Michael Nourmand on LA’s changing real estate landscape
In this week’s Houses in Motion, which is part of HousingWire Daily, we spoke with Michael Nourmand, one of the most consistent and established Beverly Hills real estate brokers. Nourmand’s father founded Nourmand & Associates, an LA-based real estate brokerage, and Nourmand has seen firsthand the rapid changes in west Los Angeles real estate, including the influence of reality television shows and the impacts of climate change.
We spoke with Nourmand about these changes, and how what happens in Beverly Hills is both relevant and irrelevant to the rest of the country’s housing market.
Here is a small preview of the interview, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity:
Matthew Blake: One thing that is distinctive about Beverly Hills is that there are so many shows about real estate in and around Beverly Hills. There’s “Million Dollar Listing,” “Selling Sunset.” How do these shows affect the real estate market itself in Beverly Hills? And what do they show that might be accurate, or inaccurate?
Michael Nourmand: When you graduated from college, and you came back and told your parents in the early 2000s, “Hey, I want to get into residential real estate.” They looked at you like they just wasted all of their money sending you to college. It was very, very different. I mean, it was almost like they held their nose, like they were cringing.
Now, you graduate from college and you come home and say, “I want to get into residential real estate.”And they think it’s fabulous. They’re thrilled. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen how dramatically it is shifted. I think part of that is due to reality TV.
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Below is the transcription of the interview. These transcriptions, powered by Speechpad, have been lightly edited and may contain small errors from reproduction:
Matthew Blake: Hello. And welcome to this week’s episode of “Houses in Motion,” part of the “HousingWire Daily” podcast stream. I’m Matthew Blake, real estate reporter at HousingWire. “Houses in Motion” is all things residential real estate, and that includes the rarefied air of Beverly Hills. For this episode, I spoke with Michael Nourmand, who is the second generation broker of Nourmand & Associates, one of the most established brokerages in the Beverly Hills area. We talked about the example that the Sunny Enclave of the rich sets and doesn’t set for the rest of residential real estate. Specifically, we look at how reality TV has shaped real estate’s perception and reality.
If you have thoughts, questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s email@example.com.
Hello. And welcome to this episode of “Houses in Motion.” I am here today with Michael Nourmand. He is the broker of Nourmand & Associates, which is a long-time important brokerage in Beverly Hills. Michael, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for coming on.
Michael Nourmand: Thank you for having me.
Matthew Blake: So, first off, why don’t you just tell our audience, which is a national audience, what is Nourmand & Associates? What should they know about you and how you got into real estate?
Michael Nourmand: So, Nourmand & Associates started in 1976. My dad started it with a small office in Beverly Hills, probably the size of a modern walk-in closet. Now, we have three offices. So, we have one in Beverly Hills, one in Brentwood, one in Hollywood. We’re about 175 agents. Year to date in 2021, we’ve done about $1 billion in business. And it’s a family business. I’m second generation.
And I got started kind of at the dinner table. So, my parents would talk real estate when we were having dinner, and my brother and sister thought it was very boring. And they almost had, like, a chant that went something like this, “Real estate, real estate, real estate. Why does it always have to be about real estate?” And for me, I wanted to know, like, where was property? How is the deal going to go down? I wanted to know all the intricacies of making the deal. So, I took an interest pretty early on.
And then in the ’90s… So, I was born in very early ’80s, but in the ’90s, I had a bar mitzvah. So, people that aren’t familiar, a bar mitzvah in the Jewish religion, you have a ceremony at a temple. You say some prayers in Hebrew. It’s when you turn 13. It’s supposed to mark the time period when you become a man which, to me, is funny because I looked like I was not a day older than 10 when I turned 13. I was short, and skinny, and scrawny. I looked nothing like a young man.
Usually, there’s a blowout party, and there’s a theme that you have. So, the theme for my party was Monopoly. So, one of the tables was Park Place. Another table was Boardwalk. You can kind of see the early signs. And then, you know, by the time I was graduating from high school, I was dating a girl, and her dad was in real estate. And I remember him telling me, like, “Well, your parents have this company that does well and is well-known. You need to do something to make money before you can invest in real estate. Why don’t you go in and get your license, and broker deals?”
So, I got my license within a matter of months after I finished high school. So, my first year of college, I had my real estate license. And then in the summers, I would come to the office and do administrative jobs. And by the time I had graduated from USC, I had already closed a couple sales.
Matthew Blake: So, you’ve been a real…you’ve had a lifelong passion for real estate. How have you seen real estate change in your time since being at the dinner table with your father? Like, what would you say is maybe the biggest change that you’ve seen over a generation?
Michael Nourmand: So, the biggest change… So, when I started, you have to think I was doing the marketing job. And at that point, there was only one person handling the marketing job. So, that summer I was there, I ran the marketing job. The “L.A. Times” sent a runner to the office to pick up Polaroid pictures…or printed pictures, I should say, because they weren’t Polaroid. Printed pictures like you would get at, like, Rite Aid or a CVS. You know, they had the cameras, the print section where you went and you would drop off the film, and they would print it.
So, imagine somebody comes. He picks up those pictures to take them back to scan them. So, at that point in time, we weren’t even taking pictures and digitally uploading them. We were giving them to the “L.A. Times” to scan. So, the technology part of it changed a lot. Back then, there was a software called System4 which you had to be in the office and go onto it to see what was available for sale. The public didn’t have the internet to see everything online. They looked at the newspaper to see what was available. They had to call the agent to sort of see what they knew about.
So, the flow of information has changed tremendously. Our office is pretty much paperless. So, all the files…we have a transaction management software. So, if you wanted to get a file for a deal, you know, you send a link. There’s digital signature. Everybody is using DocuSign. That seems to be the standard for getting things signed.
So, yeah. It’s just changed a lot. The consumer is much more sophisticated. So, before, you know, the real estate agent kind of had all the information. And now, you kind of have the opposite problem which is there’s too much information. So, now, instead of holding the information close to your chest, everybody has the information. Your job is more to sort through it and to explain what’s important and why.
Matthew Blake: Yeah. That’s really interesting. The image of the “L.A. Times” coming over to your office, that’s a really striking one. I’ve looked on my microfilm in the newspapers.com of, you know, old “L.A. Times” from the ’90s. And there are real estate listings there. Was that something that consumers were using much? Like, if I were trying to buy a home in L.A. in the 1990s, was I going to the “Times” or the “L.A. Daily News,” or the “L.A. Weekly”? Or was I mostly relying on the agent? How did consumers sort of…since there obviously was...Zillow wasn’t around. How did consumers kind of get information back then?
Michael Nourmand: Exactly the way you described it. They called the real estate agent, the real estate agent told them what was available, and they looked at the paper. Very, very different. Now, people have access. You know, there’s obviously some stuff that sells off-market, but the vast majority sells on-market. Maybe as you get to higher price point, a larger percentage sells off-market. But, yeah. It’s different. You don’t need a real estate agent to see 90% of the inventory, maybe 95% of the inventory, depending on what price point you’re in.
Matthew Blake: I guess, to then ask you a question that I ask maybe all real estate agents is, if you don’t need the real estate agent for that, what do you need the real estate agent for at this point?
Michael Nourmand: So, I would view it that, you know, before the part…a big part of the real estate agent’s job was to find the property. Now, to me, a big part of the agent’s job is to interpret the information, explain the nuances, you know, which streets are better. “Oh, this property’s floor plan is going to be difficult to sell. This is a view location. So, it’ll go for a premium.” Explain the nuances that you can’t see on Zillow, that you’re not going to see on a Redfin estimate.
And then the reason why the disruptors haven’t been able to commoditize the business is because every deal is different. There’s something different in every deal. No matter how many times I close a deal, there’s some surprise. There’s something that is different than the last deal I did. So, I think, a big part of it is shepherding the client through it, dealing with the inspections, negotiating the price, negotiating the repairs when you get the inspections. And a very, very overlooked part of it is your agent’s relationship with other agents.
Right now, I’m writing an insider ad that kind of talks about the importance of your agent’s relationship. And sometimes you’ll hear the consumer say, “Oh, I hired John Smith because he can get it done. I don’t necessarily like him. I don’t trust him, but I hired him because I know he’ll do it. And that’s what it’s all about.” And the point of the article that I’m writing is that you’re in an environment with multiple offers. So, the listing agent can give some information, no information. Look. They have a fiduciary duty, but the agents that they like and that they have a relationship with are more likely to get valuable information that can make the difference of getting a deal or not.
So, what I always say is that, you know, this idea that it doesn’t matter if your agent’s trustworthy, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is they get it done. That actually is not the truth. The truth is that if you have an agent that other people don’t like working with and you’re in a multiple, you’re probably going to have to pay more and have better terms. Because otherwise, if it’s closed, they’re going to push for the agent that is easier to work with. And sometimes, agents have a reputation for having better or worse clients. You know, there are certain agents that you know roll with very, very prestigious, wealthy clients, that they’re no-nonsense. And there are other agents that you know sometimes they’re…the client sometimes is a little bit of a reflection of them. The client will try anything, do anything, say anything. They’re shameless.
So, yeah. Getting back to your question, I think it’s much more of an advisor role on which property to pick, why, how much it should go for, dealing with the process, and also trying to keep everybody calm and rational. You know, the client doesn’t necessarily need to feel every single bump. There are certain bumps that they need to be aware of, and there are other things that can kind of be worked out behind the scenes.
Matthew Blake: Yeah, that’s helpful. Yeah. I think I’m increasingly seeing the agent as sort of an advisor almost, a therapist or guide to the client. So, what is unique about Beverly Hills? What should people…besides the fact that properties are a lot more expensive there than they are in most other parts of the country, what should someone in, say, Des Moines, Iowa know about the Beverly Hills housing market, or what might be something that surprises them about the Beverly Hills housing market?
Michael Nourmand: So, the stuff that they probably are aware of is, the competition is fierce. Right? Bigger dollar amounts, there’s more competition. And going back to what you said when I got started, if you were a lawyer when I got started and you sold real estate, I looked at you cross-eyed. Like, why would you sell real estate if you’re a lawyer? Now, if you’re a lawyer and you sell real estate, I look at you like, “Oh.” You’re smart. You’ve figured out that this is a more interesting and potentially obviously depends on how successful an agent and what type of lawyer, but a lucrative business. If you were a top agent versus a run-of-the-mill lawyer, you’re making a lot more money as a top real estate agent.
So, I don’t think the competition part is going to surprise anybody. The consumer is very knowledgeable. I think sometimes in maybe middle America or in other parts of the U.S., the real estate agent may be more sophisticated than the clientele. I think that in Beverly Hills, it’s very likely that the consumer may be more sophisticated than the real estate agent. It doesn’t mean that they know more about real estate. It’s just that, you know, more educated, wealthier, maybe they’re in multiple businesses, you know, graduate degrees, that kind of thing. Also, the idea that you need exceptional service, the consumer demands it in Beverly Hills.
And the part that maybe people wouldn’t know is this is sort of ground zero for renegotiating. So, think of it like this. There are sort of two negotiations especially in Beverly Hills. So, the first negotiation is to get into escrow. The second negotiation which is very aggressive in Beverly Hills is over the inspections. And it sometimes can almost feel like it’s like a personal injury settlement more than a real estate deal, where it’s like, you know, there’s $50,000 or $100,000 of repair and the person asked for $300,000. And it can be very contentious. And it’s a very hard thing to sort of know how much to negotiate versus when to sort of shove the person out and then go to the next buyer.
Matthew Blake: I wanted to get back to one thing that you mentioned in the home buying process regarding the inspections. I thought that was really interesting because I speak with real estate agents across the country, and they’re always talking about, well, what if there’s something wrong with the roof or there’s something wrong with the plumbing when they’re closing a home? What might be a $200,000 in Shreveport, Louisiana or Pennsylvania or somewhere… And even for them, it’s a concern to find the right independent contractor to be able to finish that deal. So, what is it like in Beverly Hills when we’re talking about renovations that might run, like you said, $150,000, $200,000? Is there kind of, like, this exclusive network of roofers or plumbers that agents work with? What is that like to ensure that you have the right inspections and the right repairs done at the right moment to close a deal?
Michael Nourmand: So, that’s a really good question. So, when I started in the business, generally, people did one inspection. They did a general inspection. Now, when you buy a property…so, let’s assume it’s a single family, so, a house. On average, I do a termite inspection, general, sewer line, chimney, fireplace, foundation, roof, and mold. So, now, it went from one inspection to, let’s call it, approximately eight inspections. So, if I took eight people and I had them inspect a person’s body, took eight doctors, one generalist and seven specialists, and I had them inspect the human body with a microscope, you’re going to have things that are wrong with you. Nobody is perfect and no house is perfect.
So, you start with all those inspections. You know, the reputable agents usually use similar people. Everybody has a different person, but I’m primarily using the same few general inspectors. So, I know the people, I trust the people. It’s the same people that are coming and doing the inspections whether I’m buying a house or a client’s buying a house. So, then you get all these reports. And then you have this process of…you have to, obviously, organize the reports. You have to go through it, and you also have to have a conversation with the client to explain what is an upgrade versus what is a repair.
So, someone will say, “Okay. Give me an example.” All right. If the roof is getting near the end of its useful life and it needs a tune-up, to me, that would be a repair. If the roof is getting near the end of its useful life and you say you want a brand new roof and it’s not a brand new house, that’s an upgrade. So, I have to explain that to the client.
The other thing is there’s a way to package your request to make it feel better. So, you know, someone would say, “Well, what do you mean by that?” Well, I’ll usually look at what the estimates are, and you can do…and most of the time, it’s a combination. You know, you ask for them to fix some stuff, you ask them to give you credit for some stuff. So, what I usually do is I look at all of the numbers. And let’s say that it’s $75,000. $75,000 on a place for, let’s say, $1.5 million, sounds like a lot of money. You know, it’s 5% of the price.
So, what I may do is I may get that number to, like, 35,000, and then ask them to fix a couple things. So, it looks a little bit better, especially if, like, maybe something is like…10,000 is like…to have the place tented for termites. That used to be something that was standard procedure that the seller did. It’s not anymore. Now, it’s negotiated with everything else. But you have to package it and explain it. And if you’re a good agent, you make it easy for the other agent to explain it to their client. Right? Because I know how I want it to be explained when I talk to the listing agent. But I don’t know how the listing agent is going to present it to their client.
Well, if I make it so that basically all they have to do is regurgitate and forward what I email to them, I know that what I want to be conveyed is going to be said in that conversation. So, there’s an art to it. And, you know, sometimes if you ask for too much, you offend the seller and they either give you very little or they don’t want to deal with you. So, I usually advise clients to…we’re going to negotiate aggressively, but it’s going to be on fact backed up with estimates. And it’s going to be very easy to follow.
And we’re not going to nickel and dime them, and put a bunch of annoying things like, “Oh, there’s a rubber stopper that’s missing in the bath tub. There’s a little plate cover that needs to be there.” Focus on big ticket items, very simple, easy to follow, documentation. Package it really nicely. And the result will be good. You do a sloppy job, and you ask for too much money, it’s not going to be well-received.
Matthew Blake: Yeah. That makes sense. I wanted to go back to one thing about the distinctiveness of Beverly Hills. One thing, I think, that is so distinctive about Beverly Hills is that there’s so many shows about real estate in and around Beverly Hills. There’s “Million Dollar Listing,” “Selling Sunset.” How do these shows affect the real estate market itself in Beverly Hills? And what do they show that might be accurate or inaccurate?
Michael Nourmand: I’m a glass-half-full kind of a guy. I think most successful agents are optimistic. I think you have to be wired that way. Nobody wants to work with a real estate that’s a Debbie Downer or bad luck. So, I think these shows made selling real estate really glamorous. Right? When I graduated from college and you came back from, let’s say, going to USC or UCLA and you told your parents in, you know, early 200s, “Hey. I want to get into residential real estate,” they looked at you like they just wasted all of their money sending you to college. It was very, very different. I mean, it was almost like, you know, they held their nose when they listened to their kid. They were cringing.
Now, you know, you graduate from a good college and you come home and you say to parents, “I want to get into residential real estate,” and they think it’s fabulous. They’re thrilled. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen, how dramatically it has shifted. I think part of that is due to reality TV.
And the other thing, I think, that these shows capture, I think they capture the drama. Right? I mean, everybody wants…I mean, Bravo, they might as well call the network Drama rather than Bravo because it’s just… They capture the drama, they capture the stress, they do a good job of showing the competition. They show, you know, the hard conversations with the sellers. They show that, you know, they don’t always get the deal or they work really hard. But it’s also entertainment.
So, they don’t show how the negotiations actually go down. The idea that you get an offer and you meet with the seller in person, and then you step outside and you negotiate a deal in 10 minutes, in 1 or 2 phone calls, is so inaccurate. It’s not even funny. I mean, I have deals where I’m negotiating for over a week. I had one deal I was negotiating for three years. Now, it was a complex swap deal, and it didn’t happen, which is even the worst part. The negotiations are not that fast or swift.
And the other thing is, they’re showing agents that are successful. Now, some of those agents became far more successful because of the shows. Right? So, I looked at celebrities as, you know, actors in movies and TV shows. And then you kind of shifted, and you had celebrities as people on reality TV. And now, you fast forward and you have celebrities that are TikTok or Instagram or YouTube stars. So, I mean, it’s even gone further. But a lot of these agents have built their businesses because their phone is ringing off the hook, of people who want to work with famous real estate agents, and they want to tell their friends, “Hey. This one is my real estate agent.” It’s like gossipy bragging, in a way.
Matthew Blake: I guess, just one follow-up I would have on all of that is, do you ever feel as a broker in Beverly Hills that what the reality shows are portraying, what some of the lavish events that you just were describing or portraying ever puts, like, pressure on you to sort of glamorize yourself or glamorize, you know, the agents that you help guide in Nourmand & Associates? Are there ever any expectations for you from the client that you kind of have to put on a show as, like, a Beverly Hills agent, a Hollywood type agent?
Michael Nourmand: Yes. I think that certain clients want to be sold. They want the full presentation. They want the array of different things to promote the property. And, you know, thinking of the house that Bruce Makowsky sold for, like, 94 million. It come on the market for 250. I mean, 250 to 94, that’s…I’m not a PhD in math, but that’s a lot less than half, you know? If it was 200 million, it would be not even 50%.
So, yes. I mean, sometimes you have to conform to their expectations to compete. Sometimes you’re able to explain why you do things differently and why it’s to their benefit. You know, during COVID, obviously, these large spectacles, you know, there was a pause on that. But, yeah. I mean, we’ve had agents who have done things. One of them did a…had a penthouse condo. Rochelle Maize at my company had a penthouse condo in Santa Monica. And they had this huge event, and they broke a Guinness Record for, I think, the number of pinwheels. And it was a great event, and it was quite successful. It was actually one of the times where, one, that was part of the pitch to get the listing. And, two, it was effective.
In my view, most of the time, the way I see it is that it’s usually to appease the client. That was an example of where it did work. But, you know, you go and you hear of, like, they bring in some chef for a 20-agent exclusive dinner or you hear another one that some guy flew in town from Italy and they brought the foremost chef to make the best Italian cuisine. If I’m looking at a house, either I like the house or I don’t. You know, I’m sure getting a nice free meal doesn’t hurt. But that, to me, isn’t what sells the house.
So, you have sort of the two schools of thought. You have the agents that are more over the top, and they run with it, and that works for them. And you have the other agents that are also very successful. And they sort of, like, preach that that’s all a spectacle and that they’re selling every bit as much houses, and they do things that they find to be more effective without the show.
My personal clientele tends to be a little bit more understated and business-minded. So, most of the people that I represent don’t want the whole show. They don’t want a crazy sales pitch. They don’t want a larger-than-life agent who’s sort of taking a lot of the spotlight.
Matthew Blake: One question that, I think, agents out there might have, just very mechanically speaking, if you’re selling a home in Beverly Hills, in the Palisades, in Brentwood, that’s going for multimillion dollars, does that mean that your percentage cut of the commission as an agent or broker might be less than it is for the medium home sale in the U.S.?
Michael Nourmand: So, I would say, in Beverly Hills tends to be the most aggressive. When you go and you pitch a listing in Beverly Hills, it’s more common for them to ask for a lower rate. Some agents say yes, some agents hold firm and are still successful at getting listings. The going rate or most common rate in Los Angeles is 5%, 2.5 to the listing agent, 2.5 to the buyer’s agent. As you get higher in price point, there gets more pressure. And, really, the pressure on the fees start in the 10 million range.
So, some people will say, once you’re over 10 million, sometimes it’s 4% total, sometimes it’s 4.5, sometimes it’s 5%. And then once you get 20 million plus, I would say, most of the time it’s more like 4%. And then once you get to, like, some astronomical number like $80 million, I’m sure the listing agent is taking less than that most of the time, less than 2%. But usually, the buyer’s agent is getting 2%.
Matthew Blake: Interesting. And another question that, I think, folks are really curious about is privacy. I kind of assume right now that any information anybody ever wants to look up about me is probably available somewhere online. There’s this kind of 21st century expectation that we’ve compromised our privacy in some way. But I think maybe in the realm that you deal in, maybe it’s a little different where maybe you’re working with people that might be public figures, people that might still have a real expectation of privacy. So, how does that play out, and how do you protect the privacy of clients who want their privacy protected?
Michael Nourmand: So, there are confidentiality agreements that are signed all the time. But once you deal with an A-list actor or celebrity, it doesn’t matter. The press finds out. You know, you go… I did a deal, and a week passed, and I thought, “Oh. Great.” It somehow didn’t get in the paper. The next day, it was on every single internet website possible. I mean, it was like an explosion.
So, usually, you tell the client that in advance. Like, “Look. I’m not going to tell anyone. I’m not going to promote it, but just be prepared.” Sometimes they’ll want to get in front of it. So, they know that it’s going to come out. You know, Jay-Z buys a house. Everyone’s going to know about it. No matter who represents him, what agreements are signed, they will find out. They have their ways. But what Jay-Z may want to do is, pick a publication and say…and make a statement. In that way, you know, there’s a little bit of negotiating with it, like, “Here. I’m going to bring you the story, but certain things I don’t want said in that story.”
Matthew Blake: Right.
Michael Nourmand: And I think that there’s a friendly negotiation. But, yeah. I mean, most of the time, people don’t get in front of it, and it just gets blasted all over. The client gets upset, the business manager gets upset, the lawyers get upset. It’s like, “Look. When Madonna buys a house, the whole world finds out in a matter of days. Nothing I can do.”
Matthew Blake: So, there’s really no… I mean, a celebrity can really have no expectation of privacy, ultimately.
Michael Nourmand: I like what Shaq said about Kyrie Irving. He had said that he didn’t want to get… His decision should be private about the vaccination. And Shaq said, when you take $200 million, you lose the right to your privacy. And I think that that was well-said. You know, you take $200 million… And it doesn’t matter if you’re in favor of vaccination, you’re not in favor of vaccination. I’m not taking a position on that. You know, our staff is all vaccinated. But I think the idea that when you become a celebrity, when you become a public figure, when you do that, your privacy is gone, whether you like it or not. So, when you choose to be a professional basketball player or you choose to be a TikTok star, your personal life is out in the open. You’re in a glasshouse.
Matthew Blake: One big final topic, I did want to touch on global warming and specifically wildfires. They were raging in Malibu at the end of 2018, and have visited other parts of L.A. that your brokerage does deals in, including the Pacific Palisades. How are these environmental threats affecting what is otherwise one of the most desirable markets in the world?
Michael Nourmand: So, okay. You have the global warming right and all the beachfront properties are going to be submerged, and that’s the end of the beach. The beach houses have never sold faster and for a higher dollar amount in the City of L.A. I guess, technically, it’s the City of Malibu. But you get my point. They’re going like hotcakes. So, I don’t think that that’s affected beachfront properties. And I think there’s a good chance that rich people will figure out a way. If they can make islands in Dubai with sand machines, they can figure out a way to bring sand, and rocks, and boulders, and prolong it. And you know what? Maybe at some point, those houses will be submerged. But I’m sure, by that point, we’re all going to be six feet underground anyway. So, it won’t matter.
So, it hasn’t stopped that. I think the fires were an issue for a while, because getting insurance and the cost of insurance went through the roof. So, you saw some discounting on prices to sort of make it more attractive for buyers to buy those houses. But as other people have said, the good thing about L.A. is people have a short-term memory. And the bad thing about L.A. is that people have short-term memory. So, yeah. Malibu with the fires and stuff, Malibu got hammered.
And now, Malibu, particularly beachfront, is the hottest property in town. My parents are closing escrow on a house that’s beachfront. And they had the conversation about, is it smart, is it not, is the house going to be underground, all that kind of stuff. And, you know, houses in the hills, you know, off of Mandeville Canyon are selling… There was… Scooter Braun just bought a house off of Mandeville for, like, whatever the number was. Let’s just call it 70 million. I mean, not that that number really matters, if my number is accurate or not. And, you know, the Palisades market has been great. So, it’s like it never happened.
Matthew Blake: Yeah, that’s crazy. So, do the clients have conversations with the agents about it even or not really?
Michael Nourmand: Oh, yeah. That’s a really, really good point you’re making. So, before, during the due diligence period, right? So, you make a deal, you have a contingency period. And once your contingency period is up, your deposit is in jeopardy. So, now, during the contingency period, talking to get insurance quotes is part of that process. It was always supposed to be part of the process, but it was not really something that agents talked to their clients. You just figured you’d get insurance. Okay, it’d be 500 bucks more, 1,000 or 2,000 more. But when those fires happened, you know, 5,000 or 6,000 in dollar insurance. Some places were like 15, 20, 30 grand. They went crazy. So, yes. It has become part of the due diligence period when you go into escrow now. In the past, it was not much of a conversation.
Matthew Blake: Michael Nourmand, this has been a very good conversation. I know we had to sort of hop around, especially at the end. So, before we go, I wanted to give you the floor. Is there anything you wanted to emphasize, wanted to point out to folks listening?
Michael Nourmand: Yeah. So, I think, for people that are thinking about getting into real estate, sometimes you have the idea that you just started a company and then you get trained at that company and then you switch and all that. But I think that a good company will have a good training program. So, I’ll give you an example.
Jill Epstein, one of our agents who started with my dad when she was 19 and has been with us a long time, is a good example of somebody that started with us and has been with us, you know, a very long time, without me getting into the number of years, but several, longer than most companies in L.A. are in business. So, I think that, you know, you want to go to a company with a good reputation, that has an excellent training program. So, getting started training program is huge. And you want to find a really good mentor. Sometimes you’ll find new agents that get caught up on, you know, who’s offering the highest commission split, and they don’t want to pay a mentor because then they’re giving away a piece of the deal.
And the way I explain it to them is this. When you’re getting started, the most valuable thing is knowledge and giving yourself the best chance to be successful. And having a great mentor who can explain it to you, teach it to you, help you be more successful, help you get there much faster, is worth it. And the biggest variable is the number of deals you close, regardless of how big of an agent you are. The number one variable for how much money you make is the number of deals you close.
Anyone that has questions, feel free to look me up at www.nourmand.com. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please follow us on Instagram and Facebook. It’s Nourmand RE. And if you’d like to get our weekly newsletter, if you email me, I’ll add you to our list.
Matthew Blake: Okay. Great. With that plug, do you have a TikTok as well?
Michael Nourmand: Our company doesn’t have a TikTok, but we do have agents that are doing it.
Matthew Blake: Okay.
Michael Nourmand: And if you would have told me 10 years that there would be someone at our company whose primary job is to handle our social media account, I would have laughed hysterically. But I’m not laughing anymore because that’s been the case for the past five years.
Matthew Blake: No one is laughing at social media right now. All right. Great. Michael Nourmand, Nourmand & Associates Beverly Hills, thank you so much for your time. Very enjoyable converastion.
Michael Nourmand: Thanks, Matt. Appreciate it.