Prior to becoming a top Chicago real estate broker with Compass, Josh Lipton had careers in private equity and as an attorney. When he made the switch to real estate, he earned CAR’s coveted Rookie Of The Year award, naming him the highest producing first-year broker in Chicago. Two years later he became (and remains) in the top 1% of ALL brokers in Chicago. In this episode Josh talks about why he visited college campus in his first year which resulted in 70+ rentals, how he uses Facebook lists to stay connected to clients, why he orders a pre-inspection for his sellers, and a dozen other strategies that brokers can implement today to increase production!
Josh Lipton can be reached at email@example.com and 312.504.5409
D.J. Paris 0:15
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real. The only podcast made for Chicago real estate brokers by Chicago real estate brokers. My name is DJ Paris, I am your host do the show. And this is our first interview of 2019. So Happy New Year, everyone. And we have Josh Lipton, who we’re going to be bringing on in just a few moments. Before we get to Josh, couple of quick points. We were recently listed in in a a website’s list of very best real estate podcasts. So we’re really honored and grateful to be have been included. And thank you if someone’s submitted us, and we appreciate that or however they found us. It’s great. And we do get a lot of fan emails and support from all over the country. So if you’re not in the Chicagoland area. Please keep listening because the lessons and strategies that you’re hearing from Chicago brokers can apply anywhere else that you’re practicing real estate. Also, please remember, you can always find us in every episode we’ve ever done on our website, keeping it real pod.com. Also, please like us on Facebook, we post links to every episode, as well as links to some of the items we discussed in each episode on our Facebook page. So do a search for keeping it real pod that is us as well. And remember to tell a friend, we have grown this audience spending no money on marketing only through the ears of our listeners who then are nice enough to tell other people about the show. So please continue to do that. We really greatly appreciate it. And our show continues to increase in popularity. So thank you to everyone who listens and shares and now on to our interview with Josh Lipton.
Today on the show we have compass Realtor Josh Lipton. Since entering the real estate business in 2014. Josh has quickly transcended from being named Rookie of the Year by Chicago Association of Realtors in the city of Chicago to a top 1% producer by his third year in the business. Now with almost five years experience in the industry lifted as close to 140 real estate transactions, representing more than 80 million in sales placing him in the top 1% of all agents in Chicago by Chicago Association of Realtors, and in 2018 was selected by crane cranes as one of the most influential real estate brokers in Chicago 2018 Lipton closed 40 transactions totaling nearly 27 million in sales, and finished as the number 16th top producing agent within compass and it’s 550 agents in Chicago as a licensed attorney with experience in real estate, capital markets and private equity. Josh is armed with a unique skill set has built a reputation as a resourceful agent with a vast network and ability to identify off market listings and development opportunities for his residential and commercial clients. Who are looking at both established and emerging neighborhoods throughout Chicago. Josh and his wife Jordan reside in Roscoe village where proud parents to their five month old daughter Lenny. So welcome, Josh.
Josh Lipton 3:34
Hey, thank you. Thanks so much for having me.
D.J. Paris 3:36
We should also tell listeners how we met because this is kind of a funny, a funny story. We were I might my mother was in town for business. And we met at an Italian restaurant, and I was late. And you are also not there. But my mom started chatting up your mother and your father who just happened to be sitting in the bar waiting for their table. And then I started talking to your parents. And your dad asked me what I did. And then he said, Oh, my son’s in real estate. And then you walked in a few minutes later. And then coincidentally, Josh goes, Oh, yeah, I think you guys had reached out to me to be on the podcast. And so here we are. I mean, it was just that was a really wild coincidence.
Josh Lipton 4:18
Yeah, I like I like to refer to that as a collisions of life. And coincidentally, that’s similar to how I’ve actually met some of my best clients in the stage. When you’re least expecting it just randomly. start chatting somebody up in the bar, but I guess I could tell you now DJ, yes, you were late and I was later than you. But that was actually all staged. I intentionally had my parents start talking to you. And I knew exactly who you were. They knew you. Yes. Mission accomplished. Because here we are a week later. I’m on your show. That was all set up. I’m glad you’d like to think it was coincidence, but it worked out perfectly.
D.J. Paris 4:57
So well. I will say on you and your siblings behalf because I met your brother and your sister as well. And and your brother I think flew in from California. And the reason everyone was was there was it was your mom’s birthday. Yeah. So or Yes. And it was very, it was actually very sweet. And I will tell you before you got there, she was so excited that you guys were coming to celebrate. And anyway, it was it was it was a it was actually really kind of fun to watch. And then you walked in, and then we were just talking before it and your sister and I looked at each other. And we feel like we had even met before, although we haven’t figured out how that how we had. But anyway, um, let’s talk about you. Obviously, this is really excited to have you on the show. And we had reached out even before and tell us how did you get involved in real estate? what’s your what’s your background there?
Josh Lipton 5:42
Yeah, sure. What’s coming out of college, I’ll give you the cliff notes here. Sure. I graduate from business school, downtown Bloomington, Indiana. So naturally, I followed the finance path and found myself working in banking in Chicago, for JPMorgan Chase. And then I took an opportunity in Manhattan where I was working for a company called Madison Realty capital. It’s a real estate private equity fund. That was in 2008. Things were great until come 2009. I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but the market kind of took a dip. And I have found myself out of work. And there weren’t many jobs we had at that time. So I decided to go back to law school, which was always in the cards, but I didn’t really want to do it straight out of college, I wanted to get a life experience, work experience and kind of understand why I want to do it, not just do it to prolong working. Although at the time, it seemed like a great idea. So I did just that and actually went back to Bloomington and got my law degree graduate and top of my class thinking that, you know, here I was with, with great work experience prior to law school, now I’m a lawyer, I’m gonna move back to Chicago, everybody’s gonna want to hire me to write my own ticket, start 2012 graduate law school in arguably one of the worst legal economies in the history of the profession, and couldn’t find a job in the traditional law firms. So I started calling my contacts from my previous days and banking, private equity and ended up working in a dual capacity role at Cantor Fitzgerald in Chicago in their CMBS group, where, you know, here I was half the old guy, also a lawyer, so I could I could handle third party legal diligence. So that translates into about 120 hours of work a week sitting at a desk all day, sure, man, and all the corporate nonsense that comes with it. Really having no quality of life, and dreading getting up in the morning every day. Let’s go to the office. So one day, I just got burned out sitting, sitting at my desk and one of my colleagues, it’s like, man, you’d be really good at selling residential real estate, I kind of laughed it off, because I never really thought of that. Sure. Though, I had a lot of friends in the industry. Who did and I constantly be sending them referrals like Oh, call him call her right, and not realizing how much money I’ve just given away. So my buddy at work, told me, which I didn’t know he’s like, Oh, you’re a licensed attorney. So you’re exempt from all the classes like you just go straight to take the test. You just take the exam and do it. I’m like, Oh, that’s cool. So you know from my desk, it was on a Wednesday, I remember vividly, I Googled Chicago real estate exam sign up to take it on Friday thinking, No, I won’t pass it. But at least I’ll know how to prepare if I actually want to do so I take it on Friday. Somehow I passed and quit my job in one day. Wow, jump jump right in, joined a top producing team and really haven’t looked back since it’s definitely proven to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. And it was it was definitely a leap of faith at the time and kind of just went on a whim and a life epiphany but couldn’t be happier that I did it. Well, we really
D.J. Paris 9:09
should go back to the car Rookie of the Year award because that is such a big deal. You know, for those who are listening, who maybe are members of a different organization, if you’re a Realtor you might be with Main Street or or short Barrington car is is the biggest one here in the city and 1000s of brokers join it every year who are rookies and for you to to achieve that award is a huge, huge, huge deal. I can’t I can’t overstate that to our listeners. So everything Josh says going forward listen and do because he was able to knock it out of the park in his very first year and of course every year since as well. But to be even a top one percenter by your three is incredible. And out of all the people we’ve interviewed on the show, all of them who are top one percenters, very few of them made it within their first you know, three years. So huge congratulations to you. Which obviously, you already know how big a deal that is, but just want to make sure the listeners can really appreciate that. But let’s talk about, you know, your early days when when you first started, how did you go about finding clients? I mean, you don’t have the traditional real estate background, you didn’t grow up wanting to do this necessarily. So what how did you build your business?
Josh Lipton 10:26
So one of the first things I did when I when I first jumped in and you know, here I was, I didn’t know how to get get clients. Sure. I had a big network, and I ran in many different circles. But you know, generating business people buying selling renting homes was was challenging. So I actually had this idea at the time where I would go back to where I went to college, and Bloomington and other big 10 universities. And I would go speak at fraternities and sororities, I started at nine, then I went next door, and I worked my way down,
D.J. Paris 11:07
just went down Jordan Avenue with all the all the fraternity.
Josh Lipton 11:12
Jordan, yeah, it was the easiest pitch ever. Because if you think about it, the big 10 specifically Indiana, of course, Michigan, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, all the schools, you know what percent of graduating seniors already know that they’re moving to Chicago, they would accept that job. And they’ll be there are they are three, four hours a week, just far enough away, where they’re not going to come in on the weekend to look at apartments, they don’t know where they’re going to live. And I would go speak on Sunday, I I’d order some pizzas, I bring in some beer, and only allow the ones who are available. And asked for five minutes, you get up in front of everybody, and just say, hey, here I am, you know, my name is Josh Lipton. I’m a real estate agent, you’re here, you’re moving to Chicago, you need to find a place now, because they don’t know how it works. Of course, you know, let me be your eyes and ears, you don’t even have to come into the city, I could send your listings, you know, tell me what you’re looking for where you want to be what you want to pay, do you have a roommate, yada, yada, I get all the criteria, and then they would come in for a weekend I line everything up, and we land a great apartment. Because otherwise, if they wait till they graduate in June or July, everything’s already picked over. You know, they’re gonna they’re gonna end up overpaying for something that doesn’t check all the boxes and neighborhoods that don’t want to be in. And the best part about it is, hey, you know, this is free. You don’t pay me anything, I’m getting paid for the paper, the landlord, the owner, let me do everything for you. Let me find you the best place the best deal. And you sit here and enjoy your last semester of college and know that you have an awesome place to live and come back. So I did that. And it was a huge success. And, you know, getting up and speaking in front of 100 girls or sorority
D.J. Paris 12:56
was that’s yeah, that’s I yeah, that’s something that
Josh Lipton 13:00
around the sign in sheet, get everybody’s name, number and follow up. And the first six months in the business, I knocked out 76 rent on. And you know what people don’t realize people kind of, you know, scoff at it rentals. But, you know, renters turn into buyers, buyers turn into sellers. Yeah, and that’s how you, you know, that’s how you grow your business. And even to this day, you know, I don’t, you know, I’ll take a rental every day if I can, but you know, I don’t do any rentals anymore. But you know, you gotta remember, it’s a relationship business. And people remember, you know, the service you provided on the rental side, and when they’re ready to buy their first home. But do you think they’re calm? And then when they’re ready for a step up home and ready to sell the other one? You’re You’re top of mind and things just kind of took off from there and evolved from there. And it was such a simple, no brainer concept. And it was fun, too.
D.J. Paris 13:49
Yeah, that’s, that’s such a great strategy. Well, that’s really, really smart. And we are, I think it’s easy for people listening or brokers to forget how lucky and fortunate we are that we live in a city that number one, number one has the ability to do rentals and make a living, but also and you’ve been in New York, it does not work that way. In New York, you you know, if you’re working with it with a broker, you’re paying the renter is paying that commission, whereas we’re lucky here where it’s the property management company or the owner that’s paying the Commission, the renter doesn’t pay. So that’s a really important point. It’s, you know, it’s an easy,
Josh Lipton 14:23
not a very difficult sale.
D.J. Paris 14:24
No, it shouldn’t be, but very smart. And, boy, I wish I you know, every almost every single person we’ve interviewed on the show started out doing rentals in some capacity, because of course, they didn’t have a ton of friends that were buying and selling right away. So and then, you know, obviously those people, like you said, turned into buyers and then buyers turn into sellers. So really, but you know, but prior to being a broker, you know, you talked about being in banking, in private equity. Obviously, going then on to becoming an attorney. How was your experience in the legal education you had help? You know how helps you in your career as a realtor. Has there been any, any connections you you’ve made there?
Josh Lipton 15:05
Yeah, sure. Well, you know, I think any education, whether that’s an MBA or a JD or other designations, or certifications, you know, I think they’ll help, I think they will add value anything to do to set yourself apart and put something behind your name and the credential. Certainly, you know, if anything, it gives you credibility and makes you stand out amongst other realtors and life experience to you know, that there’s nothing more valuable than that. And, you know, previously, you know, when I was working more on the banking side of private equity I was working on much larger 1020 30 $40 million commercial transactions, multifamily office retail. So that, you know, having that skill set to, you know, allows me to kind of look at deals and analyze deals through a different lens, when I’m working with a developer or builder who’s looking for a particular piece of land, being able to look at it and see its true potential and what you could build, or a value add opportunity, where maybe changing the zoning, and, and adding few floors or, or yada yada, it just offers a different perspective that, you know, affords me the opportunity to kind of work with a with a wider clientele, not just buyers and sellers, but also investors, builders, developers, and and then the legal component, too. I think, certainly, if anything that, you know, teaches you how to think trains you how to think objectively, and others, there’s many, many synergies between, you know, being in real estate and law, especially with agency and contracts. And no, it definitely has benefited me greatly.
D.J. Paris 16:53
I was curious to to know, is it I don’t know, how much, you know, depends on the type of law that that one would practice. But how would any of the negotiation skills used when you were practicing law? You know, as a full time career, it hasn’t had any of those translated over?
Josh Lipton 17:11
Yes, I think so. Just Well, you know, of course, I can’t give away all my secrets, you know, I think, again, just, you know, being able to think objectively and strategically, you know, while maintaining, obviously, obviously, ethics and morals, you know, certainly benefited me in dual agency roles, where I’m representing the buyer and the seller. Sure, in terms of putting up the, the Chinese wall there. And I think, you know, sometimes buyer’s or seller’s are uncomfortable with a dual representation, but sure, then, you know, then knowing that I’m a lawyer as well. Right. And it held you to that level of professionalism as well, if anybody could do it, they know that I know, the boundaries on that. And, and, you know, how to represent both both interests? Equally. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 18:08
And I think, you know, talking about your clients, your business, which and you and I talked about this actually at the restaurant was, briefly, we talked about, you know, how you’ve built your business, and I know that it’s, you know, it’s largely driven by referrals and repeat clients and you spend, essentially no money, very little money on traditional marketing efforts. For example, a lot of brokers, you know, purchases, you know, Zillow, Trulia leads, realtor.com leads, etc, you really don’t do that, how have you been able to continue that upward trajectory, as opposed to other you know, brokers, who, that’s where they focus their, you know, their, their marketing dollars? How have you been able to do it without that? Yeah. So,
Josh Lipton 18:48
you know, at the end of the day, everybody has their own style, and what works for me might not work for somebody else, and vice versa. And early on in my career, I did dabble a little bit in buying Zillow leads for short time. And, and actually, from an ROI standpoint, I did very well in converting them just I didn’t really enjoy the practice and having to wait for that call and then trying to establish rapport and, and look up the property real quick and try to convert it to a warm lead. You know, I just I prefer growing my business organically through my own sphere of influence and, and past clients, and really just double down on those relationships. And, you know, call people that already know me, like me, trust me, rather than spending 1000s of dollars a month buying internet leads, which can be very, you know, very, you can make a lot of money doing it. I know a lot of people that do and you know, good for them, they’ve mastered the craft and like I said, you know what’s works for them, and doesn’t necessarily work for me, but I’d rather rather than spending that money every month, and I’d rather take a bunch of clients out there. Under call it all client just to catch up not even look at your business go by mistake of taking a ballgame, send them really thoughtful personalized gifts, because the little things are what clients remember. And you know also to, aside from, you know, always staying front and center during the transaction after the transaction is most important. Absolutely, I’ll just staying in their lives and being a part of their lives. And it’s funny to this day, a few of my best friends actually started off as clients who either referrals are actually one I met in the lobby of my building at a time where I was where I was renting several years ago. And we struck it off, he actually was with another agent at the time and wasn’t had the best experience. So he asked me for my card and called me later and fast forward about two years he stood up my wedding. Oh, my gosh.
D.J. Paris 20:57
That’s yeah, that’s, that’s, that is amazing. I think too, it’s, it’s, I’ll give a quick tip. And this is actually courtesy of Ryan de April, who does a monthly coaching episode with us. He’s gives such a great suggestion if, if brokers who are listening are wondering, Well, gosh, you know, staying in touch with someone after the sale, in theory is really great. But what do I say when I call and Ryan had a great suggestion that it’s probably, I don’t know why I would have never occurred to me. But he said, If you don’t, you know, have a reason to call somebody he goes, if you’re connected with them on social media, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, you know, go through, see what they’ve been up to, in particular, like LinkedIn is a good one. Because if there’s a new career change, usually that’s highlighted, but just see what they’ve been doing in their lives and then call them. And for example, I just saw that the owner of our company, his wife just had an emergency appendix removal a couple days ago, and he didn’t even say anything to us at the time. But I saw that that she did. And so I immediately reached out because we’re friends as well. But I said, Oh my gosh, Natalie is in the hospital. And again, meet her you probably want to call with with more for other reasons that are more positive. But that’s a great a great technique. If you’re not sure, oh, gosh, I sold this person a home three years ago, I don’t really know what’s going on in their life. Go online and see if you can find some events, and then call them and say, Hey, I just saw you did X, Y, and Z and just wanted to reach out and say, you know, how you doing? And
Josh Lipton 22:22
that is great. I did I actually remember listening to Ryan’s episode on that and piggybacking his idea, let me take it a step further. And then dude, right. Yeah, episode. So, actually, through Facebook is because as you know, you have 1000s of Facebook friends, though, you probably only know about 20% of them, right? So I’m just sorting through looking at everybody’s updates and posts. And you’re like, how do we know that person or you don’t even know. So you have the ability on Facebook to create lists. So you can create lists only of people that you want to see. So you could put all your clients and business partners for anybody that you either do business with want to do business with, or think you might do business one day, and make it so you only see their feeds, so then you really know what’s going on in their lives and you don’t miss it when you’re sorting through the hundreds of other feeds that you know people that you don’t really care what’s going on their life because you don’t have a relationship.
D.J. Paris 23:18
Oh, that’s such a great idea. That is that that really takes that suggestion to the next level. So thank you for that. And I will be referencing you on future future episodes. Because that’s awesome. Aside from from what we’ve already talked about, what is something about you This is putting a little bit on the spot, but what’s something that most people don’t know about you or would be surprised to learn about your business?
Josh Lipton 23:40
I think most people are surprised by really how much this is buyers and sellers, you know, how much I enjoy and get into and and get, you know, hands on approach with the whole design build element. Oh, and you know, being able to really walk into a listing and and see its true potential. And, you know, whether that means you know, light upgrades or full gut on full gut renovations you know, I offered that insight this might have something to do with you know, growing up the son of an interior designer kind of grew up around it right.
D.J. Paris 24:16
That’s that’s your mom.
Josh Lipton 24:19
Yeah, there’s certainly there’s certainly buyers out there who you know, want to buy something turnkey or brand new where they don’t have to lift the finger or do any work. You know, but for the buyers who are willing to get their hands dirty, you know, I tell them you can either buy someone else’s value their dad or you could add it yourself and make it your own you know, in the process of doing so. So you know, whether that’s for a buyer after a purchase or you know when I’m when I’m prepping a listing to sell you and I walk through you know I’m in the trenches every day so I know what buyers like and what they don’t like and you know where they’re going to push back and kind of naturalistic down and, you know, I like to, you know, go go in there and suggest anything from No, like renovations to countertops or floors, or, you know, just making the listing as showroom ready as possible. And then, you know, in doing so you’re maximizing the value. So, you know, if the, of course, every seller out there, you know, one of the struggles is, you know, every seller thinks that their home is worth more than it actually is, of course. But, you know, sometimes you have to spend money to make money. And, you know, after we do it, you know, sellers, I was like, Man, I wish I would have done this sooner, so I could actually enjoyed it. You know, if another adage, I like to say is, you know, if it makes dollars makes sense. And I think this past year, I had at least, at least five or six, pretty much full on gut renovations were sort of situations where I was like, alright, well, if we list today, you can sell it for x, though, if you spend, you know, however much comes to you can sell for y and sing it on paper, it really, it’s kind of one of those like aha moments, and, you know, sellers totally placed their trust and confidence in me in my ability to really maximize the value and see its true potential and, you know, then you can really tell the story of the value added when you’re going to sell it, you know, always make sure to take a lot of pictures before the before and after. So you can justify why you’re selling for X amount more. Because otherwise buyers gonna walk in and be like, alright, so I see what it looked like when you bought it, it looks the exact same, you didn’t do anything aside for maybe a little market appreciation, what justifies you looking for this number. So the reality is dudes not only going to sell for more money, but you’re going to sell quicker, so less carrying costs, and in and out a deal a lot faster. And,
D.J. Paris 26:46
you know, if you’re a realtor out there listening to this episode, and you’re hearing what Josh is, is talking about, and again, Josh has only been a Producing Realtor for five years. So he’s accumulated. And again, you you had some little some of this information from, from previous careers. But really, you know, you learn this very quickly and very successfully. And if you’re a realtor listening, and you don’t have this information, you know, just imagine going up against Josh and a listing presentation, he’s gonna win, because he knows he knows some of that. So I would encourage everyone listening to really develop that skill set of knowing how to walk into a home and saying, okay, here are the five things that absolutely need to be done to being able to justify whether it’s a full gut rehab, or just you know, replacing, you know, a door or window or some floor
Josh Lipton 27:30
and take it, you know, just going on that to you, and we’re having those conversations and try and decide, should we do this, or should we not do this, right? I like to live kind of 8020 rule. I didn’t invent this, obviously, you know, I like to ask the seller or tell the seller, well, you know, it’s if 100 People walk through that door, as long as 80 people are going to walk into like, oh, wow, you know, I like that paint color. I like those new counters that light fixtures Great, then do it. If it’s questionable, you’re not sure then. Don’t do it.
Unknown Speaker 27:59
Yeah. A great.
Josh Lipton 28:02
Gotta keep in mind, this is actually kind of funny, when we’re doing this sometimes like, oh, I don’t really like that. You know, I don’t like that pink color. Yeah, I don’t like that. That’s not my style. And I kind of just last because it’s like, I don’t care if you like it or not, we need to appeal to the masses. Right about whether you like you’re selling this, you want other people to like it. So yeah, you got to deal with it for a little bit. You know, just just trust me and you’ll be gone. In no time.
D.J. Paris 28:25
Yeah, I just read a funny idea. And I don’t know if I don’t actually know if this would translate into into sales or not. But I was reading a real estate marketing idea list yesterday and somebody broker from somewhere had a great or interesting idea where she said, You should put one interesting removable object in every home and what she does is she puts a Giant Buddha statue that’s kind of silly looking. And she places it, you know, somewhere in like the living room and she just brings it from let’s do the listing. And, and she goes the reason I do it is people remember, this is silly Buddha thing. And it doesn’t get in the way of somebody not wanting to buy the home. But she’s she said, Oh, it’s just something that you know, maybe if they seen five homes that day, they remember the big silly Buddha statue and they, you know, so I don’t know if that’s a that actually.
Josh Lipton 29:14
Anything to make your listing memorable. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 29:18
Speaking of buyers and sellers, you know, what advice do you would you give because we don’t just have Realtors listening, we do have buyers and sellers. And the reason I know this is because oftentimes people that we’ve had interviewed on the show, come back to me like a month later and go, Oh my god, I got a few sales people, somebody listened and then they contacted me. So for those that are listening, who aren’t real estate professionals, but maybe have have some questions, you know, what advice would you give to them? You know, right now, if they don’t have a realtor that they’re working with,
Josh Lipton 29:51
you of course will on the buy side, you know when when you’re looking for a realtor to represent you and purchasing a property. I would say the most important thing hands down is really get to know each other on a, on a personal level, make sure you like each other personally, because you’re going to be working really closely together professionally. And if you don’t get along personally, yeah, you’re not gonna get along professionally, and it’s not going to get an easier because a lot of time together, you’re going to be having a lot of, you know, personal conversations, and you’re gonna make difficult situations, and it’s emotional. And it’s, it’s, you know, it’s a grind. So make sure you really connect on a personal level. And, you know, your your interests are aligned with your agents, business practices, and, you know, ask as physical, asking difficult questions, you know, before you, you decide you’re gonna work with somebody, you know, vet them to make sure you fully understand what they’re going to do for you. And set expectations from beginning. You know, do you want an agent who’s only going to? Have you ever had a 10 minute conversation, ask you a few questions and set up an MLS search and then just sit back on their heels waiting for you to flick interested or not interested or telling you to go look at something? No, I mean, me personally, I don’t really believe in MLS searches. I think that’s kind of, you know, a lazy way to go about finding properties for your agents, sure, I have to sign up for particular clients, and they go to me, and I sift through all the garbage, because I don’t want to just bombard my clients with a daily email where you know, 90% of properties, they’re like, why is he sending me these properties? And all it is wire? Why are people getting them? That’s because their agent is lazy search the time. So I told my clients, when I send them something, know that it’s, you know, hand selected, and I thought it would, it would actually be a good fit for you. And, you know, also you want to make sure that whoever you’re working with, say you’re looking in the West overvolt market, make sure that they know the area, right, make sure they’ve done business they’ve they’ve sold, they represented buyers and sellers in the area, they have their pulse on the market. And aside from MLS, you want someone who’s connected with other brokers amongst the industry has a good reputation that shares off market opportunities, packet listings, before they hit the market. So you know, your agent can get you in the door, before you have any competitions, avoid any multiple offers. And, you know, really, at the end of the day, you want to know what they’re gonna do to make it happen. You know, are they sometimes there’s buyers who want a really particular listing that doesn’t come up often or in a particular building that doesn’t see many resales. And you know, your agent could either sit there and look at the MLS every day or you know, sometimes you got to take the initiative and go, you know, scrolling scrubbing the castle, that expired listing, see who’s tried to sell in the last couple of years, but maybe they didn’t forever reason, attract on the phone number call the sellers directly, see if they’re still in the market. Because, you know, at the end of the day, everybody’s a seller, everything in this world is for sale for the right price. Sure. And you know, that seller, maybe they’re not interested, maybe they change your mind, but they’re gonna remember that you took the initiative for that buyer. And when the time comes, that they are ready to sell, what do you think we’re gonna call it right? So you know, and then
on the list side, too, you know, other than, you know, the same thing, just simply listing on MLS, you know, I sellers, listing presentations, you know, you’re not just hiring somebody to list your property, you’re hiring somebody to sell it and actually be there and strategically market it and keep it front and center. And you’re not just sitting back waiting for the phone ring or someone to schedule a showing and put the home on lockbox, which also is one thing that I don’t believe in, you know, if somebody’s hiring me to sell their home, you’re getting me if it’s not me, someone on my team is gonna be there and actually sell the home. And, you know, one thing too, that people overlook is you’re not only selling the home, you’re you’re selling a lifestyle, a quality of life, you’re selling the neighborhood. So you need to know, everything that’s going on in the area, you know, you need to know what’s in walking distance things to do places to eat, you know, is there new construction going on how far from public transportation grocery stores, you know, all attributes of the home because they’re not just buying the, the bricks and you know, the the actual unit they need, you need to sell it on the location, what life would be like, living in that area. And one other thing too, you know, when you’re, you know, that I think it’s smart that all sellers should do. I think it’s always smart for a seller to do a pre MLS home inspection. Have your own inspection conducted before and you know, be proactive and identify any potential issues that a buyer is going to because the reality is, if you do that, sure, you’ll spend a few $100 on a home inspection and then you could make the fixes that others are going to find. You know, then you eliminate your buyers coming in. because reality is, they always think it’s more expensive to fix something that might only, you know, be a $20 fix or an extra 200. Right. So you’re always gonna see a return on that. And you’d have the peace of mind that you already know the inspection. Yeah, there’s no surprises. Yeah, yeah. And then lastly, just, you know, I can’t stress enough about you know, pricing. And, you know, pricing it appropriately, the first time out of the gate, right, and just overpricing a listing is going to backfire. 10 out of 10 times, exactly. It’s just gonna rack up market time, you’re gonna end up doing price reductions, or you’re gonna cancel it and relisted, though that doesn’t really fool anybody, because you can see the listing history for him. So, you know, you don’t want to over promise and under deliver, because statistically, sellers are going to get their best offer than the first two or three weeks on the market.
D.J. Paris 35:52
Yeah, no, you’re you’re so right. And, again, the the other reason why it backfires, too, is then the realtor looks like they didn’t do a good job for the seller, by allowing that over price, you know, to go live, so,
Josh Lipton 36:06
yeah, totally. And of course, you can’t you can’t avoid the the sellers who, you know, are, you know, they want to try, sometimes we’re not off by much, and they want to push it a little. And sometimes, course, depending on the inventory in the market, you know, I’ll agree to do it. You know, if it’s within reason, if it’s an egregious, you know, stretch where I know, it’s completely unrealistic, you know, I’ll just pass on that listing, because there’s a lot of realtors out there, discount brokers who will take that listing Sure, and, you know, knowing that it’s overpriced, but they think they’ll be able to get price reductions, price reductions. But that’s not really a practice, I like to I like to go in there. Well,
D.J. Paris 36:47
it’s just, it’s a huge waste of your time, possibly. And then also, it you know, the, the owner is more likely to blame the realtor
Josh Lipton 36:55
when it doesn’t sell. So, you know, but it’s an extra $10,000. And I say we do it, you know, I’ll do it. But you know, we got to set the expectation at that moment, and let the seller know, all right, we’re gonna do this, but you set a timeframe. If we don’t have any serious interests, or offers and call it two or three weeks, we’re gonna scale back a little bit and remind them that we’re having, we’re having this conversation now. So when in three weeks, I tell you, we need to reduce the price, you know, don’t think it’s because I can’t sell it, or that was my fault. Right? Yeah, you’ve made it to get that in writing.
D.J. Paris 37:27
Yeah, that’s, that’s true. What do you think distinguishes you and in your, your business, your practice, from the gosh, almost 40,000 other realtors in the Chicagoland area? What? How would you answer that?
Josh Lipton 37:40
I think, you know, people are so focused on and the actual real estate, they overlook the human element in the people. And you got to remember, this is a relationship business. And I think clients really appreciate my, my brutal honesty, authenticity, patience, and, you know, tenacity and my follow through. And, you know, really, I just, you know, whether looking to the buyer or seller, you know, I, I make it a point, and I don’t tell my clients necessarily what they want to hear, but I tell them what they need to hear, you know, I’m not just going to try to sell them on a property to make a quick sale. You know, although we are in the sales, business, buyers and sellers, they don’t necessarily want to be sold, when making such a huge, life changing decision in their life, you know, they want to know that their agent is genuinely looking out for the best interest and not just looking to make a quick sale and move on to the next deal. And, you know, it’s unfortunate, so many realtors in our industry, we have a stigma for being pushy and salesy, and I think my clients really just find it refreshing to learn that that’s, that’s not how I conduct my business. And, you know, I’m not in their face all the time. And I’m not just trying to make a commission. But at the same time, you know, I’m ready to move as, as quickly as they are, when when the time is right, or when the property is right. You know, I’m not afraid to tell them, you know, no, I don’t care if you’re busy, we need to go through this. Now, this is exactly what you want. You know, if you don’t see it, you’re gonna miss out on it. So I think you just, you know, being being totally candid and honest and genuine. And lastly, you know, when working with buyers, too, you got to be respectful of their time, I’m not just going to take a buyer out and show him 10 properties when, when I know they’re genuinely only going to like two or three or maybe only only a few of them are going to check most of the boxes that they want to see. I’m going to take a buyer out and there’s only a few we’re going to see, we’re only going to see you know, there are only a few that really worked for this particular client and I think have legitimate interest in being the one we’re only going to see those I’m not going to waste my time and wasting my clients time showing them you know, 10 property Just to appease them and say, Oh, well, we sell 10 properties. So, you know, I think you really need to be respectful of people’s time. Because, you know, as busy as I am I, my buyers are busy too. And you only want to put properties in front of them that really have the potential to be the one.
D.J. Paris 40:17
Yeah, and I’ll also give you an additional complement to where I suspect this translates to your clients as well, is in prepping for this podcast, I will tell you that in we’ve Gosh, we’ve interviewed about 80 Top 1% producers and I can say in my memory is not great. But Josh is almost certainly the came the most prepared of anyone that that we’ve ever had on the show and just the amount of information he provided us helped make my job a lot easier than sometimes you know, other realtors make it. And so I will tell you that if he puts this amount of care in I know he does into his clients. That’s Boy, that’s really impressive. I was saying right before we got on, I said, Oh my gosh, I was heaping praise on him for all the all the work he did for us. So again, yeah, I’d hire you.
Josh Lipton 41:14
Let’s talk off here. Now. It’s a really, it’s all about the details. So it’s, so what I do, it’s, well, I love this job. And you know, just as no two clients are the same, no two properties are the same. And no two listing strategies are the same. And I present properties differently. And, you know, each each day is a new challenge and new adventure and, and a new fire drill. Time. So, you know, but it keeps it exciting. And, you know, I wouldn’t trade for anything.
D.J. Paris 41:44
And I have one final question for you. Because you you’re you’re at Compass we’ve we’ve owned because compass is still relatively new to the Chicago market. And they they’re killing it here and pretty much anywhere they’ve opened up shop, but we’ve only had a couple of Compass people. So we’re I’m always excited to hear from somebody who’s who’s moved to compass. Can you talk a little bit about why you why you decided on compass and what your experience has been so far.
Josh Lipton 42:10
Yeah, absolutely. So I moved over to compass last April. Crazy. It’s almost coming up on a year here. Yeah. You know, at the time, I wasn’t, I wasn’t looking to be to be frank. But, you know, I, of course, took the meeting had some conversations and kind of learn what it’s all about. And it turns out that, you know, my my business practices and the way I conduct my business, and, you know, where I see my business going is just totally aligned with Compass and what they’re doing, obviously, now we have almost 600 agents in Chicago. And, you know, we’re in dozens of markets. And, you know, what I love about them too, aside from their, you know, our platform, and our technology, just, you know, basically a one stop shop, platform to conduct business. And, you know, not only do they make it more efficient, and free up my time, you know, to focus on what I do best. And that’s, you know, selling and developing business and networking. But they’re just so forward thinking, and no idea is too big. And, obviously, we’re moving very fast, and our values are totally aligned, and there’s just, you’ll come to the office, it’s fun, there’s tons of energy, and people really enjoyed being here. And everyone’s thinking big and outside the box. And everyone’s collaborating. And, you know, we’re kind of all on this, this mission together. And it’s exciting and you know, Nothing surprises me this company and I wouldn’t I wouldn’t be surprised if not tomorrow I wake up and find out that, you know, X Y or Z Realtors come over or, you know, Amazon bought us who who knows, like, you know, nothing’s off limits and you know, you got you got to think big and and they totally embrace it. And it’s, it’s been exciting. And I’m having fun.
D.J. Paris 44:02
Yeah, just to give you a benchmark so the company I work at so what I do full time is I recruit Realtors not obviously not for compass for different from but it took me doing this literally full time five years to grow from basically from zero to 600. brokers and for companies to come in and do it in like one year is or two years maybe is absolutely incredible. And that’s why I’m so interested to hear you know about your switch over there because obviously, they must have a lot of really compelling cool stuff. So if brokers are listening, you know, you can
Josh Lipton 44:34
always reach out to Josh to get more. Absolutely. I’m happy to share my experience and not trying to poach any agents here. Let me be clear, because again, you know, it’s great for me, it might not be for everybody. But I’m happy to their experience and how it’s helped me. Yeah. Oh, they’re
D.J. Paris 44:51
doing some cool. Yeah. Yeah, but at the same
Josh Lipton 44:54
time, like I said, I came from from Jameson, so I’m sure I have nothing but respect for Those calls over there. It’s a great company, it’s a great brokerage, run from the top down with Chris and Mike and Jen. And, you know, it was a business decision was nothing personal. And you know, we’re still friends to this day, and they respect my decision, and I wish them nothing but the best.
D.J. Paris 45:14
And for anyone listening, whether you’re a realtor who is interested in learning more about Josh’s team, which by the way, we should mention is called Lipton, luxury living, or if you’re interested in learning more about compass, or if you’re a buyer and seller or seller or an investor or renter, or anyone who is like, Gosh, I really don’t have a great real estate professional that and I need one, or I want to develop a relationship so that when I do need when I have somebody, Josh, what’s the best way someone can reach out to you?
Josh Lipton 45:46
My, my cell phone, call text anytime that number is 312-504-5409. And my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. So yeah, so on that note, with my team, I actually, you know, we talked briefly about this DJ, um, you know, I am looking to hire and bring on a couple showing agents to join my team and, you know, collaborate together and work together and mentor and support me, but also support them and be a resource in any way possible. So any any newer agents out there looking to be busier, take on more and get some more experience? Give me a call.
D.J. Paris 46:29
And by the way, you know, who wouldn’t want to learn from one of Crain’s Chicago’s most influential residential real estate brokers, I mean, I don’t, I don’t even mean that it being you know, sort of flipper or being silly. Like that is a legitimately amazing credential. So if you’re out there, and you are thinking about, you know, wanting to team up or learn from someone, boy, Josh has a lot of a lot of really impressive accolades in his short five years, in the business, and, and, you know, not the least of which the amazing amount of production he’s done, but just some of the other, some of the other, you know, sort of acknowledgments he’s received in the industry is very, very impressive. And I was, I was super grateful to just have run into you, accidentally, and because typically, you know, look, 99% of the time, if I ran into a realtor, I probably wouldn’t have them on the show, because they’re not in the top 1%. And it just so happened that, that you of course, are and so we’re so grateful that and also, by the way, Josh is too busy to even do these kinds of shows. And yet he found talent time for us, so says a lot about him as a person and his character. And also we’re just very grateful. So if you’re, whether you’re a realtor, or you’re looking to maybe, you know, make a switch, talk to Josh or if you’re a buyer seller, investor, renter, obviously, he would be honored to talk to you as well and tell you more about what he offers, you should also follow on Instagram, you can just do a search for Lipton luxury living but it the actual URL is Lipton underscore luxury underscore living, I’d add Instagram, but just search for it, you’ll find it. Also Josh’s website is Lipton luxury living.com. So you can you can find in there, we’ll post a link post all these links in in the notes. So Josh, I wanted to thank you, I want to thank you for being on the show. This is a real honor for us. And just so everyone knows, Josh was on our invite list from day one. And we just hadn’t gotten to him yet. So this is like really, really perfect timing.
Josh Lipton 48:25
A little hard to get I told you the job. It was planned out perfectly to perfection. You know, it was it was meant the
D.J. Paris 48:33
well it works out great. And I there was so much value in this episode and I’m gonna go back and and highlight some of the the techniques and strategies you outlined to make sure I highlight them in the notes so that people can can take action on those immediately. But anyway, on behalf of Josh and myself, thank you so much for listening. If you are a new listener, please pass this podcast over to other brokers that you know, if you’re an existing longtime listener, we appreciate it and send in your questions. You know, continue to support us find us on Facebook, our website, you know, iTunes, Google Play all those places. So anyway, on behalf of Josh and myself, thank you for listening and we will see you on the next show and Josh thanks again.
Josh Lipton 49:16
Thanks so much for having me, DJ anytime.
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