Chat With Haute Residence Leaders, Episode 3: Ernie Carswell

Ernie Carswell

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Haute Residence continued its "Chat with Haute Residence Leaders" series with a conversation featuring Ernie Carswell, representative of the Haute Residence Network in the West Hollywood, California area. He was hosted by Haute Media Group Cofounder Seth Semilof.

Watch their conversation below.

The topics included Carswell’s illustrious career from Dallas to Manhattan to now southern California, and his ascendancy in luxury real estate.

Ernie Carswell May 2021 ArticlePhoto Credit: Anthony Barcelo

Ernie Carswell is one of the most accomplished and respected real estate agents in the industry today. His extensive roster of satisfied clientele includes the likes of Fortune 500 CEOs, professional entertainers, top studio executives, leading attorneys, government officials, ambassadors, and foreign dignitaries. Beginning his real estate career in the exclusive Highland Park neighborhood of Dallas, he claims, “Texas was a different Republic back in the 80s when I started there.” He continues, “I transferred to New York City and became a Manhattan broker having fantastic times there. I came to southern California in 1991 and have been working here ever since, not leaving, and not going anywhere else.”

Ernie Carswell May 2021 ArticlePhoto Credit: Anthony Barcelo

Here are some of the questions and answers from the exclusive interview with Carswell.

Seth Semilof: When you first got into the business, what made you become a realtor?

Ernie Carswell: I was studying in my college career to be a psychiatrist. While I was in pre-MED, I was in the therapist training program for the state mental hospital of South Carolina. Do you think that was a great prelude to getting into real estate? It was because I learned a lot about human behavior that completely shaped my ideas about what I do now as a real estate agent.

SS: How scary was it going from working a steady paying job to becoming a real estate agent?

EC: There is no paycheck until you sell something and I like that. These technology companies are trying to change our industry and trying to make it a salary position. What about people like me that want to dream of an unlimited ceiling of income and unlimited potential. There is no limit to what I can do with my career, where I can go, and what I can sell. The beauty of what we get to do as real estate agents today, as long as it can last, is we have unlimited potential to sell as much as we can.

SS: What are some attributes that have made you successful for such a long time?

EC: One of the ways that propelled me here was I had mentors. Every agent that gets into this business should have their eyes on someone that they think is doing it right. What I would say the other thing is that I failed. Any agent listening should know that you are going to fail. If that bums you out and you cannot get out of bed the next day, this is the wrong business for you. Tomorrow is another day to meet with optimism and possibility.

SS: Back when you started 35 years ago, if you did not cold call, and if you could not knock on the door, it is was not like you had email. How did you build your business?

EC: Face to face. One at a time. I am pretty good at relationship building. The problem with real estate agents in these very sensitive deal making situations is they are only listening to the words that are being said, but they are not reading all. What you do is everything, so I judge people on their actions. Communication is really about 20% verbal and 80% body language.

SS: What advice do you have for somebody in the business for less than five years and not having the success that they envision or dreamed about?

EC: I do live the dream.  It was a lot of challenge and a lot of hard work, but I take every moment of it as a privilege. The people that work around me are just as grateful. Those TV shows and people running around like it is all just dripping on us is not true. People have worked hard and those agents on those TV shows have worked hard to get to where they are, but the shows themselves are just entertainment. This is a beautiful career I am still encouraging people to consider it and get into it while it remains what it is: the opportunity for unlimited success and potential.

SS: California real estate, specifically your area, has never been harder, so who is buying the properties?

EC: It is a true pipeline of business coming from around the world. We are also seeing real estate volume from locals. People are just moving around. They are not trying to leave the state or the city environments. They are just trying to get out from the density.

For more information, please contact Ernie Carswell at 310-345-7500 or

Ernie Carswell is the exclusive agent representing the West Hollywood, California luxury real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of his listings here.

Ernie Carswell May 2021 Article

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