HÔM Is Where the Heart Is for Casey Lesher
Written By: Elaine Morgan Cutting
Photographed By: Chad Mellon
Expert: Casey Lesher
Credentials: Real Estate Professional, HÔM Sotheby’s International Realty
Always Classic: Casey has a passion for classic cars.
An eye for style, a ruthless salesman charm, and a deep passion for his trade has made Casey Lesher a real estate legend in the Newport Beach circuit. Flawlessly completing multimillion dollar transactions is part of his daily routine. Lesher now works for HÔM Sotheby’s International Realty as one of the top agents in Orange County. He takes particular pride in getting called to homes that have been unsuccessful in the market and putting in the work to getting them sold quickly and often for more than expected. We had the opportunity to talk with him about his start in real estate and what drives his passion for this profession.
Q: What attracted you to real estate?
Casey Lesher: I was maybe 10 years old and there was a real estate office that I used to walk past. I was so intrigued by the cars in the parking lot. It was the late ‘70s and real estate agents drove brand new Cadillacs. I went in there and I started talking to them. I became intrigued. I started passing out flyers and becoming familiar with their listings and the different neighborhoods and began to learn everything about that business.
Q: Tell us a little bit about the journey to how you became a real estate agent.
CL: Out of high school, I got a job at a bank. My intent was to start real estate, but before the summer was over, I got promoted to a supervisor position, so I just kept with that. I learned so much about customer service and people, but I knew I wanted more, so I went to work for a large printing company. I got bored, so I started flipping houses. I became so unimpressed with these agents, and it was just killing me because I knew I could do so much better. So finally, in 2007 I sold everything I owned, and I jumped. Everyone thought I was crazy because the market had literally stopped. But my first year, I sold $25 million. It just seemed to come naturally.
Q: What has helped you continue to be so successful during difficult times?
CL: The market gets hot and cold very quick. I call it an active market. Homes that are the latest design trend sell very quick for top dollar. I know what these buyers are looking for and I know how to get homes to look like that or at least get in that direction, and that’s a big part of my success. I also am so passionate. When I walk in a door, I know how much a house is worth and what it’s going to sell for. It’s just in my blood.
Q: Can you tell us about your most memorable sell?
CL: It was your quintessential Corona Del Mar cottage as cute as could be. The seller was a high end professional photographer that I was proud to represent. She trusted me to sell her home and she stood out of the way and we sold it for full price. The buyer also loved the home. She was moving from the east coast and her mother lived behind it. Her mother was so excited. My client was so excited to retire. Everyone was crying at the end, everyone was so happy. It’s exactly why I got into the business, helping the seller sell and helping the buyer buy.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of this job?
CL: When a seller is willing to trust my experience, even if they don’t understand it. When they follow the direction that we decided to go and the home sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars more. That’s just more rewarding than I can even say. It’s so much fun to get in there and do these few things that sometimes don’t make sense, but at the end of the day gets the home sold quickly and for more money.
Q: What is the most trying aspect and how do you work past it?
CL: People hiring real estate agents because they’re friends or family. It puts an inexperienced person in the middle of a multimillion dollar transition. It’s critical that things are presented in a non-confrontational way. It’s such an emotional process, if not managed correctly can break a deal or cost a lot of money. For instance, rather than an agent coming to me and saying ‘my buyer, ’ it’s important to refer to the buyer as ‘our buyer’ because we’re working on this together.
Q: Describe your perfect home.
CL: I’m a classic guy. I know what the latest design trends are, but personally, I like living in an old midcentury ranch house. I love the timeless classic designs of the ‘60s. Today, people like buying brand new homes that are built by Patterson or Nicholson; I get multiple offers and they’re very exciting to sell.
Q: When you’re not selling homes, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
CL: My number one passion is real estate, there’s no question about that. My number two passion is classic cars. They’re the cars in the parking lot of that real estate office in the seventies. I have a ‘86 Jaguar Vanden Plas which is in showroom condition. And I have a ‘76 Cadillac Eldorado convertible that’s triple green in color.
Q: Do you have any advice for future homebuyers or sellers?
CL: I think a lot of times these people get the impression that real estate agents just want to dump their houses. Find an agent, like me, who loves what they’re doing, and listen to them. It’ll be the best thing they’ll ever do, they’ll make a fortune.
Q: What’s next for you? What are your goals for the future?
CL: I want to exit the business like Karen Lynch; on top. Karen Lynch had the market share in Corona Del Mar. I’ve never met her, but I hope to meet her one day. But she hustled, she was a number one performer and she got out on top. I just totally admire that, and I admire her for everything she did.
What’s in a Name? Corona del Mar means “Crown of the Sea” in Spanish. What a fitting neighborhood for a king in much of Orange County’s real estate!
Hot Commodity: Marketed as “the last American convertible” by GM in 1976, the Cadillac Eldorado convertible was a popular purchase. Nearly 14, 000 were sold—and Casey has one in his collection.
HÔM Sotheby’s International Realty
Newport Beach/Corporate Office
1200 Newport Center Dr Ste 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660