A seasoned attorney, former property developer and luxury estates director with Compass, Lisa Optican has an unparallaled and dynamic background that sets her apart from any other agent in the market. The level of real expertise she offers clients, from her in-depth knowledge of the market and personal detail to understanding what her clients need help her offer elite high-end real estate service to homebuyers. Haute Residence caught up with Optican to discuss Los Angeles market trends, her advice to homebuyers looking to relocate to the city of angels and more.
HR: Let’s talk a bit about your market – what trends, changes do you foresee happening in the real estate area of your market within the next 5 years?
LO: It’s pretty hard to predict what the next 5 years will bring but I think we will see the following two trends: 1) A demand for more vertical living in great areas so that the commuter time is shortened. People are tending to desire shorter commutes and increased walkability to great shops, restaurants, etc. 2) There is also a lot of desire for privacy and land due to the large population of L.A. so those properties that can deliver on both fronts will always be valuable.
HR: You have an extensive resume, how do you think your background and past experience helps you stay ahead of the competition and competitive within the market?
LO: I love the fact that I actually had a career before this one! Being a lawyer has helped me in all ways (negotiating, reviewing/drafting contracts, conflict resolution) but I have also invested and developed properties so I am able to communicate with my clients about issues and concerns that some agents are just not equipped to handle.
HR: What sets LA apart from other major cities in terms of real estate and lifestyle homeowners can find?
LO: LA offers a lifestyle that very few cities in the world can offer. We have some of the most amazing weather; we are close to the beach and the mountains, and we thrive in a variety of different industries and professions. We also live in a huge city that has neighborhoods that appeal to all different types of personalities and needs. From those that love to be by the beach, to families who want to be close to great parks and schools, there is something for everyone in LA.
HR: What are your expectations going into the second half of 2018 and into the new year?
LO: I expect that some of the higher end listings that are asking astronomical prices are going to linger on the market and require price reductions. On the other side, there are still a lot of buyers looking to buy in LA and the inventory is still rather slim. I think we will continue to see a strong 2018 but with a number more price reductions and corrections.
HR: What advice do you give buyers in today’s real estate market?
LO: If you see something that you love and that checks all the boxes on your wish list, don’t stand by. I have had clients spend years trying to find a house because they failed to make an offer on the one that they actually loved. I also tell buyers to make sure their financials are all in order. It always helps for buyers to know exactly what they can truly afford and stay within their budget. There is nothing worse than seeing the regret of a buyer who stretched themselves to buy and then live with financial stress.
HR: What advice do you give those looking to sell property in today’s market?
LO: I am really insistent on pricing. I study the market and the competition to see where my Seller’s houses will fit in with the market. It’s a disservice to put a house on the market with an extremely high price only to let it sit on the market and become stale. I really try to educate my clients and work out a strategy that we both agree on.
HR: Is there one factor that is constant, never changes, no matter the highs and lows of the market?
LO: Everyone needs a place to live and with a population of 4 million people and counting, there is only so much space in LA.