Traffic on the 405 was light this morning, and I was moving along ahead of schedule. I like to be up early, so that I can feel ready for the day. There’s a sense of clarity—of calm—that comes with preparedness. I think it was my grandmother, Edith, who taught me how to be prepared.
She also taught me that life could be a pretty fun ride.
I accelerated and sped my convertible around a semi.
On the back of a Kia Soul, in front of me, I saw a bumper sticker that read: LA Dreaming.
Not my dream car, I jokingly thought as I zipped past it. But as I drove by, something occurred to me.
In the middle of this, all lime-green car, was a bumper sticker that embodied everything that LA, and the call of Hollywood stands for: dreams.
And in the middle of all of these other cars—each with their own drivers, and their own host of unique problems—was a man who was about ready to live another day doing what he loved: selling dreams.
You see, the best part about what I do isn’t that I get to sell the dream to people.
The best part about my job is that I make people’s dreams come true for a lifetime.
The market for LA houses has been rising in recent years—everyone knows that real estate is HOT, right now.
It’s kind of funny, but I sold four houses last year—that I then resold (as is) to other buyers for more money! Those sales set a record for Beverly Hills—was it me? Or, has the demand just skyrocketed for premium location at a great price? I’d bet on the latter, and the fact that the LA market is going to be rising—any day of the week.
And today just happened to be a Monday, and I was feeling pretty great about the shape of real estate in our little luxury corner of the world, here in Beverly Hills.
There is no place better in the world to drive a classic convertible—or find a dealer who can service a 1960 Silver Cloud than Los Angeles, California!
I know the market is hot, so before I went to my walk-through this morning, I decided to swing by the office and check some numbers to see what kind of return my potential buyers can expect in the next few years.
On my computer I was looking at a painting I want to purchase that reminds me of when I was younger. This morning, I paused to look at it, before heading out the door. It seemed to sparkle a little more—it’s French, and it reminds me of walking the streets of Paris with my grandmother. Edith always knew how to find the best places in the city to show me—and in a way, that is exactly what I do with every single one of my clients. In essence, real estate agents in LA have been given the keys to the city. We unlock people’s dreams for them, by selling them the lifestyle that they need. It’s something that is definitely cool to be a part of.
I arrived early to the showing, because I wanted to make sure the staging was all set. I hadn’t seen the property before, but it was absolutely breathtaking. It captured the essentials of everything that is selling in LA, right now. When in doubt, go for these three things: lighting, lots of white paint, and windows. With those three, you can rarely go wrong.
The big things that I needed to stress on the walk-through were the furnishings, and the added features that come with this house. A lot of high-end agents want to act like the clients’ best friend, that’s not the case with me. I’m here to do my job, and if I’m too busy trying to win over your personality, then I’ve forgotten what I need to focus on—why this house is best for you.
I love socializing and being helpful—but I’ve found that being honest and keeping the client’s best interest at heart will always get you farther, than trying to relive a recent Lakers game highlight reel to impress someone. I spend more than half of my time listening to the clients, because I need to know what they are saying. I want to mirror what they are feeling, thinking, and expecting in this situation so that I can put them in the best house that will make them the happiest. Part of this is keeping the client engaged and entertained. No one wants to go see a $15 million dollar house and talk about the weather! It’s LA—it’s always hot!
My end goal is to keep the client focused on the house, but enjoying the experience. After all, this might be the house that they spend the rest of their lives in! Talk about creating an experience!
The showing wrapped up faster than anticipated—it took hours—but it only felt like minutes. That’s usually one of the signs that I’ve done my job. Most of the tour is spent discussing the aspects of the house. But my favorite part of any showing is giving the backstory behind the house, itself.
Knowing who lived there in the 50’s or 60’s and how many owners it has had—is one of the hallmarks of what I do. I am a huge nerd for housing trivia, and I love being able to tell my clients that 40 years ago the house went through a remodeling when a celebrity owned it. At the end of the day, that’s what sells houses. Because selling a house is all about the relationship. It’s pairing the owner with the house that will give them the most rewarding long-term relationship.
I went back to the office to get things in order before heading to Madeo for dinner. As I was grabbing my keys, I noticed that painting of the Montmartre in Paris that I had been looking at earlier. I realized that it’s the ability to get lost in those city streets again that makes this painting priceless. It gives me just a few more minutes with my grandmother, every time I look at it. That’s the kind of value that I sell to my clients, and that is what my Beverly Hills customers are looking for—something personalized to their needs and lifestyle.
I valeted the Rolls Royce, and switched back into “ready mode.” I was very excited to meet my dinner party, and maybe a little more excited to order the Veal Cart.
Oh, I almost forgot the reason why I was at dinner—I was celebrating. But I’ll tell you all about it, after we eat!