectables) to allow the home to shine.

A gleaming example of an immaculately presented and beautifully styled luxury home is 5 Torresdale Road, Toorak, VIC. 

  1. Profile potential tenants

What type of professional, entrepreneur, potential investor, large extended family or film star may be interested in your listing? It can be tricky to predict who your likely tenant will be, but we recommend considering as many potential candidates as you can before planning your marketing strategy.

Think about who your potential market is, where they currently live, what they care about most, what they read, watch, hear and are exposed to. You can then go on to tailor your advertising to the marketing channels that will be most effective in reaching and connecting with your specific tenant profiles.

  1. Exclusive events

A perfect way to attract high-end tenants is to host VIP invite-only events. Some agents go as far as getting luxury brands on board to sponsor their open house parties. Raymond Bolduc, founding realtor of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty and ultra-luxury property specialist, is well known for hosting lavish parties when he wants to close a deal. To sell a home on North Bay Road in Miami Beach, Florida, Bolduc hosted a gala at the house for 500 people, complete with yachts and Rolls-Royces.

Exclusive events can also be a great way to bring in potential clients you wouldn’t normally have access to. The sponsorship from a luxury brand or real estate agency allows you to access an extra contact list to spread the word about the event and, more importantly, your high-end listing.

  1. Set realistic goals

Prior to setting weekly rent, you should check the listings of similar properties in the area, both online and in person. This will allow you to gauge the quality of your property with an honest and impartial eye and lead to setting a reasonable rental rate.

Viewing properties in person also helps to get into your tenant’s mindset, as they will be shopping around and making the same comparisons between your listing and comparable homes on the market. Pay attention to what is going on in that particular suburb. See if similar houses are leasing and what they have gone for in the past before setting your price.

  1. Multi-channel marketing

To effectively promote a multi-million-dollar property, you need to utilise a range of channels. Think print, online and social media. Professional photography, a virtual tour and floor plans are all must-haves when advertising the property online. Distinctive signage, multiple web site listings and print advertisements (locally, nationally and internationally), first-rate direct mail and even editorial media type coverage are essential to bringing in qualified tenants.

There are a few more considerations to make when targeting international tenants. Ensure your website is accessible on overseas search engines and utilise international real estate sites to promote your listing. It is vital to create a high-quality virtual tour video of the home’s interior and exterior to include in your online listings. This allows potential tenants, no matter where they are in the world, to view the best features of the home, and get a feel for the layout and size of the property.

Networking, staging, profiling, exclusive showings, realistic pricing and multi-channel marketing are the six essentials you need to cover to successfully sell a multi-million-dollar property. Are there other tactics you've had success with in the past? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

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