Lindsay Barton Barrett goes back to the beginning of her career as a real estate agent and describes her transition from a real estate attorney. Lindsay explains how how she built her business from scratch and how does she get to referrals. Next, Lindsay talks about how to build relationships with developers and describes how she gained the trust of real estate developers. Lindsay also discusses how is she educating her clients to keep her business going today when the rates ae going up and the market is shifting. Last, Lindsay provides advise for realtors on how to build and maintain relationships and how she keeps in touch with her clients.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Lindsay Barton Barrett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks and FollowUpBoss.
D.J. Paris 0:00
Have you ever wondered how developers choose realtors to work on their projects? Well, we’re going to talk about that today. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with top producer Lindsey Barton barrette. Before we get to Lindsay, just a couple of quick reminders of will as always a reminder to me to thank you for listening and supporting our show. Thank you for checking out what our sponsors offer. Thank you for continuing to listen and as most importantly, thank you for telling a friend. Think of one other realtor that has not heard of our show that could benefit maybe somebody that wants to work with developers, but hasn’t quite figured out how to crack that code which we’re going to be talking about today and send them a link over to our show. You can always go directly to our website keeping it real pod.com or any place you can find podcasts just search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. And also if you’d like to leave us a review that would be fantastic as well especially if you’re on like Apple podcasts or Spotify, Stitcher, wherever. Let us know what you think of the show. We read all your reviews and we take your suggestions into account. But anyway, enough about me and other show. Let’s get to the main event my conversation with Lindsey Barton Barrett.
Today our guest is Lindsey Barton burette from Douglas Elliman in New York City specifically Brooklyn, although she works all of Manhattan, but let me tell you more about Lindsay now veteran New York City broker Lindsey Barton barrette sets herself apart in a crowded field with an astute advisory approach. She has over two decades of award winning experience and an unblemished reputation among her fellow agents. She’s closed and pause for dramatic effect $1 billion in total transactions throughout her career and she and her team have sold four of the six most expensive homes in Brooklyn’s history. Lindsay is methodical and prepared and thanks to her former career as a real estate attorney at a prominent New York firm clients can trust that every step of the process is buttoned up from start to finish. The result of Lindsay is unwavering professionalism isn’t only seen in her steady stream of top producer awards and accolades, but also in the legions of fiercely loyal clients and the extensive referral business she’s cultivated over the years. In addition to assisting buyers and sellers in Manhattan and Brooklyn, with a specialty in brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods. She’s worked directly with the city’s leading developers. To learn more about Lindsay, please visit her website, Lindsey Barton Barrette team.com And that’s Lindsay with an A y. But don’t worry, you’re not going to have to type it in. We have a link for that right in our show notes. But please do visit it and see what somebody who is at the very very top of the mountain in real estate, what their website looks like. It’s impressive. It’s awesome. It’s elegant. Anyway, Lindsay, welcome to the show. We’re so excited to have you.
Lindsay Barton Barrett 4:36
Thank you so much. I’m happy to be here.
D.J. Paris 4:39
We are very happy to Lindsay and I were just talking about some some other things prior to the show, not real estate related. So I’m really excited to learn more about your your path and progress and journey through real estate but I’d love to start all the way at the beginning because I know in your previous career you are a real estate attorney Well, but how did you get involved in real estate to begin with,
Lindsay Barton Barrett 5:05
I would say probably goes back a little before that I grew up in Seattle. And my, my dad was a war lots of hats over the years, but was involved in real estate development and construction a little bit at certain points. And in the hotel business as well. And that just it, it always interested me, because it covers so much ground, it’s really personal, yet also tangible. And so I was, I was intrigued by it from an early age, honestly, the construction part of it, all of that, and then I went to law school, and I went to Columbia, which is a very traditional law school approach, you know, think Paper Chase, you know, we don’t teach you to be a lawyer, we teach you to think like a lawyer. And so it was very theoretical in certain ways. And there was not a lot of specific sort of, there was not, there were not a lot of specific classes that related to practice areas necessarily offered, including real estate. And maybe there was, maybe I missed it. But I didn’t come out knowing that that was what I wanted to do. But I knew that I was interested in real estate. And so I worked as a corporate attorney briefly. And when I would do diligence on transactions, you know, m&a transactions, or something, I was still continued to gravitate to the real estate piece of it. So I ended up laterally between two big firms in Manhattan and moved to another firm where I was in a real estate, dedicated practice. And I really, I was, I loved it, I loved the pieces of the transactions. But I didn’t love the role that I was playing in transactions. I, I think they’re amazing lawyers. But often a lawyer’s job is to pinpoint all the potential pitfalls in a transaction, instead of focusing on keeping parties together and keeping parties moving forward. And I would work on big transactions where there were both commercial real estate brokers and investment bankers on the deals, and just sitting on conference calls or sitting in the room, I would look at what they were doing, and think that’s what I want to be doing. I want to be building things and putting deals together and helping really smart people who know what they want to do get together and do it in a profitable and, you know, they know what they’re doing, you know, our clients really knew what they were doing. And so I often felt that the lawyers were just bringing up the same points every single time that had been resolved in the last iteration of this document. And I just didn’t, I didn’t like the role that I was playing. And it may have been a function of being in a big firm, versus being at a smaller firm. But ultimately, I just felt like between not seeing myself as a New York lawyer, and the various sort of the various limitations that that can present in terms of hours worked and all of those things. I it just became clear to me that I wanted something different in my role and in my, in my hours and all of that and so I and then I bought an apartment with a tiny bit of money. I put 5% down I think on a condo in the East Village, it
D.J. Paris 9:06
which by the way, which by the way, 5% down on a condo in the East Village is still a tremendous downpayment. It was a long time
Lindsay Barton Barrett 9:15
ago, but yes, yes, it was. And so I you know, I put 5% down, I bought a condo in the East Village and then over the years, you know, and that was one thing that I really that has also been a driver for me of what I do is that I do have a very sort of quintessential real estate escalation story of I bought the condo in the East Village turned around and bought a co op in Cobble Hill turned around and bought a relatively you know, for the time and for New York and expensive townhouse that ultimately we got renovated and I sold it this past year for a significant multiple of a The condo in the East Village in 2000, but also what we bought it for. So it really enabled me to do this job, I was able to take out a home equity line of credit, so I had something to fall back on. And so real estate has actually really kind of done for me what I think it does for a lot of people. But what I think a lot of people don’t really believe happens anymore. So that’s sort of my backstory.
D.J. Paris 10:26
Yeah, and there was really a lot there. I just want to unpack a couple of things. Number one, I want to honor you for the courage to walk away from a legal career that you worked. Well, number one, Columbia is not one of the worst law schools in the country. It’s actually one of the very top and that I’m sure that’s how you, of course, how you got to New York. Did you also do your undergraduate in New York as well? Or did you just end up there for law school,
Lindsay Barton Barrett 10:53
I was in upstate New York, I went to Cornell undergrad. So I went to I went to great schools, you know, no complaints here, you know, but it just it this, it, it was a different path. But it brought me to where I am now.
D.J. Paris 11:08
It’s Was it difficult to walk away from working so hard to pass the bar and and of course work in in corporate, you know, the corporate law world, and then to be an m&a activity, mergers and acquisitions and then say, you know, I really, this isn’t my I’m, I don’t want to bill, you know, 1000 hours a year anymore, or whatever, the whatever lawyers are billing these days. Yeah, I know, it’s always a staggering, staggering number. And sort of trading hours for dollars is really what attorneys do, which is why they work so much. Was that,
Lindsay Barton Barrett 11:40
especially, um, it was hardest for my mom, I would say, Sure. My mom was not happy about the decision. What are you doing with your life? Yes, um, and I should be really nice to my mom right now. She’s not doing great, but I she was not happy that I quit my job. Um, it was scary. It was definitely scary. Um, and you know, it’s true, you need a real sort of, you need something to fall back on. And I, I genuinely got that exclusively by doing a home equity line of credit, where I put my job taking that money and knowing that I had it, and then leaving. And so it was definitely scary. I felt like I had maybe one client, maybe two, they were sort of friends that graciously trusted me with their home purchase or home search. I think one of them ended up buying and one of them didn’t. And then otherwise, I really, you know, I think people look at me and go, Oh, you’ve had all these like, lawyers, lawyers are very conservative. I have a lot of law school friends who still rent in New York City, and I graduated from law school 23 years ago. So, you know, lawyers turned out not to necessarily be my sort of go to client base, either. And when I when I left, I knew I didn’t really know what I was doing entirely. So I was very nervous to try to tap that resource and mess it up. And so I didn’t sort of dive back into the law firm world to try to get clients because when you first become a, an agent, your job is getting clients not doing your job. So yeah, so I, I was nervous, obviously, I had a paycheck. And at that point, I had a mortgage. And, but I was excited about it. And I felt like I had the cushion. And I could give it time. And if after six months, it didn’t work out. I will move on. But fortunately it did. It did. I landed in a good place. I had a great support system in terms of my manager and people that I worked with. And you know, I at the time, I was engaged. And then ultimately, my husband was supportive. And now he’s not my husband anymore. And so yeah, I was able to do it. It was scary. But I was really fortunate in kind of, I don’t know why managed to hit the ground running and then just build from there and get referrals from the people that I worked with. So
D.J. Paris 14:37
how did so since you didn’t tap the hey, my friends at the law firm I was at or certainly people who know me in my field, as you were saying, because I was thinking, Oh, this is so brilliant, because she’s all of her clients will be the attorneys. She knows. Yeah. And that turns out, but you you served my question by saying that is not what happened. So I’m actually really interested in and yes, I understand You know, having this previous career that you’d worked so hard for, obviously, you can fall back could have fall back fell back onto that. Very, I’m sure very easily. So that that is there’s some comfort there, I’m sure. But, you know, I don’t know, you know, when you were when you were, you know, practicing law, I don’t know, if you were out there securing clients and going out and sort of shaking the hands and getting business or if more things were assigned to you, but But now, you know, now you’re on your own, you’re in charge of every wearing every hat for the for the business, and also learning how to how to actually be a decent realtor. Of course, you have become an beyond excellent realtor now, but was, what was it like in those first six months? You know, how did you secure you had one friend that turned out to to be a buyer? You know, the other one didn’t? And then it sounded like, you know, you were you were on your own trying to drum up business? How did you do that back then, if you don’t mind sharing?
Lindsay Barton Barrett 15:55
Um, you know, it’s funny, I think back and I, in some ways, I still don’t totally know, I don’t remember. And I will also say, and we get this from agents all over the country. Price points in New York are quite high, you know, and the reality was, at the time, in order to sort of level my real estate salary salary to where my law firm had been, I think I figured out pretty quickly that I needed to sell something like $8 million. And at the time, you know, maybe it ended probably was a little more. I hate to say this, like, that’s not that hard to do in New York. And so even in 2002, I guess. And so my first sale, admittedly, was a million dollar sale, which was a big deal. It was a crappy loft in Tribeca. And then I had a cup, I did what Pete young brokers do, I worked, I worked to open houses for senior brokers for clients. That was probably my second sale was a pretty good sale. Also, I think over a million dollars from somebody that I met at an at an open house. And then I definitely I worked at Corcoran at the time, and there was a place on the website that you could go in and say this is what I’m looking for. And I think that was my third sale. And that was probably a $350,000, co op. And it sort of I mean, and then there were a couple of associates, who I knew at my law firm who referred me to friends. And so sometimes it wasn’t the lawyers, but it was friends of lawyers. And honestly, it just, it went from there. And I was fortunate to have one or two listings early on. And that was really where I got buyers, it and in 2002 people buying a $400,000 apartment, often didn’t that didn’t we’re not working with brokers. And so there were a lot of direct people. And then it you know, I don’t remember entirely, but it just it did start to it starts to snowball. And I remember very early on in my career, a woman in my office was sort of giving this motivational talk and talk about it was sort of like a fence the family tree or like the anatomy of a transaction and more so of the referral network. And she talked about how she sold very inexpensive studio to this actor in New York. And then he introduced her to this person, and they introduced her to these two people, and how from this one like $200,000 Studio sale, she ended up doing like $15 million of business. So it’s really, it’s really acknowledging that and recognizing that there’s always an opportunity, but there’s also a good way to do that and a and sort of an obnoxious way to do that. And so I think it’s finding that middle ground and staying in front of people. Obviously, I’m a huge proponent, and it’s this is a little more do as I say not as I do, because I don’t always get around to it, but newsletters I think are probably the single best source of clients because they’re also free. You know, mailers are expensive, like running an ad in New York Magazine is really expensive. Newsletters are free and you control the content and you control the presentation and you know Up to this day, anytime we send out a newsletter, we get some response, usually some referral.
D.J. Paris 20:07
Yeah, I used to I did a talk once at a conference. That was something I can’t remember the exact title. But it was said, nobody wants to read your newsletter. But that’s not the point. And I talked about how whether or not people read the actual content of the newsletter, is is largely irrelevant, although it’s obviously good to have good content. And hopefully, some some of the people that you send it to might actually read some of the articles, but just this idea from a branding perspective of, hey, this is what I do. Here’s here’s, you know, a little bit of acknowledgement that I know what’s going on in the market. I put this together, I’m sending it out. And you know, it’s always good to stay, if not front of mind back of mine from for your clients. And you’re absolutely right, that consistency does in fact, work. I was thinking about this, like I, you know, I know you work with a lot of new, well, you work with developers, you work with a lot of new developments, I actually was just thinking, so I purchased in a new development a couple year and a half ago. And so I’ve been there a year and yeah, year and a half, a little bit more than a year and a half. And I have not received any communication from any other realtors. You know, usually you start getting postcards and things. And I’m, I understand that, on the statistical side I am people who purchased it on my building probably aren’t going to purchase for the next or sell for the next I don’t know, five years, you know, who knows seven years, whatever it is. So I get it. There’s a long term play here if you want to start introducing, but you know, not one, there’s 45,000 realtors in the Chicagoland area, not one postcard from anyone going, Hey, congrats on your new purchase. By the way, you know, I would love to just learn more about you, I want to keep you updated on you know what’s going on with your place. Again, tons of opportunity, right to like build relationships. And that’s what you do really, really well is is build relationships. You were talking about this how how you know, your friend, one, one transaction, you know, for one person can lead to $15 million in production over time. Yeah, that is clearly the way that you’ve done it. But I wanted to ask you because you said something I thought was very interesting. You said there’s an obnoxious way to sort of build those relationships. And then there’s a way that that is, you know more, you know, gentle and, and non invasive. And do you mind sharing a little bit about how you think about, you know, maybe asking for a referral or maybe you don’t ask maybe you demonstrate value in a different way. But how do you do it in a way that’s most comfortable for you? I want to pause for a moment to talk about our episode sponsor are one of my favorite companies out there follow up boss. Now after interviewing hundreds of top Realtors in the country for this podcast. Do you know which CRM is used by more than any other by our guests. Of course it is a follow up boss and let’s face it following up is the key to taking your business to the next level follow up boss will help you drive more leads in less time and with less effort. Do not take my word for it. Robert slack who runs the number one team in the US uses follow up boss and he has built a one and a half billion dollar business in just six years. Follow up boss integrates with over 250 systems so you can keep your current tools and lead sources. Also, the best part they have seven day a week support so you’ll get the help that you need when you need it and get this follow up boss is so sure that you’re going to love their CRM that for a limited time, they’re offering keeping it real listeners a 30 day free trial which is twice as much time as they give everyone else and oh yeah, no credit card required. So you can try it risk free but only if you use this special link visit follow up boss.com forward slash real that’s follow up boss.com forward slash real for your free 30 day trial. Follow up like a boss with follow up boss. And now back to our episode.
Lindsay Barton Barrett 24:05
I definitely am one of those people who is I have a hard time asking for things honestly. They’re probably friends of mine who might say that’s not true. But I you know, I don’t like to be pushy, and I don’t like to be salesy. I remember my mom was not happy when I left my job. And my dad was said to me, you know, you’re really you really don’t have a salesman’s personality. And you know, what I said to him is I don’t feel like I’m going into sales. I’m not chasing people down on the street and saying, Do you want to buy an apartment? I’m, I’m fulfilling the need that they already have. They’re, they’re choosing to at least explore the possibility and I’m working in an advisory capacity. And I view myself as being a professional and not a salesperson. So I think that goes across the board, whether it’s how you’re trying to sell a property, or how you’re trying to sell yourself as a broker is, by and large, I try to be as valuable as possible to my clients so that, of course, they’ll refer me. I certainly have sort of, I guess, the typical call to action to kind of things in my newsletter of, you know, if anybody, if you’re looking, if anybody’s considering a real estate purchase, if you need any advice, call us. But beyond that, we don’t really every once in a while, you know, if I am talking to somebody I know really well. I will say something explicitly along the lines of hey, you know, we always really appreciate referrals. And of course, when I, when I get one, I try very hard to call that person right away. And I think it’s important. And, you know, this is a lesson I’ve learned from other people, but I think it’s I, I’ve learned it for myself to a referral is not about the sale, it’s about the referral. And so you can’t wait until somebody buys and they might not, but you want to, you want to encourage people to refer your business. So even if they refer you a crappy client, you can even call and say I really appreciate the referral, just seeing no, like, that’s not really necessarily the type of business that I do. I can find somebody to refer them to. But if you’re ever talking to someone like this isn’t a great referral for
D.J. Paris 26:45
me. Isn’t isn’t that what attorneys do as well, because attorneys get these calls all the time, because people think, oh, attorneys just can do everything and every specialty. And so this is very much often what happens with attorneys. We’re like, oh, I don’t do that. But my buddy does. And you know what? And nobody says to the attorney who who isn’t able to service that client? Well, gosh, I don’t even know why I called you. You can’t handle that. No, the person goes, Hey, you know what, I’m a specialist in this, but my buddy does this, I’m going to send you over to him or her. And so it really shouldn’t work any differently with with realtors, I think you’re right. There may be this fear of like, oh, no, they’re not going to refer me anyone else because I wasn’t able to help this person. But I think as long as you’re providing value, like you said, just passing it off to somebody who does do that. That’s I don’t see any negative to that at all.
Lindsay Barton Barrett 27:34
Yeah, and that’s exactly it, you want people to recognize you as their go to for anything real estate. And so I think to that end, it’s also really important to have a great referral network yourself. And so if you’re always getting referrals, you know, if people are always calling you who say, Okay, well, I’m looking at Park Slope, but I’m also looking at Montclair, New Jersey, it’s important to have someone in Montclair, New Jersey. And so you know, if you’re, if you don’t do rentals, you need to have a really good rental broker, I say this, again, do as I say, not as I do, because I’ve, I’ve searched for that. And it’s always a challenge, because that markets also changing quickly. And so sometimes your best rental brokers end up deciding, they also don’t want to do rentals. But I think it’s important to have a great referral network. You know, there’s the obvious ones, you gotta have a great lawyer got a great mortgage broker or several of the each, but you also need great referral brokers in other markets that you might cross over with.
D.J. Paris 28:49
Yeah, and again, that’s how attorney attorneys are very good at this, right. I think attorneys are almost better at referrals than any other profession I’m aware of. I mean, they just see, I always ask attorneys, like how do you get business and they’re like, Well, I get a lot of referrals from these different channels. And it is, it seems like so much more of a mystery and how to do it as a realtor. So I imagine with that background, you probably just are naturally more understanding of I do this. And I have this very specific focus, because that’s where I can provide them the most amount of value and I need to have this other almost team in place for anything that’s outside of those, those really strict boundaries because I’m just not going to be as effective as you know, the person down the street who that’s what they do. So that makes that makes so much sense. We talk about that a lot on the show, but I think it can’t probably be talked about enough this idea of having this really strong net, you know, referral network, which hopefully also is two way that comes Yeah, exactly. To you. Yeah, I wanted to ask about so, you know, you being in New York during of course the pandemic and seeing, you know, a lot of people sort of leaving the city because of course So, you know, New York had had a lot of publicity around, you know, COVID. And then the effects that it had you guys were basically sort of the epicenter of the United States, you know, part of COVID, at least at the beginning, and you saw a lot of uncertainty around the city, it seems like that’s changed. And so it seems like people are, are returning more, more so to the city and also to places like Brooklyn. Well, Brooklyn’s always been super cool and awesome. And I imagine, it hasn’t always been but it certainly over the last 2030 years, it’s really changed. But was that was that? Were you concerned at all during that time that Oh, my business might radically shift based on you know, the sort of uncontrollable, you know, sort of things going on in the world?
Lindsay Barton Barrett 30:42
Not for long. I definitely had that moment of just absolute panic that made no sense. You know, I remember very distinctly walking along the reservoir upstate with my kids, because we spent much of COVID at a at our house upstate, like many New Yorkers did. Near Woodstock, and I remember a moment of panic of, what am I going to do. And then really, over the course of the next couple of weeks, I was really focused on trying to get the deals done, that were kind of hanging in the balance. But it also really highlighted to me that real estate, selling residential real estate is a, everyone will always need to buy and sell. You know, and there, I think Barbara Corcoran, at some point said, you know, it’s always a broker’s market, whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, if you’re a good broker, you should be selling because things are selling. That being said, I, you know, I, there’s been a lot of talk about all of this, because the market has changed. And I was having a conversation with someone for some sort of pretty well known publication, and it will remain really interesting conversation. And the reality is what you do need for a market as buyers, and if you have no buyers, you have no market. And so that was certainly a different, you know, and the market self correct. So if you don’t have buyers, at some point, you’re going to drop the price low enough where you have buyers, but that was certainly a fear at some point. But I, I don’t know if I’m just a little bit deep down, even though I don’t seem like it necessarily a little bit of a Pollyanna, that I believe that things are gonna work out. But I also I’ve lived in New York for 27 years, 25 years, excuse me. And New York is unlike, you know, I mean, New York is unlike any city, as is Chicago as is, you know, all of these sort of world capitals are unique, and they’re desirable, you know, they have so much to offer. And I will also say that I had a very selfish moment of going, people are really going to want to live in townhouses now. And that was absolutely the case. So yeah, there were certainly concerns, there’s there are always concerns as things change dramatically, like we’re going through right now, frankly, you know, uncertainty is difficult in any market. But I knew even if people left people would come to take their places. And I mean, we’ve already seen people who left during Cova come back. So it, you know, so so no, I was not very worried for very long, I knew that there would be a lot of adaptations, and there was a lot of talk about selling, you know, houses via FaceTime. And this and that, and I didn’t have I didn’t think that was going to last long either. And I think that’s largely the case. I mean, we’ve started we’ve done a few deals, sight unseen. Not many, certainly people who’ve done like a first tour, FaceTime, but you know, it’s a big purchase. And it’s, it’s personal. And I just, I didn’t think that there was going to be much duration of people buying from videos and stuff.
D.J. Paris 34:31
Yeah, and that seems to have kind of gone away at this point. Although what’s nice is for people that are able to do that and willing to do that it’s just much more normalized now. So even though we’re back to being in person, hopefully, that will not change, Although who knows, but at least that that that has been normalized, you know, throughout the last several years. So you do have people that are willing more willing to explore virtual Little conversations. So it’s a nice option that isn’t bizarre or weird, or, you know, it’s just been normalized. So I suspect that’s, that’s been good for agents who do have some clients who maybe are like, You know what, let’s just just show up with the FaceTime and let’s let’s do it virtually. I had a question, I have two questions, because you work with a lot of developers. And so one of the it’s funny, whenever we do episodes, of course, most of the brokers we have on the show are and I say broker, again, synonymous here, and where I’m from with realtor. So if I say broker, not everyone in the country doesn’t always know what that means. We’ll just please excuse my language. Well, that will be realtor. But anyway, a lot of the a lot of the realtors we have on the show, our top producers, almost all of them are, and a lot of them work in the luxury market. And that’s for people who don’t work in the luxury market. You know, that’s oftentimes something they feel like they should aspire to, is to being a luxury broker. But also developers, that’s the other one that people get really excited about, because it’s seen as this. I’ve arrived, if developers are now choosing me to represent their, you know, their developments, and of course, yeah, there’s a certain truth to that. How did you start to get involved with developers? What was it that allowed you to win over their trust in their business?
Lindsay Barton Barrett 36:20
Um, admittedly, in part, I, I started a development company, with my ex husband, so my ex husband was an architect. And I was, you know, I was when we talked about it on our first date, it was very pathetic. Um, so he was an architect, and I was real estate lawyer. And we were both really interested in development. And, and we started a, a real estate development company and did a bunch of condo projects in the area of Brooklyn where we lived at the time. And that really helped me get my foot in the door. And, you know, I was much more in that world of other developers. And so I think people, other developers saw that I really understood and often there is a, there isn’t always an alignment of what the broker wants, and what the developer wants in terms of incentive structure. I mean, as a broker, you’re happy for them to spend, you know, no limit of money on advertising, because it’s going to help bring people in. And of course, yeah, you’re going to be able to sell things for higher prices, if you have more, more demand for the product, and all of those things, but it’s not necessarily one to one, and, but if you’re also invested in just the the ultimate success of the project, and the absolute success of the project, you’re gonna have a different perspective. And so I think that that certainly was important. You know?
D.J. Paris 38:09
Yeah, I just wanted to jump in for a second and say, like, what you just said, is actually quite profound. Because developers want people who understand what the pain points of a developer are, which of course, yes, getting getting the property sold. Yes, obviously, that’s why they’re hiring you. But for the agent to say, or to at least have the mindset of I don’t want, I’m not going to keep coming to you, Mister developer for more ad dollars, or I don’t want to keep investing myself as the agent into, you know, more than I think is reasonable. But understanding that, that it is a business and running it like a business and it goes beyond just you selling the property, having an understanding of what developers deal with since you’ve done that is obviously part of your your family history as well, I think gives you a tremendous advantage. When meeting with developers. You’re like, I grew up with this. Number one. Yeah, I know it. I’ve been on on all sides of it. And I’ve also run my own development company, which which again, it’s it’s funny, I, I hope that our audience is really inspired by that. Because anyone listening candidate can build their own development company as well. And if you don’t, if you’re if your husband isn’t an architect, which of course most most of our listeners don’t have, that in their immediate family go out and find an architect, there are millions of them who absolutely are probably waiting for somebody to partner up with. So it is it is something that, again, is a really smart way to sort of get involved with developers because then you get to say when you’re pitching to other developers, oh, I do this also, by the way, maybe on a smaller scale or maybe on a different a different you know, sector, but this is what I know what you want you deal with and I want to help you. And I imagine that’s a very powerful pitch.
Lindsay Barton Barrett 39:53
Yeah, I certainly think it is. But I also do, you know, I think that one thing, I also believe strongly about being an agent or being a broker or realtor, it’s a job. And so I think it’s, it’s important not to sort of look at it as something where you’re also going to be doing this and also going to be doing this. Like, I think, coming to developers, I think, you know, I think one of the best ways to sort of digest that is to make sure that you do understand that person’s business just like a, you know, when you have a residential client who’s looking for a new home, knowing that they have family overseas, who comes to us today, all the time, and they need a separate place for that person to stay that’s feels a little separate, and they’ve got space, and they’ve got their own little kitchen like that, if you don’t know that you’re going to show people around fit. And so I think, understanding what, how it works as the developer and the profit structure and knowing that if you only suggest the most expensive stager, they may feel like you don’t have their interests at heart, and you don’t even understand what their business is. And so I think it’s really important to communicate that you will protect them by only coming to them with things that you have evaluated yourself and say, okay, the, you know, the juice is worth the squeeze or whatever, like, we’re gonna spend $20,000 on this campaign, but I think ultimately, it’s going to translate into a 2% increase in sale prices, which is $200,000. So, you know, I think it’s acknowledging that that’s their money, and you’re not just going to spend that money because it’s gonna produce better materials, or, you know, so I think that’s the probably the most important part is just this understanding your client?
D.J. Paris 42:15
Yeah, I agree. Yes. And again, that’s probably also the skills you develop as an attorney, it’s probably incredibly helpful for how important it is to get a good sense of what the client wants and needs, so that you can continue working for them in a way that that is most effective for them. Question about sort of today’s market. So we know, of course, everyone listening to the show knows rates have changed, doubled, in a lot of cases, maybe even more than doubled at this point, seems to change almost daily. And I don’t know what it’s at today, but, but it certainly is gone up. So rates are double what they were at the lowest point, which I don’t think is maybe the best metric to measure against. But it’s what people know, because it was so prominently featured in news and social media, how rates were so low, and now people maybe feel oh, I missed out. Except, of course, what they maybe don’t always know is there were lots and lots of buyers and places prices were inflated, and maybe it’s not so different now, even though rates have changed, but, but there just may be a lot more sentiment out there that now’s not the time to make any big moves. So understanding that those are some hurdles that realtors are dealing with all over the country. How have you been dealing with that? How have you been educating your clients and just keeping your business going, despite the fact that there probably aren’t fewer buyers in the market at
Lindsay Barton Barrett 43:42
this point? I think that’s absolutely true. There definitely are fewer buyers and fewer real buyers because even if people I mean it’s, it’s really hard, even if people feel like real buyers, if you were looking a month ago, and then you went on vacation or something and came back and then you find something and then you get your pre approval updated. You know, I think we’re seeing that a lot we’re seeing more deals fall apart. And I think that’s probably part of it is that people are not internalizing or properly sort of analyzing what these rate changes mean. But I will say I think it’s really important to recognize that rates are fluid, and they go up but they are very likely to come down again. And so if you know i I’ve had this conversation with a few clients recently, many of whom said, you know, that’s true. I really hadn’t thought about it that way. And of course when rates are super low, you’re really excited Ain’t it because you can lock in this rate for a long time, and you know what your monthly outlays gonna be. But when rates are high, it’s important to remember, it doesn’t have to stay like that forever. And so, you know, real estate is a long term play almost no matter what. And when you’re buying a home, maybe life does change, and you end up selling it in three years. But, you know, I, for most of my clients, any clients who are not investors, you know, my, my recommendation to them is, you can’t really have any expectation of appreciation, unless you plan to stay in this home for at least probably five years, you never know. And you need to have flexibility on that. Because if the markets in the toilet five years, you want to be able to hang on to it for another two or or, you know, move up. But it’s a long term play. And because rates we have seen have changed so quickly, so dramatically. We don’t know what’s going to happen. And I’m not going to promise anybody that rates are gonna go back down to, you know, 3% for a 30 year fixed, but I can tell people with some degree of confidence that I certainly think they’ll go down, again, in a meaningful way over the course of the next two to three years. So I think it is an opportunity, I think that that will take some time, because sellers are having a hard time adjusting. Sure. So
D.J. Paris 46:35
I can’t get twice the listing price anymore,
Lindsay Barton Barrett 46:39
or I can’t get exactly the same price that they got down the street. And, and then, you know, we work in we work in different markets, we work across a lot of price points. And for New York, you know, I certainly recognize that. And it’s one thing we are seeing is the very high end, Brooklyn, in particular, turnkey townhouse market is stable. There aren’t really many rental alternatives, if you want a really nice townhouse, and Brooklyn Heights, there’s not one to rent. So you may still end up in the sale market. You know, there’s a lot of liquidity at that price point. And so we are really having a hard time getting a meeting of the minds at that price point. But things are staying pretty stable. You know, at lower price points, people are a little bit more understanding that interest rates have really made a big hit. And so you know, I think I’m sure everyone’s going through the same thing. It’s educating your sellers educating your buyers keeping buyers spirits elevated, that what they’re doing is good for the good for their themselves and their family long term.
D.J. Paris 47:59
I think it seems like so many people and it’s so because it oftentimes is a buyers you know, largest asset or one of their largest assets it becomes this idea that it this primary residence is an investment and I think the realtors could I’m curious to get your thoughts on this could really do their clients a favor by readjusting that expectation that number one yes. Okay, maybe technically it’s an investment but it’s you have to live somewhere right and so even if it does go up by you know, two times what you paid for it, odds are you’re not downsizing on your next home. That’s not usually the sort of human nature psychology piece of it is, it’s like well, I’m just gonna bank this extra 500 Grand i just made usually it’s like now we can upgrade to a higher price point property. Maybe once somebody hits retirement age that changes and they downsize and then yeah, they can bank some of that money. That’s not usually what most people do with their profit from their primary residence. At least that’s not been my experience with anybody I know. Maybe maybe the most savvy people would do that. But most of us you know, we don’t buy a 20 inch TV when we’re you know, a teenager and that’s all we can afford. And then when we’re 40 we go you know, let’s go back to a 20 inch TV right? It goes No I want the 65 inch or the 80 inch or whatever. We keep going bigger and bigger until we realize maybe things are too big but but the point is is is it’s my sister did this she her place almost doubled in value in the West Village. She was on Barrow which is like beyond amazing street you I’m sure you know it. And then you know fifth floor walk up no air conditioner, you know a little tiny unit. No amenities really as a co op and fifth floor walk up and it was like 475 square feet one bedroom that includes a one bedroom as just this little tiny nothing place but it was it was lovely but it was just tiny. And everything was miniature and stuff and and then she she she took that money and then But, you know, she goes, Well, now I can’t live in my neighborhood anymore. Because even though her she had made all this money, she had actually priced herself out of her actual street. And so she ended up moving to Queens with it with her fiance at the time, and it ended up working out for them. But, but again, people don’t usually go from a 475 square foot, you know, Co Op to, you know, maybe I’ll just stay at 475 square feet, right. So this idea that people see their primary home as an investment, I think can can be very problematic. And it’s, it’s, I think it’s just not an investment, maybe, unless it is, unless it is something that generates income, or that, you know, you’re going to move to an investment property at some point, but, but this idea that realtors can can really re educate their clients about this, this let’s not think of this as an investment as much as a lifestyle, and, and quality of life sort of situation. I think that would I think that would quell it also dating the rate on the lending side marrying the home, you know, that’s that expression that, that it’s sort of a cutesy expression that people say, but it’s a good expression, because I think it’s exactly right. I mean, rates do change, people refinance. And you know, we’re not in the double digits, right? It’s not the early, early ate late 70s, early 80s anymore, which that was a really difficult times, I can’t even imagine what it’s like to try to be a buyer’s agent when it’s, you know, 12% rates, but people were doing it then, too. So, anyway, I’ve gone on enough of a rant about that, but I really appreciate your thoughts about it. Because I think, you know, for anyone out there who’s going, Gosh, the buyers just aren’t into it. They feel like they’re getting ripped off, at this point, time to re educate yourself as the agent about how to have that conversation to say, You know what, even if you would have tried to buy a place two years ago, you would have, here’s what you probably would have paid over asking for what you’re looking for, I’m going to show you evidence that would have suggested that, you know, maybe it wasn’t such a great time for you. Or maybe it can still be a good time today. And we can refinance in a couple of years. If if Yeah. So anyway, I’m sorry, I will get off my soapbox, rant there. But But I want I want agents to not be so so disheartened during this time, and you have a billion dollar business that you’ve built. And that is beyond impressive. I want to ask sort of my last question, which is, so you talked about newsletters, we talked about client relationships, and how one can lead to one plus one, you know, can lead to dozens and dozens and dozens? What advice do you have for agents who want to further develop those those relationships, make those more intimate, make those more important, really demonstrate value so that in between sales, maybe those people again, you mentioned newsletters, keep your name in front of, but what else are you doing just so that the your clients don’t forget about you, or that they keep thinking about you when they’re talking to other other people who might need your services.
Lindsay Barton Barrett 52:58
I am not as good at that as I should be, quite honestly, and in many ways, because I’ve been fortunate in in building these relationships that largely feed themselves, I mean, and the New York market, it is a unique thing, I know that it has remained strong and times when others have not been I think this COVID experience was really unique in that it was one of the few times that we’ve seen a, you know, somebody selling in New York and buying somewhere else, and they don’t come out ahead and not necessarily in actual like dollars in your pocket. But in terms of the strength of the market, that you know that you’re getting top dollar in New York, and you know that you’re buying at a little bit of a discount wherever you may be going, and that really got flipped on its head. And that was a big adjustment. But it was also a really interesting illustration of what drives people and people were buying because they wanted to move. And so they were able to just say, Look, this is what’s right for me, this is what I want. And I’m gonna do it. And this is the price. This is the price that it is today. And so I think that it’s important for people to remember that that that and this touches on what you were saying it’s you’re doing this for yourself and for your future self and for your family. And, you know, you got to make the choice that’s right for you that is somewhat untethered from is Is this the right investment? And so I’m going to I’m going to go back one second, a little bit about that because I totally understand and agree with you that it is not exclusively an investment but I think another way to look at that and I’ve spoken to clients a number of times is it is a lifetime investment. And very rarely are people selling and then renting unless it’s sort of a temporary, either move for one reason or another, or renovation, or relocation, or whatever it may be, you know, a strategic decision, but people are generally staying in the market. So, you know, I, we get so many people who say I can’t lose money on this house, well, if you’re selling at a discount, whatever you’re buying, in all likelihood is also at that same discount, it’s a lifetime. And so in your, you know, lifetime portfolio of real estate holdings, you’re probably going to come out ahead of the stock market historically, that is what has happened. And so I think don’t like Don’t get so fixated on every one transaction, because that’s not what it is, it’s a lifetime of owning your home. And there are ways to leverage that if you have a rental unit, you can do a 1031 exchange, and you feel like genius, you know, there’s a lot of different ways to leverage real estate ownership. And so I think that’s important to focus on also, and frankly, like you still do get that primary residence interest deduction. So I think that’s something we should really be focusing on right now, too, because if you’re paying more, you’re getting a much larger deduction. So that’s something that’s my that’s my sort of callback to the last one.
D.J. Paris 56:34
No, I appreciate that. And I, I want to just wrap up, because you have been, this has been so valuable to our audience, I, I always like, you know, when I first started this show, all these years ago, it was like, oh, all of these top producers are going to have all of these very specific strategies and tips that the rest of us don’t know about. What I’ve learned after 400 episodes is that is rarely the case that there’s like this little secret magic formula that, you know, we’re going to unearth on the show and, and it hasn’t happened yet. But But maybe, maybe in the next 400 episodes, somebody will have that. But the reality of it is it isn’t much about that at all. And it’s more about consistency and discipline, and also just understanding how people think, who are really at the top of the mountain in as a realtor. And so I think you’ve given us today, you’ve given us some great strategies. But on top of that, just this idea of like, here’s how I think about things, here’s how I keep going. Because at the end of the day, sort of I think mindset and I can that word is I think really overused. And it sort of doesn’t even mean a whole lot anymore, this idea of just the beliefs and the strategies that somebody has that you know, like you were saying Barbara Corcoran saying there’s always there’s always buyers and sellers, there’s always a brokers market. It’s about making sure that that you can pivot and adjust to those changes. And I also want to mention that Lindsay is currently looking for one additional team member now this is a billion dollar team. So she doesn’t, of course, take any and all agents that reach out to her. And in fact, you’d have to probably be somebody that is really impressive. And she did not say that to me, I’m saying on her behalf. Because I know that she’s going to expect somebody who is who is really somebody dynamic and special. But if you are a realtor in the, you know, the New York market, specifically Brooklyn, Manhattan, you know, anywhere there that you think you could be a value and you can be a valued member of her team. Reach out to her, you know, the best way to do that just go to her website, you can submit some information. And also, by the way, for everyone else who’s listening, who’s a realtor, whether you’re in New York or elsewhere in the country, if you have clients that are moving to the city moving to Brooklyn moving to other places in the New York metro area, and you’re looking for a top producer to send them to well, obviously Lindsay is a great choice. She’s at an amazing firm. We’ve we’ve interviewed tons of people from Douglas Elliman over the years and they’re always just really best of the best obviously Douglas Elliman is doing something right in their hiring. But also if you are looking for a broker to refer to Lindsay would love the opportunity to connect with you. Let’s see what is the best way another agent can reach out to you?
Lindsay Barton Barrett 59:22
Website definitely and we have a team email, which we did by necessity I you know, over the years sort of figured out some of the things and the everyone responding to the same email at once and sometimes responding from my email and then I also respond gave rise to the LVB team email. So LVB email@example.com is probably the best way
D.J. Paris 59:51
and we’ll we’ll post a link to that in the show notes as well. So if you are an agent that wants to partner with Lindsay with referrals, or maybe you’re looking to would explore being on a team yourself and you live in that area, reach out to Lindsay to see if you might be a good fit for her. And by the way, she’s not always hiring like most real estate firms like our firm, we’re always hiring. So you can always reach out to me if you want to join our company in Chicago. But Lindsay is not that that kind of agent and doesn’t have that kind of team. It’s a very exclusive small team that she can really manage, you know, work with and make sure that, you know, all of her team members are having success. So definitely reach out to her if you think that would be a good fit. Lindsay, thank you so much for being on the show we had, I had such fun time with you, you really, really appreciate how busy you are. And really just again, walking away from a really, really sort of something that you would work so hard for not walked away entirely, but walked away from that being your profession and your source of income is is truly, you know, it’s really again, this courageous quality that you have, I think is amazing. And so I hope it’s inspiring to our our audience. And also we want to thank Lindsey for her time we know how busy she is. And so on behalf of the audience, we say thank you to you. And also on behalf of Lindsay and myself we want to thank the audience for for not only sticking around throughout the whole episode, but also hopefully finding value here and we just ask that you do one thing which is telephoned, think of one other realtor that needs to hear this, this conversation that we just had and send them a link to our websites keeping it real pod.com We’ll have that link to that in the show notes as well. But please tell other realtors about our show. It’s how we’ve grown over the last five years now and so we want to continue to grow and reach more and more realtors. So anyway, on behalf of everyone Lindsay thank you and we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks Lindsay. Thank you
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