We had the good fortune of connecting with Leslie Lerner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leslie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
In 2013, after 20 years in the real estate business, I decided it was time to take a risk and start my own brokerage. As we know, Realtors are a dime a dozen. I had to think about how I was going to be different. It was evident technology was changing our business. Buyers and sellers had a lot more information at their fingertips than they did when I entered the business. With this is mind, I sat down with a pen and small piece of paper to outline a business plan. I figured out how I could benefit the consumer and still make a living. I called it flat fee listings and rebated commissions. I understood I was taking a huge risk, but knew if I offered the same hands-on, full service I always provided, then I had a chance to make it. The next day I registered a domain name and started building my website. Initially, people told me I wouldn’t make it, agents would dislike me for my commission structure and many believed I did not offer the same service as higher priced agencies. Thankfully, I have dispelled those myths. Leslie Lerner Properties was a little ahead of the times, but we are certainly here to stay.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Leslie Lerner Properties was the first Houston real estate agency to offer full-service, flat fee listings. Our flat fee listings start at $4,500, which is a huge savings for many sellers. Leslie Lerner Properties also offers a 1 – 1.5% rebate when purchasing a home. This affords the buyer the opportunity to close with less cash.
In addition to monetary benefits, we are proud of the honest, knowledgeable service we offer. Our agents strive to educate clients in order to make informed decisions when buying or selling a home. Although clients are offered flat fee listings and rebated commissions, no stone is left unturned.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Houston has so many fun things to do. I love live music, outdoor patios, good restaurants and gym time at the Houstonian Club. The Federal Grill never disappoints. It is a wonderful restaurant/bar and always has a terrific atmosphere. The River Oaks District also has many great restaurants with outdoor patios. Houston has several live music venues. I am looking forward to The Rustic Uptown having more live bands once they are permitted. Speaking of live music, the Houston Rodeo is always a blast. If one travels to Houston in February / March they can’t miss the rodeo and all the Texas pride it has to offer. The Wine Garden is a must. All in all, the Houston has something for everyone.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I was trained and mentored by Amy Bernstein, Bernstein Realty. I would not be where I am today without her guidance throughout my career.