Who is the typical L.A. real estate agent ?

Is he the guy in the expensive suit with the designer sunglasses and fancy hard looking shoes ? The one that disappears the day after the listing is signed or when escrow closes ? The one with the big ego to match ?

Ask any number of people, and they will give you a resounding,       “ YES! “

Whether it’s through personal experience or tales they have heard, many people have negative impressions of real estate agents, especially those in a hot market like Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, and the Sunset Strip.

There’s typical and then there’s Michael Eisenberg.

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He’s the one whose success has happened in spite of the fact-or because of it ?

That he doesn’t necessarily fit the part of the archetypal L.A. real estate agent.

He is not clothes minded

“ I don’t buy $2,000 suits, ” said the seasoned sales professional and Estate Director for Keller Williams Estates Division in Beverly Hills. Michael is in the top 10 out of   over 5000 agents in the Greater Southern California market. A more remarkable feat when you consider that many of the other top producers are teams with lots of trainees, while Michael insists that:

“ WHEN YOU LIST OR BUY WITH MIKE EISENBERG, YOU GET MIKE EISENBERG, NOT AN ASSISTANT. “

“ My wardrobe consists of Levi’s and sweaters with a t-shirt underneath.  I have to be comfortable in what  I wear to do what I do well, I don’t sit behind a desk and push paper. I am out in the field - previewing, showing and selling property. Sometimes they are still under construction or in teardown condition so the motorcycle boots come in handy. ” He added.
“ I dress down & drive up. “

Given his choice of wardrobe, you could get the impression that he is a bit more casual than the average real estate agent, and yes that is by design. You have to see that Michael is incapable of pretense, which makes him instantly stand out from the crowded mass of realtors and immediate endears himself his clients, buyers and sellers and this seems to help get his offers accepted.

“ With clients in this marketplace, it’s true that usually you know who they are, and that is good as it pre-qualifies them, so you know that your not wasting your time ”. He said it gets challenging because a lot of clients have business managers, lawyers and other handlers, so sometimes you are trying co-ordinate four peoples schedules instead of two. However when you have been as successful as Michael in advising his clients on their properties and are responsible for them making a significant amount of money, your place in the food chain is sometimes rearranged.

“ I have found that I don’t have to always go through the business manager anymore. “ he said clients seem to want take your call directly when you are making them money.

A background that
grounded him

College educated at Tulane University and with a stint at the District Attorneys office in New Orleans he knew had had to move west or be stuck in the “ Big Easy “. With many careers under his belt “ I have been involved in a number of businesses, stock broker, clothing manufacturing, and even had motorcycle shop and themed restaurant owner. “ I have sharpened my skill set in all of these businesses, but was always drawn to real estate. In each business I had some contact with the real estate industry, whether buying properties or negotiating leases. In didn’t hurt that my wife   is the daughter of a successful mid-western real estate broker suggested that I develop and sell real estate professionally, and not from the sidelines. “

Soon enough Michael jumped right in with both feet, and close to 15 years later with hundreds of successful closings under his belt, he is revered as one of the real estate industry’s true luminaries, rich with satisfied clients and most importantly the respect of his peers.

Not commitment shy

Once Michael goes for something, he is in it for the long haul. Example his 16 year marriage to wife Lori      ( the couple also has a 14 year old son )

“ You know what they say, ‘ behind every great man is a great woman ’ All kidding aside in this case she is right along side for the ride. She is beyond supportive and this makes it possible for me to do what I do and why I do it so well.. When I commit to something I am in 100 percent. ”

Extraordinary extracurricular

Call a meeting for a showing or a meeting with Michael and you will have no idea what car he will show up in. Suffice I to say, it will be spectacular. “ I don’t gamble, or spend money frivolously, but I do have a weakness for cars ”, he said “ and lots of them ”.

Michael maintains a “ full stable” of automobiles, ranging from exotics to vintage hot rods” he said. “My 1971 Mercedes 280 SE 3.5 convertible is my favorite. Its quite simply one of the worlds most elegant and well built automobiles. I enjoy it more than my Bentley, which tends to feel a bit pretentious so it will probably be the next to be sold.”

Michael’s collection is well known amongst his clients and peers and out of respect for their ideals, he is careful to choose the most appropriate car to take to a showing. “ I can drive 3 or 4 different cars a day depending whom or what property I am showing. If I have a client that is environmentally friendly you can be sure it’s the Prius and not the 1965 corvette with a big block motor and side pipes.

Michael is equally prudent when it comes to his other pastime: investing in properties with his life partner, after several years of watching his clients benefit from his guidance and become multi -millionaires, he decided that they should get into the game.

Currently the duo develops and designs a property a year, but in the “hey day” it was closer to two or three a year turning dated properties into designer showplaces.

Remodeling and development is an income source as well as something we do because we enjoy it, because we have completed so many we can see past the leaky roof, the original 40’s kitchen and baths. I handle the heavy lifting and let the pro in to do her magic with the pretty stuff ”.  For me it goes back to when, at age four, “I took all the locks off the doors at my parents house put them in a pile in the living room and then put them all back correctly. My parents freaked out, but they also encouraged my curiosity, and it comes in handy now as I can actually use most of the tools at the job site. ”

Market awareness is key

When markets begin to change, nothing is more important to a client than knowing their agent is aware and adept at working with the prevailing conditions. Those who are lucky enough to work with Michael benefit from his extensive knowledge of the market and geographical areas within his Sunset Strip to Malibu territory, and consequently have enjoyed a great return on their investments.

Up to recently, and since the current re-pricing of the market, almost every home I have sold has increased in value and made money for the client “ some lucky clients were able to double or triple their money based on a cash on cash investment, however it was almost impossible to stay at that pace, but Beverly Hills and the Sunset Strip areas of Los Angeles are still cheaper than other major cities like London, New York and Paris on a sq. foot basis and the best part is here we have land.. In other metropolitan cities they have to build vertically ”.

Michael feels that despite recent market corrections, buyers are still in an excellent position. “ There is still depressed product out there to buy “ he said. “ The interest rates are comfortable and at historic lows”. How smart do you think your kids will think you are if you lock in now on a 30 year fixed loan at these rates ? At the end of the day, buying a house today is tax deductible rent as opposed to throwing money away every month. Also the upper end of the market has never been stronger with more double digit million dollar sales than ever… people are trading up “.

Hear ye, hear ye!

What sets Michael apart more than perhaps anything else is his ability to listen is a rare and valued quality in a real estate agent.

“ There is simply nothing more important than knowing your client” he said, “ and you get to know them by listening and watching their reactions. It seems simple, but it isn’t done nearly enough. When I first got started in the business, I thought I had to earn my clients business by showing them as much product as possible. Now I know the opposite is probably better. There have been a number of times when I showed a client one house and they got out their checkbooks and bought it. That only happened because I listened and was able to pinpoint the perfect home for their needs. If a client says they want a four bedroom home in the flats of Beverly Hills, I am not going to show them a 3 bedroom contemporary on a hill with a view. “

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Add it all up, and you have the preeminent example of why Michael is so different: respect. In a business that does not always enjoy the best reputation and where home buyers and sellers don’t often return time and again to the same agent or tell their friends about the great experience that they have had. Michael enjoys a remarkable 99 percent referral rate.

I don’t farm, send out letters to use me or advertise on bus benches as bus riders typically don’t buy homes”. People typically will not respond only to a postcard with a pretty face on it. They respond to word of mouth and to successful marketing of other properties in the areas that they live in. when they see the method in action they want to work me”.

And once they have worked with him, they’re committed too. Because Michael is proof that you cant underestimate the value of good old hard work, and that clothes definitely don’t make the man….

Call Michael  directly
(310) 748-5410
mikeeisenberg@sbcglobal.net
www.michaeleisenberg.com
DRE # 01234030