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Bob Hurwitz On Unbelievable Yet True Stories About Real Estate

Many people don’t know that real estate is so much more than properties, paperwork, and financial transactions. It is the funny and crazy true stories that make it way colorful. Joining Valerie Fitzgerald is Bob Hurwitz of the Hurwitz James Company. Together, they talk about the most memorable deals they have made throughout the years in the real estate industry. They tell a number of mesmerizing stories, from meeting the most interesting people to finding freakish things in someone’s home. Bob also talks about why many people still view properties they cannot afford and why gut feeling is sometimes the most trusted friend during client screenings.

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Bob Hurwitz On Unbelievable Yet True Stories About Real Estate

Bob, this whole idea that it’s called Real Estate, Real Laughs is because, as we know, there are a lot of funny trippy things in real estate. We thought if we talked about them that people who will turn into this show have a few laughs and see that there’s another side to real estate than talking about leads.

People will sometimes bug me to go on and on about stuff. I’m telling you about this one woman that faked her own murder to get out of a deal. There are 1 million different things like that. You know what I think would be funny, and I’m sure you deal with this all the time like I do, is all these people that are so bogus that want to buy these high-end properties. It’s crazy.

We had one guy who said he won the lottery that’s $70 million in Canada, but there was enough thread of the truth that you listened to it. When we asked for proof of funds, he had a real love letter from this accountant on a real letterhead and stuff. We called there. It was a weekend. The guy wasn’t there on the weekend, so we let that one slide. He’s down here looking at $40 million, $50 million houses. Don’t you sometimes think that some of the worst-looking people that you would think are homeless?

They’re real. It’s weird. The people that looked real are fake a lot of times. I get it. We have to give them enough rope because some of these people are eccentric. They’ve got plenty of coins.

You never know. You have to investigate a detective in this business. It’s psychology. I got to hear through things. You’re trying to hear direct. You take it all in with a look. It’s quite the experience. Tell me about the woman who faked her own murder to get out of a deal. That’s a good one.

That was pretty interesting. That was quite a few years ago. This woman wanted to see a property I had listed, which was a unique property. It had a train running around the house. It had water elements. The guy that owned it has an eidetic memory. He could remember what was on a page that he read a month ago. This woman wanted to see it. I showed it to her and her fiance. During the day, they loved it. She said she inherited $11 million. They love the house. They saw the view. They came back at night, wrote an offer and got it accepted. We have the inspection. The inspectors were there all day because it’s a big property. She doesn’t pay him properly like she should. We needed to deposit in. The weird thing is I met her to get escrow instructions signed. She and her fiance had ordered a bunch of food. I showed there to pick up, get everything signed. I’ve never seen this before where the guy gives his credit card and they cut it in two pieces.

This was years ago. The waiter was like, “I’ve been instructed to.” I paid for their meal, even though I just had water. Here’s the murder part. This is crazy. What happens is the guy kept bugging to be on title. She was buying it by herself. She was pretty young. She calls me that night and she’s whispering. I’m not going to say the guy’s name but she said, “He keeps bugging me to be on title. It’s my money. I inherited it from my family. I would not do that.” I said, “You got to get an attorney. I don’t want to get involved in your personal thing.” That’s weird where the guy was wanting to be on title when he’s not putting in dime one. She goes, “I’m going to do that.”

The next day, I get a call from somebody else. This girl was crying and she goes, “When was the last time you saw,” I’m not going to say her name. I said, “I talked to her last night.” She goes, “She’s been murdered.” I swear. I’m going to say his name is Scott. She says, “Scott did it.” I was in shock because I felt super guilty. I told her not to put him on the title. I’m like, “I’m the cause of her being killed.” She was weeping on the phone. She goes, “She was stabbed to death.” I go, “Give me the detective’s contact information.” She gave me this detective’s name. I called up and I couldn’t reach the guy. I got somebody else. I said, “Has there been someone murdered that fits this description?” The police person do some check and they go, “Nobody fit that description,” which is weird because in LA, it was probably eight trillion murders a night, but nobody fit her description.

Properties may sometimes be boring, but the people are what makes real estate truly interesting.

The reality is I never ever got ahold of her again. This was her sister or anybody else. I followed up for a few days. I realized something is sketchy here. Meanwhile, we were in escrow. The guy was a super cool, smart guy. I didn’t want to tell him that this person disappeared. I got Matt LeBlanc from Friends to buy the house. Three days later, we canceled the deal. The funny part is a month later, I got a call from this guy Scott. He goes, “Bob, we can’t work the code on the gate.” I go, “What are you talking about?” He goes, “We can’t open the code in the gate.” I used her name. I said, “She didn’t buy the house. She’s dead and you murdered her.” The guy goes, “What are you talking about? She’s in the car right next to me.” I heard this laughter. She had lied to him. We figured out she was trying to get him to marry her by thinking that she inherited $11 million. What are the odds? I wrote a story about it. It was the craziest. You and I both had a lot of crazy stuff. She faked her sister’s voice and said she was murdered. I went through this horrific image of I was the cause of it. She was trying to lure the guy in.

I’ve had many as you have too. One that particularly stands out in my mind is I had this conservative lawyer of a partner at a big firm in Beverly Hills. He said, “Val, I’ve got this new girl coming in from Oregon.” I said, “How did you meet her?” He says, “Online,” and this was the beginning of online. It wasn’t something you talked about. He said, “She’s cool. I’ve got to impress her. I’ve got to buy a house. We’ve got to show her some houses.” I set up some houses and he was all excited. He’s all suited up. He’s always wearing a suit, very conservative guy. We go up to the top of Mulholland and we go into this one house.

As he walked in, the door opens. In the dining room, there is this very tall Amazon lady. She must be 7 feet tall with huge platform shoes. She’s wearing a little G-string with tassels on her nipples. She’s got a whip in her hand. This other dude is on all fours with his butt in the air with this tassel-y thing around his butt crack type of thing. They have a video camera and they’re shooting something. She tried to herd him around in the next direction away. The girl was super conservative and was so shy. He looks back at me, horrified as we’re walking in another direction. I go, “What happened here?”

These are stuff people have no idea. To me, it’s one of the most bizarre things. I once walked in to do a showing on a house upon Shady Brook. There was a girl nude on the StairMaster, which was pretty funny. It was not the owner. I’ll tell you one of the craziest things. I’m sure you’ve had this experience too, Valerie, or somewhat like it. I had this one in Malibu. I got a call. It was on a weekend. I want to play volleyball on the beach in front of my house. The person wanted to see it. They’re desperate to see this house, so I drive up there. He says, “I’m a pro baseball player.” I showed him and his wife the property, and they love it. The owner is a cool, super funny guy. He used to be on Second City review. They go, “This house is perfect. We want to buy this. Can I show my brother-in-law and his wife tonight?” I go, “Sure.” They come back at night. They all showed up. They loved the house. The sellers were friends of mine too. I’m telling them, “This is a done deal. The guy loves the house. He’s a pro baseball player.”

We’re going through the house. He goes, “This is perfect.” I go, “Let’s write it up.” He goes, “What do you mean?” I go, “Let’s write it up.” He goes, “I don’t have any money.” I go, “You were a pro baseball player,” which he was. He goes, “Yes, but we didn’t make any money when I was playing.” I go, “Why are we here?” Here’s the thing. He goes, “My wife’s mother has these numbers that are for sure going to win the lotto. I swear to you.” They’re all looking. I thought he was kidding. He goes, “They’re sure winners.” I go, “I’ve got to get out of here. I’ve got to go home.” It was funny because they bailed out. They didn’t win the lotto. I had drinks with the owners. The guy was funny. He’s a comic. He’s been on TV and stuff. I go, “Can you believe this? How do people waste our time? They think they’re going to win the lotto.”

Have you ever had a client say, “If you do this, I’ll give you the listing?” I’m a woman. Maybe that happens often to a woman.

It’s probably more for you.

I had one very famous rock and roll guy. He goes, “Have you ever seen our concerts?” I said, “Not really.” He said, “We’re going to be playing next weekend up in Sacramento. I want you to fly out. I want you to see the concert. We’ll fly back and then we’ll talk about listing my house.” I said, “What do I have to lose?” I did not care much for the music. It wasn’t music I want to listen to. I flew up to Sacramento. I had a little driver meet me. I’m wearing a suit and he’s wearing a little suit. We go into this rocker’s concert. Everybody’s wearing those bull hats where they have the cup sitting on the head with the straw going into your mouth. They were wearing t-shirts, those little take shirt type of things. The whole audience was like that. They were wearing those cow heads with the cans sitting in the hat. They had the mosh pit.

RERL 1 | True Stories

True Stories: Sometimes, you will meet people who look like they’re worth billions, but they’re really not worth anything. Others don’t look like anything at all, yet they got the real money.

 

Here I am standing with my little driver in his suit and my little suit at this raging concert. It means to say I listed the house for a minute. I got back then he took it off the market. I had one more where I had Mike Tyson. This was so long ago. He said, “You’ve got to come see the fight in Vegas, and I’ll send a plane.” I was flying back and forth to do a very big deal for him to get signatures in Vegas. He sent this beautiful jet for me. I took my girlfriend and we flew down there. You know what happened at that fight with Holyfield. All hell broke loose. The stampede, the whole thing. You’re running for your life. You get a cab to the airport to get back. I had a celebrity another time showing him a house. Two girls pop out of the shower naked, totally wet, giggling, kissing each other.

I’ve got to be partners with you. You’ve got some cool stuff.

Don’t we always have to adjust on our feet quickly?

It’s so funny you mentioned Tyson. I had this property on Sunset once listed. This guy calls me. This was in the ’90s. The guy goes, “I’m Anthony Pitts. I’m interested in this property you have in Unique Homes.” That was before there was even an internet. He goes, “I need a couple of my people to look at it.” I go over and these two guys looked like hardcore, like gang-banger dudes. They’ve got videos and stuff. I’m thinking, “I hope I make it out of here alive.” They videotape and they leave. I get a call on the next day from this other guy that says, “I need you to fly out because I want to write up an offer on that property on Sunset.”

He said his name was John Horn. I go, “First of all, we can do it by fax. I don’t need to fly out anywhere.” I thought it was bogus. I said, “I don’t even know who you are. We can write it up by fax.” He goes, “I am the eyes of Mike Tyson.” I swear. I’ll never forget this. I go, “Let me call you back.” I called him back and it goes to Don King Productions. I realized Tyson is fighting. This is so classic that you brought this up. This was way earlier than Holyfield. I go, “Forget the fax.” He’s fighting Razor Ruddock in Vegas. I go, “Get me ringside. I’ll come out and see the fight.”

I adapt on the fly subtly. Instead of the guy being bogus, I’m kissing his ass. He laughed. He goes, “Come on out.” I flew out there and I went ringside. It was hilarious. You’ve been to fights. You know what it’s like when they’re announcing. Here is the funniest. They were announcing people on the crowd and then suddenly Don Johnson from Miami Vice complained they weren’t announcing his name. They said, “Here’s Don Johnson, the singer.” He’d released a single or something. It was pretty hilarious. The point is I see the fight. It was a great fight. I come back. I’m buying shirts on the way back from The Mirage, my hotel. It was Razor Ruddock and Tyson. I get back to my hotel. They don’t have sleeves. They were selling this bogus stuff on the street, which I paid for.

The point is I get back to LA. Tyson shows up along with Don King and goes, “Bob, I love this.” He’s got that little voice of his, “I want to get this.” He couldn’t get the money. The guy made $100 million or something, and King wouldn’t let him get the money. It was crazy. Here’s the thing. You’re a pro. You’ve been doing this forever. You have to be a chameleon. You have to adjust. Things come in. As we both know, sometimes people look like they’re worth $1 billion and they’re not worth anything. Other people don’t look like anything and they’ve got the real money.

No matter how long you’ve been in real estate, you will find situations you haven’t seen before.

A lady called me on a house for $8 million. She’s telling me, “The pictures are gorgeous. I’m interested in it but what about the furniture?” I said, “The furniture you can buy from the stager. It’s staged. It’s not owned by the seller and all that.” She goes, “I want the furniture.” I said, “Buy the house.” She goes, “I just want the furniture.” You have to be on your feet all the time.

I was interviewed a couple of years ago about why people can’t afford to buy these properties that you and I list. It’s a threefold thing. I’m curious whether you have this same take on it. I represent a lot of properties that are overseas as well, so I’m dealing with a lot of overseas people. You should do it as well. It’s hard to check up on these people sometimes. What’s interesting is I’ve found that there are three reasons. I’ve experienced each of these a number of times and I’m sure you have as well. It’s either they’re delusional like the guy that thought he was going to buy when he wins the lotto or it’s a reverse rip-off scam.

I don’t know if you’ve had this before where you had verification of funds on one of your deals. I know we were talking about that. It looked legit and everything. I had someone that said he had power of attorney for the CEO of a major Japanese company. He’s clever. He’s one step removed from saying he was the CEO. He sent me the power of attorney and stuff. He wanted to buy this property I was selling in Montana, on its own little island. There was something sketchy about it, but he was smart because he didn’t offer full price.

A lot of these bogus people will offer full price, which is a red flag right there. They won’t try and negotiate at all. That was a great price. That was five other people interested in buying it. These people will call him overseas and some who’s been on the market for a year. “I’ll pay this.” What happened was interesting. I told the seller, “I don’t know this guy. I’m going to write the deal up, but I want us to counter if he doesn’t wire in his deposit.” It was a $7 million deal. He was going to deposit $5 million. I said, “If he doesn’t wire in his deposit within 24 hours, you have the right to unilaterally cancel.” The seller said, “He’ll be pissed.” I go, “If he’s for real, he won’t.” Sure enough, we signed the deal off. The buyer or the guy that had power of attorney said, “Bob, I need your banking information.” I go, “What do you mean my banking information? Here’s what you do. You wire the money into the escrow in Montana.” He goes, “No, because these are broker funds.” I go, “That doesn’t happen.” Sure enough, while I’m talking to him, I go online and I see the banking. There are a couple of misspellings on a legit banking site. What they did is they hacked. What he was doing was a very clever version of scams where I give him my banking information, and suddenly he’s milking my money.

I’ve had a few people that would submit proof of funds on regular legit letterhead. The letterhead that comes in and all that. I took the letter and because I was so sketchy about this one woman, I walked over to the bank. I walked in the door and said, “Is this a legitimate letter?” They said, “We are not allowed to talk about our clients, but the numbers are not this bank.”

I had this guy once buying a famous house I was selling down on La Jolla. He was a cool guy. He and his wife flew out to see it. He sent me verification of funds. It was Morgan Stanley. I had a guy that works there. I said, “Can you check out this?” The guy came with some weird vibes when I showed the property. I canceled a trip of mine to Mexico to do the showing, which pissed me off. The thing is the guy tracked him down. You know how much money he had in his real account? It’s $0.11 to keep it active. I wasn’t supposed to find it. He wouldn’t tell me. Theoretically, my guy at Morgan Stanley wasn’t supposed to tell me but it’s crazy. Why do that just to take a tour on a house?

People get attention and feel important. It’s pretty crazy. Bob, I have to tell you this quick story because this was wild too. There was an agent. She was a pro for a long time. I kept bugging her and saying, “I need to get in this house. We’ve got to get in.” The client doesn’t respond and doesn’t answer. I said, “Let’s just go there.” It was my buyer’s listing. We walk in the house, opened up door. We started pulling out the curtains, turning on the lights. The masters on the first level on the left and we opened up the door. The woman is in bed tied to a four-poster bed, gagged, naked. She screams, “Get out of here. My husband gets his kicks this way. Put the gag back.” We have to put the gag back and leave. He was very busy.

I’m telling you, it is crazy. There’s no limit to the stories and the embarrassing things that can occur, mostly for other people. Not for us. I know you’ve done a lot of television stuff. I did this one shoot on a property. You know the guy. It was Don Abbey’s house in the Bradbury Estates. I did a shoot. It might have been Million Dollar Rooms or something like that. When you do these, you’re wearing that thing. I wear the microphone, the pack on my back and you’ve got your microphone on.

RERL 1 | True Stories


True Stories: A lot of bogus people will offer full price, which is a red flag. They won’t try and negotiate at all.

 

I was talking to the cameraman, who I know well because we shot a bunch of stuff together. He was telling me that he’s doing a whole shoot and the microphone was on the whole time. He heard the wife going on and on about, “I can’t wait to divorce this asshole.” It went on and on. Finally, he went and said, “By the way, your microphone has been on this entire time.” She went like white as a sheet. He goes, “Don’t worry. I’ll delete it.” Can you believe that? People that aren’t used to being on TV and stuff forget to flip that thing off. Did you ever have anything like that?

There are a lot of ears in the room, a lot of things. I’m pretty good about turning that battery box off.

It only takes a couple of times where you’ll remember that’s super key.

Especially as you head into the ladies room.

How about the guy that got popped for the murder? He was in the restroom and he forgot he had it on. It’s that famous dude. I forget his name. They made a TV show about him. What’s your craziest listing appointment?

I walked in. The housekeeper let me in. This was a pretty big listing. I was waiting in this drawing room, the main room. We’re talking about $30 million, $35 million home. She chose to show me then into his library. I go into the library. I walk into the library. The door is open. He’s in bed with somebody. I didn’t wait around to find out if it was a wife, a girlfriend or anything. I turned around to the housekeeper, “I think he’s occupied. We’ll touch base later.”

He forgot about the appointment.

Yes, or he likes to show.

Real estate agents always try to do what is best for their clients.

Maybe he wanted to work the menage. This happened years ago. I was going up on a listing that had expired, maybe it was a $3 million house. I went up there. I was on the phone the whole time. I pull up. I was told that it was on this private drive. There’s a couple of houses on this drive. I rang the gate of what the number was. I go, “This is Bob Hurwitz. I’m here.” This guy goes, “Come on up.” It was a woman I had spoken to that set the appointment up with me. I go up in this gigantic house that was hideous. I’m like, “This can’t be worth that.” The guy takes me through the house. We’re going through. I don’t want this listing because I don’t think I can sell it. It’s so unbelievable. He goes, “What do you think?” I said, “It needs to be reduced. It should be under $3 million.” The guy looked at me and he goes, “It’s $20 million.” What are the odds of this? There was one digit off. I went to the wrong house. It was also listed, but it was $20 million. I told the guy, “You need to reduce it under $3 million.” I go, “I’m at the wrong house.” It was the most unbelievable thing ever that I thought it should be under. It’s still never sold. How weird is that to tell someone whose house is $20 million, it should be under $3 million?

I haven’t gotten that far, but I have told people to reduce their price or change the price. They’ll find the next person that will take it even at a higher price.

That’s the common paradigm. List it for whatever, then try and get the person to reduce. I’ll never do that. I know that’s not your vibe either. That’s not appropriate, but it is a business model.

Have you had any funny inspection stories like a crazy inspector?

I’ve had that. There was one inspector that went through that was years ago. He goes, “I’m going to write the report.” I was the listing agent. He goes, “I’ll send it to you first. Tell me whatever you want to change.” I can’t do that. That’s probably one of the weirder. I’ve had people discover strange things. I had this hidden safe room I was selling. It’s a pretty famous house and notorious. The inspector fell against a wall or something. The whole thing opened up and it was a big, giant safe room, Kevlar lined with a satellite thing and the whole deal, which we didn’t even know existed at the time. It was pretty weird. A woman fell in and she sued him. That’s what it was.

Did you ever see that house that’s in the Sunset Strip? A well-known developer built it. He had that 16-foot or 15-foot golden giraffe in it. I was showing this to some Japanese buyers of mine years ago. We went down to as we always called the lower level, the fun area where the theater is, the gym, all the toys and all that stuff. There’s this door. They opened the door and you look down this little 4-foot-wide but 10-foot-deep hallway. It’s all red velvet line. There’s a pair of handcuffs hanging with a light on them. They go, “What’s in here?” My Japanese buyers did not speak English, so they were going crazy. I’ll walk down into this little hallway. You took your left turn and there was this big round bed. Surrounding it were three curtain rods around the ceiling with every sex toy you could imagine in your wildest dreams. They’re hanging off these rods.

Were you the listing agent or the selling agent?

I was the selling agent. I had the buyers. These guys went crazy and loved it. They didn’t speak much English.

RERL 1 | True Stories

True Stories: If an agent does everything a seller says, it will be very difficult to try and sell the property.

 

Did they buy it?

They didn’t buy. He told his interpreter who was there, his wife would not approve of it.

There’s some real freakish stuff. You get some cool stuff.

Don’t you think that this business being in real estate has a lot of laughs? It’s very entertaining because every day is so different.

There’s no question about it, Valerie. It is pretty fascinating. You and I have been doing this forever. Properties frankly bore me, but people are interesting. We meet the most interesting people. You never know. The thing I love about it is you have to think extemporaneously. You have to think on your feet. Things occur that you are totally not prepared for. No matter how long you’ve been in the business, situations are going to occur that you haven’t seen before and you’re going to have to deal with them. It is super interesting. You do meet people from all walks of life. We’ve each had clients I’m sure that are wonderful but are criminals. I’ve had legit murderers that are clients. You don’t know. You’re right. It’s super interesting.

This is probably the last story that I could tell you. I had a call from a guy. He has a very heavy German accent. He said, “I want you to come and meet with me to sell my house.” This was in the lower hills of the post office. I pull up and go in, and I see swastikas everywhere. It had a picture of him. His father was with Hitler and all that. This guy is in his 80s. He’s got this book. He’s like, “This is a fine book.” He’s telling me about the book. As you enter, it has a big swastika on the front of it. He’s like, “I don’t want any other races in this house.” I said, “We’re not allowed to discriminate at all.” I couldn’t even tell you. When we finally get it into escrow, it was unbelievable. He called me screaming, “Who are these people in my house? Get them out.” I would go there and get him out of the house so that people could inspect the house. Talk about walking into a time warp like someone in this society that could be hunkered into their own world like that still was wild.

That’s bizarre with the Nazi thing. I had someone on the listing. The guy sent me emails going, “Whatever it would be, it could be someone Chinese. It could be whatever. If they don’t buy the house, then they’re disgusting. Don’t ever show someone like that again.” I go, “So far, you hate everybody because no one’s buying the house. I cannot bring in someone based on either their race, their religion, whatever their ethnicity. That’s illegal. Forget it.” People are like that. They’re so bizarre. I had one guy who told me, “Do not ever show my house.” He’s a client of mine. He’s a cool guy. I sold his house in Beverly Park years ago. He said, “Bob, don’t ever show anybody that’s got kids because they’ll never buy it.” I go, “For sure.” What I do is I sold it to the guy with three kids. The bottom line is we agree, but it’s for the best of the client that we do we know what’s best.

We have to finagle our way around to appease them, but we have to do what is right for the community and for both people. Our job is to bring people together. I had a client who wanted to know every buyer that would walk into his house for a showing. It was staged and he no longer lived there. He would say, “Tell me their name.” He would google their name. He’d find out if they had any lawsuits. If they had any lawsuits, he didn’t want us to do the showing. I don’t know. I tried to figure out why that mattered, except that it probably mattered because he was afraid somehow they would sue him, but he spent a lot of time googling everybody.

Crossing everything off your real estate list before showing a property is a huge mistake.

Some people are sketched out. They think everybody is going to sue them. How am I going to prevent this? The reality is somebody’s going to sue somebody for anything. It doesn’t happen very often. I’ve had two lawsuits for how many decades in the business. It happens. It’s about staying ahead of the issues. If someone’s doing something fraudulent or whatever, that’s one thing. People get paranoid. If we did everything that a seller said, it’d be very difficult to try and sell the properties. I had one woman. She was super cool too. It was the biggest sale in Westlake many years ago. I took over the listing from somebody else. She said, “My business manager needs to see verification of funds and their financial stuff before they go through the house.” I said, “I won’t take the listing.”

People with real money, before they even see a house, are not going to give you all their financial information. You have to rely on the fact that agents such as you and myself that are professional, that have sold many high-end properties for so long have to trust our instincts. Sometimes it was a $50 million property. Some people will volunteer verification of funds. They might as well require it. In some cases, you can’t Google the person because they’re from overseas. You have to inquire the agent, “Have you done business with this person before?” You have to give some rope for someone to hang themselves because you can cost a huge deal by thinking you’re a private detective instead of a salesman.

From being in this business for quite some time, you have that second sense. You have to ask a lot of questions. You have that sense of people. Some of them started early. Where are you coming from? Where did you live? Where have you lived before? Those kinds of things. You get a sense if they’re legit or not. Everything, Bob, is moving so fast. The sales are a crazy mess. We have to do things very quickly at lightning speed. There are agents that will not show a house unless you send them the funds.

One thing I was going to say, and I give you huge props for this. The credibility of the agent is important. For instance, you and I signed off a deal. There’s no reason to see verification of funds for your client. Even if it wasn’t someone who it is, if you bring someone in, I know that you’re dealing with legit people. If I haven’t heard of somebody that’s an agent that sells condos for $200,000 or whatever, that’s a different story. You have to, as an agent, understand the credibility of the person that you’re dealing with. It makes our job a lot easier when we’re dealing with people like ourselves. Not to cut anybody off. I’ve had brokers that only sold condos and suddenly, they lucked into a buyer. I mentioned everybody with great respect, but I do think the idea that all i’s need to be dotted and t’s crossed before you even show a property is a huge mistake.

I get some of the newer agents who will say, “Tell me about your buyer before a showing.” I go, “Do you want to do the showing or not?”

Here’s the thing. You’re so right in the sense with some agents. This blows me away because I will show my listing anytime. If a seller says to me, “You can only show it on Tuesday or Thursday,” this time, I won’t take the listing because sometimes people are in town. You call me, “Bob, I got a buyer. They’re here today. We need to see it in a couple of hours.” “Done.” This blows me away because the truth is if you don’t make the sale, you make zero. That buyer who you’re not going to let in your property is going to go look at somebody else with that agent who’s letting them show up, and they buy that property. That’s a huge disservice to your seller as well as to yourself if you’re that demo of an agent, but we see it all the time.

When I’m setting up a showing schedule, if somebody is difficult, I skip over them and go onto something else. Why bother? There are a couple of ladies in town I know who will not show property during lunchtime ever. Between 12:00 and 2:00, you cannot get a showing and a few others that will not show on a weekend. Their sellers probably don’t know all that but that’s the facts.

There are agents that are real deal makers. The best situation is a sale. I’ve never in my entire career saw anybody unhappy that they bought a property. They’ve only been unhappy when they lose out on somebody because somebody else got it. Some agents get adversarial, which is stupid. You benefit your client by working together to make the deal happen and agents that won’t show except at a certain time. You probably don’t get that. I don’t get that much either. I hear that from my own agents sometimes. “This person is a dick. They wouldn’t show it.” When you and I will contact someone generally, they’ll do a showing because they know we’re dealing with real people. It’s stupid to eliminate someone because you didn’t hear that they sell a bunch of high-end properties, but they do. To me, it’s dumb.

RERL 1 | True Stories

True Stories: By understanding the credibility of the person you are dealing with, you are making your job a lot easier.

 

Bob, I love talking to you. Every time I always think, “We should be on a show.” This is our show. This is Real Estate, Real Laughs. Bob Hurwitz, you are a star. You’re one of my favorite people in the entire world, not to mention a colleague. We’re looking forward to doing this again. Will you do this again with me?

Yes, it’s fun. We do deals. We work well together, but we’re friends too. We have so many experiences that could be on whatever. This is pretty much G-rated, but there are plenty of crazy stuff. I’ll do it again. It’s always a pleasure. You’re a pro. Let me know. Have a great one.

You too.

Cheers.

About Bob Hurwitz

Bob Hurwitz has been a real estate broker and consultant for over 25 years. He was president and founder of Hurwitz James Company, started in 1987 and specializing in the marketing and sale of multimillion-dollar estates and luxury residential developments worldwide.

Bob is regularly featured on Extra, NBC Open House, Mansions and Millionaires and HGTV’s Million Dollar Room, as a top Realtor in Los Angeles dealing with high-profile properties and clients and often called upon in print and television interviews for his expertise in worldwide luxury property buying trends.

Bob’s clients are diverse, ranging from entertainment personalities to foreign sellers and buyers from Asia, Canada, Latin America, India, Europe and the Middle East.

His worldwide listing inventory of trophy properties exceeds $3 Billion in 13 different countries. Because of the nature of his clientele, which includes celebrities, Fortune 500 executives and foreign sellers and buyers, Bob understands the importance of interacting with all the parties’ representatives.

He has multilingual translators on staff and his extensive experience consulting and negotiating with attorneys and business managers assures a smooth transaction.

Bob exerts extreme discretion in both the number and qualification of agents who work for Hurwitz James due to the nature and exclusivity of the type of properties and clients the company represents.

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