Understanding Platinum VIP
By the time a new condo project’s sales centre opens its doors to the public, the building can be as much as 90% sold already. How does this happen? Condo developers in Toronto generally follow a simple staggered marketing formula for selling their buildings and it goes like this:
- 1. Friends and Family sales event (5-10% of units get sold)
- 2. Platinum VIP agents get access (30-40% get sold)
- 3. VIP agents get access (20-30% get sold)
- 4. All agents get access (10-20% get sold)
- 5. Pre-registrants get access (5-10% get sold)
- 6. Grand Opening to the public (last 10-20% gets sold)
With each step along this continuum, selection of units goes down and prices tend to go up (the hotter the project, the more the prices can go up)
It might be as much as 6 months between the first friends and family event to the grand opening to the public.
Platinum VIP agents are the first group of people to get access to the building outside of the developers own friends and family.
The Platinum agents generally sell the largest chunk of the building.
There are usually only about 20-30 platinum agents in any given project. These are generally agents who have sold the most units for the developer in the past at their previous projects. They are rewarded with first access and best prices for their clients.
Often each platinum agent is given a specific “allocation” of units in the building (for example, 1 or 2 floors of the building) for which they have exclusive rights to sell to their clients for a limited period of time (2-3 weeks).
Platinum VIP Realtors are usually agents who specialize exclusively in pre-construction condo investments and they sell a much higher volume of condo units that 99% of all other Realtors in the GTA.
Out of close to 40,000 Realtors currently in the GTA, I would estimate that only about 100-200 agents could actually be considered true Platinum VIP level agents. What I mean by that is that about 100-200 agents are on at least 2 or more developers Platinum VIP agent list.
How Developers View Platinum VIP Realtors
Because the Platinum VIP Realtors generally sell the largest percentage of the building, they are obviously extremely important to the condo developer.
Condo developers want to keep their platinum VIP agents VERY happy and motivated to continually sell their condos year after year. For this reason they give their Platinum VIP agents the best prices and the best incentives along with the earliest access the project.
As a condo project moves through the staggered marketing process outlined above, sometimes developers will actually extend the pricing and incentives that Platinum agents enjoy. So you could walk in to a sales centre with a VIP agent and buy a condo for $300,000, and the guy next to you might be buying the same thing for $295,000 and maybe he gets a better deposit structure too.
Because there is an ongoing relationship between the developer and their Platinum VIP agents, there is a trust factor that means that certain perks
How Developers View All Other Realtors
The best way to sum up how developers view all other Realtors is by ripping off a classic quote from Animal Farm: “All Realtors are equal, but some are more equal than others”.
Yes, they can and will sell in just about every condo building but they will not enjoy the benefits and the perks that the Platinum agents do.
Think about it, if you have the choice of working with someone you have worked with for years, someone who has gotten you results in the past, someone you know you can trust, OR working with a brand new person who you have never met before but is promising you the world, who would you go with?
Would you rather deal with a small group of agents who sell a lot of units each, or hundreds of agents who sell 1 unit each?
What Working with a Platinum VIP Realtor Really Means
If you are a buyer of a pre-construction condo, it just makes sense that in any project you ever buy in, you want to work with a platinum VIP realtor for that project. They will get you the best pricing, the best unit selection, and they will get you access to the building the earliest before anyone else.
Beyond that, it also means that you as a buyer,
- •Hear about new projects first before they are advertised
- •Hear about promotions or sales events first, before they are advertised
- •Never have to wait in any line-ups to buy a condo in a new project
- •Can often reserve a specific unit ahead of all other buyers simply by completing a worksheet
- •Get to work with a specialist, someone who has sold hundreds of condos and who is an expert in their field. (do you really want to make a pre-construction condo investment with your dad’s friend who sells houses in Hamilton?)
No single Realtor has Platinum VIP access to all
Don’t trust any agent who tells you they have Platinum VIP access to all the condo buildings in Toronto. This is a lie.
There is not some universal list of Platinum VIP agents in Toronto. It is different for every condo project, BUT there is a lot of overlap when you get down to the top 10 or 20 condo developers. So chances are that if your Realtor does have Platinum access for top developer #1, then they probably have platinum access to top developers 2, 3, 4.
So how do you know if your agent has Platinum VIP access to a new condo building? Just ask them. If you don’t trust your Realtor to answer this basic question, ask yourself why are you working with this person??