A former race car driver-turned-real estate agent offers his best negotiating tips, and how the resources provided by RE/MAX are helping him race to the top.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. will tell you real estate is all about the people, and to treat your clients like family. Like that time he helped a buyer shave almost $1.5 million off asking price.
“I knew my client would have paid asking, but negotiation is what I pride myself on,” Luyendyk says. “After a few days of intense back and forth with an initial offer at $6 million, we landed at $7 million – including the furniture my buyer wanted. I felt like I was on top of the world.”
Luyendyk is a rising star at RE/MAX Excalibur in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2017, Luyendyk closed $13.1 million in sales, ranking him fifth overall for the year in commissions earned at RE/MAX Excalibur. He says it was all accomplished with the business skills he learned as a pro driver on the race car circuit. Racing is in his blood – his father, Arie Luyendyk Sr., is a two-time Indy 500 champion.
Now, if some of this is starting to sound familiar, you’re not crazy. We’re talking about that Arie Luyendyk Jr., the main man on ABC’s “The Bachelor.” Successful racer, successful real estate agent – and successful in love? You’ll have to tune in Monday nights on ABC to find out (and don’t miss the finale on March 12).
In the meantime, if you’re looking for top insights to accelerate your own real estate career, read the Q&A below.
I started in 2004 but after the decline of the market I left real estate to refocus on racing. In 2016, I was doing a lot of automotive events in between races for major car manufacturers. I was on one of my month-long grueling trips when a real estate friend of mine visited. She mentioned how well the business was going for her and I thought to myself, maybe I should look into this.
I really needed a break from traveling so much, and real estate has provided that! I still race every now and then but I’ve been able to spend the majority of my time in Arizona, and it has really improved my quality of life.
RE/MAX was a natural fit for me; my longtime family friend owns RE/MAX Excalibur (which is Arizona’s oldest and largest office servicing Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson) and after chatting with a few different brokerages, I realized why he was so passionate about RE/MAX. My brokerage has given me all the tools to be successful and they are helping me learn more every day.
I have to say, one incredible part about being a RE/MAX agent is our referral system. A huge part of our business in Arizona is out-of-town buyers and seasonal visitors. I love that we have a huge online community of agents seeking agents, and I really love to provide a great service through the referral system. Finding agents to work with based on commonalities such as racing or reality TV has been not only fun but rewarding.
For me it’s all about leaning on my contacts and my sphere of influence. More importantly, once you establish yourself as someone’s agent, make sure to deliver them the best possible experience. I’ve built my racing business on my negotiating; it was only natural to apply the same tactics in real estate. Know your strengths and play to them. Only you know what makes you a great agent; tell your potential clients what sets you apart, and tell them with confidence.
I’m still working on that. Like in any career, you’ll always be learning. I think starting out you lean on your friends and family but you have to have a plan for the future. I’m currently budgeting 10 percent of all commissions toward marketing. There are so many great lead-generation products and marketing tools out there.
Absolutely! Racing has been my career for the past 20 years, and it really has shaped who I am business-wise. Driving in the Indianapolis 500 and growing up in that circle, I was always around successful individuals. There were always so many creative business deals and smart men behind them. Trust me, finding the sponsorship for racing may be the toughest sell imaginable.
When I started diving into real estate I knew immediately that there was a lot of crossover – everything from negotiating to dealing with large numbers to the basics of putting on a smile and knowing how to interact with people.
Time management is key, I plan each day nearly minute by minute the previous evening and set goals throughout the year to keep me focused on my business. Leaning on other top producing agents in our office has been very helpful for me while shooting as well. Although racing is my passion I am making real estate my career and the transition has been so satisfying. At the end of the day you are a part of a huge life decision for your clients. Being with RE/MAX and surrounding myself with the best agents has shown me that it’s not all numbers and closing great deals. It’s about being a part of a someone’s life story and that has been so incredibly gratifying.