How This BHS Agent and Artist Utilizes His Eye for Design

6 Min Read

With over 40 years in the real estate realm, successful Brown Harris Stevens agent Robert Lohman's professional career actually began with a passion for interior architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design.

According to Lohman, the worlds of art and real estate can go hand-in-hand, whether it be through interior design, home photography, or staging. Above all else, Lohamn finds joy in guiding people through the important decisions of buying and selling properties. Read more about him, his love of art, and how he came to construct one of Southampton's most recognizable installations.

How did you become interested in art and in real estate? 
I’ve always had a love for art. I work primarily in acrylic on canvas, but I’ve jumped around between mediums. I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in interior architecture. I started looking for real estate with my clients, so it was a natural progression to becoming a real estate agent. After a while, I became a broker and have worked primarily in real estate for the last 40 years while still maintaining design clients. I've always painted and done creative-ype things.  I tend to paint at the end of the day after I've completed all my work, and it's a way to relax. 
Where did you discover your love for art?  
As a child, we would always spend summer on Cape Cod which, like the East End of Long Island, has that incredible, beachy glow. I try to capture the magic of that glow--almost like a little excerpt of a moment like when you're lying on the beach, and you look straight up at the blue sky and it's the most beautiful, magical thing. To justify that in a painting makes it a bit little trickier, but I don't define whether we're
looking at the water or the sky or the clouds or a fog bank. It's all just one idea. My most recent show was named Atmospheres, so I didn't have to define any of that.  
How does being an artist impact your work as a real estate broker?  
I think that as a real estate broker, I'm very conscious of the light and the light exposure that a house or property has. That's something that a buyer might not realize on their first or second view, because it's something that comes to you by living there for a while. 

In what ways do you see Art and Real Estate intersecting?

There’s a benefit to being familiar with artistic principles in real estate. When it comes to lighting and décor, I feel I can help my clients get a sense of the overall feel of actually living in a space, even when it’s an empty room. It’s also wildly beneficial when getting property photography done. Back in the day, when I was still a new kid on the block, I had a deal that almost fell apart because they saw the 
pool had a shadow on it in a photo. The pool had been shot at 5:00 in the evening, and even though the rest of the photo looked incredible with that “golden hour” lighting, there was a shadow across the middle of the pool. The clients didn’t want to rent a house with a shady pool! I now have nearly all my property photos taken in the morning.   
You do a lot of work within the community and have a very special dog 
featured in the Southampton Dog Park. Tell us about Eddie.

Years ago, I joined the committee for the Animal Rescue Fund. At the time, they were a relatively small non-profit compared to Southampton Hospital or the Parish Art Museum, which are the big movers and shakers in terms of galas and benefits. One day, they reached out to me and  said they needed a showstopping piece for one of their benefits, so we settled on a giant dog at the front entrance. I played around with how to build a dog out of plywood, so it could easily be assembled and unassembled, and came up with the model that went on to be known as Eddie. Eddie was used at multiple events for ARF and became quite popular--so much so, that the town of Southampton approached me to create Eddie as a permanent fixture at the Southampton Dog Park, where he still stands today.  

(*Note to the editors: According to a Dan’s Papers article published in 2014 about the conception of Eddie, he is coming up on 10 years old.)

How do you market yourself as an artist and a real estate agent: 

I don’t necessarily market it as a pairing, but sometimes there’s some overlap. For example, My clients bought a house in North Haven last year and they wanted one of my photos in their house, so I treated it like a commission. The piece had to be large enough to fit the space, so I had to put it on multiple panels. I shot multiple water views, we all agreed on one set, and I had it produced. It’s the showpiece when you walk into the house. Of course, when the homeowner has company over, she’s bragging about Robert Lohmann who made it all happen.  
How do you stay current with trends and developments in both art and real estate? 
Just stay aware. Be present. The internet can only tell you so much. I believe you need to see things in person. Go to the art fairs, go to open houses. Take everything in, in person.  
How do you stay motivated and inspired?  
I enjoy my work in Art and Real Estate. It’s incredibly rewarding. Years ago, I took a Real Estate course and what really stuck with me is not thinking of selling real estate in terms of sales. To think about real estate as a tool to help people.  Helping people find the right house for them. Instead of just thinking of it as “I closed this sale” think of it as “I helped this person”.

To connect with Robert Lohman, learn more about his work, and see current listings, click here. 

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