When House Showing Goes Off The Rails With Paul Roseberry

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When House Showing Goes Off The Rails With Paul Roseberry

House showing is a meticulous process for every realtor. It must be done carefully and intricately to seal the sale of the property. But since clients are always different, a few crazy encounters are expected. Valerie Fitzgerald and Bob Hurwitz are joined by their friend, Paul Roseberry, to look back on some of his most memorable house showings, particularly buyers who end up not being able to afford the property at all. Paul also opens up about the marketing strategies he uses, detailing the topics that make him relatable and easy to connect to potential customers.


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When House Showing Goes Off The Rails With Paul Roseberry

Thank you for joining us on the show. Bob, we have a great guest. Buckle up, readers. You better read carefully. It’s my great pleasure to welcome my friend, Paul Roseberry, to our show. Paul has been a real estate agent in the New York City and Beverly Hills markets. I have had the great fortune to work with him on many transactions. He’s quite the entrepreneur. He’s also a standup comedian and a dating coach for men. Welcome, Paul.

How are you?


It’s great to welcome you to the show. This show is full-on real-life on what happens behind the curtain of doing real estate deals. It’s not fake, scripted, and extemporaneous. Someone like you is ideal, and I’m looking forward to it. Let’s rock.

I’ve got experience in both New York City and Beverly Hills. New York City was all rentals. It was people in their twenties, and there were some wild stories there. Teaming up with Valerie in Beverly Hills, I knew that would be a whole new chapter, to say the least. We have seen the game and I love it. It’s what keeps our job fun. Valerie, every time we get together, I feel like we end up entertaining people at your parties or wherever we go with new stories of stuff we encountered with clients. It’s a jungle. It’s wild.

We might as well get right to the center of the bulls-eye. Valerie reached out one day. She goes, “Paul, I’ve got these young kids, and I don’t have time to check into their whole story but they said they had won the Canadian lottery and want to buy a $50 million house. Do you want to check in?” I said, “I definitely want to check in on that lead.” I called the kid and he was cool. He was a composed and logical kid. They wanted to see houses that were about $45 million to $50 million. I’m from New Hampshire. At $45 million to $50 million, you can get the whole state with everyone in it.

I did a little back work. I checked, sure enough, the date he gave, somebody won $70 million in the Canadian lottery. I said, “If you could shoot us some accounting letter within an hour. I had it right on letterhead.” I said, “Valerie, this kid seemed legit. Can we set this up?” She said, “Let’s go.”

Valerie decided to take them over herself at that point.

At that point, I’ve got a pipe in the leg out of nowhere. I was out in the parking lot. I have called and told her. She’s like, “That’s so sad.” Half of the time, we are casing to see if it makes 100% sense because if you won $70 million, are you going to spend $50 million on the house? I don’t know. We are going to do due diligence to make sure that we guide them in a proper way to give them good support in their purchase. Also, I wanted to see a $50 million house, and it was insane. They were like a shopping mall and not like a Podunk. One of them, Elvis, had previously lived across the street. David Geffen had paid $33 million for an empty dirt lot next door. This is some real deal real estate. It was unbelievable.

One of the houses had a salon that was four chairs. I realized this clientele gets invited to the Oscars. When they get their hair done for the Oscars, they don’t like to take a cab to Sam’s supercut. Professional people come to your house with their own staff to do your hair. This is like that. We watched a couple of minutes of a movie in a theater where we looked at these views. For some reason, it didn’t quite work out. When push came to shove, it was $23 million. The house was originally $30 million but the kids sat and kept us up for two and a half hours on a Friday night.

They could have left. They were young. They could have gone and gotten beers and told their friends that they had got a couple of agents to see but they were asking you if they could convert the girl’s walk-in closet to an extra room because he’d never had a living girlfriend. It’s sincere stories. To this day, we will never know. A little bit, he has to wonder was full of it.

What happened to him? He went back to Canada. The parents stepped in when we kept pushing the marker on them about performing or doing something and the whole thing, and then it fizzled away. That was pretty crazy. What about that new marketing thing that you found that you showed?

As you guys both know, real estate is a very competitive market. It’s all about getting that next listing and letting your homeowner know that you are going to get the most people through the door. You are going to get the best attention to that home. Ultimately, you are going to get the highest selling price for your home. You are going to be the most efficient and effective agent out there. For a lot of us like Valerie, you have an awesome history of things you have done and a great resume. Now, I noticed the guy went a different route. He was a guy who made the Instagram Story line up of the New York Post because here in Los Angeles, he’s in the photos of the house completely naked.

That’s how he’s marketing his house here in LA that he’s trying to sell.

Real estate is a competitive market. It’s all about getting that next listing and letting your homeowner know that you’re going to get the most people through the door.

For $1.29 million, he’s selling himself a little cheap, if you ask me. I don’t get naked for anything below $25 million. This is a licensed colleague. That’s part of the reason I was kidding that I’m not wearing pants during this Zoom because I want to test the waters and find out if I can live up to his great of marketing. Do you think this could be a thing for him? Could this be a brand?

I don’t know about the brand. When I saw it, I was blown away. Where was this?

It was on Instagram. I follow the New York Post because they are hilarious. I watched their Story every day. On an Instagram Story, there are about five seconds of a blurb that all of their followers see if you can click for a full story. It was front and center on the New York Post Instagram. I clicked to read, and it was here in the valley.

The guy was sitting in a chair in the front yard of the house totally naked.

There was some gratuitous blurring, and some generosity may have been taken by his editor. On the one hand, you’ve got to give it to him. He got front-page press of the New York Post. He’s on the other side of the country getting people. He may sell that house but if he doesn’t, talk about getting left in the wind.

Some agents go a little too far when they are doing marketing. You know those videos where they have the girls in the shower and this silhouette of them naked or they have two girls kissing and do these very strange, out-of-the-box weird videos. Everybody is looking at what’s going to happen next on that video and not at the frigging house. What is marketing about?

A couple of years ago, that trend hit in a big way where the models transcended the actual house and the story. I had this guy once in Malibu who was a commercial director. I was selling his house and he said, “I’ve got a client who wants me to shoot a three-minute film on her house. She does not want to pay an agent a commission. She wants me to do this 3 or 4-minute story that takes place in this house and what we are going to do is send it to the 100 wealthiest people in the world. The story is like a murder thing. It’s going to cost you about $2.5 million to do this whole thing.”

This guy was a top director and he goes, “What do you think about that?” I go, “That’s possibly one of the dumbest things I have ever heard in my life. The top 100 richest people in the world may not even be interested in buying in the house.” Part of it was they had designed and patented a type of iPad that came out like a transformer. They send this to people around the world in a package. First of all, most people probably think it’s a bomb.

The reality is just because someone is rich, it doesn’t mean they are a buyer for this house. Why doesn’t he hire proper agents that market effectively and pay the commission? A couple of months later, he goes, “It didn’t work.” Agents come with a lot of crazy stuff that helps sell or promote them but isn’t selling a house.

$2.5 million investment for all the things you said and you have no knowledge of the demographics. That would be a better investment to try and make it as a director and not for selling a house. If your goal were to try to make it in Hollywood, then you might invest $2.5 million in making your own movie. I can’t imagine a house with no story. It’s not like the OJ house. It’s just a house.

What has he done for the bar now? Let’s say it works. Now, every time he wants to sell a house, he’s got to take his clothes off. He has set a precedent. The next thing you know, people are going to be like, “We want to be home when you take the pics. We want to be having a party while you do it.” It’s only going to get harder and harder for this guy. He is someone we are going to keep an eye on because he’s right here in our market. We will have to watch and see what happens to that house.

What crazy stuff have you had in terms of showing outside of the fact the semi-bogus or real people? Have you had anything strange happen during a showing?

I have had it all. When I was still in New York during a showing, I thought this girl was cute. She rented the apartment, and eight years later, we lived together. I have had that happen. As you see, my home bar here, I always keep a little Chugbud. I’m out showing these young kids houses that are five figures a month for lease. I’m like, “You are pretty young to have serious cash like that. It’s pretty cool. What do you do?” I get to have an idea, so I present our package. The kid is like, “I invented this beer funnel.” I was like, “What? That’s what you do for money?”

The kid is 25 years old and a millionaire. It’s this little plastic thing sticking on top of a can of beer. You throw it back and you full it. I ended up doing a few with them to celebrate when we’ve got him a house because his money was real. He shows me the accounts. The kid is no joke. He’s crushing it, and I’m sitting here like, “Of all the things I have done and all the work, this guy was barely out of college, and he thought drinking beer a different way.” It would be a great way to become a rich man and he’s completely right.

RERL 12 Paul Roseberry | House Showing

House Showing: Just because someone is rich doesn’t mean they’re a buyer for this house. One must still hire proper agents that market effectively and pay the commission.

Didn’t you have a guy that had liked to strippers over, and you took him over to a cham, and they work that?

I’m working with him again. This guy is awesome. He was doing well for himself. He was self-employed, opened up a pizza restaurant in Florida, and started doing well. He started a finance business. He’s killing it and he’s doing great. We are looking at a few different houses and they are nice homes. It’s going to be a lease, and he’s looking at nice places. He says, “I don’t know if we have to spend this much. This is new to me. In Florida, I didn’t spend like this. Maybe we dial it back a little bit.”

We’ve got down to a house that’s around $12,000 a month to see what living cheap would be. It was a listing he had found because I wasn’t looking. I knew what his taste was, and I wouldn’t have selected this home but to make sure he understood that I catered to his interest, we’ve got to see that. He goes, “I think this could work.” I said, “I don’t think it can. In fact, I promise you it can.” He goes, “Why are you so sure?” I said, “You see the pool? It doesn’t have a wall around the pool. If we are standing by the pool, you can see all the neighbors.”

He says, “Yes.” I said, “Didn't you tell me that during the day, you like to have 3 to 4 strippers a day to come over to the house and hang out with them by the pool? Isn't that how you like to spend your recreational time when you are not working at your tremendously growthful business?" He's like, “Yes.” I said, “The woman across the street is about 93. She can see the pool. She can see us now. Are you telling me four girls walk up in 10-inch stilettos and glitter on a Tuesday and hang out by this pool? You don't think the whole senior citizen collective homeowners association is going to ask you to take the party somewhere else?”

He was like, “You are a good agent. I'm glad to have you helping us.” I said, “I can't even take credit for that. My skills go beyond but that level of observation is for all of us. We should all have that one pretty quickly.” Sure enough, he didn't get that house. He found a beautiful home with some privacy and continued to live that lifestyle. He's a young baller. He had a roommate, and he had done well. It's nonspecific but since some of the things you meet people that they do to be so successful, this guy was as good at betting on sports teams as a stock analyst would be on the market. He would sell his picks.

It's interesting when we meet people about the crazy and interesting things in their background and what they do. Once we understand what they are doing, we have to tee up where they are going to be living. I had one guy that was a professional poker player and got a house in the Lower Bird Streets. He said, “I have a lot of cars coming very late at night in and out.” You have to be careful where you are going to be living because the neighbors will complain. They are going to think there's something else going on. Poker wasn't that big deal but when you are betting and having high stakes games, it's not exactly the most legal thing.

That's important for them to think about what their lifestyle is. I sold the house on Kings Road to a guy, and that's a narrow street right there, too. As soon as he got to the house, he had this gigantic party, and they closed the entire street. A friend of mine who lives near there had to walk all the way up to the house.

There were strippers and Playboy Bunnies. It was crazy. The cops had to walk up there, too. They couldn't even have the road. They shut it down. It was a big nightmare. There was a lawsuit, and they ended up selling the house. You’ve got to figure out what your lifestyle is going to be and then not buy something like that.

Now, this guy is moving a year later. He had been a little more forward that is like to have wild, raging parties. I had gone to a party when I was in my early twenties on King’s Road. It was right there where Paris Hilton had a party at her house and I couldn't believe it. I'm from New Hampshire. I have been in Hollywood for months, and here I am at Paris Hilton's house.

Sure enough, it got broken up by the cops because we were partying too loud at night. I was like, “That can happen to Paris Hilton? Are you serious?” I have had it happen at my buddy's apartment because people lived upstairs. I didn't know that could happen to Paris Hilton. Anywhere you go, King’s Road is not the road for that.

I remember you told me about an open house about a lady named Princess.

It was Val's listing, and I was excited to do open houses over there because it was a $13 million home. I'm sure I will sound repetitious but I was getting started. I wasn't used to seeing as most people are not used to seeing $13 million homes. It's a new lifestyle. When you see doorways that are 12-feet high, 10-feet wide, and you can drive a truck through the middle of your house, that is wild and new.

You see all different cars pull in. Sometimes, they are very conservative. It could be like Warren Buffett drives a twenty-year-old Beater that's $11 billion. You never know. You don't always see what they drive at all. Here's the story of Princess. Princess is on the phone. She sets us up. I can't even qualify her. She tells me, “I’ve got connections to Disney.” It’s very nonspecific and I said, “You can come to the open house. I'm going to be there anyway. You don't have to tell me your story. Come see if you like the house. If you do, we will talk more.”

I showed her the house. She's the last one there. As I walked her outdoors, I said, “I hope you enjoyed the home. If you have any thoughts, give me a call." I don't see a single car. This isn't a mall. She's not down the way. I don't see a car. I see my car and no other cars. I said, “You get Uber coming? Should I wait a few minutes with you?” She goes, “I walk.” I said, “How did you walk to the house?”

She says, “I'm all set but I will think about it.” She strolled off into the sunset. At that point, I wasn't sure I could believe anything she had said. I no longer believed that she was the CEO of Disney or whatever it was. It's summer and it was hot. You wouldn't do this because you had a big lunch and wanted to exercise. I think she wanted to see a house. She was a curious person, but in general, I don't think people on foot are qualified for a $13 million purchase.

Every day and everyone is so different from the one before or after. The life of a realtor is always so interesting and fun.

Sometimes, you can't figure this out. Valerie and I have discussed this both on lunches and on the show. What do people think when they don't have the money to buy a house? Some people like to look at houses in Glengarry Glen Ross. They would like to talk to salesmen. They want to see a house. I get that but it also is selfish. They are wasting our time.

Val and I have spoken about it. It's an industry-wide thing that we all experienced in our own ways. Our inventory is so premium that they want to be treated rich for twenty minutes. They want someone who might go to Nordstrom and try on a dress that's $17,000 but they make $200 a week. I don't blame them entirely. I try not to invest overly heavily when they don't have a car at all. I try to cut my losses a little bit on that but I still give them the rich treatment.

It's like going on some amazing ride. I have had people come to the broker's office, which I will still hold, and they will want to come through. I can see they haven't got any money and they will say, “We want to check it out.” I go, “It's not a museum.” The seller is not keen unless you can relate to it. It is interesting what you say. You have to have empathy about that. By the same token, you’ve got to have some common sense.

I would say it's semi charitable in the way that we have managed that at times. There was one guy who called us up from LAX. He wanted to see a $50 million home. He wanted to know if we could send a car. He specifically asked if we could send a Bentley. If you buy a $50 million home, you don't want a yellow cab. You want something with a bottle of water. I said, “We can do that. If you could send a screenshot of whatever account the down payment would be resting.” The homeowner doesn't just want any Joe off the street, walking all over their rugs and putting wear and tear on their house. They want to know who's coming through their home.

This could be a celebrity who has one photo that got left up on the shelf, and people know where this guy lives, and they are going to sleep on the lawn. You will never know if you find out Brad Pitt lives on that street. I tell this guy, “I need a single screenshot.” It’s nothing complicated. It’s just something with the down in it. He says, “I'm going to get that over to you.” He goes, “Can you also make sure the car has a charger because I lost my phone charger?” I'm thinking, “Your private jet didn't have a charger in it?”

He called me ten minutes later. He goes, “I will have that letter in a few minutes. I’ve got to leave LAX but I will be ten minutes away. Have them pick me up at the Mustang.” I googled it. It’s like a room by the hour, $25 a day. I believe that guy was at the Mustang. He's there. I don't believe a $50 million buyer was that the Mustang? No, but this guy was at Mustang, and he was hoping we would pick him up there and send a charger. We did not. What messed me up was he called me again the next day. He says, “It's so-and-so.” I said, “Did you get that letter?”

He goes, “I need you to help me get my backpack.” I said, “Why am I on the phone with a Mustang guy who lost his backpack? Why has this happened?” He goes, “I left it at the house.” I said, “What house?” He goes, “The $50 million house.” I go, “You went to that house?” He goes, “I was there but I think I left my backpack behind the pool house.” I'm like, “I don't know how you’ve got to that home and what you left at that home but please do not tell anyone from my team I brought you to that house. We did not. Please do not call me anymore because I cannot help you. I don't know where your backpack is.”

Something funny happened one time with another property I had up on Latigo Canyon in Malibu. It’s a super windy road, and it was a pain to get up there. Weird things happen on weekends with me for some reason. I get a call from my answering service on a Saturday morning at about 8:30 and they go, “Bob, this person has been calling since 6:00 AM about this house, which is his dream house.” They drove by it and I go, “Don't call me at 6:00 in the morning because you would be fired.” I get on the phone with a guy, and the guy goes the cross-connect.

He said, “We drove. We were at a reunion, and we saw this house as our dream house. Could we look at it?” I go, “Sure.” I canceled my volleyball game in front of my house, jumped in my car, and went up to Latigo and here's this couple. I was hoping the guy had inherited a bunch of money because the car was a jalopy. It was horrible. Like you, we have to do our thing. You never know. His wife stayed in the car because she was pregnant, and I was showing him around. I called the owner. I said, “You’ve got to clear out. This guy could be the right one.”

I'm taking him around the property. He sees the property and goes, “I need to meet the owner.” I go, “That doesn't know how it works. We write an offer and you get the house. I'm sure you will meet the owner. He’s super cool.” He said, “I’ve got to be honest with you. I don't have the money to buy this house.”

Again, this happened to be in Malibu with this other guy but this is a different story. I go, “How are you going to buy the house?” He said, “Jesus is going to give me the money.” I go, “Really?” He goes, “He always provided with our car and everything else. Jesus is going to get me the money.” I'm thinking, “I drove up here, and it's a nightmare to drive.” I'm very respectful. I said, “When Jesus gives you the money, then give me a call.” We shake hands and he bails out. I told the owner, “You are not going to believe this.” He was laughing about it.

I'm at Ruth's Chris in Beverly Hills about a month later, eating with a friend and client of mine. I get a call and this is the guy. He goes, “Is that house still available at Latigo?” I go, “Yes. Did you get the money from Jesus?” He goes, “Not yet.” I go, “Give me a shout when you do. Goodbye.” It’s the weirdest thing that someone would believe that it's going to work and some things like they are going to win the lotto or whatever. It's crazy.

Similarly, Princess has followed up with us. She hit us up about nine months later, and it took me a minute. I'm like, “Princess? Why is that name?” I'm like, “On foot Princess. I remember 405 Princess.” I said, “I need that letter.” It’s the same idea. Can you imagine how your life would change if you met a guy who showed up in an old jalopy and then was like, “Jesus is going to get me that $6.8 million?”

You never burn any bridges. You just never know. It's so bizarre that someone would do that, and then call back a month later. My friend was laughing at the table and I went, “This is the guy who still doesn’t have the coin.” I have told him the story before. Maybe he's not praying hard enough.

We see different ways that people make it. It’s wild. I used to know a guy with four houses, one in Hilton Head, one in New Hampshire, and one down in Florida. He had invented a heated dog bowl. That's what he did. He was in Brookstone Catalog, and he showed it to us right there in the catalog. He drank whenever he wanted because life was easy. Those dog bowls were moving like hotcakes. He grew up on a farm in Indiana or something. The guy got a $2 million house in New Hampshire. You never know.

RERL 12 Paul Roseberry | House Showing

House Showing: The seller is not keen unless you can relate to the property. It is interesting what you say. You have to have empathy about that. At the same token, you got to have some common sense.

It's fun to have the variety. Don't we enjoy the different people, stories, characters, and things? Every day and everyone is so different from the one before or after. It's always so interesting and fun.

We get people we have seen in shows, and now you are meeting that person. You are like, “This is so weird. This is like so-and-so from the show.”

There's so much less and sometimes more than they are on screen.

Paul, it's so much fun. Thank you for joining us for the great inside stories and lots of laughs. If our readers want to reach and find you, what's the best way?

My email is [email protected]. We would love to work with you in any real estate venture that you have going on. As far as a standup comedy or dating, I have combined the two onstage. I'm the Dating Coach Comedian, which can be a whole other episode. You tell me when and I will be here. Thanks for having me on, guys.

Paul is a great and fabulous guest. You can see why he's a comic. He's funny but he is also a pretty savvy real estate salesman as well. He has a lot of good stories and he was great.

He's got some pretty crazy stories about his days in New York when he was traipsing around trying to do these leases and all that. We will have him back another time. Readers, we appreciate you tuning in. We love sharing stories with you behind the real estate curtain, so subscribe and tell a friend. Let's meet up again, and you will never know what you will hear next.

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About Paul Roseberry

Originally from the rustic New England city of Portsmouth, NH Paul has since lived in NYC, Boston and LA. Paul has moonlighted as a stand-up comedian for many years, fueled by his gift of gab and genuine interest in learning about what other people have to say and think. This passion for person to person communication has given Paul an advantage both on stage and in his professional career.

Having thrived as an NYC real estate agent, he honed his gab skills to find a fun, yet effective way of learning his clients' exact goals and tastes while keeping the buying/selling process both casual and seamless. After getting tired of snow and the freezing east coast winter, Paul has since brought his talents and skill set to the beautiful, sunny Los Angeles, where he's happy to call home and help others to do the same.

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