The Southern California All-Stars panel at Haute Residence’s Los Angeles real estate summit—which took place early last month at Mr. C’s Beverly Hills—featured six top real estate figures based in the Golden State.
“Events like this create a cohesiveness where people can interrelate and exchange ideas and relationships in other areas, and get to know each other by face,” remarked Drew Mandile of Sotheby’s International Realty, who sat on the panel alongside Marcy Weinstein (Surterre Properties), Irene Dazzan-Palmer (Coldwell Banker International), Tim Smith (Coldwell Banker International), Linda May (Coldwell Banker International, and Tami Pardee (Pardee Properties).
The elite brokers discussed the future of the real estate market, imparted advise to newcomers in the industry, and revealed their long-term strategies for selling.
Read on for a jot of the insightful talk moderated by Tim Lappen of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell.
Tim Lappen: What would you say to someone you cared about—not just anyone, but someone you cared about—about going into the industry today?
Irene Dazzan-Palmer: I think now, new people have an opportunity to work with some of the top agents in the business.
Marcy Weinstein: [New agents] bring a whole other side to things—they have a whole other need that [perhaps us seasoned agents] don’t.
Tim Smith: You can be old, young, female, male… the thing that I find interesting is that anybody can be successful. The barriers to entry are very easy to [get past], and the people who are willing can really do well.
Drew Mandile: You’re going to have to pick up the phone and call somebody. You’re either a caller or not a caller, and if you want to get into real estate you have to be a caller.
Linda May: You’ve got to really put the time in and see everything, and know what your markets are if you want to work.
Lappen: Do you believe it’s better to start a little lower than market to get some interest?
Weinstein: We deal with really high-end properties, and I don’t believe you can take really high-end properties and price them low. You have to say what’s unique about [each one], and understand how much it took to create the property—both from the land and placement, etcetera. You better know every detail in that house to be able to command that price, and know [its structure] inside and out. [Know] if they were trying to build it next door, and if they couldn’t, [how come]. You’ve got to go into the market and stick to your price knowing why you’re there.
Smith: There are so many moving parts from absorption rates, but I think data is always staying engaged with them and not just letting them dictate the price, but actually going through comparables. Buyers are smart—it’s not about what they pay; it’s about what they perceive they pay. If there’s a financial story [that allows you to] quantify the adjustments, they’ll pay.
Tami Pardee: I like to sit down and be personal with them—[ask them about] where they’re going, what’s happening, what [are their lives] about, and then strategize with them that way.
Lappen: Where is the real estate market going? Is there a bubble? Do you think it’s going to continue to eke up? Do you think it’s going to be dependent upon a micro market—that Malibu may be insulated, [while] Venice maybe doesn’t have a problem?
Weinstein: I would look at whatever neighborhoods are sitting on bigger land that maybe haven’t had a lot of action lately, because I think the land value there is going to pretty soon exceed the house value.
Smith: One thing that we’re seeing in our different segments—part of our markets down 35% in sales volume from last year; the super high-end is probably double. It seems like there’s a bigger separation of the ultra affluent, and they’re using real estate to diversify their portfolios because [they then] have brick and mortar—they have actual assets over the next 30 years. If we see anything like we saw before, [those investments] will be super value.
May: What you’re seeing is the sophistication and truly a different resident base in all of our communities.
Lappen: What do you think—going forward, if you project out 10 years—how are you going to market what you’re selling?
Weinstein: I’m a big proponent of print ads. I think you have to be ready to go on the Internet with great photos… I believe in every form of media; however, we don’t do a lot of social media [in dealing with high-end properties], because [high-end clients] don’t want that light.
Pardee: I think the future is online, period. I think to complement it with a nice piece—if you have an expensive house, I think that’s smart—but I do think that online and [through social media]… people have to [see] something three times in order to remember a property. They’re not going to remember it [unless you hit them three times with it], and you have to figure out how.