KIRKLAND, Wash. — It’s an off day from Seattle Seahawks training camp in early August, but Tyler Lockett is at work.
His office on this Wednesday afternoon isn’t the team’s practice facility but a four-bedroom, 3½-bath home located 20 minutes up the road. It’s new construction, freshly staged and almost ready to hit the market.
Lockett is there because his job is to sell it.
Yes, the wide receiver with 60 career touchdowns and more than $70 million in on-field earnings is now a real estate agent in his spare time, with a license in two states and several multimillion dollar transactions under his belt.
Lockett arrives at the Kirkland home right after stagers finish setting up the furnishings and gives a tour. He starts in the kitchen, where he notes the stylish white cabinets and imagines aloud how many bar stools the counter could seat. Next is the finished basement, complete with a wine fridge and a kitchenette in the living area.
“This can be whatever it is that you want it to be,” Lockett says. “It could be your man cave. It could be your woman cave.”
On the top floor, he touts all the natural light shining through a large hallway window outside of the primary bedroom. Up on the roof, he shows off the deck with the west-facing view, which he thinks will be one of the house’s biggest selling points. It’ll eventually be listed for a little under $3.3 million.
“We’re still kind of talking about what that’s going to look like as we continue to do the CMA [comparative market analysis] to be able to see what some of these other homes have gone for,” Lockett says. “… The one thing about real estate that I tell people is that the buyers are going to determine how much the house is [worth]. The buyers are going to determine the market. That’s just how it goes.”
Casually talking about CMAs, ceramic tile floors, soaker tubs and square footage might sound odd coming from most NFL players. But this is Lockett, whose interests and talents span well beyond football.
He’s a published author, releasing a book of poems called “Reflection” in 2019, and has performed his work in spoken-word form. He won an Emmy award in 2022 for his NFL Network feature on the 1921 Black Wall Street massacre in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has been the Seahawks’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award the past two seasons.
Now, their 31-year-old Renaissance man is getting a head start on what he calls his “second career” as he continues to excel at his day job.
Heading into Monday night’s game against the New York Giants (8:15 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN), Lockett has 13 catches for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the 2-1 Seahawks, including the winning score in overtime against the Detroit Lions in Week 2.
The game winner called by Steve Raible.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 19, 2023
“Just for him to be able to do that and balance football and not miss a beat on the football field just speaks volumes of the type of person he is, the type of player he is,” said teammate DK Metcalf, who hired Lockett to find him the home he recently bought. “He’s taking it very seriously. That’s all he wants to talk about on the side when we’re not talking about football. I’m pretty sure I can get my real estate license with as many conversations as we’ve had.
“He’s just always looking to expand himself, and this is one way of doing it.”
THE SEEDS OF Lockett’s real estate career were planted after he signed his first extension with the Seahawks in 2018. He started watching HGTV while preparing to buy his first home, and his interest was piqued.
“I just kind of fell into it,” he said.
Early in the 2022 offseason, Lockett completed the 90 hours of online education required for prospective real estate brokers in Washington state, passed the test in February and became licensed in March. He later completed another 180 hours of coursework and that September got his license in Texas, where he spends much of the offseason. But by then Lockett was already off and running in Washington at Keller Williams Eastside, with business cards and all.
And business is booming.
Lockett has been a part of seven transactions totaling nearly $17 million in combined sales volume, with the Kirkland home still on the market and other properties about to be listed. This past spring, his team at Keller Williams, Liv N Serve Real Estate, became the official realtor of the Seahawks. It’s a rare — if not unheard of — sponsorship deal between a team and one of its players (the two worked with the NFL to ensure the partnership was in accordance with the league’s salary cap rules).
Lockett represents homebuyers and sellers, NFL players and regular folks alike. He has also ventured into commercial real estate, working with a buyer on the purchase of an apartment building in Aberdeen, Washington, last year. He’s on the verge of listing another commercial property in Oregon.
“The biggest thing when it comes to real estate is the relationships, because that’s what keeps a client at the end of the day,” Lockett said. “In every relationship, you’ve got to have great communication, and you’ve got to have complete and brutal honesty, and sometimes that’s the hardest part. … They have this idea of, ‘This is what this house is going to be [sold] for and this is all I’m willing to accept.’ And you’ve got to learn to not only be able to talk them down or talk them up, but meet them where they’re at and communicate with them to a level where only they’d understand.
“It’s kind of like when you’re voted captain. You’ve got to be able to do that same thing with your teammates.”
In some cases, those two worlds have met. Lockett, however, didn’t get the listing for Russell Wilson’s lakefront mansion, which hit the market for a cool $28 million after the quarterback was traded from Seattle to the Denver Broncos last offseason.
“They always say don’t go into business with your friends,” Lockett said with a laugh when asked about not getting hired by Wilson, “so I’d rather keep our friendship how it is.”
When Lockett does work with friends in the NFL, he prefers to represent them only as buyers. That avoids any money-related awkwardness, because agents’ commissions — typically 3% to each side in the state of Washington — are paid by the seller.
Lockett and a partner at Keller Williams toured Seattle-area homes with Metcalf over the offseason before they found one in the summer. Metcalf called it a “great” experience and said his financial advisor came away impressed with Lockett’s professionalism.
“He was like, ‘Bro, Tyler’s very thorough with his work,'” Metcalf said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s Lock, day in and day out.’ So he left a good impression on a lot of people.”
In addition to Metcalf, Lockett helped NFL safety and former teammate Adrian Colbert find a home in Texas in the spring. Lockett and one of his partners at Keller Williams had closed on a condo in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue the day before he toured the nearby Kirkland home in August.
“That’s the best part,” he said, “just being able to see your buyer with the keys. Or your seller happy that they were able to get a lot of that stuff off their backs.”
HOW DOES LOCKETT juggle real estate and football?
“It’s not hard,” he said.
But it does require time management and some teamwork, especially when he’s moonlighting during the season.
Lockett co-lists some properties — like the Kirkland home — with another agent at Keller Williams, Danny Nunes, which splits the work (and the commission). Lockett keeps a detailed list of where each of his clients are at in the buying or selling process, which helps him stay on top of his schedule and work ahead. Once a property is pending, he can lean on transaction coordinators to help with paperwork and other hurdles before closing.
The newly married Lockett estimates that 70% of his day is spent on football, while real estate takes up another 15% to 20%. That might mean knocking out some work during a break at team headquarters.
“During training camp, lunchtime, he’s on Zoom calls, he’s cold calling people trying to drum up business,” Nunes said. “So it’s not just like going to his teammates and helping them out. … He’ll be in the locker room after the game and he’ll be texting about a deal. I’ll be like, ‘Pay attention to football.’ But he has time for it all.”
Lockett knows the optics of an NFL player devoting time to something other than the game might not sit well with some, but he has never been the stick-to-football type.
“The hardest part about being able to start your second career is everybody is always holding you to that one career,” he said. “And because there’s so many things that come … with this game of football, people always say you only need to focus on this, if you’re not doing good it’s because you’re doing all this other type of stuff. But we have dreams, too, and we have things that we want to accomplish … not only for ourselves but our families and our future families as well.”
Standing on the roof of the Kirkland home, Lockett made it clear that while he’s setting himself up for life after football, he isn’t on the verge of retirement. Why would he be? After this season, he’ll have two years and roughly $34 million remaining on the $69 million extension he signed in 2021.
And he’s still at the top of his game. Lockett has reached 1,000 yards in each of the past four seasons after coming up just shy of that mark (965) in 2018. His 47 receiving touchdowns since then are tied for fifth most in the NFL. He’s closing in on becoming the franchise’s second-leading receiver behind Steve Largent in both catches and receiving yards.
“For a real estate agent, I think he’s doing a great job at playing wide receiver,” quarterback Geno Smith quipped late last season.
That’s the kind of recognition Lockett is after.
“You have to fight through so much just to be able to show people you’re more than a football player,” he said. “Going into this year, I’ve already been almost a year in, and now people see me as more than just a football player. They see me not as somebody trying to see what it’s like to be a realtor, but they see me actually as a realtor now.”