101 Mail-Right Show We Interview Peter R. Lorimer CEO of PLG Estates, of Beverly Hills
Do you want to become a luxury market agent? If yes you want to listen to this episode we interview Peter R. Lorimer.
Former hit record producer turned real estate mogul Peter Lorimer, a Brit, has been a a consistent and significant top producer in the Los Angeles property arena serving the more creatively minded for well over a decade with his wife Cindy.
Both owners of uber trendy PLG Estates, which fuses together the incredibly delicate art of making both buyers and sellers alike feel like VIPs whist providing the experience of being “inside the velvet rope,” just like entertainment/creative community the PLG Estates brand is known for. The Lorimer’s flavor of “exclusivity for all” is the perfect concoction for the sophisticated Los Angeles crowd who gulp it down with an insatiable thirst for PLG’s style and “not just any old agent” verve. PLG stand out from the vanilla crown and do exactly the same for their clients.
Facebook: Peter Lorimer
Full Transcript of Show
Thomas: Welcome back my friend to the Mail-Right Real Estate Agent Podcast Show, we’re on episode 101 and my co-host Jonathan Denwood and myself Thomas J. Nelson are pleased to have out guest today, Mr. Peter R. Lorimer of PLG Estates Up in L.A. also famously in Beverly Hills. Peter, would you tell our listeners a little about yourself before we dive into the questions?
Peter: Sure, yes. So I am a fellow English man, and we’re a company about 7 years old now, our original office was in Beverly Hills, now we are one East Side services, East Hollywood for those people who are outside of L.A. and then we got one in the valley in Studio C. And our company was kind of born out of a frustration with very kind of corporate feeling companies, so we set up a barrier down linked to creatively minded company back in 2010
Thomas: Alright and before we dive in I’m going to have my co-host to introduce himself, Jonathan take it away.
Jonathan: Hi there folks here’s the hip, Jonathan Denwood here. I’m the founder of Mail-Right and we help you with Facebook leads and other online marketing tasks.
Thomas: And I’m Thomas J. Nelson, I’m a residential Realtor here in San Diego California just a little South of Peter and I’m available on my website at thomasjnelsonrealtor.com. Alright well, once again Peter welcome to the show and thanks for being here.
Peter: My Pleasure.
Thomas: I want to dive into your history a little before we get into main content of the show. Now because a former Disc Jockey myself you intrigued me as a guest because you are famously a Record Producer. Could you tell us a little bit about your background, how did you get into producing records and what did that entail?
Peter: It all began… I was a musician at school, I play the Trombone of all instruments and I was really good at it, and I got sent as an exceptional student to the Royal Collage of Music at a young age like 13/14 years old. And then I toured with orchestras and then around 1985 I heard, maybe 84, I heard a record by Steve Silk Hurley called “Jack Your Body,” and it was a house record, house music and from that moment I’m like “Screw the Trombone I want to go make records like that.” So I dropped out of high school and went off to London to seek my fortune as a record producer, and within a couple of years had managed to worm my way into the music business, I was in the right place at the right time and I started having hits, I was in the birth of the electronic music scene in London.
Thomas: Oh wow, okay. Did you work with any bands that we would know from pop music?
Peter: Yeah I worked with people including, I worked with INXS, I worked with George Michael, I worked with Christina Aguilera, I worked with, Million, Level 42 and Seal and so on, and so on, and so on a lot of really big .
Thomas: Yeah that’s an A-list, gosh. For those of us outside of the industry, what exactly is your role as a producer, what do you do for the artiste?
Peter: Okay. So the job of a record producer is very much the same as the job, I guess of a director of a film, what a record producer has is total creative control of the project from beginning to end. Very often which was the case with me, I use to write stuff with the band and I use to write stuff with the artiste and I use to play everything too, it was all through computers, but I use to play the piano and program everything involve, I’m a bit of control freak that way as well.
Thomas: Now, how does that work? And I promise we’ll get to real estate in a minute but…
Peter: That’s okay.
Thomas: But there is a tie in here to what you use to do and what you do now. When you’re working with somebody like an artiste that’s already got their concept of the music they’re bringing in, how is that you are able to convince them that we’re going to do it this way, not the way you’ve brought it in?
Peter: That’s a really good question and it’s a push and pull and compromises are made and I guess I learnt my job to being a good salesman in the music business making people feel comfortable, and really it’s the same thing as real estate, not to sound , but, always striving to get the best results out of the artiste, therefore, the best record possible was something that I learnt to do. And I saw lots of great artiste and producers kind of kill their careers early on by just digging their heels in too much, it’s a compromise, it’s a creative process and everybody as to have a voice. So I love that.
Thomas: And I agree with you, that’s was kind of the leap I was making here because as agents we very often walk into say a sellers home who has pre-conceived notions of how it’s going to go, and that may be contrary to what’s in the best interest of the sale of the property and we have to, kind of, be the producer of that listing.
Thomas: So you have a great background that brings you to Real Estate, but how do you leave the industry of producing music with all these A-list artiste and decide to become a Realtor, where does that enter your life?
Peter: So I’ve always been very techy, I follow a lot of tech I still read a lot of blogs and vlogs and it’s just something I’ve always loved. And I made my first record, I got my first credit on a Bronski Beat Record in 1988 I think it was, maybe 1989, and I stayed in the music business all the way through to about 2003 and maybe even a little earlier, but one of the things I spotted early on was mp3’s, and I was convinced that mp3’s were going to forever dismantle the music business as we knew it. I’ve been in it a long time, dance music is a very exhausting field of music to be in because you do the records, but then you also have to go to night clubs and I had to DJ and I was lucky, I traveled the world doing this, but after about 10/15 years I’m like “You know what, I don’t want to be behind turntables when I’m 40 in a club at 3 in the morning.” My road to Real Estate really started with investment, I seem to have a nose to be able to pick areas that in Los Angeles that were going to pop and I invested in properties in those areas and then it did pop. And what I found was my tribe of creative’s and musicians almost no offense to you, allergic to working with guys with shirts and ties and jackets.
Peter: Right. And so I had all these music business people saying to me “Hey dude, can you help us, where should we buy, what should we do?” So I started giving out advice and then one thing led to another, I got my license and then everything mushroomed into what it is today.
Thomas: I was reading your bio and it looks like about 2005 is when you were officially a realtor by 2005?
Peter: I think so yea.
Thomas: And that was with Keller Williams?
Peter: That was with Keller Williams.
Thomas: And so your original database was a lot of musicians, they’re people in the industry; would that be fair to say?
Thomas: Okay. Well and it makes sense because mine was on a more local level, I was a professional DJ for 28 years, I left the industry for the same reason. Gray in the hair works great as a Realtor, not so much as a DJ.
Thomas: A lot of my first clients were the brides and grooms of the wedding I was DJ in. And, so that’s what gave me my base when I first got started, but it grows beyond that, obviously for you it has. Because I’m looking at the array of properties you’ve sell and you’ve got everything from for L.A. would be a starter home all the way up to multi-million dollar home. Now, how do you branch out, how does your clientele grow beyond the industry?
Peter: That’s a really good question. So when I was a new agent, the story behind this is my wife within six months of me becoming a real estate agent she quit her job and came to work with me and she is more than 50 % of the team, she’s a powerhouse and I absolutely would not have been able to do this without her. So what happened was, we had a policy of… Cindy my wife is Vietnamese she came here to escape the war and we both have similar work ethic, we’re both not afraid of work, and so I originally started with my music business connections and it wasn’t easy, it wasn’t like I called up all these A-lister’s and said “Hey remember me I did a remix for you I’d like to sell you a house.” To be honest I don’t really remember which ones out of industry worked with me initially, but I was just relentless and I forged a good name as a record producer which surprisingly to me, stood me in good stead as a Real Estate agent, I don’t think there would be any correlation at all.
Thomas: I can appreciate that. Again I had similar experience, you almost didn’t want to tell people you were selling real estate because they’re like “Wait a minute; you did my wedding in my world, now you want to sell me a house?” But I would spin it just like you said it “Would you have me do another wedding for you, if you could do it over again, would you do another wedding with me?” “Of course I would.” Well that same care and expertise that I put into that I do the same for Real Estate. And that’s what you sell people on, the work ethic is what’s translates.
Peter: I guess I was really, really surprised by that and what I did was, I was kind of prospecting really at the birth of social media and really people were emailing but not as much as they are today. So I just hammered everybody I knew and I asked them for business, and I was relentless, I had embarrassing moments where I would call record executives and it’ll be like “Hey Pete what’s up mate, what record are you working on, what project you’re doing? “Actually I’ve had a change of career and now I’m selling Real Estate.” And I get that, “Oh that’s great dude, that’s great, alright be in touch yeah.” And I would call him back in 3 months, and then I would call him back in another 3 months, and another 3 months, until they just realize that I was going to be relentless.
Thomas: And that you’re serious about it. I’m sure some people thought, oh this is just a passing fancy and on to the next thing, but here you are. And I’ll tell you, I love that you used the word relentless because that is a word I hear Pop producers and successful people use over and over, they don’t give up on their craft or their goals.
Jonathan: Thomas, I think it’s time we went for our break folks and I’m such a beast I know folks, I interrupt Thomas just before he was going to say something, it’s really fantastic but here we go, we go for our break folks and we’ll be back to learn more about Peter and his music and the change of his ..
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Jonathan: We’re coming back, folks. We’re rocking and its rock and roll Real Estate and everything that goes with it, back to you Thomas.
Thomas: Alright. Well speaking of Real Estate I’m going to dive more into some Real Estate questions for you. What I do notice Peter is that you have a lot of luxury homes on your website as sold and currently on the market. How would somebody without those kinds of connections, and you were very authentic with it wasn’t just automatic for you either, but you did have a nice shoe into the luxury market. But how would somebody without that kind of connection make their way into the luxury market and have a go at it successfully?
Peter: So if I was a new agent doing this over again and my focus was luxury, number one I advise and this is just my opinion, all agents out there who are watching this, who’ll feel they want to sell luxury, sell anything, don’t turn people down, some of my biggest deal comes from some of my smallest leads. And some of the people I thought were a dead [15:19] that were going to sell with me, that were luxury, didn’t. What I would do if I was a new agent trying to get into luxury is I would relentlessly… there’s that word again… I would relentlessly call all the luxury brokers in the city regardless of what company I’m at, I would make myself known to them, I would take them out for lunch, I would meet them for coffee and I would ask them if I could set their open houses.
Thomas: Now you bring up a good point that I actually wanted to ask you about, in the luxury market, do you actually do open houses or do you just do private showings?
Peter: We do open houses because even if…and I have this conversation with sellers a lot, they’re like “Aren’t you just going to show it privately?” Well back in the day yeah we use to show it privately, but now the game has changed, even people who are spending 3 to 10 million will be looking at Red Fin as they go around open houses and then calling up their agent on the Monday saying,” I saw this-this and this can you get more information?”
Thomas: Okay. What do you do differently… I see that you sell all types of property so, is there a difference in your $4 million listing through your $400,000 listing open house?
Peter: Surprisingly they are very, very similar, what will happen with a luxury property is it will be promoted to a slightly different crowd and I use custom audiences in FaceBook and I have a phenomenally powerful entertainment derive database. So I’m not going really going to be sending a $400,000 home to Beyonce’s business manager, because they probably don’t have someone for it, but I am going to be sending anything 2 million and above to a very exclusive L.A. crowd. Now the truth of the matter is at the end of the day, how many sales occur in the luxury market that are off market for a home that’s done and not a built site, not that many. I mean people still go live and their home still get sold through the MLS.
Thomas: Oh okay. That’s good to know. So let me ask you this and this is for any type of home, but it’s just your take on it as a successful agent, do you find your commission coming under fire?
Peter: Yeah I do, you know I do and I think we all do and some of these massive, massive homes I know that the commission gets allegedly reduce to like 1 %, but it’s a $100,000 million dollar home who cares.
Thomas: It sounds like your attitude is more like it’s about the numbers rather than what you make per deal is that what I’m getting from you?
Peter: Interesting, no! My policy with commission is naturally I always want to try and get at least 2 and a half %. But my policy is I never focus on the money and I focus on the person, and I focus on the service. Now with that being said, I’m not going o be a doormat if somebody wants to just grind me down I’m not just going to take it and I’ve walked away from many, many listings and out of a 100 listings, I would say 95 of them are 2 and a half in the box. But occasionally if they’re mitigating circumstances, I may be open to discussing commission changes, but they tend to be much more expensive properties.
Jonathan: Actually, Peter, I think I’ll come and work for you actually, I know it’s going to be a load of hard work; well I think it’s going to be fun actually isn’t it?
Thomas: You got to make this career fun Jonathan. Because I’ll tell you there’s a lot of people that try to steal your joy every day, you got to have fun with it.
Jonathan: I can see we got the same attitude, because I’m…
Peter: I think so. I mean life’s too short you know, life is just too short.
Thomas; You know Peter this might sound like a trivial question, but relationships are important to me and one of the things I like to do when I close an is give my clients a closing gift and I’m wondering, is that something you do and if it is again same like the open house question, is there a…
Peter: Go ahead.
Thomas: I was just wondering if there’s a difference in what you gift, let’s say, a $500,000 home versus a $5 million homeowner, what do you give luxury home people as a closing gift?
Peter: Therapy sessions. You know it varies, it depends because if it’s a celebrity client, I’m not going to send them a gift card to fricking The Groove or something, they’re never going to use it. Would I take somebody for dinner, yes I would, it all depends on the client. So let’s say it’s someone who is a doctor right, let’s say it’s a doctor that’s buying a $5 million house and not a celebrity, I would take him out for a phenomenally expensive and delicious dinner and then I would probably send the doctor’s wife to the spa for the day, something like that.
Thomas: Oh okay. Alright. My other question I had for you is because of the size of your business, what’s a day in the life of you look like? How do you structure your day to get the most out of it?
Peter: Well every day is different; there are some structures that I use to get through the day. It’s important for me to try and work out every morning, I try, I don’t succeed but I try and do it at least 5 days a week. I actually work out for my head rather than my body; it just puts me in a really great frame of mind.
Thomas: What does that entail?
Peter: Well I get up at 4:45 and I’m in the gym by 5:30 and then I’m out of the gym about 6:50 and I have a breakfast meeting about 7. And I will work from, on a normal day certainly from 8 to 8 I will work every day, and then all the videos that I do I try not to let those intrude on normal hours.
Peter: So I will finish work at 7 or 8 o clock at night, have dinner with the family and then I’ll begin editing till 9/10/11.
Jonathan: Yeah, that what’s I was going to ask you the videos, what are the purpose of the videos and why did you decide to start doing them, Pete?
Peter: Great question. So when I was setting up PLG, we were a very distinct flavor, we are a very distinct flavor and it kind of dawn on me that I can’t…I’m not going to try and do the same thing everyone else is doing, I’ll just fail. I can’t do [23:04] that’s debatable but. Are either of you banker.
Thomas: I’m a former banker.
Jonathan: I’m not in Real Estate thank God.
Jonathan: tomorrow is actually Sunday just having some fun.
Peter: So I thought to myself, social media was kind of coming out, as soon as I saw MySpace and then FaceBook, I remember having that kind of burning bush experience of this is the new frontier, and I took it to my manager at Keller Williams and bless her heart. She looked at me and she used the words “It’s just a fad it’s going to go away.” And at that moment I knew I was in the wrong place, not offense to Keller Williams, and I’m like I got to set this up and do it my way. So when we were setting it up I knew that I can’t outspend Keller Williams, I can’t outspend [24:06] banker, can’t outspend Century 21, but I can do something different that’s going to get noticed that nobody else is doing. And so it took a while to kind of get my wings because I was trying to figure out the direction. And then I figure out the direction with the sole purpose of bringing brand awareness to the company with the hopes that the bi-product would be like minded creative Real Estate agents would want to join a firm like mine. And it has worked out exactly if not better than I thought.
Thomas; It’s a pretty robust video channel, YouTube channel and I was curious too if … because you bring up social media a lot, how are you using FaceBook Live as an extension of that.
Peter: So we use FaceBook Live quite a lot, I do a Monday mantra on a Monday morning, FaceBook Live 10 o clock and then this afternoon I’m going to do [Latte’s] with Lorema at 3 o clock where I interview one of the agents at the office. And then we have a whole gang load of other stuff that happen during the week and then I try and do a back stage pass every week, and I try and do a life and times, I try every week but I’m failing at that one. And I think we’re going to start a new live stream theme at some point during the week, I’m going to be talking about Tech, it would be like Tech for 10 minutes of what coming out this week.
Thomas: It’s a pretty good investment at time I know, I do a lot of videos too and there are days where I know I’m sitting there doing a video thinking, is this really the best use of my time, but then when you get the result from it you realize yeah, and if I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have gotten that connection. So what kind of results are you getting and you notice a difference in results between YouTube and FaceBook Live?
Peter: Very Interesting question. So yeah, initially we were very much… we had an inbuilt audience with FaceBook and we were getting lots and lots of views from the local area, and YouTube was kind of very slow to pick up, but now what I’m finding is YouTube is beginning to take over FaceBook and so we will be getting, I don’t know, anywhere from 5 to 15,000 views on a video FaceBook which is uploaded natively and then we’ll get the same on YouTube, but YouTube was a slow burn, but I can feel that it’s going to be a bigger burn.
Thomas: So if you could only use one format, would YouTube be your choice over FaceBook Live?
Peter: As a business owner or as a Real Estate agent?
Thomas: Oh that’s a good question. Let’s go with as a Real Estate agent.
Peter: As a Real Estate agent I think FaceBook just by design is targeted at a more local audience. So I think for realtors FaceBook is still the monster, it’s still the elephant in the room.
Thomas: Okay. But you mention as a business owner sounds like YouTube might be your choice?
Peter: If I was the new [cohort] banker going national I would be hammering YouTube no end putting up 3 to 5 videos a day.
Thomas: And what’s the secret according to Peter on getting that viewership up on YouTube? When you post a video, what are you doing to get it the most opportunity for views?
Peter: That’s a really interesting question. So the title is obviously very, very important, put in the tags in is very important, certain keywords in the copy, but all of that stuff is very much secondary to trying to create content that’s really enjoyable and watchable.
Thomas: Okay. So ultimately it still comes down to having good content, you can’t just post a post and keyword it up.
Peter: [Code paste king].
Thomas: Okay. Which is true on websites and blogs as well, it doesn’t go away. No matter how technology changes that seems to be the number one rule.
Peter: Right. And I think it always will be and people try and gain the system. We all remember those times, probably I don’t know, 10 years ago where you could, if you had your website and it essentially had a white back ground you could put all the white keywords beneath it so nobody could see it, and then the Google web crawlers would find them, now that’s gone. You can’t game it.
Jonathan: That’s where you’re going wrong Peter I’m still doing it.
Thomas: I wanted to ask you another question regarding your business, how are you driving in traffic to yourself and your agents? What is the source, are you buying leads, are you self-generating, is it repeat business, what would you say your number one pipe line is?
Peter: I have always shied away from [Zillah] and creatures such as, because I find that they just hand trash bags full of crap to you and it take so many man hours to shiv through those bags of crap to find someone that’s even barely a lead, where if I took that time and prospected people I know, kind of know, might know, could know, I feel like the pipeline will always remain full. So I don’t give my agents any leads we’re very traditional in that sense, but I show the agents how to harness social media and other digital strategies so that they can be in the face of this fear more and translate that into deals.
Thomas: Okay. So it’s more about using the technology that’s available to you through social media and it would be for the…these days would be considered traditional lead sources like Zillah.
Peter: Correct. I’m a very big proponent and on the walls of the PLG offices one day I promise a [30:58]. In light that’s 10 feet tall, when you run out of people you know, look for strangers.
Thomas: That’s another question I have for you is, do you do any form of networking, do you go out to events and mixers?
Peter: Yeah very interesting. I have not really done that, my children now are 9, 6, and 4, so they’d been little. So over the past 9 years I haven’t wanted to abandon my wife and leave her at home with the kids, so no not really, not really. I always find networking events to be, I don’t know I feel like a piece of chum and there’s a bunch of shark circling around me.
Thomas: They can be kind of superficial.
Peter: I did one networking event JP Morgan here in Beverly Hills in the morning; it was a breakfast once a month and nothing came of it. I find when I network or when I hang out with my tribe which is the creative industries about whether it be music film, silicon beach, but organically I run into people that want to buy and sell.
Thomas: Okay, love it. You mentioned you’re a family man and by the way happy belated father’s day from one dad to another.
Peter: Thanks so much.
Thomas: How do you keep those boundaries so that your marriage and your kid’s relationships with you stay intact? You sound like you’re a very busy guy, you’ve got a big team, how do you take your downtime?
Peter: Cindy and I have made a policy of sculpting our day around the fact that every night we have dinner with the kids. If that means we have to work afterwards, we’ll work afterwards which we pretty much do every night. And what we’ve decided to do, well actually the credit goes to Cindy on this one… she’s an incredibly intelligent articular beautiful and talented woman, and so what we elected to do was, look you can stay home and raised the children, but I can’t repeat you, whereas I can repeat someone that can help with the kids that can cook and clean, so we hired someone to do the domestic stuff of our own, who has become kind of part of the family and she is incredible dear to us, but what that does it freeze us up to focus our time on work. We come home dinner is ready, we have dinner with the kids and then the kids go off and play with their iPods now and then we carry on working and the we all…
Jonathan: I think Thomas we’re going to end the podcast part of the show folks and we’re going to continue on the YouTube channel and you’ll be able to see that on the website and on YouTube channel folks. I’m trying to cut this down because I’ve had feedback from people that they listen to this when they’re traveling from one gig to the other and they say they like it a little bit shorter. So we’re going to shorten a little bit, but we’re going to continue like I say on the video. So, Thomas, can you take over and ask Peter to…
Thomas: Yeah. So Peter hang in there with us, but for the sake of our listeners on iTunes will you let them know how to reach you if they want to reach out to you.
Peter: Sure. So if people want to find me you can find me two places, all my accounts are, well actually @Peterlorimer, P-E-T-E-R-L-O-R-I-M-E-R, at Peter Lorimer on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram everywhere, but easiest still is @PLGESTATES, at PLG Estates, anybody can reach me there and I would love to get feedback and questions or thoughts I welcome them all.
Thomas: Awesome. And definitely, check out Peter’s YouTube channel, it’s pretty entertaining. Alright, and Jonathan how can people reach you?
Jonathan: It’s quite easy folks you can get me on my Twitter feed @Jonathan Denwood, Tech and Real Estate mixed up in a mixture, or you could email me at email@example.com.
Thomas: Alright. And for me, it’s at thomasjnelsonrealtor.com. And again in San Diego California where I’m never too busy for your referrals. We’re going to end the podcasts portion but if you want to continue with us folks just join us on the YouTube video and we’ll continue there.
Jonathan: See you next week folks, bye.
Peter: Bye mate.