For a luxury homeowner, their home is a reflection of their success. High-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs), for the most part, do not like to brag about their wealth. They don’t sit around country clubs discussing how much they earned that month with other members, but they do love to talk about property. It’s a subtle way to let others know about their success.
I recently met a luxury home developer who was looking for a blanket mortgage on 2 homes he owned worth a combined total of $12 million dollars. Our initial meeting was at Starbucks and after discussing his financial needs and assuring him I could help, he said with a twinkle in his eye “would you like me to show you the waterfront property? It’s not finished, but it will give you a good idea of the homes we’re building”. I jumped at the chance and off we went.
The home was a 5400 square foot monster on Lake Ontario. As we walked up the driveway, he excitedly pointed out that the stone used was Eramosa and the slight sheen we saw was because of the rain we had earlier that morning. Twelve-foot ceilings throughout (even in the finished basement), 140” screen TV in his theatre room, infinity pool overlooking Lake Ontario, wine wall, full steam room & sauna…the list goes on.
I noticed how relaxed the client became and how passionate he was when it came to pointing out small details about the finishes that were sometimes imported from Italy; he even made me test the weight of the doors in the basement citing “we don’t skimp on finishes like some builders do, we have the same quality, look & feel throughout the entire house”.
Here are 3 reasons why you should visit luxury homeowners in their home:
- You learn about luxury homes – The more you know about luxury homes the more you can relate to your client. When this client pointed out that all of the floors were heated and the entire house (lights, blinds, music, heat, etc.;) could be controlled remotely by Control4, I told him I had just finished financing a multi-million dollar home in Muskoka with the exact same set-up and that the appraiser wasn’t sure how to appraise the control room; we laughed and the rapport deepened.
- You Learn About Personal Interests – I was amazed to see his virtual golf room, which allowed him to play golf on over 4000 golf courses worldwide. I told him my wife was from Scotland and we got into a huge discussion about some of the golf courses he’s played and how they compare to other European destinations. The conversation we had was on a much deeper level than we ever would have had at Starbucks or if we had met at my office. I made notes about his interests in my car after our meeting, which will come in handy to refer back to when moving him along the mortgage journey.
- You Identify New Prospects – I learned the client has a network of investors to help him get his luxury home projects off the ground. The minimum investment is $250,000 and he usually brings in 4 – 6 investors depending on the cost of the home. Each investor shares in the profit, which averages 15% of the sale price when the home is sold. Average home takes 1.5 years to finish from the time he applies for zoning permits. I asked him how his investors come up with the initial $250,000 and I was pleased to learn that most use their line of credit. He meets with his investor friends regularly at the Mississauga Golf Club and I asked if I could come out to meetthem some time. We are having a lunch meeting end of the month:)
The next time you have a chance to meet a luxury homeowner in their home – take it! It will be the best investment of your time you can make and will pay dividends for future opportunities.