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Every Agent Has a Story: Matt Altman

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This story comes from Matt Altman of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, who shares the key lessons he learned during a broker open home.

  • Don’t judge a book by its cover; treat all your prospects and clients with respect.
  • Always spend reasonable time finding out the exact needs and wants of your customers.

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 Transcript

How you doing? Matt Altman from Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles. I was asked to tell a story about judging a book by its cover.

So about six months ago I was at one of our broker opens and I ended up standing in the front and somebody came up and drove up in a broken down old car.

And as he came in, other agents saw it and said, “Don’t waste your time, that guy’s fake, there’s no point.” Typically you would probably think that. The house was a 30 million dollar house and if a guy comes in and he’s wearing bad sneakers and his car is broken down, he probably can’t afford it.

I always treat everybody with respect and I treat everybody exactly the same. So when the guy came in I spent time with him. I spent about 30 minutes just showing him the house, talking about the properties in the area, answering any questions that he had. I shook hands with him and he took off and that was it.

About six months later I get a call (which happens to be two days ago in real life) and the guy goes, “I’m interested in looking at a house. You gave me the time that nobody else did two weeks back, and I was wondering if you’d show me around.”

I said, “What are you looking for? What price range?” He said, “Listen, I’m worth a lot of money but I’m tired of people taking advantage of me so I purposely drive a bad car. And I do it so people don’t think that I’m wealthy.” And he said, “I’d like to take three houses.”

So we went out, this was about two weeks ago now, and we saw the first house. He walked through it, it was too small. Went to the second house, walked through it, it wasn’t far enough toward the beach. We walked into the third house and he bought it on the spot.

The point of the story is you don’t judge a book by its cover, you treat everybody with respect. Because you never know whether someone is a tech billionaire or an athlete that … You don’t know the possibilities. So treat everybody with respect.

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