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FOR SALE: Real Estate Couple that sells homes like nobody’s business and can help you find your next abode! 3 Kids/1 Dog


Meet our next “Big Little Biz” feature: real estate #PowerCouple, John & Nellie Lazar! They work in the Century 21 M&M and Associates office in downtown Turlock and have built their legacy as a dynamic duo. Most people are warned to never work with their S.O., but these guys totally embrace it. Find out how they’ve made it work in their favor for over 20 years!

So you guys have been married for over 20 years; how did you meet?

NL: In real estate…we were introduced by our current broker who back in the early 90’s was a colleague of ours and he introduced us. He thought we should meet-

Meet for business or to date?

NL: He thought we should actually date. There was a realtor event that was happening and most of everyone in our peer group was attached or married, and I didn’t have a date and John didn’t have a date so he suggested that John ask me to go.

JL: It was a blind date!

That’s a cute story! John, you were once the mayor of Turlock and very involved in the government…what made you switch over to real estate?

JL: I was working for the state legislature and my position was eliminated and I had my real estate license, so I moved back home to Turlock and went into real estate.

I had a mentor-my cousin in the Bay Area-who was really involved in real estate. And on weekends when I went to visit, we went to go look at properties and homes. He was just really excited about real estate and he’s the one that encouraged me to get my real estate license for a rainy day, which I did and am thankful for!

And you met Nellie, so it all worked out!

JL: And we have 3 kids!

Nellie, when did you become interested in real estate?

NL: I used to admire the real estate ladies in my hometown of Los Banos. When I was growing up my Dad would take us to look at homes outside of our price range and he would often put a bid in on a home, but not complete the sale. So, I grew up with this feeling of wanting to somehow complete that transaction, ya know!

I took a real estate class when I was attending Merced Junior College in my first semester. And when I was between Merced JC and Stanislaus State, then I actually got my license.

Why did you two think you should combine forces to become “The Lazar Team?”

JL: Well, we were married and Nick [our son] came right away. Nellie was a seasoned agent and I was a seasoned agent, so by becoming a team it allowed Nellie the flexibility to cut back to part-time. I spent more time in the field and she would direct me to go show property for her or support me on certain things such as making appointments and paperwork.

People are usually warned to not work with their spouse, how do you make your partnership work so well?

NL: I think it works because even if we’re having a moment at home, once we get to the office we get down to business right away. I think in some ways working together is a good thing because we don’t not communicate for long!

JL: We have to force ourselves to talk.

NL: And I don’t know…we complement each other because I think my weaknesses are his strengths and vice versa.

What’s your favorite part about your job?

NL: Just meeting new people…a lot of people we work with become friends. I think sometimes the saddest thing is when you work with people who are moving out of town and maybe you’ve never known them but, you know, you get to know them and you spend all this time with them and you build this friendship…and then they’re gone!

JL: Yeah, I get fresh eggs from one client every year! I sold him a little ranch with a bunch of chickens and they bring me fresh eggs.

Nellie and John showcase their homes and properties for sale through their website, where they also share home tips in their regularly posted blog posts. They can be contacted at [email protected] and at [email protected].

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