Realtor profile: J.C. Linson
This interviewseries focuses on the people in Santa Fe’s real-estate industry. J.C. Linson is an associate broker at Barker Realty/Christie’s International Real Estate.
What are you working on right now? Amonth ago, seeing that there was a lack of inventory, I started to setmywork on getting more listings. This week I put in four listings. I’m reaching out to sellers or people I know who might want to sell, who I’ve discussed things with before. Peoplewho have been on the fence for a while? That or For-Sale-By-Owners I contact through Craigslist. And you try to convince them to use a Realtor? Yes. I’ve converted quite a few. It’s cold-calling, basically. It’s realwork, for sure. I also look for For Sale by Owner open houses, pick up flyers, andmake calls. I’ve got a few more listings coming up in the next week or so that I’ve been cultivating.
You’ve seen the high and low market times in the last 10 years. Are you dealing with some people who were asking too much or took their houses off the market when it was really slow and now they’re thinking this is the time?
Somewhat. There’s a listing I’mputting in today that was originally over a million dollars and it’s gotten down to $848,000. Sellers are more realistic now; it’s the buyers you have to groom. Buyers are killing sellers right now. It’s been a buyer’s market for some time. But inventory is down and some of it is sort of stale. That’s right. They’ve been sitting for a year or two, but if you get a new listing on the market, it’s gone in a couple of weeks.
Not a lot of new homes are being built, andmore buyers are wanting some more contemporary design, right?
Potentially. Regardless, there’s less inventory and more buyers right now. Consumer confidence seems to be up and people’s tastes are changing. What was new and fresh in 2007 is not considered that anymore. Southwest contemporary is really hip right now, as long as you have some of the Santa Fe Style elements— beams and nice plaster, but some hard edges, more glass, more natural light. Are you working solo? I am, but I’mtrying to put together a little team of brokers right now. I used to have a partner, Bob Chernock, who passed away. We were at Sotheby’s together and he was a mentor tome. He always told me that one person can barely do the work of one, but two can do the work of three people. He taughtme a lot. I’ve been doing this for 14 years nowand I seemyself growing more now than ever. I was telling you I’m working on listings, but I have a lot of buyers right nowlooking as well that I get through internet leads and social media. How does that work? They come to me directly through our website here at Barker, santaferealestate.com, and I market to Facebook, not overwhelmingly but enough to keep people interested. I put my new listings on there every couple of days. I’ve been very lucky. I have a lot of support from my Facebook friends. I feelmyself settling into my niche. I do a lot of deals annually and the majority are under $500,000. I feel very fortunate that after all these years I’ve built up a network of clients and referral sources.
Besides people moving here fromoutside, do you see a lot of lateralmovement within Santa Fe?
Lifestyle changes. You have young couples getting their starter home, then they need a bigger home. And older couples wanting to downsize. And, sadly, the economic situation has caused a lot of shifting in the market. When I work with clients who are upside-down on their properties, I explain to them that it’s like a bad stock: you don’t beat yourself up over it; you sell it and move on.
I began in real estate when I was about 25 and I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly and I’ve grown a lot of compassion. It’s taught me more about people than I would have ever thought. You wear a lot of hats, and I enjoy it. You were a boxer? I was, and so I know a lot of people fromwhen I was a fighter, and I have a lot of relatives as well around the country, so they can see my kids and keep up with me. My grandmother is in the San Diego area and we chat all the time on Facebook and my parents recently got on Facebook, too. Are they in Santa Fe? They are. They have Linson’s Fabric and Upholstery on Cerrillos Road.
It seems like the branding has changed recently. [The business name is Linson’s Design Source.]
Yes, and they’re doing a lot of window treatments now. They’re big-time into Hunter Douglas. You’re a Santa Fe native? I grew up here and I boxed, amateur and professional, out of Santa Fe. I was in junior high when I started boxing. My dad was my trainer. I was pretty successful in the amateurs; I had close to 200 fights. Then I turned professional when I was 19 and I had 28 fights all over the country. I enjoyed boxing but I lost my drive and I had a lot of other interests, including school. You were a deputy sheriff. Was that after boxing? No, that was when I was fighting. From 21 to 23, I was a Santa Fe County deputy sheriff, then I won a NorthAmerican title and I resigned from law enforcement. I still have friends that are officers. When were you married? I’ve beenmarried twice, but I’ve beenmarried to Inessa since 2012. She’s from Pojoaque. Her dad’s the building inspector up in LosAlamos and hermomwas an art teacher at Pojoaque High School. I have two kids from my previous marriage and two with Inessa: Liana is 10, Isaac is 8, Joaquin is 3, and Rocco is 4 months. Who did you start with in real estate? TomKeesing, Santa Fe Agency, then I waswith a couple other companies. I was with Sotheby’s until I came over to Barker just over four years ago. I really appreciate the type of business they run here, the progressive and aggressive marketing that is being done. There’s a team of people now that’s overseeing the administration and they’re working hard to help us all growand do better business.
My work ethic is strong. I’m here at 8 a.m. every morning. My wife and I own Boomerang Baby. It’s nice because Inessa has the ability to have the kids at work with her. It’s an exchange store. It’s a great little place that does a lot of good for our community. What do you like doing in your spare time? We enjoy going tomovies and having dinner with family. We like to sit back and watch CNN and talk. We’re homebodies and we try to appreciate every quiet moment we can get. We also have three dogs and a cat. We have our hands full, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.