Douglas Elliman’s agent Michael Latousek rarely spends time in his actual office. Instead, most of his high-profile clients’ conference calls are taken outside in the glorious nature that is Aspen. For Michael, it helps that he is a natural outdoorsman and former ski instructor. Elliman Insider sat down with Michael to find out how his love of the unique Aspen community helps when it comes to selling real estate in the local area.
Elliman Insider: When did you know that real estate was your calling?
Michael Latousek: In 1999, I was a ski instructor for Aspen Skiing Company and I was at that age where I wanted a career in Aspen and not as a ski bum. I took a job as an assistant with the Aspen Real Estate Company (Tony Scheer) who had sold my parents their Aspen property(ies) back in the 70s and 80s. He took me under his wing and I learned so much as his assistant; it was a great intro into the Aspen real estate market. After I got my license, I managed to sell approximately $4mm in real estate my first year as an assistant. I was not trying to find business, but simply learn the business and that’s when I knew I had a knack for this. People seemed to find me and were comfortable working with me to help them find their ski properties.
EI: What’s your biggest challenge as an agent?
ML: Currently, my two biggest challenges are keeping fresh and current in front of my clients and database. Our market changes so fast right now and we are currently in a seller’s market with minimal inventory. I am not one to bombard my database with constant newsletters so it’s tricky giving a current update without it being stale in a week or two.
My second challenge is completely knowing the inventory since Covid has made it difficult for us to be on “tour” to see a lot of the homes on the market. I have to study our MLS and literally handpick properties for my clients and put them in front of them via email and/or virtual tours rather than visiting them. For example, I have a new $5.150m listing and I think I’ve had 10 showings on it, yet only 4-5 were “in person.” The rest were all via Facetime and Matterport virtual tour.
EI: Do you live by a personal mantra or favorite saying?
ML: Selling real estate isn’t rocket science; let’s make this transaction smooth, fun and successful for our clients.
EI: Why did you choose Elliman?
ML: Elliman chose me, us. I was working with Joshua Saslove and when I heard the news that he/we had been bought by Douglas Elliman I didn’t know who they were. I’m a midwest, Chicago/Aspen guy, so I had never heard of Douglas Elliman. Now, 5 years later I couldn’t be happier. I am so proud to be a part of such an engaging and supporting group of professionals.
EI: How has Elliman upped your real estate game?
ML: Elliman can help me with whatever I need. Here in Aspen we have all sorts of clientele from those that want their properties front and center in every media possible to those that want a quiet marketing proposition. Our Elliman PR team and marketing crew can handle it all. I’ve thrown every scenario at our team and they are always up for the challenge.
I also appreciate that our little market here in Aspen gets big global exposure because of Douglas Elliman. How else could a little haven like Aspen get such massive response in Beverly Hills or Dubai or Europe or Miami, etc. without the help of Elliman and Knight Frank.
EI: Any advice for new agents?
ML: Be careful getting caught up in all the newest and latest technology; let the Douglas Elliman marketing and PR pros help you with what is necessary. Pay more attention to your relationships. You’ll be amazed when someone you’ve met for a coffee or have known your whole life sees that you’re an agent and reaches out to you for assistance. Just let your connections know you’re an agent with amazing group (Douglas Elliman) and let the power of Elliman’s marketing team help get your name out there. Make sure you have a professional and classy pitch for when you get 20 seconds to use it because it will come in handy when you least expect it.
EI: Where can we find you when you’re not working?
ML: Outside either skiing, mountain biking or fly fishing. I love my job and I love to work, selling real estate in the Aspen valley. We are fortunate to have skiing, mountain biking and fly fishing within minutes. I have handled more high-end client calls while standing on the side of the river in my waders or while sitting in the Aspen mountain gondola than I have in my office. My office is this beautiful place we live in and I know that my clients appreciate my input on area recreation and activities because that’s why they want to live here or have a home here.
I also enjoy being with my family. I have 2 girls ages 11 & 13 and they love to ski. I constantly push to get them outside to do anything in between their TikTok videos and Snapchat.
Explore some of Michael’s recently sold and signed contract properties below:
Very private, beautiful family home on a very mature and luscious landscaped lot tucked into the back of Meadowood. Straight on views of Shadow Mtn, Red Mtn, Hunter Creek as well amazing views down valley looking west. As you enter this home you are greeted with towering ceilings and extensive windows that bring the wonderful views from outdoors directly in to your living space. Comfortable main floor layout including a sunken, very generous sized master bedroom complete with a walk-in cedar closet (master br is air conditioned). Ample deck space outdoors and landscaped fenced yard and water feature/pond perfect for pets and/or entertaining. This is a must see home in one of the most best kept secret.
Own your own original Aspen Modern home with some of the best views of the upper Roaring Fork valley, from Independence Pass to Mt. Sopris, including all 4 ski areas and many rocky peaks. This midcentury modern house was first designed in 1973 by Robin Molny, a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice who settled in Aspen and became one of its early urban planners. Later additions have added a spacious master suite and a short stair tower filled with extra rooms for guests, office, studio, fitness, and entertaining. Besides its unique modern adobe styling, the most distinctive feature is a 38-foot glass wall that completely opens up the living room to a long pool-deck and a stunning panoramic view across the entire valley. 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths. 2.3 acres. Ability to build up to 15,000 sq ft.