JOSH ALTMAN, STAR OF Bravo’s hit TV series ‘Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles’, will be touring Australia this June. During ‘Live in Australia’ Josh (and brother Matt) will reveal their trade secrets – including how to outsmart the competition – and will share tips on how to succeed in your professional and personal life.
How did you started in real estate?
When I arrived in LA I didn’t have two dimes to rub together. I was working in an office mail room to make ends meet. My brother and I saved five grand and we took out 100 per cent financing on a property which we flipped three months later. The profit was $200,000. We used that money for our next property investment and then the next one.
I ended up quitting my job and became a fulltime real estate investor. Eventually I ended up as a real estate agent – two billion dollars sold and here I am.
You work as both a buyer’s agent and a listing agent. Which side do you prefer?
Today I was with five different buyers. Tomorrow I’m going to be spending half my day showing my own listings. I don’t know which side I prefer more, but I just love the art of negotiating. It’s all good fun – it’s about finding someone their perfect dream home. Do that and you’ll be on their speed dial forever. You end up getting 10 more clients from them.
What’s your turnover been so far this year, and how many transactions do you average?
Probably about 130 transactions per annum. In the last seven days I’ve sold $45 million worth of real estate, including the most expensive house sold in Brentwood this year so far, for $20m. I have at least 15 to 20 deals in escrow at all times. Our goal last year was to sell $1m a day, which we did. The goal this year is to sell $1m to $2m a day.
What’s the market like in LA?
The market is still super-hot. We’re still very cheap compared to other major global markets and we’re seeing a lot of overseas money. My personal favourite area is where I live on the Sunset Strip, right above Sunset Boulevard. The views are fantastic.
Do US portals like Zillow and Trulia play a big part in what you do?
You’ve got to embrace the internet and social media. It can be a huge help. Our buyers are smarter these days. Back in the day I’d identify five properties for them; now they basically do it for me. At the end of the day, what separates a good agent from a great agent is somebody who sees the client’s wish list and says, ‘You have to see this, this and this – trust me.’
Is marketing a property in the US different from Australia?
Yeah, it’s totally different. If I ask one of my clients to pay for advertising they’d kick me out of their house. I’ll spend 10 thousand dollars on advertising the average house priced between $2m to $4m.”
What’s your average for days on market at the moment?
Ninety days on market is usually average. You price the house right, it’s going to sell before it’s listed. If you price it too high it’s going to sit and sit.
How would you summarise your philosophy and approach to real estate?
The philosophy that got me where I am is ‘ready, fire, aim’, which is really being able to recognise an opportunity when it’s in front of you. If you do mess up, which lots of people do, you need to know how to pick yourself back up and finish strong.
There are going to be good days and bad days in real estate; there are going to be good markets and bad markets. But you need to stay positive. Just keep your head down and keep working.
If you could work with any other Million DollarListing agent, who would it be?
Fredrik from New York! He’s the best and we already do some work together.
With a LIVE Q&A and audience participation, don’t miss your chance to learn from the best. Experience Josh and Matt Altman Live in Sydney, Melbourne
and Brisbane on June 14th, 15th and 19th. Private Dinner and Special Meet and Greet Experience tickets available: visit joshaltman.com.au.