Working with celebrities is different than you probably think. Today we interview a top Los Angeles agent who shares his experience in working with those whose names you would recognize.
These lessons will give you the ability to offer your existing clients, celebrity or not, the highest degree of fiduciary and customer service.
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Justin Stoddart 0:01
So the big question is this. How do we those of us in the real estate industry with crazy amounts of ambition? How do we think bigger than the building of our own empires? How do we simultaneously see success and significance, income and impact? My name is Justin Stoddart. And this is the Think bigger real estate show. excited about today’s episode, we’re gonna be talking about working with celebrities. We have an agent out of Los Angeles, who’s going to talk walk us through that thrilled to be with you all today. Thanks for joining us on this episode of the Think bigger real estate show. We have something very special for you planned today. So stick with us. We’ll be right back.

Justin Stoddart 0:41
All right. Welcome back to the Think bigger real estate Show. I’m your host, Justin Stoddart, dill thrilled to be with you today to talk about, again, working with celebrities. Today’s guests works out in the Los Angeles market has worked with household names that you would recognize. And we’re going to very specific lessons, they’re going to help you know how you can work with stars, celebrities, as well as just increase your level of fiduciary and customer service in an era where clients are expecting that, please tell me welcome. And I’ll give a special welcome to Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels Thanks for joining us today.

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 1:24
Thank you. Pleasure to be here.

Justin Stoddart 1:26
So tell me what is it like when you’re sitting across the table from somebody who you normally see in movies? Like how was that experience? Just kind of walk us through that looks like.

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 1:34
oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, it happens more often than you think, here in in LA, you know, everybody’s pretty much a, it’s practically like everybody’s a celebrity here. So, you know, you kind of have to have to get used to it, you have to kind of reset your mind from that, you know, the oh my gosh, that’s, that’s this person to it’s a person, right? It’s resetting to where everybody is a human being. Obviously, some, some people have slightly different needs than others. But the first and most important thing is, it’s the same rulebook that you had with your, you know, with your other clients, which is, especially the higher end ones, which is, you just have to focus on building an authentic real relationship with that person, same as you would with anybody else. Right? Because at the end of the day, you know, they’re a real human being that is looking to create a connection. And then that’s the first thing you have to do in any relationship to effectively move forwards but especially in these because you know, your that relationship becomes your currency that relationship is, you know, what makes you different, what makes you special, what, why they want to come back to you, and you’re not a exchangeable commodity at that point,

Justin Stoddart 2:45
I would imagine that people can tell when other people feel starstruck, right, I kind of talked about this one in my book, that oftentimes, there’s this relationship of being a solicitor to even just a vendor, and then you climb the ladder to be in a peer. And I would imagine that what you just described right there, and Daniel, is critical that if you come in starstruck, it’s really hard for them to take to really respect you as a professional and want to trust you, when it looks like you’re just kind of there to get a photo op, right?

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 3:15
Either there to get a photo up there to just, you know, just to sell them something, right. Nobody wants, nobody wants to feel like they’re just being sold something but especially someone who’s a celebrity, everybody’s trying to sell them something, right, everyone’s trying to pitch them or Oh, listen to my track, or here’s my this, or here’s my real or, you know, so that that relationship is so much more important because everybody’s trying to sell them on something, trying to pitch them. So if you can avoid getting into that realm, then then that’s pretty key. In fact, I remember I was driving through Malibu, and we were sitting in this guy’s car. And I mean, we’re in the back of chauffeured Rolls Royce at this point, right. And, you know, we’re just sitting there, my client, his wife, and me, and I, I’ve known him I built that relationship with him for years, but I had only met the wife more recently and he looks over and he goes Honey, don’t worry, he’s like us he’s in he’s our he’s in our group. You know, he’s he’s one of us like, meaning not obviously I didn’t have I don’t have at the time a chauffeured Rolls Royce behind us with my own but what he meant is we have that connection, right? We’re on that same mental level we’re on that plane I’m not there just trying to sell them something or you know, make a quick buck off that I was there to as a peer or as you know, a partner in in in the project.

Justin Stoddart 4:39
I would imagine that there’s been in that world that sounds super sexy, right to be famous. And it sounds like it’s something that you would want and I’ve heard of people who have who are famous in there like it’s it’s nothing that you would necessarily want right now. Some probably love it and are okay with it. Others are like it’s it’s difficult to identify who are your real friends who you can trust right versus So many that are not right, that are that are simply there to get something for themselves as opposed to, to a certain level of service, these principles, and what have you learned? How do they apply just to non celebrity clients? Because again, the purpose of this show is to help us really uncover these key principles of working with celebrities, and then how they apply across even a wider gamut, right?

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 5:23
Yeah, really? Well, and that’s actually I learned how to deal with celebrities, not with celebrities. Funny enough, I learned with some very, very high net clients. So I got very early on. And for me, I was like, oh, you know, they’re worth hundreds of millions and billions of dollars, like, I have to act differently, or how am i How am I supposed to treat them? Right. But it’s the same principles, you build the relationship, they trust you. And then you have to be able to deliver good and bad news. That’s, that’s the biggest thing that a lot of people, especially agents have, the mistake they make there is they don’t realize that you have now been hired as experts they have made built, they may be built a 10 $20 billion company, but it’s not in real estate, right? They might be the expert in, you know, selling whatever, toilet paper, but they don’t know how to buy and sell a house or position themselves to create the most wealth. So what you have to do is really become a trusted resource, whether it’s for someone in business entertainment, it’s all the same principles, you have to become valuable by becoming a trusted resource. But before you can become a trusted resource, you have to build that relationship. So first, you build the relationship, then you show your your value, right your value in the transaction, and then you also have to just create that flow or that vibe with your client. Because if they don’t trust that you don’t have the right answers, if they don’t like you, or if they don’t feel like they can connect with you. Any one of those threes is a deal killer, right? losing any one of those three, especially in a higher end situation. With a more specialized client, you’re done. They will literally, and I’ve had this happen, just hang up the phone, never talk to you again. And you’ll see on the news, they bought something somewhere else.

Justin Stoddart 7:17
What’s incredible lessons, by the way. And I think in this time where we have a shifting market, right? There are many agents who don’t know how to deliver bad news. Now, some who have worked on the buy side have gotten pretty good at it. Right? Where they’ve had multiple offer situations, and they’ve gotten pretty skilled at that. But others that have worked on the listing side, it’s been a lot of good news, right? Yeah. Teach us some principles around that, right? Because if you can do it in front of an A list celebrity, right, who’s been pretty used to having people tell them? Yes, right. They’ve kind of paid the price to get to that point to where a lot of people around him are, are saying yes, that’s

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 7:51
right. In fact, that’s probably one of the bigger differences is with that a list celebrity they have not only used to be hearing, yes, but they have a whole often team of people around them pay to say Yes, right. So that’s a big thing that you have to set expectations early on. That’s important. And you have to not be afraid to deliver the news. And partially, that’s what you’re getting paid for. Right? If this was an easy job, that was all good news, we would not get paid very much money at all. So I like to set expectations early, right, like, so for example, if I’m going to list a house that I think is overpriced, I will first I will always open with do you want to list the house? Or do you want to sell the house? Right? Do you want to list it? Or do you want to sell it listing is great for you, but expensive for me, and doesn’t help anyone in the end of the day waste everyone’s time. So that’s number one, I want to set their mind in a good spot. Right, right from the get go, you know, remember the goal, right? And then we talk about why they want to sell their house. So they remember their motivation. And then what I’ll do is, I’ll set I’ll set timetables like, well, if this house doesn’t sell in two weeks, you know, we’ve tried your price, we’ve we’re going to do everything possible to get that number. But if in two weeks, you know, we don’t get there, then I want you to pre agree and maybe even pre sign here that we’re going to correct the price, right? And that has to be done very gently, because obviously people will jump to well, you’re not going to try for the next two weeks or you don’t think this is going to work. So you’re setting us up for failure. But know what you have to frame it as it were setting us up for success because we want to make sure that we don’t miss any important timetables. That makes sense, Justin?

Justin Stoddart 9:35
Yeah, I do. It does. I love that setting expectations up front. And I think many agents haven’t had the practice of saying on day one, if we don’t get any offers or no activity by this point. Let’s go ahead and put this in our calendar. Now. It’s a powerful practice, right? You set an expectation is that look, I’m not here to decide what news you get to hear. I’m here to interpret it and I’m here to tell you what the market is telling us and I liquidity if it sells between now and then fantastic, then we know that we got it right or that we weren’t reading the market for that point. If not, we’re going to come back. And we’re going to reinterpret what the markets telling us now, if agents don’t have that practice in play, I think it’s a powerful one, that we all have to take a look at

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 10:15
it, especially, especially now that the market shifting, because it’s the same as if when you start an escrow with somebody, right, they’re happy, they’re excited, everything’s good. Everything’s, you know, candy and Jubilee. And that’s when you want to give them all the bad news also about the house, right? If there’s, oh, well, there’s something on title or oh, well, there’s this little snake problem in the back, right, we have some some major mongoose issues in the back end of the property there. But don’t worry, you know, we’ll take care of it. But if you do it at the beginning, everybody’s still happy and pretty much accepts it and is still excited. But if you bring it in, at the end, everyone’s unhappy, they feel like you were trying to sneak something by nobody’s excited anymore. And it could kill the deal, literally, that, you know, if your timing of the same news can kill or make a deal, so you know, setting the expectations early is important, because then it’s not like they’re, you know, that somebody feels like you’re trying to pull a fast one on him, right. So that’s, that’s always setting expectations of anything upfront, with celebrities with anybody now, especially in the shifting market, where we are, as you know, listing agents at we’re used to giving great news and saying, Hey, we have 10 offers right in the first five hours, and they’re willing to give you piles of gold for the house. Now, it’s like, well, you know, we have to be realistic and get back to we don’t make the market, the market decides the price. You know, logic takes back in. I think also we’re gonna see a lot of agents who get get fed a little dose of humility there, because I watched some new agents come into the market, and they sold houses within two, three days. And you know, they suddenly thought like, it was all then partially Yeah, you do have to be a good agent to execute deals. But if you come in, and one of the hottest markets in history, and you’re selling houses, you have to understand the context, right? So you know, but one of the other keys, setting expectations and also knowing that your expectations, knowing what you’re talking about, right? Because you have to really study that market a lot harder and know it, especially in the celebrity or high end realm where there’s less calm towards more custom properties, where you know, you might have 100 acres in Malibu with creeks and valleys. And who knows what that there’s not five other properties like that in the neighborhood, or even in the zip code, right? So you have to understand value and understand how to see value. Even if there isn’t a clear comp, they’re waiting for you.

Justin Stoddart 12:44
What, how important is it to have a like the right modality of communication, right? There’s times you can text or sending an email times, let’s get face to face times you can do a zoom, what do you decide as far as okay, how, like, I’ve got some news here that they may or may not want to hear, right? You decide how you’re going to deliver that to them? Is it case by case? Or do you have some kind of processes in place where we have time set up at my office to come meet to discuss where we’re at? Or what does that look like from a process standpoint?

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 13:13
Absolutely. So bad news is the most important thing to be gentle, how you deliver it. So not gentle, but clear. And consistent. So I always like to deliver bad news, either face to face or on the phone very often I’ll do a video chat with somebody. So they can, you know, we kind of build more of that that connection, because I know it’s going to be bad news, and we’re going to want to discuss it. And, you know, you don’t want someone to feel like they could just hang up or run away. Which when you’re looking at them face to face and explaining it I think they understand a little bit better overall. But usually, it’s always, you know, direct I never text or email bad news, unless the only way I connect with somebody is through email, which is very, very rare. So bad news is usually face to face or over the phone or digitally.

Justin Stoddart 14:09
I love it. What I’m think it’s good advice, right, that we need to pre decide in advance. Okay, and probably personality wise to some degree, I would imagine, right? Some people are, are really require a different a different feel a different level of care. You know, you talk a lot about kind of not just celebrity real estate trends, but also kind of the How to Avoid sleeper costs. Tell me about that a little bit and what might an agent be able to take away from our conversation today about sleeper costs?

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 14:38
Absolutely. Well, you know, one of the biggest things that your clients will later be angry at you about is a sleeper cost which is a cost that they have to pay for their home, for example, heating, cooling maintenance. Millennials have the biggest group of buyers that absolutely had no idea of about these costs about maintenance, right? And it’s the biggest complaint that millennials have after buying a house is, we had no idea how expensive owning this house was going to be. I had a client who calls me up and goes, I need to sell my house. And I said, Okay, what why your house is gorgeous. You love it, because yeah, I love it. But for the amount of money that I spend heating my home, I could travel Europe for the whole summer. So she sold the house and traveled Europe seemed like a good choice to me. But, you know, I had another guy where he bought a brand new, not brand new house, but a gorgeous, gorgeous house. It was first house millennial guy. And, you know, it has a sprinkler system. And he decides, you know, he complains about every cost of that house. And I said, Okay, you know, and I reminded him, when he bought the house, hey, you need to maintenance this system, it’s very important, because it’s a high pressure water system that is there to protect your house from a fire. So a few months, maybe within a year, I get a call, Hey, I am traveling in Spain. And apparently there’s water flushing out of the front door of my house. And evidently what happened is, I sent my plumber over there he goes, Yeah, the sprinkler system hadn’t been maintenance had never been maintenance at all. And first, and had literally flooded a house they had read done six months before, with about five inches of water across the entire first floor of the house. So you know, and I understand he didn’t have and I asked him, Why didn’t Why didn’t you know, you’re the maintenance, he goes, Well, I didn’t have the money as he’s sitting in Spain, on his two month vacation in Spain. So it’s setting the expectations. And even in that situation, setting the proper expectation for homebuyers to know the actual costs of owning the home, pass the mortgage, interest and taxes, all that that’s the biggest thing that your clients will come back and complain about. So if you set them up to prepare for that, they might not buy as expensive home upfront, but that’s a client for life.

Justin Stoddart 17:13
Yeah. And I think anybody that wants to build a sustainable business, not just click the paycheck, right and actually have a good life, there’s nothing worse than having a client that’s upset with you, that feels like they missed, like you misled them, whether you were attempting to or not, right, that just the fact that that’s the way it felt, in their mind, just avoid so much somewhat stress. I’d love to hear from you. You know, tell me like some celebrity secrets like this, like celebrity real estate secrets, anything else that like would be really interesting for the audience to hear from you. Well, you

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 17:42
know, showing homes is a little bit different. For a lot of celebrities, I have one celebrity specifically who, every time we’d show up at a house, the agent, the other agent, who, you know, is experienced in celebrity real estate, you think pulls me aside and goes, Hey, can I can I take a picture with him? You know, can I take a picture with them? Can I take a picture with her? And it’s like, no. Here’s looking at houses not to get paparazzi in the house? Like what do you what are you talking about? And these guys, it was funny because they would wear the masks outside of the house. Because for privacy reasons they didn’t want people to know they were going into houses. So what we ended up doing with them is we would just send, we set up appointments for houses they liked. And we’d send they send their team, right. And so nobody would really understand who who the house was for right away. But what we would do is then as we’re going through the house, if we thought it would work, we get the buyer actually on video chat and just walk through the house like video chat, you know, and finding out they like the house. And then if they like it, we would actually have them come in, but they were getting harassed so much. Even just looking at houses. It’s exhausting. I mean, so we had to think of some other strategies to allow them to see how homes are built with maintain their privacy as well.

Justin Stoddart 19:04
And the things that we take for granted, right of not not having those kinds of problems. Yeah.

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 19:11
Well, you know, that’s why a lot of these homes, they have really amazing things. You know, I’ve seen homes with bowling alleys, I had, there’s a home nearby here with a 3000 foot pool with an island in the middle. You know, Wade’s all kinds of things, but a lot of it is just, you know, you get to a point and you can’t walk down the street. Yeah. And you need it in your home because you want to enjoy it and you want to have your family, you know, enjoy these things. But you can’t necessarily go out to the local bowling alley.

Justin Stoddart 19:44
Yeah, that’s hard, different a different level of success.

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 19:48
Well, also you have things like you know, the whole city of Hidden Hills over here, which is for security reasons, security has become a big, much bigger concern recently. Over the last day To say at least five, six years, and you have whole cities that are guard gated, where there’s armed guards at every entrance and exit of the city, right? So that’s something else that’s pretty unique. You know, you don’t see that, historically, or the side of the house Britney Spears just bought up in the Oaks. There’s, it’s the Oaks estates, there’s a armed guard at the front gate. And then there’s a second gate to separate the estate homes, which are all the custom higher end homes from the regular, you know, three to $4 million homes,

Justin Stoddart 20:31
crazy, different world, different world. I’m going to ask you one more question. Actually, two more questions. The last second, the last one. What is the 50%? Society mean? You’ve got me curious.

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 20:42
Oh, 50% society? Yeah. So states like California, are a 50% society meaning more than 50% of the homes, the private homes in this state are rented. So it’s becoming much more of a rental society than ownership society, little by little, which is not ideal. It’s not great for cities. It’s not great for stability. It also, I mean, from a wealth perspective, it really points out the importance of owning your property, owning your home. And, you know, one in six properties across the country right now are being bought by institutional investors. And those are mainly to be put in portfolios, and set up as rentals. So rents are going to keep going up. So then you’re in a, in a state where more than half the homes are already rentals. And you’re going to play now that that cost is going to go way up way, way up. And it’s going to it’s going to change. I mean, it changes homes as an asset class completely. But it also, you know, is going to be a bigger wealth gap, which is a problem, you know, in the bigger picture. I mean, if you look in Florida, I think Goldman Sachs just bought a whole town.

Justin Stoddart 21:52
I heard that. Yeah. For anybody that’s curious and following Nathaniel learning more about him there’s a couple places that I want to direct people to go if you go to Instagram it’s at get souls groups you his you see his name here up on the screen at GE T ZL. S, AP guesses group on Instagram. If you have questions about real estate, Los Angeles, I’m gonna throw out a phone number here that you can contact his his firm 818-535-5337. We’ll also put that in the show notes. But again, he’s a great guy to go to to talk about not only real estate, real estate trends in these areas of southern California final question that everybody that crosses the Think bigger real estate stage, and Daniel answers this question, excited to hear from you. What is it that Nathaniel does to continue to be a big thinker to continue to expand your possibilities? What does it look like for you?

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 22:41
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I’m a couple of things. The first is, I am constantly buying new properties in different places, like we just bought one. But to me, Georgia, that’s going to be a STR short term rental. And I’m also recently put on the board of a company called House lit, which is kind of like Zillow and Airbnb had a baby, a really pretty baby. And it makes renting properties super easy, a few, just a few simple clicks, and specializes in 30 to 90 day furnished rentals, which is a there’s a big gap in the that space, you can go longer, but it’s a really exciting company. So I’m always looking at where the next phase of real estate’s going. And I try to get there first. Right, I have a private show that I do for a group of executives called first mover, and it’s because I want to always be a first mover in the space of real estate.

Justin Stoddart 23:44
And I love it. So good. first movers. That’s a great, great name for a mastermind get to be associated with this guy, Greg gotta follow the guy who’s in those kinds of circles. So Nathaniel, good thank you so much for taking your time and expertise and pouring into the Think bigger real estate show audience are grateful for you. And to all those listening here today. My final request is this. There are three simple words you know what they are? They are go think bigger Nathaniel thanks for helping us do that today, my friend.

Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels 24:08
My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Justin Stoddart 24:11
If you enjoy this episode that I have a very special invitation for you. I have created a private Facebook community called successful real estate agents, where the focus is going beyond success having both a successful business and a significant life. If you’re not yet a member. Go sign up now.