Larry Lipman is president of The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty.
The Nashville-based veteran of the local residential scene recently met with the Post for a quick chat.
Do you anticipate The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty to reach any company milestones this year:
Absolutely. Our volume has increased substantially, and we are the largest we’ve ever been with 60 total agents. We have doubled in size over the last five years, and we are constantly hiring new agents to meet demand in Nashville. This is an exciting time for our company. We are setting and achieving new goals due to our full team of hand-selected, entrusted agents.
Are you using any new technology to broker real estate transactions?
We have a new, advanced website that rivals any of our competition. It provides more accurate data than sources such as Zillow and Trulia. Users can search both globally and locally, filtering by specific needs such as budget, currency, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms and more. We also have a SIR mobile app that we find many millennials prefer to use over the online site. Additionally, we have found that videos truly help to sell a home as they showcase the type of lifestyle you could live in that home.
What is your take on the “living green” and “simple living” movements? The trend could yield smaller homes and even tiny homes. Thoughts?
The demand for tiny homes seems to be small in our area. However, living green and being earth-friendly remains top-of-mind. We tend to use the three “Rs” when encouraging our clients to live a green lifestyle: reduce, re-use and replace. For example, install zone-based thermostats that can be controlled anywhere using a programmable app on a smartphone or tablet. These devises use motion sensors to heat and cool a room only when users are present and rooms are occupied. Furthermore, consider energy-efficient light bulbs, a tankless water heater to control the use of hot water and double-pane windows for added insulation. While we’ve only seen a slight increase in demand for a completely green home, green features are being added to homes daily.
On this theme, we often hear Realtors say “buy as much house as you can afford.” Should it not be — at least for most folks — “buy as inexpensive a house or condo as you feel you can be happy living in”?
We never encourage people to buy more house than they can afford. In fact, we encourage our clients to buy homes that are comfortable. Whether it be size of the home or price of the home, we always want our buyers to be confident in their decision rather than remorseful.
What are some key features millennials tend to seek when buying a home?
More millennials will become homeowners in 2017. With the oldest of the generation pushing their mid-30s, many are approaching life milestones that typically motivate people to buy a home: increased wages, marriage and children. In fact, many of these buyers have saved enough money to go with something more than a condo or starter home.
When house hunting, millennials heavily rely on the ease of technology, using platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Trulia and Zillow to find their dream home in a timely manner. They look for amenities such as open living areas, outdoor living areas, large entertainment spaces and high-end appliances, finishes and furnishings. They are also extremely interested in living in a “hot” neighborhood that is zoned for a top-rated school and within walking distance of restaurants, shops and convenient stores.
What is your take on residential real estate companies whose agents receive a flat fee commission instead of a percentage commission?
At The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty, we find that you get the service you pay for. Often, using a flat fee commission structure yields agents who are not as motivated, hard-working and committed to meeting and exceeding client expectations.