Air Jordans Help Make the Sale

Los Angeles real-estate agent Lee Mintz uses her collection of sneakers to impress athlete clients

Lee Mintz has a secret weapon to win over potential clients: her collection of Air Jordan sneakers.
Ms. Mintz, a real-estate agent to Los Angeles-area athletes, has 26 pairs in size 5 1/2 men’s. “A woman that wears Jordans, she’s considered cool” to her clients, Ms. Mintz says.

Her work uniform is built around stiletto heels, but the Jordans become conversation starters if she happens to bump into clients.

“I’ll wear the Jordans and they’ll be like, ‘Whoa!’” she says.

Ms. Mintz, who is 38, says her clients include entertainers, but are mainly athletes—a client base that began when she was asked to find a bachelor pad for a member of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

These days, her clients span from players on Southern California teams who need a home during the season to athletes from all over who want an off-season L.A. party house. Her website displays photos or testimonials of her efforts on behalf of clients.

She namechecks football players like Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson and basketball players like Washington Wizards point guard John Wall and Hedo Turkoglu, a recently retired Turkish forward who starred in Sacramento and Orlando.

Ms. Mintz’s Instagram feed includes a steady string of photos of her athlete clients in their new digs.

As head of Partners Trust’s sports and entertainment division in Beverly Hills, she specializes in the sort of modern, party palaces that many young players prefer, particularly when they’ve just landed a giant contract.

“They love it here: the women, the weather, the houses,” she says, noting that most of her athlete clients want sprawling, modern homes with pools and views.

A Michael Jordan fan, she bought her first Air Jordans in 2009, settling on a style in which she says the basketball star once scored 64 points. She wore them until they were scuffed. More followed. A player for Major League Soccer’s L.A. Galaxy who asked not to be named gave her the patent-leather Air Jordan 11s that she regards as rare treasures.

She has seven pairs of the Air Jordan 3s, with a camouflage pattern. Another favorite are Air Jordan 5s in black suede. She calls them her “retro oreos” for their black-and-white coloring.

She no longer wears Jordans casually. “If you get one scratch on them, you can never wear them again,” she says. But she has added a new service for her clients, who sometimes ask her if she knows where they can get some rare Jordans of their own.

“I’ll say ‘yep’ and I’ll get some basketball player in my car,” she says. “It’s like a field trip.”

via The Wall Street Journal.