Matt Laricy Group rebrands for success
Business View Magazine interviews Matt Laricy, Managing Broker of Laricy, for our focus on Growth of the U.S. Residential Real Estate sector
Laricy (formerly Matt Laricy Group) is one of the top real estate groups in Chicago. A strong division of
Americorp, the firm’s main goal is to provide outstanding customer service to clients. Working solely with residential properties in Chicago neighborhoods, Laricy clients encompass anybody that buys, sells, or invests in the downtown markets. The firm’s small but mighty team of 10 agents provide unparalleled
knowledge and experience and employ cutting-edge technology trends to provide the most effective
marketing. Recognizing the importance of their clients’ demanding schedules, Laricy agents offer 24/7
availability and ensure an efficient process from beginning to end.
Business View Magazine recently spoke with Matt Laricy, founder and Managing Broker of Laricy. Matt is
a third-generation realtor with incredible drive and passion for the industry, and a reputation for being an outspoken, ‘tell it like it is’, leader. Not surprisingly, his firm is seeing unprecedented success, even
through the challenges impacting the Chicago real estate market during COVID-19.
BVM: Matt, how has the pandemic impacted real estate in the Chicago area?
Laricy: We’ve experienced so many different Chicago’s since COVID began. There have been periods
of fear and frustration, and periods of courage and celebration. It’s depended a lot on the activity of the
virus, among other simultaneous events like the episodes of civil unrest. At our worst point we had 24
months of inventory, which is double what we saw during the Great Recession. Right now, Chicago feels like a different world. Three or four months ago there were hardly any people around and everything was boarded up. Now, there are people enjoying the beautiful summer weather and all the fun the city has to offer. But as we’re seeing, it can all change again so quickly, especially with newer developments like the Delta Variant.
The good news is, even with more changes coming down the line, fear is still melting away. Now that we
have vaccines and a better understanding of how COVID operates, people are moving around more
confidently. It’s energizing to see the city opening up, which has a huge positive impact on our real estate market as well. Our high-rise market, which has been so soft, is really starting to really pick up. Out of state and in-town buyers are coming back too, and I think our international market is going to make a comeback in Q4 of this year. One thing we know about Chicago, is that our people and businesses are incredibly resilient, and we will continue to move forward in a positive direction.
BVM: Would you say it’s a buyers’ or a sellers’ market right now in the heart of Chicago?
Laricy: “In the downtown market, it’s definitely a big buyers’ market. We have nine months of inventory in the heart of the city and a balanced market is four months, so we have double the market. But it will turn, and I think 2022 will be one of the best years on record for big cities.
There’s a lot of talk about migration out of the cities to work from home in suburban areas, but people
can be naïve and short-sighted. That’s a big problem with our society in general. You’ve probably read
about how the Chicago market’s cooling off and why did this happen out of nowhere? People talk about
wanting to work from home, and that’s easy to say right now. But when all your competitors are back to
work at an office, it will be difficult to win your share of the market working from home.
In 2011, everyone said no one would buy again and we’d be a rental nation for the rest of our lives. And
then 2013 hit, and it was “The American dream is back and people are buying again”… I saw the same
thing when they said people will never live in the cities again. But I can already see we’re in the beginning stages of people coming back to the cities. Our lives are cyclical, and it’s important to keep perspective with the bigger picture.
Like I mentioned before, the international market is going to be a huge thing to watch in the fourth
quarter. I’ve only had one international sale all year. I usually do two to three a week, minimum. And
guess what… people in China, India, the Middle East, Russia, they like owning real estate. The wealthy
have gotten so rich during this pandemic and they want to start buying more real estate. Investing in real estate is a great way to protect it against inflation. So wait until that happens – wait until New York,
downtown Los Angeles, all the big cities that got crushed start to see the international markets come
back. Personally, I’m excited to see this infusion of activity into our city, and I expect it to start in Q4.
BVM: Do international investors care whether they can physically see the property?
Laricy: Well they do, and that’s part of the reason there has been a decrease in activity. They don’t have
representation here, but once international travel picks back up, that problem will be solved.
And here’s the thing, Laricy was prepared for these challenges long before the pandemic ever started.
Everyone else is scrambling to play catch up. When you talk about forward thinking technology solutions, we’ve been using those for years. Laricy does high-end drone and 3D Matterport tour videos for every single property. We do social media advertising, custom online property presentations that are available 24/7, and we even have NFC tags.
I’ve been telling people forever, we live in a visual world and we’re going to be a paperless society. I built Laricy around that. So luckily for us, we didn’t have to change much. And we know both our domestic and international buyers appreciate our level of expertise and experience.
BVM: In 2019, you were building the Laricy Luxury division but also diversifying with $150,000
buyers and $10 million buyers. Is that still the case?
Laricy: Yes, we’re completely diversified. That’s why, when the pandemic first hit and the high-end
market of our realty was absolutely dead, we crushed it. Last year, in 2020, we still closed over $200
million. That was our best year of all time. This year, we’ve been a hard core buyers’ market and we’re on pace to do $300 million. If you diversify your portfolio, you’ll never be left empty handed when different segments of the market shift.
We have a lean team of 10 members. That’s it. They have a strong mentality, great work ethic, and
amazing synergy with all our clients. I have a head strong personality, and I lead by example. I did not
take a single day off last year; I was in the office in suit and tie every single day, leading from the front
lines. I wore a mask, I took the necessary precautions – I wasn’t reckless – but I had to work for my
clients. So the 10 of us worked and did what we were supposed to do. We pushed through the fear and
the challenges. When there are 45,000 agents in Chicago, that is how you stay on top.
BVM: What would you like to achieve in the next three years?
Laricy: For Laricy, the opportunities are limitless because we never settle. We had the greatest year
ever in 2020, and instead of being satisfied with that, we decided to hit a complete reset button. At the
beginning of 2021 we rebranded the whole company to build out our subdivisions, like Laricy Social,
Laricy Development, and Laricy Luxury. I’m never going to be content with last year’s success. And I’m
glad, because we’re already on track to break all of our records again this year.
I take everything year by year, but I know where I want to go. We haven’t hit number one in Chicago yet,
but in the next three years I do want to be the number one agent in the State of Illinois. And I would hope within five years, we would be number one in the country. We’re on track to have another banner year and one thing I know is that we will always continue to keep pushing and growing.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Formerly Matt Laricy Group, a highly successful residential real estate firm
WHERE: Chicago, Illinois
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