What is the most common hiccup you encounter when trying to find the perfect home for a client, and what is your typical approach to overcoming it?
The clients think they know what they want, when in fact they don’t. Consciously, they mean one thing—subconsciously, another. For instance, your clients might tell you they want a long private drive. Once you start driving up that long private drive, however, they might say, “This is too far off the main road—I want easier access!”
That said, always have a Plan B. You may not get a second chance to take them out again. I once sold a property because a seller canceled at the last minute and I had 20 minutes to kill with an unhappy, dueling couple. I took them to a vacant house that I had the key to. They immediately fell in love with it for all the wrong reasons; they bought it because it was the first house they could both agree upon, and what they agreed on was that they both hated it! With two strong opinions, they knew if they remodeled it they would get exactly what they both wanted, and they did. I always look back at that experience because it taught me the valuable lesson that buyers do not always buy what they want—the perfect house seldom exists. Being creative and thinking outside the box is a guarantee for success.
Real estate agents are expected to be absolute experts on their respective regions. What steps do you take in order to ensure you know positively all that you need to in order to keep your clients well informed?
I have two important assets: I was born and raised in Little Holmby, and have 30 years of experience. I know the history and importance of each estate and can tell the little-known stories of the many famed owners, from their passionate involvement in the design of the costly and architecturally distinguished properties, to their intrigues—and sometimes, their calamities. In LA, buyers love to know the story behind their estates. My hobby and passion has always been real estate, so much so that my most recent book—”The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills”—is considered by many to be the definitive history of the 50 most famous and important estates in Los Angeles’ “Platinum Triangle.”