Jeff Lottmann with Dielmann Sotheby’s talks about the beginning of his career in real estate and continues to describe how he got involved in the luxury real estate market. Next, Jeff and DJ discuss the state of the luxury real estate market in the last couple of years. Jeff shares how he stays in touch with his past clients. Last, Jeff emphasizes the importance of knowing the story of the property you’re helping your clients buy.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
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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 Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Jeff lotman, his top producer from St. Louis. Before we get to Jeff, I would like to of course thank you as always for continuing to listen and support our show. By the way, if any of our listeners or viewers out there are going to be at the National Association of Realtors Conference this November in San Diego I will be there. So if you would like to say hello, shoot us a message visit our website and you can send us a contact form message right from keeping it real pod.com which is also the place you can go to listen to every episode we’ve ever done. And please continue to help us grow by telling a friend and just think of one other agent that could benefit from hearing from top producers like Jeff send them a link to that website. Also follow us on Facebook we’re at facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod every single day we find an article online to help agents grow their business and post it there. And now on to our interview with Jeff Lawton.
Right today on the show, we have Jeff Lockman, from the Jeff lotman group with Dieleman. Sotheby’s in St. Louis, Missouri place I used to live a million years ago. But let me tell you about Jeff Now Jeff lotman has applied his business insight is networking ability and his talent for sales to multiple endeavors over the course of his professional career. As Vice President of Sales for a medical care company. He worked with high net worth individuals interacted directly with C suite executives and increase the company’s clients exponentially and in 2002, he turned his passion for real estate into a profession, founding the lotman Realty Group. The firm based in St. Louis focuses on high net worth individuals and luxury properties. With Jeff at the helm talented staff and gross sales of over 300 million. The Jeff lotman group has become the high end real estate firm of choice for hundreds of families and luxury real estate investors in the St. Louis area and beyond. Please learn more about Jeff at his website, which is Jeff lachman.com. And allotment is spelled l o t t m a n n again, Jeff lot T m a n n.com. Jeff, welcome to the show.
Jeff Lottmann 3:45
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
D.J. Paris 3:47
Well, we are really thrilled to have you because the number one question that our listeners send to us is, hey, ask your guests how to break into the luxury market because everybody wants to work luxury. And I know that that is not an easy task to do. Not an easy thing, endeavor. But everyone starts somewhere. So we would love to go all the way back to the beginning of your career and learn about why you got into real estate and how you did?
Jeff Lottmann 4:18
Well, you know, it’s interesting. You mentioned I was a VP of a medical company in post 911 I was kind of forced to make a move because what happened is we manage the emergency departments and our medical malpractice carrier, we had to renew on 10, one of 2001. So at that point, it was an utter turmoil turmoil. So our medical malpractice went up about 2,000% Oh, so unfortunately, we could not the company couldn’t sustain even a day longer. So I was I was literally forced to do that. And it was it was good because I had a couple rental homes Night, I love the real estate, there’s just so many avenues as you’ve talked about in the intros that you can, you can make money and you can enjoy it. So being forced to get in, I literally just went both feet in the deep end. And here we are 20 years later,
D.J. Paris 5:18
was it a big shift going from working in a more traditional corporate environment? With all of the layers that that, you know, enterprise level companies sort of deal with to then being in business, essentially, for yourself? Was that a big shift for you? Or was that a pretty seamless transition?
Jeff Lottmann 5:36
No, it’s incredibly difficult, you know, you when you’re in the corporate world, your your day is fairly structured. So when you become the entrepreneurial in the real estate, you’re like, Oh, my God, what am I going to do? And I don’t sell anything, I’m not gonna get paid. So Oh, my gosh, what do I do now? So it’s a, it took a while it took it took guts was a tremendous leap of faith. And luckily, it paid off.
D.J. Paris 6:01
So how did you go about finding clients, when you first got started being that everybody knew you as a different type of businessman? And now you’re, you know, now you’re now again, you do have you did have the experience with your own rental properties, which I am sure was invaluable to helping your clients but just in the, how to market yourself and how you got clients? Do you mind sharing sort of what worked for you back then?
Jeff Lottmann 6:25
Well, it wasn’t easy. You know, it’s when you’re new, everybody’s they hate to take a chance on you know, what, what I did is I literally started with a friends and family. And I really, since I was building my own brand, I went to a lot of networking events. And every day I was somewhere, whether it be a local health club, and, and passing out cards, and it truly was just a relentless pursuit of business. Because when you’re, I mean, literally, I didn’t have an income coming in anymore. So I had to generate one. And it’s not easy. It’s not easy at all. But when you’re building your own brand, it’s fun. So you know, it’s meeting face to face, it’s asking for help. And that’s the, that’s the key is everybody is willing to help. But when you’re new, it’s like, well, he’s new, he can’t do this. But he can do that. So I got, I got fortunate that several good friends gave me an opportunity right off the bat. And, and luckily, I had some help from experienced agents to kindly lead me down a successful path.
D.J. Paris 7:31
Yeah, I’ve always thought it. I understand when newer agents are reluctant to want to work with friends and family, because of course, they feel maybe their inexperience might screw up the deal, or maybe they just don’t feel as confident and they don’t want to be embarrassed or with these people that are closest to them. And I understand that, that thought and I’ve always said, on the flip side, your friends and family are most likely to forgive you if there is a mistake as well. So I’m not sure what if there’s a right or wrong way to do that. But But I would encourage all of our all of our listeners who may be in that part where maybe you’re newer to the business to at least remind everybody that you know that you are looking for business. But what Jeff did, you know, is so important, and it’s so simple, and it seems so obvious. But it is sort of something that I think the vast majority of us who are practicing real estate probably struggle with which is business development, which would mean going out, talking to people passing out your card, getting their information, adding people to your database, which again, is a tedious task, and it is not easy, and it takes guts. But but you really just said it exactly as almost every other person I’ve ever interviewed on the show said as I went out and talked to a lot of different people and tried to, you know, remind them that this is now what I do.
Jeff Lottmann 8:59
And you know, I always said yes. So it was crazy, kind of early on how the path led me but one of my early clients was looking for large multifamily. And he’s like, can you do that? I said, yes. But I’m like, Oh my gosh, I gotta go find somebody who deals with telling me what to do. But it was interesting, because he was a California buyer that was buying in St. Louis, because the the cap rates were so much better here. And you know what, I partnered with a guy that knew what he was doing, and I faked it until we made it and he ended up buying 600 units. So the key is say yes, because even if you’re not comfortable with there’s somebody in your company or one of your friends that has already experienced this and they could partner with you and and together as a team, you’re going to be you’re going to be dynamite. So that’s the key is say yes. If anybody asks, Can you do it? Yes, I can.
D.J. Paris 9:49
Boy, better advice I don’t think has ever been shared. I couldn’t agree with you more and even if you really truly can’t assist that client as Jeff at all I sort of alluded to, there’s someone in your in your area that can and maybe they even work at a different company. And you can say, hey, you know, I’m going to pass this over to a colleague of mine at such and such firm or at my own firm, and I’m going to be part of the transaction. But this is this person’s specialty. And I’m going to pay it, you know, that’s okay to do as well. And obviously, Jeff’s advice is basically that, but yes, mentorship partnering, boy, don’t worry about what you don’t know, because someone else that you can partner up with already has that information, and it will just make your life a lot easier. And trying to figure it all out yourself. I would love to talk about this idea of luxury, because I know that there’s such a fantasy. And I don’t mean this in a negative way. But so many people think if I could only get those million dollar listings, that would solve all of my problems, I can only get those buyers that, you know, are in that high net worth sort of bracket. And I’m not saying that that isn’t a great thing. Of course, it’s a wonderful thing, if that’s where your passion is. But can you talk about what drew you to the luxury market and how you went about starting to infiltrate sort of that space?
Jeff Lottmann 11:12
Well, I think it takes a lot of confidence, especially if you’re younger, because it is intimidating to deal with the C suite people and high net worth people. But guess what, you’re the expert, and they need your help. And as you move up into the luxury market, it’s much more of a business decision than an emotional one. So I just kind of took the what was at the time, 15 years of sales, business, C suite interaction and was not afraid to deal with them. You know, they I wasn’t intimidated by him, I approached them. And I felt like I brought a whole business marketing that was a little bit different than the old days of just putting the sign in the yard and doing nothing. And, and I asked for the business. So it’s confidence. It’s like, yeah, I can do this. Yes, I can do this. Yeah, we do this. And then the other thing I think is excellent is to get with one of your local luxury builders in the area, and learn how the houses are built, learn if it’s, uh, you know, learn what they do. What’s what’s different in this area? You know, is it a green builder? Is the energy efficient builder? I mean, what, what are people buying? What do they like? What do they want, and then you can kind of use that because there’s a good chance that when you go in the luxury market, you’re going to sell one of these builders homes, and you already know what his stick is or her stick and what the advantages are of that home, and then you’re going to be able to sell it even even beyond the wall. So you’re going to know what he put in the house? Is it? Is it energy efficient, as I mentioned, is it you know, there’s they have radiant heat? So I think it’s I think it makes all the sense in the world is to talk to luxury builders and and they’ll they’ll flip you a lead here to if they can’t find somebody for a potential lot, or if they’re the budgets a little bit higher than they want. And they’ll call you and say, Hey, Jeff, I’ve got a buyer for you, can you help them out? So I think that’s a good way to start.
D.J. Paris 13:12
It’s a really great suggestion I we’ve done about 300 episodes, and I don’t think anyone has actually given that particular piece of advice, which is such a great advice is if you want to work in the luxury market, start talking to the services that service luxury clients like luxury builders and say, hey, I want to learn what you do. So that I can relay that information. And oh, by the way, when my client wants to build something, I would want to pass that over to you as well, Mr. Luxury or Mrs. Luxury builder. But I also just want some good talking points about you know, these types of properties and what I should be telling my clients and and of course, that those those referrals go both ways. So what what I can’t imagine how much business you have probably provided to some of those builders, just by sheer fact of you being connected to that high net worth individual.
Jeff Lottmann 14:02
Well, you’re exactly right, it does go both ways. And here’s the thing, so builders always reach out to the real estate community to find lots, because in today’s market, if a lot hits the market, it most of them don’t, especially where they want so they’re gonna they’re gonna look at you, as Hey, a source to try to find them lots so they can build. So to answer your question, sure that on the one particular one had was an energy efficient builder, and I didn’t know anything about it. So I talked to him, he gave me a tour of his home. He showed me two or three other homes. And then I’ve given him four clients totaling over $20 million of revenue to him. So yeah, I mean, he’s he and I become good friends for I imagine. Yes. But you know what he calls me if he gets leads on his website, and he’ll say, Hey, Jeff, these these people aren’t in my range. But here you go, Can you can you help them? And again, I think, I mean, that’s a source that I got lucky with But just from talking to people, but if you’re not, if you’ve not engaging in the luxury builder market, I think you’re missing an opportunity to get some significant business.
D.J. Paris 15:10
Yeah, I also wonder, too, by the way, it’s such a great strategy. And I also wonder what percentage of Realtors would even think to contact a builder and say, I want to learn about your business, so that I can service clients that use your services, it’s such a smart thing to do that maybe isn’t as obvious as well, I want to study the luxury market and look at the MLS and really understand those properties. And all the data that the MLS might reflect. But going beyond the data into the actual structure of the home, and understanding, you know, what, what those clients look for, from a builders perspective is really, really I know, I’m, I’m hammering this point hard, but I think it is such a great idea. So that in and of itself is an amazing, amazing tip. I also wanted to ask your opinion about this, because it is just was you reminded me of a conversation I had, maybe 10 years ago or so with a not on this podcast, because we didn’t exist back then. But with somebody who was a realtor in Texas, and they were thinking of moving here to Chicago, and they were thinking maybe joining our firm, and he had been in the business, this gentleman in the biz about 30 years, and I said, Oh my gosh, this is before his pockets go, you have to tell me what what do what can I tell our hundreds of we have hundreds of Realtors in our firm. I said I didn’t want to know what a 30 year veteran in the business knows that maybe our younger agents don’t. And he goes, it was the funniest thing. And he said, and it’s this isn’t always true. But he said, he goes, I’ve learned that it takes just as much work to sell a $300,000 home, as it does a $3 million home. He said it really isn’t. As far as the workload. He goes, it isn’t really any different. It’s different strategies, and we do different things. But he goes, it’s the same amount of work. And I’m curious, I don’t know that that’s always true. But I’m curious if you have found that to be a similar experience, or if if it just or not.
Jeff Lottmann 17:10
So I would say I think the luxury market, they demand a little bit more sure. But in a weird way, it’s easier because they know exactly what they want. And again, I go back to it’s a business decision. It’s not an emotional decision. But I think I think what we’ve got to try to do is treat both the same. Because you know, especially at a Sotheby’s, it is about the luxury experience. And no matter if you’re a first time homebuyer or you’re a seasoned investor, or if you’re buying your palatial estate, it’s about treating everybody the same. And the good news is, is that the 300,000, our client might buy two or three or four or five more homes from you, the $5 million client, this might be as whole their home for the rest of their life. So it’s about providing a luxury experience and talking the luxury game. No matter what level because think of the doctors, the doctors will buy five homes in their life. So if he or she is in residency, they start out with a starter home say it’s 100,000 Well, as soon as they get out of that, and they get their offer letter, all of a sudden, they’re making three 400,000 And now they’re buying a half million dollar home, well then they’re gonna buy a move up home, they’re, they’re gonna buy a family home and a vacation home. So the reality is, as you move up in the net worth clients, you’ve got to you’ve got to kind of look globally because they they will buy two or three homes, so you have to have a wide range network. And for some of these, that’s it’s a no brainer, I mean, I just sent one to Palm Springs and I just sent one to Hilton Head and these are a couple million bucks so you know you’re you’ve got to just expand your search view when you’re dealing with high net worth clients is they have multiple things and that does include multiple houses.
D.J. Paris 19:01
Yeah, and I also like what you said about treating everybody as if they are a high net worth client as well and so the B’s of course for it for those of us that maybe don’t have a son the B’s real estate office in our in our location we all know the brand and the name and we know it’s associated with luxury and there is nothing that feels better to a maybe a true non luxury client than getting a luxury experience that I mean of course luxury clients are going to expect that experience and you have to deliver but if you can deliver that experience to the person buying the first time home or you know whether they’re a Doctor Who will you know, down the road maybe be buying a million dollar plus properties or even just a first time homebuyer who this is their you know if you can treat them as if they’re luxury. Boy, that is not a very common experience that non high net worth individuals get to get to experience and I’ll tell a quick story. I this is the funniest example I can think of, but it really, really, it meant a lot to me, it impacted me I was renting a storage space. And you know how cheap storage spaces probably are all of us can relate like 30 bucks a month for a little garage thing. And, you know, the same ones you see on Storage Wars and, and I was just here in the city here in Chicago and I had to store some stuff for a few months. And I walked in, and it was like, I think it was $27. And you would have thought that I was their number one client, and I am sure I was the lowest paying client they had. And they will I walked in, they were so thrilled to see me afterwards. They’re like, we are so grateful you came in we and this is a successful business. It’s not like I was their first customer. And I went home and I went, I just got treated like a king for a $27 a month rental. And I go, that was the smartest thing those people ever did. Because I immediately told everybody I knew about that experience. I said, this is kind of funny, but it was also made me feel really special. And so anyway, I just wanted to share that. But But Jeff’s right, treat everyone as if they are a high net worth individual and a luxury client. Because that could lead of course, to additional luxury clients because they aren’t going to expect that experience.
Jeff Lottmann 21:16
Oh, you’re right, you just hit it on the head, actually, I mean, think about how many people you told. And guess what, this is a referral business. And you’re building your own brand. So I mean, it goes back to you know, treat, treat people how you want to be treated. But I say treat people better than how you want to be treated. Because you absolutely have no idea who’s watching or who they know, or what they’re going to say. And trust me, especially with social media these days, if somebody has a bad experience, guess what, they’re gonna blast it all over everywhere. So, you know, and I just, I think it’s better to, to err on the side of the luxury experience and treating everybody the same then than that.
D.J. Paris 21:58
I couldn’t agree more. I want to pause for just a moment and talk about our sponsor for the episode. So our sponsor is a follow up boss after interviewing hundreds of top Realtors in the country for this podcast. Do you know which CRM is used by more than any other of our amazing guests. Of course, it’s follow up boss, let’s face it. Following up is the key to taking your business to the next level and follow up boss will help you drive more leads. In less time 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’s built a $1.5 billion business in just six years. Follow up boss integrates with over 250 different systems so you can keep your current tools and lead sources. They also have seven day a week sports you’ll get the help that you need 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. That’s twice as much as they give any everyone else. And oh yeah, no credit card required. 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. Jeff, I would love to also talk to you about the state of the luxury market. What is going on in luxury these days? How have things changed? Or are things that things have been relatively consistent in the last couple of years?
Jeff Lottmann 23:32
I think they have been consistent I think, actually, I would say they’ve grown considerably. I think that the amount of luxury homes that have been built in this area and the luxury buyers are it’s just continuing to grow. I mean, I think especially the last two years, I think a lot of people are putting more money in their home and their family. So instead of taking you know 12 You know, wherever a nice vacation, what they’re doing is they’re saying hey, have all the family come home. So crazily, you see a lot of empty nesters that are building their dream home these these really big homes so they can accommodate all their, their kids and their grandkids and everybody when they come home. So I think the luxury market is exceptionally exceptionally strong. And I mean you see it all over the country. It’s it’s it’s truly it’s continuing to grow.
D.J. Paris 24:22
I would look I know that your your group, you guys have just expanded out west. So St. Louis, you predominantly were focused in certain areas of St. Louis. Although certainly you know, doing a lot of different love. St. Louis is a big city. But also you started expanding out west and I’d love to hear strategically, you know how you decided to start increasing your sort of geographic service area because I know for you it’s really critical for you to understand those markets before jumping in. So can you talk a little bit about why you decided to expand Beyond your existing sort of area?
Jeff Lottmann 25:03
Well, I think it goes to I think that’s where you do have to bring in some data and kind of get an idea of where the people are going. And, and what the builders again, you’re more track builders and luxury home builders where they’re building. So for us, it just made sense St. Louis can only grow really one place, and that’s west. So as you see, kind of, we’re in Clayton and have been for years. And now, you know, Chesterfield in town and country, some of these other fluent areas, it just, it just made absolutely perfect sense to, for us to move our Grow, put another office that was which will be you know, just go to town and country because that’s, I mean, that’s another hub of, of, of wealth. And, and I think opportunity. I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s building galore. And, and, and I think it just made perfect sense.
D.J. Paris 25:55
curious on how you stay in touch with your customers after a transaction, because I always feel that and again, you know, as a real estate agent, we’re really we wear many different hats. Most of us are solo practitioners, or we may have a group or a team. But we’re doing a lot of the work ourselves. And it’s easy to lose track of our previous clients, because we’re on to the new and the next, the next deal. But I’m curious, I know that for you. Having those relationships stay consistent and strong, even after the sale, of course, is critical. And I’m just curious if you have any tips or advice for for our listeners about things that have worked for you to keep your name and you’re in the back of the minds of the people that you’ve helped in the past?
Jeff Lottmann 26:48
Well, I would say that’s probably my weakness, because you know, it’s it’s very much a hunting mentality. It’s, you’re on to the next one. But sure, you know, over time, I’ve tried different things. But there’s a company in St. Louis, that will they send random gifts, and at any point in time, so I give them all my client list. And literally, if it’s if it’s green frog day, they’ll send a bill send something that’s green frog day to a client. So it’s not necessarily on their anniversary of the house or on their birthday. It’s like some random thing. It’s like, like, this is Hispanic month. So you know what, maybe they’ll send something Hispanic to them and say, Hey, happy Hispanic month, and it just keeps them on their toes. And they’re like, where did this come from? So I mean, I would like to say that I would do that I did would do that better. But I think if if I need to improve on something, I think that’s that’s where I need to prove improve on. So well, if you’re, if you’re new to the business, for gosh sakes, start. Start loading your Well, you said it earlier, start loading your CRM and your funnel and just build that because that’s, that’s gold right there.
D.J. Paris 27:53
Boy, that’s such a I, you know, I we’re gonna have to find a sponsor for our podcast that does those random gifts, because that is an unbelievably brilliant idea. I, I love the idea of random gifts outside of the major holidays, because of course, there’s nothing wrong with sending a, you know, a December holiday card and a gift because of course, you know, that’s the time of the year that people sort of would expect something to that, but they’re gonna get a lot of that stuff. Anyway, I like the idea of, you know, something getting something on Arbor Day or green frog day. It they’re not getting anything else on on green frog, except your gift. And guess what, they’re gonna smile. And it doesn’t even have to be inexpensive yet. It could be a $5 item.
Jeff Lottmann 28:39
That’s exactly what they are. They’re cheap. I mean, they’re, they’re nothing but it’s like so random. They’re like, thanks. But you know what they always they’ll text your colleague, it’d be like, Hey, thanks for the, for the bobblehead. You know, I’m like, Well, what was it national bobblehead day? I mean, it’s, it gets some it’s great. It’s, I mean, think about it, if you have 500 clients, or let’s say you have, and you whittle that down to your top 50 clients. So on Thanksgiving, if you try to put 50 pumpkin pies, I mean, it takes an absorbent amount of time and energy. And it’s expensive, too. But, you know, we did that one year where we hand deliver them and you gotta catch them at home. And if you don’t set it on the porch, and you know, it’s just, we were lucky to find this. It was, it was it’s a brilliant idea. I agree with you. I wish I had stock in it.
D.J. Paris 29:26
Well, I love that and and for those of us who are newer, you know, and maybe you’ll have to do this yourself because maybe you’re at a stage where you can’t afford to to hire a company to do this. Just look up, you know, interesting, little known holidays or little known, you know, days and you can come up with some really cute and fun ideas. And I love that back back to the luxury market for just a moment because again, you are a luxury agent, and I definitely want to continue to talk about this. How important is it for you when you’re working with a buyer or For a seller, I guess it really doesn’t matter. But understanding sort of the story of the house you’re either selling or that you’re visiting, for your buyer understanding, you know, this goes back to, of course, understanding the build quality and all of the features and benefits. But I would imagine luxury clients really want to hear a story. And I don’t mean, you know, once upon a time sort of story, but understanding the really, I’m curious on how you describe homes as you’re walking through? Or do you mostly stay back and let this the home sort of tell the story for itself?
Jeff Lottmann 30:37
Well, that’s interesting. You said that, because, in my opinion, every single home has a story. And in some of these, I mean, if you think about if you go to kind of the older communities where the turn of the century homes and they had these mansions? Well, there’s a story. I mean, there’s essentially 100 years story. And even where there’s new construction, there’s a farm that used to belong to, you know, somebody’s family way back then. So, it’s interesting, you said that, because I always talk about that, that there’s a home to every story. And then I tend to sit back a little bit and let, especially on the luxury market, I like to kind of follow the clients leads when I’m showing the home. But and then kind of work in, depending on depending on what how you can read the buyers, you have to read your buyers, but I’m not one that’s out in front, like you see on selling LA or anything like that, you know, it’s like I like tend to like be a little bit more low key and low pressure and, and then but you do get it, you do absolutely have to know the story of the house in the surrounding area and the farm that it was built on or the farm across the street, or where the ground came from. But it makes for it actually helps you to sell it for sure.
D.J. Paris 31:52
So if your thank you, and I’m, I’m glad to hear that. And and I’m no surprise, of course. But for our listeners, if you’re working with a buyer, and it’s not your listing, of course. Or maybe it could be I guess but but let’s assume it isn’t. And you don’t know the story of the home? How are you learning that? Are you contacting the listing agent? Because sometimes, of course listing agents are there to do the showing? And sometimes they aren’t. It depends on, you know, rules and regulations and sort of the norms of how Realtors operate in your area. But how do you learn the story? Of what it’s not your own listing?
Jeff Lottmann 32:28
Well, that’s a good question, too. I mean, it’s it. If it’s an older home, you Google the address, because that’s a plethora of information. But then of course, yes, I rely on the listing agent you want to build rapport with with with them. And just to ask them say, what, what is the story of the home, they had to give me some things to help with the buyer, you know, if there’s a fountain Outback, or there’s an interesting piece in the driveway, then get the story of that. Because every home I go back to this every home has a story, it really does. And the more you know, is just going to help you sell the house. And to bring value to both yourself, the buyers and in the house.
D.J. Paris 33:10
I wonder what percentage of agents whether it’s a luxury property or a starter property or a distressed property even I wonder how what percentage of Realtors do contact the listing agent and say, Hey, give me give me some talking points or, you know, in a polite way, hey, I’d love to help sell this home. Tell me what’s going on with this property. Tell me the story. I bet it’s a very low percentage of agents who are willing to make that call, especially now that we can schedule appointments. Of course without talking to agents, the listing agent directly we most of us have automated services that do that. So we can schedule it without ever speaking to the agent. But, but making that extra step and saying hey, I’m going to go see your property on you know, on Tuesday, I want every bit of information so that I can sell this home for you. I imagine most agents probably just don’t think to do it or feel that it’s they’re too busy. But that’s just so important, isn’t it?
Jeff Lottmann 34:10
Yeah, I think you have to do that especially since we’re talking luxury I think in the luxury you have to realize it that you you’re in this together the whole idea is to try to get a favorable outcome and a favorable sale and and the listing agent is an important part of this because they have the home listed so they’ve already done all the research hopefully. So if you build rapport and you find the story of the house, then I think it only helps I mean we’re not we’re not enemies here we’re on the same team. We’re literally trying to help sell the house and you know get it get a mutual beneficial outcome.
D.J. Paris 34:46
And it is called a cooperative commissions. It’s exactly yeah, it’s that per other person is not the enemy although sometimes may feel that way. But you guys can always work together. other of course, and I never get to these questions. And I’m Jeff, Jeff was nice enough to sort of pulling back the curtain on how we do things here on the show. We always ask a few questions to tee up for these episodes, and I’m so scatterbrained that I never get to them. So I my promise for the next year is that I won’t skip these. But these are great, too. I would love to hear about just because I could absolutely see this happening. And have a lot of our listeners have probably had a similar experience. But do you mind sharing the your story about hiring a cleaning company to do a final clean out of property and sort of what what happened? What went wrong?
Jeff Lottmann 35:41
This was almost it was almost a disaster. So I had two listings. And there was one in the middle and I had two listings on either side. Well, one was sold. And the final cleaning company was supposed to go to the one that’s sold in granite. This was 630 in the morning. But they went they went to the other home that was still listed and literally walked into their home at like 630 in the morning. And that Mr. Seller standing there in the kitchen going, what are you doing? They’re like, Oh my god, I’m at the wrong home. So it was like, I mean, they’re lucky that number one, I couldn’t believe that the house that we had listed, the door was open. And number two, because I told him just go the back door. It’s open. There’s no key and there’s that key in the lock. So sure enough, they go the backdoor the wrong home and it’s open. It’s like who would ever think that but it was? We’re lucky that? Yeah, we got lucky. But they didn’t think was funny at the time. But I think it’s it’s pretty, it’s pretty darn.
D.J. Paris 36:46
It’s pretty darn funny. And then I love this this other story that Jeff sent us which which is funny, because to me after doing so many of these episodes, when we often ask agents like What What’s your most unusual real estate experiences? Because we think it’s fun to ask that question. And we usually get one of a couple of similar experiences, which is, oh, my gosh, I walked into this one room in the house that it was very adult themed, or there was something more risque that was out, or there were people who were in the room doing adult things. So we’ve heard that one a lot. But Jeff has has a different version of that. But to tell him I’m sharing the story about what you went, you were showing a home to some buyers, and and there were people in the room. Do you mind sharing sort of what happened there?
Jeff Lottmann 37:37
No, it was very similar to what you said, you know, it’s like we opened the door and it was about 10am. And you could tell there was they had a party or something the night before. And we’re like, you know, where you get that odd feeling that you know someone’s in the house. But you don’t know where right. So we’re just going through it. And then we open up of course the master and there is the Mr. And Mrs. Or the homeowners, they’re in bed and they’re like, Hey, don’t mind us. We had a long night. Just let me know if you have any questions. We’re like, okay. All right, you know, so I just knocked on the door. And I said, Hey, we’re leaving. Thanks.
D.J. Paris 38:13
I love that like, Oh, hey, don’t mind us. And by the way, I’m here to answer. We’re here to answer all your questions. Because usually the story is I walked in on a couple and they were engaged in right, you know, amorous thing, and we immediately left. And this case, they were like, no, no, we’re good. We’re just sleeping. I know, we want to sell this house. Oh, I love that. I love that. Well, Jeff, for any of our listeners, who may be, for example, maybe have clients that are moving to St. Louis, who are in that luxury space who are looking to partner up with an agent like yourself there or if one of our listeners is a luxury buyer or a seller investor. Jeff is the guy in the luxury market. They’re in St. Louis and West County. Jeff, what’s the best way that someone can either reach out to you to refer business to you or to learn more about what your team offers?
Jeff Lottmann 39:08
I just go to the website. That’s easy. It has all my contact information on there. And it’s Geoff lawton.com Just my name.com Jeff lotman.com. And yes, I mean I deal with with people all over the country, and it’s great to get to know other other realtors across the country. And like I said, we’re all in this together. So yeah, I’ll take care of anybody. Provide them a luxury experience. And of course I expect that in return from anybody that I would, I would send but it’s, I love it. I love what I do. I’m glad I fell into this. It’s a wonderful profession.
D.J. Paris 39:43
Well, you can really hear if you’re some of us might be watching this and others are listening but but even if you’re just listening, you can definitely hear Jeff’s the comfort and ease and confidence that he has and he is definitely a great resource for anyone that is either moving to that area or is interested in referring business to an agent. So visit his website, Jeff lotman, I’m going to spell that for you. It’s, of course, Jeff je FF and then lotman is two T’s and two ends. So Jeff lot T M A, N n.com, you can actually you can contact him very easily through his website. And he, Jeff is obviously one of the top agents in the St. Louis area. And of course, he is always happy to talk with any of our listeners who might need his services. So please reach out to him if you have anyone easier move into that area, or if you yourself, are interested in speaking to his team. Jeff, thank you so much for being on the show today. This was a real honor for us. I was a St. Louis native or resident, not a native. And we can next time, if we have you on we can talk about Ted Drewes ice cream, we could talk about emos, pizza, and the Hill, which is where all the best Italian restaurants are in St. Louis. And Jeff and I we actually talked about I used to work for a company that he got a job offer for the same company. And so we have a fun little history there. But maybe we’ll touch on that next time. But Jeff, thank you on behalf of our audience, we really appreciate your time we know how busy you are, and that you don’t really even have time to do this sort of thing. And you found time to do it. And we were grateful for that. On behalf of Jeff and myself, we want to say thank you as well to the listeners and the viewers. And to remind everybody just to do two quick things. Number one, the best way that you can help our show is telling a friend think of one other real estate professional that could benefit from hearing this great conversation with Jeff. I mean so many great tips he provided in this hour and send them a link to our websites easiest way that anyone can listen to our show. Even if they’re not a podcast person, go to keeping it real pod.com They can stream every episode we’ve ever done there. Or if they are a podcast person, just have them pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button and second, please support our sponsor follow up boss again remember 30 day free trial no credit card required best CRM in the industry which is follow up boss.com forward slash real Jeff, thank you so much for being on our show and we will see everyone on the next episode.