– The preferences of global luxury consumers are shifting towards “Quiet Luxury” which focuses on authenticity and value proposition rather than flashy logos and trends.
– The real estate market is also experiencing changes due to the younger demographic of luxury consumers and agents.
– Corcoran, as a luxury real estate brand, defines luxury as a relative term and a feeling, emphasizing the importance of finding a home that matches the individual’s heart and lifestyle.
– The brand prefers to identify as a lifestyle brand rather than using the term “luxury,” which has become diluted and doesn’t carry the same meaning anymore.
– The high-net-worth consumer demographic has changed, with millennials, Gen-Z, and Alphas becoming a significant part of the luxury goods market. These generations prioritize quality, CSR, and sustainability over legacy and prestige.
– Corcoran stays ahead of the curve and acts as a leader in the industry by pursuing multiple growth tracks, adapting to trends, and innovating its message to stay relevant in the present tense.
A seismic transition is underway in the preferences of global luxury consumers. “Quiet Luxury” is here — and it arrived well before the hype around Kendall Roy’s $600 cashmere baseball caps. Gone are the days of big, flashy logos: Today’s traveled, well-informed audiences expect a more intentional value proposition, trading the superficiality of trends for the timelessness of authenticity. Opting for sneakers instead of a silk Hermes tie, and choosing inclusivity over exclusivity, are decisions more likely to resonate than ever before.
Real estate, too, is feeling the reset. Not only is the average luxury consumer trending younger, but so has the average agent, spurring new strategies in the luxury real estate market with regard to client communication, brand recognition and property marketing.
Stephanie Anton has a unique perspective on the industry’s new lookbook. In just over three years as President of Corcoran’s Affiliate Network, she has led her team to grow a 50-year-old brand to some of the world’s most relevant markets, from San Francisco and the Napa Valley to Greenwich, Connecticut to resort destinations like Hawaii, St. Barth and Italy’s Lake Garda. More than a case study in franchising, Corcoran’s true success story is its keen ability to select local operators in key markets, each of which contextualizes this dynamic real estate brand — and its values — in regional vernacular.
To speak on the brand’s behalf, what is the Corcoran definition of “luxury?”
SA: We believe ‘luxury’ is a relative term and, above all, a feeling. At Corcoran, luxury is about finding the home that matches the heart — a place to live your best life. Luxury could mean cozying up fireside in a one-bedroom mountain bungalow you’ve poured your soul into, or it can be casting the bowlines off your yacht as you set sail from your private, backyard dock. It’s price-agonistic and entirely dependent on the individual, which our brand tagline, ‘Live Who You Are,’ captures so elegantly. It works well in today’s marketplace as luxury consumers, in no small part to the digital revolution, have a greater sense of ownership in confidently shaping trends rather than following them.
We want to empower people to bring their dreams into reality — and provide our affiliated companies and agents with the tools to build clients for life.
Although the company operates on the higher end of the real estate market, Corcoran prefers to stray from using the term “luxury” when defining itself. Why is that?
SA: Corcoran identifies first and foremost as a lifestyle brand. The word “luxury” has become ubiquitous to the point of dilution — it simply doesn’t carry the meaning it once did. While home prices naturally trend upwards in many desirable, lifestyle-driven markets we serve — the Hamptons and Palm Beach, for example — the branding itself works across all price points. Today’s luxury consumer craves authenticity, and Corcoran delivers that at an approachably premium level. We’re not looking to be in every market, but in the right markets. High-end urban, suburban, resort and second-home regions are a natural fit for a brand that embraces the casual side of high-end but has also participated in nearly every closed Manhattan residential real estate transaction over $100M.
This all goes far deeper than advertising. Our affiliated agents are ambassadors for the lifestyles they sell, and they’re connected within their communities. At the end of the day, our brand is our people, and they evangelize our mission of prioritizing meaningful connections over transactions.
How has the demographic of the high-net-worth consumer changed, and how has that impacted Corcoran’s approach on the industry?
SA: A recent study by Bain & Co. and The Altagamma Foundation, two organizations that extensively track the ultra-luxe sector, predicts that millennials, Gen-Z, and Alphas will together account for 80 percent of the luxury goods market by 2030. But this isn’t any simple changing of the guard: These generations have a completely different value structure than their predecessors. Not only do they hold a greater desire for high-end goods, but also an intentional one, and that’s largely owed to what we’d traditionally call the “luxury” market becoming more democratized and accessible. They place less value on legacy and prestige and the foremost emphasis on quality, CSR and sustainability. In other words, they’re not buying in name only — there needs to be substance.
Real estate tends to adjust more slowly and with a bit more nuance than consumer products, but it’s clear which way the market is heading as new generations look for their first house and then seasonal, investment, or other secondary properties. Understanding consumers’ lifestyles has always been at the heart of Corcoran’s DNA, and keeping our finger on the pulse of what people are looking for and finding ways to articulate that through our marketing, sets us apart. We know that today’s affluent clientele might be as likely to be looking for a second place in a cool college town — say Athens, Georgia or Berkeley, California — as they are searching for a beach house in Montauk, or even a villa in St. Barth or Lake Garda, Italy. Our advertising, with our witty taglines and regional illustrations by Simone Massoni, stands out from our competitors and conveys that luxury is hardly singular.
Younger generations set the trends, meaning the time to stay relevant is always yesterday. A brand that connects with buyers is a brand that makes deals for sellers. Moreover, they’re a chance to create those lifelong clients.
After 50 years in the industry, how has Corcoran been able to stay ahead of the curve and act as a leader when markets change?
SA: Corcoran has always pursued multiple growth tracks at a time so that we never stop moving. As an ambitious, female-led company, we’re also never afraid to stray outside the lines and get creative. We grow outside-in and inside-out: When it comes to new markets, sometimes we won’t find an ideal fit, so we’ll move on and loop back to that market at a later date. Then comes growing our existing affiliates, both through agent recruitment and, my personal favorite, mergers and acquisitions.
The Corcoran brand has a proven, time-tested message that we work tirelessly to innovate and contextualize in the present tense, whether that means jumping on a new social media network or harnessing the latest technologies to help our affiliated agents streamline their business. We adapt to trends rather than define ourselves by them. We’re proud to have built an offering that’s dynamic and scalable and that grows with the times.
Property Chomp's Take:
A seismic shift is taking place in the preferences of global luxury consumers. The era of flashy logos and ostentatious displays of wealth is coming to an end. Today's luxury consumers, who are well-informed and well-traveled, are seeking a more intentional value proposition. They are trading the superficiality of trends for the timelessness of authenticity.
This shift in consumer preferences is not limited to fashion and consumer goods; it is also impacting the luxury real estate market. Not only are luxury consumers getting younger, but so are the agents who serve them. This has led to new strategies in the luxury real estate market, particularly in client communication, brand recognition, and property marketing.
Stephanie Anton, President of Corcoran's Affiliate Network, has a unique perspective on this seismic transition. In just over three years, she has led her team to grow a 50-year-old brand to some of the world's most relevant markets. Corcoran has expanded to San Francisco, Napa Valley, Greenwich, and resort destinations like Hawaii, St. Barth, and Lake Garda in Italy.
When asked about the definition of luxury, Anton believes that luxury is a relative term and, above all, a feeling. At Corcoran, luxury is about finding the home that matches the heart and allows individuals to live their best life. Luxury can mean cozying up in a mountain bungalow or setting sail from a private dock. It is not about price but about individual preferences and values.
Interestingly, Corcoran prefers to stray from using the term "luxury" when defining itself. The word has become ubiquitous and diluted. Instead, Corcoran identifies as a lifestyle brand. It embraces the casual side of high-end and delivers authenticity at an approachably premium level. The branding works across all price points, and the focus is on meaningful connections rather than transactions.
The demographic of the high-net-worth consumer has changed, and this has had a significant impact on Corcoran's approach. Millennials, Gen-Z, and Alphas will account for 80 percent of the luxury goods market by 2030, according to a study by Bain & Co. and The Altagamma Foundation. These generations have a different value structure, placing greater emphasis on quality, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability. They are looking for substance rather than just a brand name.
Corcoran has stayed ahead of the curve and acted as a leader in the industry by pursuing multiple growth tracks and getting creative. It adapts to trends rather than defining itself by them. The brand focuses on understanding consumers' lifestyles and finding ways to articulate that through marketing. Corcoran's advertising stands out with witty taglines and regional illustrations that convey the diversity of luxury.
After 50 years in the industry, Corcoran continues to innovate and contextualize its message in the present tense. It embraces new technologies and social media networks to streamline its business. The brand's offering is dynamic and scalable, growing with the times.
The seismic transition in the preferences of global luxury consumers is reshaping the luxury real estate market. Corcoran, with its focus on authenticity and meaningful connections, is well-positioned to thrive in this new era. By understanding the changing demographics and values of luxury consumers, Corcoran has been able to stay ahead of the curve and maintain its status as a leader in the industry.