Indianapolis — For the most part, real estate is real estate. Until Jim Irsay put his Zionsville mansion up for sale. Or sell the Fishers real estate while Malcolm Brogdon is still with the Pacers.
Until speculation swirls around Indy’s homes and condos, whether Matt Ryan is looking for a castle, Paul George takes down his Geist Palace and loses $500,000, or Andrew Luck is about to call home. , real estate is real estate.
Things can be a little different when real estate involves professional athletes and coaches. It’s the kind of turn that media enthusiasts and inquisitive minds want to know.
Casey Ward Lewis and Matt McLaughlin are real estate brokers for FC Tucker, who together have more than 55 years of experience serving professional players in Indy. Over the decades, they’ve seen subtle and not-so-subtle differences when buying and selling homes with sports stars.
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Yes, of course real estate is real estate. But there is a difference.
Use the lobby of FC Tucker. Often off limits to athletes. Lewis and McLaughlin have been known to sneak athletes into buildings through the back door to avoid public attention.
When an athlete is ready to purchase a home, both agents typically offer to form an LLC in another person’s name or trust as the purchaser.
“People speculate, so you come in with an alias,” McLaughlin said. is needed.”
And there are very tight deadlines – fast real estate. Athletes coming to Indy often have very little time between finding out their new home is in Indy and moving into their new home in Indy.
Maybe he’s been traded and has only a few weeks to close the house. She met them at the airport and immediately took them on a home tour. She met the athlete’s mother or spouse, and she showed me the house while the athlete reported to training.
“It’s intense,” she said.
“I might show you ten houses in the morning,” McLaughlin said. “Maybe I can show you 20 houses in one day.”
And if athletes are looking to areas with low inventory, Lewis said, “they might call and ask people to move.” There are nuances.
But after all, real estate is real estate. McLaughlin can’t stress it enough. From luxury homes to modest homes. From high-end to traditional homes, the core process is the same: care, privacy and service.
“Everybody’s home is a luxury if you really think about it,” he said. “Whether it’s $200,000 or $2 million, owning a home is a luxury.”
Yes, everyone’s home is a luxury. Everyone’s home is their mansion. As it happens, some athletes actually live in mansions.
“People come knocking on the door”
“I hate dropping names,” said Lewis, who has worked for FC Tucker’s Biff Ward Real Estate Group for 22 years. She and McLaughlin aren’t here to drop her name. They adhere to the ethics and rules that any good realtor does. That means privacy, care, and discretion for our clients, all our clients, and arguably professional athletes.
Lewis and McLaughlin are known as elite agents in the Indy real estate market. Known for its small pool of go-to agents who are experts in high-end luxury homes, also known as luxury mansions. They work with the big names that come to town, including Colts, Pacers, IndyCar drivers, CEOs, professional coaching his staff, and self-made millionaires.
But as we all know, the most often intriguing clients are athletes. Colts and Pacers players. Indy calls their sports heroes. Everyone seems to want to know where they live and what it was like to help them buy or sell their dream home.
McLaughlin keeps it simple when asked to yell at several Indy Pro athletes he’s worked with.
“Whoever you think you are, we have. Whoever was the top Colt, yes, whoever was the top Pacer,” he said. “We’ve worked with everyone you can imagine.”
Franchise quarterback, superstar Pacers, elite coach. And working with them requires a certain amount of secrecy.
“People will come knocking on their door,” said McLaughlin, who has worked in real estate for 33 years at FC Tuckers’ Matt McLaughlin & Associates. “Surely they will.”
“And they will take advantage of it,” Lewis said. She said the less-reputable company would charge more for services like lawn irrigation, outdoor lighting, and alarm installations if it learned the home was owned by a professional athlete. I’ve seen you do
Together, Lewis and McLaughlin have so many stories.
As McLaughlin walked with athletes through a new construction site, he said, “It was and still is a big deal,” and they were spotted by subcontractors at work.
“We were going around the house,” McLaughlin said. “And they were peeking out from other corners of the house.”
Then suddenly a contractor ran up to his car. He returned with a sports card (in glass) of the athlete looking at the house. he asked for an autograph. When the athlete said yes, he broke the glass around the card and pulled it out.
“He could hardly even speak,” McLaughlin said. “He was so in awe and so excited to get that signature.”
That exchange, that signature was organic and that was fine. But Lewis and McLaughlin received another carefully planned request.
“Could you sign this for Billy?”
In a tight real estate market, when an athlete wants to find a home quickly or enter a home that’s not on the market, Lewis and McLaughlin have to reveal the name of the buyer just to get the house seen. may not be .
Lewis and McLaughlin used to go to the house for the show.”Can you sign this for Billy?”
“It can be kind of annoying for clients,” McLaughlin said. Neither McLaughlin nor Lewis have asked their clients to do anything to help their real estate purpose, whether buying or selling a home.Seller’s signature, buyer’s T his shirt there is no.
But these types of requests aren’t the worst. Lewis watched sellers change their asking prices when they learned that a professional athlete was looking to buy the house.
“This is really frustrating and it comes down to discretion being very important because you always find someone who is ready to tap into some ability,” she said. “They change the asking price or say, ‘If you write me a letter of recommendation for my child to go to school, I will give you this price.’”
Yes people do. People also want tickets and autographed merchandise, McLaughlin said.
Weird real estate.
“We know what they want before we know what they want.”
Professional athlete real estate deals are just a fraction of Lewis and McLaughlin’s business, less than five combined each year. The rest of the sales are from other high-end clients, often from homes in the $200,000 to he $500,000 range.
“That’s our bread and butter,” said McLaughlin, a platinum-level broker at FC Tucker with Lewis. “They are homes that go like that.”
But media coverage enters the player’s home. Lewis and McLaughlin say these homes have agents listed so they are often classified only as high-end brokers.
McLaughlin said, “I’ve been told, ‘I didn’t call you because I thought you were just thinking about luxury.’
They have a wealth of experience with luxury properties, but Lewis said, “There are pros and cons to the market, so if you want to be busy and successful in real estate, you want to get all the price points. I’m thinking,” he said.
Lewis and McLaughlin are among FC Tucker’s best-performing agents because they posted the highest sales volumes across all price points, not for Colts and Pacers players.
But they’re in the FC Tucker conference room talking to IndyStar about working with professional athletes in Indy, so we’ll talk about it.
“They’re pretty down-to-earth and lighthearted,” says McLaughlin. “They all tie their shoes the same way.”
“They are really sincere, humble and kind,” said Lewis, who is known to babysit athletes who have just come to Indy.
“I say, ‘Let’s go out to dinner,'” Lewis said. “I just feel sick.
When Lewis and McLaughlin acquire professional athletes as clients, it usually comes as a referral from a former athlete.
“We’ve been doing this for a long time,” McLaughlin said. “We know what they want before we know what they want.”
And that’s the key to the secret fast world of real estate.
Follow IndyStar Sports Reporter Dana Benbow on Twitter. @DanaBenbowPlease contact her by email: [email protected].