Luxury real estate experts discuss industry

Updated October 18, 2017 - 1:49 pm

This month, the Nevada Association of Real Estate Brokers hosted a series of three events for Realtors looking to get into the luxury level of the market.

On Sept. 14, hundreds of real estate professionals at Ascaya, a luxury home community in Henderson, gained insight on luxury home sales from the experts.

Ivan Sher of Shapiro &Sher Group/Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, Randy Char of Char’s Luxury Real Estate, Deven Chase of Christie’s International and Kristen Silberman of Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty discussed their perspectives on working in the luxury real estate field and key indicators of their success. Combined, the panelists and their teams sold nearly $400 million in Southern Nevada real estate last year.

When asked about the best advice they had received in their careers, Sher quoted his late business partner, Florence Shapiro.

“She would say ‘there is no grey.’ It was never about the deal for her, but always about the people,” Sher said. “She told me we have one opportunity to make a name for ourselves and we work for the rest of our lives to keep that name.

The best deal of her life was the one she didn’t take.”

When discussing the importance of branding in luxury real estate, Silberman also recalled a conversation with Shapiro. “She said ‘a house matters.’

That always stuck with me. If you see three different homes with three different signs in the front yard, how you feel about each home is different.

Why does one home sell for $2 million and a similar one sell for $4 million? Branding. I come from a strong marketing background, so I understand the value of branding and what that does for your product.”

Marketing luxury homes successfully comes from having a complete understanding of luxury homebuyers, Chase said. “When I’m looking for buyers for homes, I’m looking at an international scope,” he said. “I have also become an expert on the Las Vegas market and am a resource to both buyers and sellers. I know how things connect.”

Many people assume luxury homes take much longer to sell than average priced homes in Southern Nevada, and Silberman said that is not always the case.

“If the home is priced right, there is no set pattern for average days on the market,” she said. “We hope it sells in six months. But if you have a house that is priced right and has the right marketing, it should sell within four months.”

Sher agreed. “It is for the most part price,” he said. “But the product itself matters, too.

For example, newer homes in highly desirable communities like Ascaya, MacDonald Highlands, Southern Highlands and The Ridges will sell more quickly than those in other less desirable communities.”

The panel agreed that becoming a luxury real estate agent is not something that can be easily accomplished.

“Someone new in the industry recently asked me how they can start doing business in this space,” Sher said. “I said you need to go where the people are that buy and sell luxury homes. It’s not always easy and not always local. You need to be a resource to your clients and become an expert in your field.”

“I don’t know if you can ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ in this business without financial acumen,” Silberman said. “We need to know spreadsheets, finances and financial assets to really provide the best representation to our clients.”

Overall the conversation, as is often the case in real estate, came down to marketing. Whether luxury real estate teams and sales executives are budgeting for photography and video or social media and web services, it is their responsibilities to find the right buyers for each of their clients’ homes.

According to Sher, top-quality marketing is essential in luxury real estate. “What differentiates similar homes is how you market or package it,” he said.

For information on future events hosted by the Nevada Association of Real Estate Brokers, visit

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