Beverly Hills has its very own Energizer Bunny… Josh Altman. As the newest addition to Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, Altman isn’t merely wading in the water. He’s diving in, making a huge splash, and leaving treacherous waves in his path. Altman is definitely a real estate force to be reckoned with, not just on the show, but in the real world as well. When he’s not selling real estate with his brother, he’s… well… selling real estate. Real Estate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a midnight snack! It’s what he does. It’s what he loves. It’s what he is…
Tell me how you began your career in real estate and how it evolved into the success it is today.
My real estate career began when I bought my first house at the age of 23. After a paint job and some restoration hardware, I thought the house looked so much better, so I put it back on the market 3 months later and sold it for $200,000 more. From then on, I breathed, ate, and slept real estate.
So, what do you most enjoy about flipping houses as opposed to simply being the homes’ listing agent?
I love flipping houses because I get to put my ideas to work. I take all the good ideas that I see in every house, see what works with those houses, and what people want in a house and incorporate those ideas into my own projects.
Is your brother the same way? Is it ever difficult working with your brother? Any sibling rivalry?
My brother and I have always been in some sort of business together ever since we started working. We have learned how to deal with each other and what not to do. As far as rivalries go, we are very competitive, but try to put that energy together instead of putting it against each other.
What are some of the advantages of the two of you being so successful at such a young age?
The main advantage is the opportunity to be involved in other investments because of success in real estate, which transform into other opportunities.
Have the downfalls of the economy and the market affected your strategies at all when it comes to business decisions?
Absolutely. You have to be a lot smarter with your money now. I look at an investment as something for the future, not something I am going to capitalize on now. If you invest smart now, there is a lot of money to be made in future. As one of my wealthy clients say “now is the time when people start to build their empires”.
Tell me about some of the current listings you have and what typically goes into your work with each property from start to finish.
I am very excited about a deal I just closed in Beverly Park, which is the best of the best gated community in Beverly Hills. The sale price was 16.5 million which was my largest sale of the year. I currently have about 15 listings that range from 1 million dollars to 20 million dollars. I put the same work ethic and energy into all my properties, no matter what the list price.
That’s refreshing to hear. What else do you feel makes someone in your position prosperous in their career?
Know the inventory. Become an expert on local real estate.
Do you find that most of your clients come from referrals?
I would say 75% come from referrals. The rest from going out and meeting people and letting people know what I do.
Okay, as a fan of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing myself, you have to tell me what it’s like coming onto the show in its fourth season.
Initially, it was a lot of pressure. I wasn’t sure how my clients were going to respond. If any of them would allow me to tape them or their houses. I have a lot of private clientele so I have to make sure to keep them private while others like being in the limelight.
Right. Well, were you a fan of the show or did you know any of the cast-mates prior to filming?
I knew of the cast-mates, but never worked on any deals with them. I didn’t watch the show, but since we started taping I have watched the episodes and love it. I think it’s hysterical!
What is the dynamic like when filming with some of the other guys on the show?
Doing business and closing deals is what matters most to me. As far as dynamics, we’re all real estate agents at the end of the day, so we have a respect for each other.
So, what do you feel you personally bring to the show?
A new energy that has not been shown yet. I’m the aggressive, always hustling, Beverly Hills business man. There is nothing laid-back about me.
Will your brother be featured on the show at all?
He will be on the show for a scene or two, but as a team we decided to keep it separate.
Despite keeping himself separate, how does he feel about the show and your now being on it?
He gets a kick out of his little brother being on the show, being that he taught me a lot of what I know today in business and life.
What can viewers expect to see this coming season?
The most impressive real estate of any season. With more at stake then ever, comes a lot more drama.
Ooooh, drama! Yummy! So, real estate can’t be your whole life. What else do you enjoy doing or are you just a workaholic?
I always say that I would be doing real estate whether or not I was getting paid. So it is my hobby as well as my job. I do however love hitting the town with my friends and enjoy doing hikes in the perfect LA weather with my two dogs.
Since it’s both your hobby as well as your job, do you ever have a tough time drawing the line when it comes to your work, knowing when to stop answering the cell phone at night, etc?
As some of my ex-girlfriends will tell you….YES. “He’s always on the phone.” It’s especially hard when I am in the middle of deals with overseas clients and start doing business at 2am to 8am.
Yikes! With all the crazy deals and big-time clients, what keeps you grounded?