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Community Highlights: Meet Michelle Crochet

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Crochet.

Hi Michelle, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My journey as a real estate investor and Realtor in LA started when my husband and I bought one of the last short sales of the period coming out of the great recession and housing crash. We bought a total fixer condo in Hollywood steps away from the Hollywood Bowl for $285k. Crazy good price when you think about that today. We renovated and essentially slow flipped it, making double our money in less than three years and getting out with the $500k tax-free capital gains benefit on the property, which we put into our next Burbank property. You sell in the market you buy in, so we sold high which was awesome, but we also bought a home in Burbank (albeit a great one) that felt very expensive at the time. And yet, we have gained substantially on that through forced equity on renovations as well as market growth. We have invested in out-of-state properties as well given the high price tags in and around LA, but stay opportunistic here as well.

As I’m also a Realtor here in LA, I’m seeing dozens of properties weekly all over LA, exploring neighborhoods that are changing and evolving. As a realtor, I work with all types of buyers and sellers and all over LA simply because that’s the nature of the beast. LA seems vast because it takes forever to get everywhere, but nothing is really that far, so you work with clients all over and frankly that’s part of the job that’s fun for me. As a Realtor, I like to use my investor hat and help explain to my clients, especially my first-time buyers, the investment they are making in their future wealth. Buying real estate in California is always a good idea; of course you have to get the best deal you can. So, from my beginnings to now, I have built my love and knowledge for real estate by helping my clients buy and sell smartly and continuing to be a student of real estate, consuming books and podcasts constantly.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
In anything, you will have struggles – at least that’s been my experience. However, I have spent a lot of focused energy in the past couple of years on course-correcting my mindset. Literally, nothing that we want for ourselves is out of reach, but we get down and let that bad energy sap us of realizing our goals of tomorrow. Specifically, I have missed a few amazing flip opportunities due to fear of losing money and lack of being prepared to turn on a dime, which you have to be in the fast-paced LA market. I have forgotten at times to give myself credit where credit is due. Investing in real estate in LA and guiding clients to buy and sell strategically is essentially like legal insider trading. I know what’s going on, I know where there is untapped opportunity for financial gain through real estate, and at times I didn’t take advantage of that position. I have gotten smarter about that and pass that along to clients through advice on buying a home or investment property in an area that will see strong growth in the near future for specific reasons and helping investor clients (and myself) analyze deals quickly. I use my crazy straight-A, type-A character traits I have always had and apply it to my work, always being organized and detail-oriented as well as being professional and nice, which is a simple human trick that actually helps you achieve more because people want to work with you. So, basically, yes I have struggled as that is life. But for every struggle, I have tried to grow and adapt as the journey continues.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I give everything I’ve got to my clients, recognizing the sincerity of the endeavor of buying or selling a home, which is most likely the largest purchase or sale of any asset in their life, and that is life-changing money, so it’s not to be taken lightly. I have also bought and sold myself numerous times and bring my clients the ability to execute on contracts and transaction negotiations that benefit them the most, but also with an empathy to an emotional side that is omnipresent in transacting real estate. I bring skills and knowledge, a ridiculous work ethic that I have had my whole life since I got my first job at 14, and a relaxed vibe to the process as well, which allows my clients to relax and enjoy the process too. And I’m a Realtor who answers my phone! Unless I’m reading bedtime stories to my six and three years old or already on the phone with another client, you can count on being able to reach me.

And that’s not the case of so many Realtors, which is so, so, so frustrating when you’re a buyer or seller with an important question or need. And lastly, I’m just an honest and ethical person. I negotiate hard for my clients and am always doing what best serves them, but also fully aware that people are mostly good, and the buyer or seller on the other side of the transaction is most likely a decent human being, and that ultimately we all have the same goal, which is to change ownership from one person to the other. In that way, I think I’m a breath of fresh air compared to some of the intense and aggressive Realtors out there. I’m always out to just get things done with positivity.

What makes you happy?
Happy is a main focus for me. And I respect the challenge that being happy can be! It sounds weird, but are sort of wired to go down the hole of doom sometimes, so happy in a concerted effort. That’s why I have spent time asking myself what makes me happy and coming up with answers so I can make a more concerted effort to feel it. Some of the things that bring me joy are:
– saying something to my child that makes them smile or know how special they are, and you can see it in their face.
– receiving love from my kids in any way they give it. Kind words, art, cuddles, sharing about their day, etc.
– laughing at my husband’s jokes and impersonations
– going to the beach, hearing the waves, and feeling the sun.
– seeking out and eating phenomenal food
– traveling, mostly to Italy, but many places excite me that I have not yet been.
– investing in real estate and achieving financial freedom

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