As the new vice president of luxury for Coldwell Banker®, I was recently asked the question, “What does luxury mean to you?”
Like many of you, my definition of luxury completely changed after the events of 2020. To me, luxury is the ability to partake in experiences that evoke an emotional connection of joy and happiness. Luxury is individual in nature, ever changing, rooted in appreciation and driven by passion. Quite simply, it’s the ability to enjoy all aspects of life.
Stepping into my new role within the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program, I have realized just how much this idea underscores everything we do. Luxury Property Specialists don’t simply sell real estate at high price points. They make it possible for their clients to have the life they have always envisioned for themselves. That’s a profound undertaking, and it carries enormous responsibility.
I feel incredibly humbled and gratified to be welcomed into an organization that has been redefining luxury for over a century. Innovation, creativity and global networking are the driving forces behind the long and storied success of the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program. My vision is to build on the already strong foundation that exists within the Global Luxury network in the years to come. This will be done in partnership with all of you, who are truly the heart and soul behind this amazing program.
As we move forward together, I wanted to share three ideas that will be guiding my vision in the coming months and year ahead.
1. Innovation and agility will be the keys to leading luxury real estate in the future.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Property Specialists are more prepared than anyone else to weather changes like we saw in 2020–2021. They have demonstrated that they can quickly adapt — and even thrive — during a massive cultural shift. Our record speaks for itself. Coldwell Banker-affiliated sales associates sold over 32,000 $1 million+ properties in 2020, and they have a record of selling properties with a 36% higher average sales price.
2. Enhancing our power position means we must be in a constant state of learning.
The undeniable power of the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program comes from having the world’s most rigorous certification process for luxury real estate agents. There is simply no other program like it in the world. Between our unparalleled educational events like this week’s Education Expo and October’s Gen Blue and access to international networking, we are true trailblazers in the luxury industry. We also empower our Luxury Property Specialists and provide a strong value proposition to affluent clients with new data on a regular basis, like our upcoming A Look at Wealth report due out in October.
3. Luxury has been completely redefined, putting emphasis on lifestyle like never before.
There has never been such an intense shift in consumer behavior on a global scale as what we experienced in 2020. Space, location and health were all viewed through a much different lens by nearly every person in every market and at exactly the same time. Some people moved out of cities. Some people bought second homes in far-off places. As the pandemic wanes, countries reopen, and cities once again share the spotlight, expect to see lifestyle shifts yet again. Values such as sustainability, health and wellness are also impacting real estate purchase decisions on a scale not seen before.
As we continue to redefine the definition of luxury, one thing remains true: Coldwell Banker Global Luxury sits at the forefront of innovation, technology and information. I’m dedicated to ensuring that we are always a step ahead in all that we do. I look forward to meeting all of you in the weeks and months ahead.
Michael Altneu is the vice president of luxury for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. A 15-year veteran of luxury and marketing, Michael has created campaigns for major brands with domestic and international reach and collaborated with top agents across the country on the real estate technology side of the business. The New Jersey native currently resides in Los Angeles, where he balances his time between volunteering as an EMT and spending time outdoors in the sunny Southern California weather. His newest obsession? Surfing.