Denver Realtor Larry Hotz is not easily moved to tears. In fact, the times we have witnessed our dad cry can be counted on one hand. Dad is stoic, yet gentle. He speaks softly, but with authority and he commands attention without arrogance or pretense. On April 4th, my sister Meredith and I sat next to him in the Seawall Ballroom in Downtown Denver. There, The Realtors Political Action Committe announced our dad as the recipient of the Gary Bauer Denver Realtor of the Year award. And, we witnessed tears spill down his cheeks. It was truly a milestone moment for our proud family of Realtors.
This was a moment of pride and humility for a man who has given so much to this industry.
As children, we used to joke that dad slept in a suit and tie. Thinking back, we had no idea how hard he was working. We were always just annoyed when he had to take a call from his car phone (one of the first dads to have one!). Or, sometimes we’d have to rush through dinner just so he could present a contract. Little did we know, our dad was making his fingerprint on the history of Denver real estate long before his girls were born.
Roots As Founder of Common Market Food Cooperative
After Larry graduated from Denver University, he and several of his friends saw a need for a downtown food market and brand together to create and manage a local food cooperative. Think early Sprouts and Whole Foods, it was a small buying club that grew into a supermarket and natural foods store called Common Market. Eventually, it was a full-sized grocery store with 1500 member/owners located where the Denver Convention Center stands today.
Larry shares, “The growth of Common Market in the 1970s from a small, once-a-week buying club to a multi-million-dollar business was amazing in and of itself. Many of the poorest people in Denver lived in that area. Safeway had just closed the only supermarket in downtown and Common Market tried to satisfy the needs of that local community, which wanted fresh and organic produce, meats and grains.”
Around the same time, Larry bought his first home. By 1978, our dad wanted to find a career path that might better suit him. The only problem was he had no idea what that would be. “Even though I majored in Mass Communication, and had worked for several Denver radio stations, I knew any full-time entry level position would be in the middle of nowhere, where I would earn minimum wage. So, I thought ‘what else do I like to do that I’m good at?”
Former Real Estate Manager of The Year
Eventually, that answer became real estate. Not only did our dad own his own home, but he had also purchased two additional rental properties. So, he took the plunge, got his real estate license, and joined a Cherry Creek real estate firm, Perry & Butler. Within three years, he was named Managing Broker for that office and went on to be the Company’s Managing Broker of The Year in 1988.
It was during this time that Larry’s passion for real estate truly blossomed. He discovered the profound impact he could have on people’s lives by helping them navigate the complex world of buying and selling homes. Our dad not only helped guide the 40 agents in his real estate office, but he was the top selling agent in that office. Larry became active in The Denver Board of Realtors where he served as a director. And, at the Colorado Association of Realtors, he became a faculty member for their Graduate Realtor Institute program.. There he taught GRI courses and Continuing Education to Realtors several times a year from 1989 to 1996. “It’s been so gratifying to bump into past students in my real estate transactions.”
Move to Kentwood Real Estate
In 1990, Larry joined Kentwood Real Estate (formerly Kentwood Moore) in the Denver Tech Center. “When I moved to Kentwood in 1990, it was the leading luxury brand in Denver. The company has always provided a tremendous marketing venue to luxury homes. As a more traditional real estate firm, the Kentwood brokers collaborate more like colleagues. Brokers meet for weekly sales meeting and tour our listings. This provides personal exposure to our new listings. We cooperate with each other in the office and work hard to market and sell each other’s listings. We have cocktail hours, awards dinners, office retreat, collaboration meetings, in-house speakers and educational classes. That culture has enriched me for over 30 years.”
“Computer Nerd At Heart”
Always a computer nerd at heart, dad was one of the first to harness the power of the internet for real estate. As far back as 1995, he developed a unique website. By 2007, the website published a weekly blog written by various Realtors from throughout the metro area. Larry worked hard on the Search Engine Optimization for the website. He often attended national conferences. Those conferences helped him develope a network of Realtors from around the country to help with website.
“Those conferences were incredible. Even then, I was one of oldest people in the room; but, I stuck around at the bar in the evenings after the conference let out. That’s where a lot of real sharing and friendships were developed. And it helped me to learn the tricks and strategies to catapult our search rankings and capture more leads.”
Renowned Cherry Creek Broker Al Latham once teased Larry that “he better quit ranking higher than his company on the internet. Otherwise, his job might be in trouble.” Fortunately, the success of the website is really what propelled him to convince us, his daughters, to join him and create the Hotz Group. First, Elizabeth in 2004 and Meredith in 2014.
Realtor Reporter on CNBC
By 2009, Larry added video content to the site. As a result, he was “discovered” by the business cable channel CNBC. They asked him to report on the Denver Real Estate market periodically from 2013 to 2017 on the noontime PowerLunch Show with Tyler Mathison. On more than one occasion, Tyler quipped “It’s always a Hotz real estate market in Denver with Larry Hotz.” Finally, those live television appearances allowed dad to use that college major that was unused for so long.
Today, our Hotz Group is one of the top-selling real estate teams of its size in the Denver metro area. Last year, the group sold an amazing $54 million in production. “I couldn’t be prouder of my daughters,” Larry boasts. “They have stepped up and created a team that is well respected. It’s not just for our sales production. it’s for our ethics and broker-to-broker relationships. And it doesn’t hurt that my girls are both better looking and nicer than I am.”
In addition to leading the team and selling a lot of homes, Larry serves as a volunteer Director for both the Colorado Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. While Larry’s accomplishments in the industry are remarkable, what truly sets our dad apart is his genuine care for his clients and his unwavering dedication to their success. He understands that buying or selling a home is a significant life event, and he approaches each transaction with the utmost professionalism, attentiveness, and empathy.
A Denver Realtor Who Listens and Cares
“It all begins with carefully listening to each client, understanding their hopes and dreams so I can just be the trusted advisor they need when dealing with real estate. For most of my clients, their home becomes one of their top financial assets, not to mention the center of their lifestyle. I am really gratified to be an important part of so many lives.”
Beyond his professional endeavors, Larry is an active member of the community, contributing his time and resources to various charitable and church organizations. He understands the importance of giving back as he strives to make a positive impact on the lives of those around him. Larry is a true leader in the real estate industry. His dedication to excellence ensures that the Hotz Group will remain at the forefront of the market.