BIL­LION-DOL­LAR BROTHERS

MEN­TION THE NAMES Josh and Matt Alt­man, and a room full of real es­tate agents is sure to tune in ea­gerly. The Bev­erly Hills and Los An­ge­les lux­ury real es­tate agents are the stars of re­al­ity tele­vi­sion show Mil­lion Dol­lar List­ing Los An­ge­les. With the br

Elite Agent - - CONTENTS - Josh and Matt Alt­man

IN 2006, MIL­LION DOL­LAR LIST­ING Los An­ge­les opened the world’s eyes to over-the-top, lux­ury real es­tate, the likes of which we’d never seen be­fore. Owned by the ex­ceed­ingly wealthy one per cent of the pop­u­la­tion, as well as the rich and fa­mous, these were the prop­er­ties of dreams. Bet­ter yet, the re­al­ity TV show in­tro­duced us to the next level of real es­tate agents sell­ing the prop­er­ties. Think suave, pow­er­suited agents drip­ping in Prada and driv­ing the streets of Hol­ly­wood in the lat­est Rolls Royce; agents el­bow-deep in han­dling trans­ac­tions where just one com­mis­sion equalled a full year’s salary for the typ­i­cal Aus­tralian real es­tate agent.

Mil­lion Dol­lar List­ing also showed us a world where glitz and glam­our col­lided with guts and glory, and we couldn’t get enough.

THEIR VISIT DOWN UN­DER

Year af­ter year we have sat glued to our screens watch­ing the Alt­man Brothers, Josh and Matt, thrive in the high-stakes drama of high-end real es­tate sales, and now we will get to see them in per­son when they hit the stage in Syd­ney, Mel­bourne and Bris­bane later this year.

The March tour, aptly named A Mil­lion Dol­lar Evening with the Alt­man Brothers, is a Q and A-style event, and an op­por­tu­nity for us mere mor­tals to find out about the el­bow grease be­hind all that pol­ish.

It’s been two years since the brothers last vis­ited our sandy shores and since then they’ve achieved $850 mil­lion worth

Think suave, pow­er­suited agents drip­ping in Prada and driv­ing the streets of Hol­ly­wood in the lat­est Rolls Royce.

of sales, in­clud­ing Kim Kar­dashian and Kanye West’s Bel Air man­sion in what Josh de­scribes as “dou­ble-end­ing a $17.8 mil­lion deal”.

Josh says the de­ci­sion to head back Down Un­der was an easy one to make. “A lot of peo­ple know that Aus­tralia is one of our favourite places in the world, so it wasn’t tough to get us back out there again,” he says.

“We re­ally just want to be ac­ces­si­ble to all the peo­ple that come to the shows and hear their ques­tions and ad­dress ex­actly what they want to hear.”

BABY MAKES THREE

There will be plenty of sub­ject mat­ter to use as ques­tion fod­der, given Josh and his wife Heather be­came first-time par­ents when their daugh­ter Alexis Kerry Alt­man was born in April.

While other cast mem­bers on the show keep their per­sonal lives rather low key, the Alt­man fam­ily, much to our so­cial me­di­astalk­ing de­light, quite lit­er­ally opened up the ma­ter­nity wing doors, so we didn’t miss a thing dur­ing Sea­son 10.

“It’s to­tally dif­fer­ent this sea­son,” Josh says. “You’re go­ing to get to see the birth of my child, which of course to me is the most ex­cit­ing. We re­ally gave the cam­eras a free pass for ev­ery­thing this year, and we even let them in the de­liv­ery room.”

Matt’s in­volve­ment is more be­hind the scenes, which is jus­ti­fi­able when you han­dle more than 200 trans­ac­tions a year. He re­ally does keep the wheels in mo­tion.

The show con­tin­ues to break the bound­aries of the tra­di­tional real es­tate pro­gram, but strikes the right bal­ance be­tween al­low­ing us into the lives of the cast and show­ing off in­cred­i­ble homes and real es­tate trans­ac­tions.

WORK-LIFE BAL­ANCE

De­spite all the glitz and glam­our, Josh’s most re­cent hur­dle is one all par­ents face: find­ing the bal­ance be­tween busi­ness and par­ent­hood.

“Fam­ily is more im­por­tant now than ever be­cause of the new baby. I think for me it’s more about work­ing smarter, not harder. My favourite thing to do now is be home by 5.30pm and give my lit­tle baby a bath, kiss her good­night, put her to bed and go back to the of­fice at 7pm.”

Josh says he’s now more aware of his time and prefers to pick and choose his listings, in­clud­ing tak­ing on “re­al­is­tic buy­ers and sell­ers” as op­posed to those he terms “time suck­ers”.

It’s some­thing he wouldn’t have done when he was start­ing out and a tac­tic he would ad­vise new agents to avoid in their quest for new busi­ness.

“If it’s some­thing that’s over­priced now, back in the day I prob­a­bly would’ve taken it. I won’t do that any­more. I’m very up­front, very to the point with my sell­ers and very re­al­is­tic. If they’re not, then that’s okay, it just wasn’t meant to be, us work­ing to­gether. Maybe I’ll hear from them six months down the line, which is typ­i­cally what hap­pens when they go with some­one else, who tells them a higher price. Then they call me six months later be­cause it hasn’t sold.”

MA­TURE MINDS

Josh has come a long way since the early sea­sons of Mil­lion Dol­lar List­ing LA. Back then bick­er­ing fu­elled the show and it was not un­com­mon for a sneaky shot to be fired when com­pet­ing for busi­ness.

How­ever, over the past few years, Josh says many of the cast mem­bers have ma­tured.

“A lot of the guys got mar­ried on the show, the other one is get­ting mar­ried and I had a kid. We’re all grow­ing up and we’ve all had a huge amount of suc­cess in real es­tate and I think that we’ve all got­ten to the point where we don’t take things so per­son­ally any­more just be­cause of the suc­cess that we’ve had.

“We’ve sold over $2.5 bil­lion worth of real es­tate in our ca­reer, which is more than most com­pa­nies sell. If some­one wants to talk badly I’ve kind of just brushed it off. I don’t know if that’s now be­cause I have a daugh­ter or be­cause of the suc­cess and the num­ber of sales that we had, but we just kind of laugh it off.”

Life at the top doesn’t mean the brothers have lost their sense of re­al­ity; they re­alise there’s al­ways go­ing to be some­one ready and will­ing to take them down.

NO GLORY WITHOUT GUTS

“When you’re at the top there’s al­ways go­ing to be haters, al­ways,” Josh says. “As long as you’re con­fi­dent, con­fi­dent in you

“Fam­ily is more im­por­tant now than ever be­cause of the new baby. I think for me it’s more about work­ing smarter, not harder.”

and your life and you’re happy, that’s all that mat­ters.”

Josh says with count­less real es­tate tele­vi­sion shows gain­ing mas­sive rat­ings around the world, a ca­reer sell­ing prop­erty looks glam­orous to would-be agents. But he ex­plains that be­hind the cam­eras and fancy cars are ex­perts in their field who do know what they’re do­ing.

“The younger gen­er­a­tion are watch­ing shows like Mil­lion Dol­lar List­ing, they see the com­mis­sion flash across the screen, they see the fancy cars we drive and the man­sions we show and of course that’s go­ing to pique the younger gen­er­a­tion’s in­ter­est,” he says.

“Be­cause of that it’s got­ten su­per, su­per com­pet­i­tive be­cause there are a lot of real es­tate agents. It’s very sim­ple, you’ve got to be an ex­pert in what you do. You can only fake it so much and if you are look­ing to be in that high-end mar­ket, peo­ple ex­pect the best out of you. Wealthy peo­ple ex­pect you not to waste their time and to know ex­actly what you’re do­ing. It’s pretty easy to see if some­body doesn’t.”

De­spite all of the com­pet­i­tive­ness shown on screen, Josh says it’s not all one big dog­fight. In fact, archri­vals of­ten join forces for the greater good.

“There are re­ally only eight of us in the Los An­ge­les mar­ket that sell 90 per cent of it [ high-end real es­tate] and if it’s our com­pe­ti­tion some­times we’ll look at them and say, ‘Hey, do you want to sell this to­gether? We’ll do this one to­gether and then that way we all win’.”

FAM­ILY FIRST

It isn’t just the dy­nam­ics with com­peti­tors that team Alt­man have to worry about, es­pe­cially when Josh, Matt and Heather are all high fly­ers. Run­ning a fam­ily busi­ness presents its own set of rules, and Josh says bound­aries are ex­ceed­ingly im­por­tant.

“With Heather, it’s pretty con­ve­nient be­cause she’s one of the big­gest closers in our of­fice. In fact, she is, be­hind Matt and I. It’s more of Heather and I fig­ur­ing it out to­gether be­cause we both love clos­ing deals.

“It’s about mak­ing bound­aries for our­selves, which we haven’t done be­fore. It’s get­ting off the phone when we get home and spend­ing some qual­ity time with our daugh­ter and then turn­ing the phone back on. It’s still dif­fi­cult.”

Still, Josh doesn’t deny he is a worka­holic. “We sold al­most half a bil­lion dol­lars worth of res­i­den­tial real es­tate in 2017; it was our best year ever. In fact, in the past ninety days we sold $200 mil­lion, just in three months. We’ve also el­e­vated our game a lot.”

How much fur­ther can the Alt­man brothers go in 2018? Sadly, there are no plans to open an Alt­man Brothers Bondi of­fice.

But with a best­selling book, It’s Your Move, seven sea­sons of MDLLA and with sales fig­ures in the bil­lions, I have no doubt the new breed of agents, just like me, will con­tinue to be en­tirely en­ter­tained and in­spired. •

Nikki Horner is a sales con­sul­tant with Lu­ton Prop­er­ties, Can­berra’s largest pri­vately owned real es­tate agency. She’s also a mas­sive fan of the Alt­man Brothers. For more in­for­ma­tion on A Mil­lion Dol­lar Evening with the Alt­man Brothers, in­clud­ing ticket prices and venues, visit mil­lion­dol­larevening.com.au.

“When you’re at the top there’s al­ways go­ing to be haters, al­ways.”

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