At one point in the 1930's during his acting career, Tom Tyler entered the real estate business with a partner. Willett and Tyler Realtors had their office located at 771 North Vine in Hollywood. Tom met Willett (first name unknown) some time in 1934, and by 1935, the team was placing real estate ads in the Los Angeles Times. One of their standard classified ads reads as follows: “We specialize in exchanges, leases, sales. Bring your listings for quick action. Willett and Tyler, 771 N. Vine, GR4416.” The GR4416 was the phone number – quite different from the standard ten digit phone number used by a landline or cellphone. A total of three property listings appeared in the Los Angeles Times, which probably does not seem like a whole lot. There was however a number of ads placed by Willett and Tyler offering their services. Willett was probably the more experienced of the two men in the field of real estate; back then, selling real estate was an apprenticeship, with Tom in this case being the apprentice. The business itself did not get very far, and Tom Tyler left some time late in 1935. He did not give up his day job as an actor, which was a good thing as he was unable to afford to do so.
Following are the real estate ads as posted by Willett and Tyler in the Los Angeles Times. The average price for a 5-room bungalow house downtown was $3,950.00 in 1935. A 7-room Spanish style house in Beverly Hills was $5,300.00 – cheap by today’s standard.
|The Los Angeles Times, April 1, 1934|
|The Los Angeles Times, April 17, 1934|
|The Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1934|
|The Los Angeles Times, June 5, 1934|
|The Los Angeles Times, March 24, 1934|
Today, the address of 771 N. Vine is occupied by RodeWay Inn.