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Conversations with the Inspiring Melissa Okabe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Okabe.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Melissa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I truly believe that each experience is like a thread weaved into the greater pattern of our lives- so for me, each varying work and life experience has helped me to grow and advance to where I am today. My experiences in France have allowed me to gain a more global perspective, to appreciate different cultures and understand diverse value systems and workplace norms. Previously working in marketing has given me a creative edge and a finesse in visualizing and growing my personal brand. Teaching yoga has taught me patience, compassion and how to relate to a variety of different people of all ages and backgrounds, and to come from a place of service and love.

Finally getting into real estate has been a special journey, I’m happy to join the family business (my dad has been a real estate broker and property manager for 30+ years), and grow this business from the culmination of the life experiences I’ve had so far. It’s an amazing honor to help my South Bay community through the significant life transaction of buying or selling their home!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One moment I’ve experienced that I hope others can learn from is the following: Early into the first year of my career, I attended a national real estate summit, a 4-day boot camp, and networking event to learn from the best and incorporate new skills and top practices into my business. By the 2nd day, I felt pumped and made a solid list of action items I was ready to incorporate. On day three, there was a moment when audience members spoke out loud about the progress they’ve made through since last year, the number of transactions closed, and GCI earned. It was inspiring to hear these agents’ success, but as many others continued to share their stellar numbers, I began comparing my production and questioning if I was really made for this business- how can I possibly be competitive? Do I have what it takes? (At the time, I was just starting out, and the numbers these agents were talking about felt very out of reach) Thankfully, my support system reminded me that everyone starts somewhere and that even though I may not be at that level right now, it’s not impossible, rather simply, a not yet. Finally, what each of us brings to the table is unique and special, so there’s no comparison of one journey to another person’s results.

For young women beginning their careers: Whether you are getting into real estate or starting your career in another industry, my advice would be: (1) Find a good mentor – the support and guidance of an expert in your industry will help to shorten your learning curve significantly ; (2) Network, network, network- yes the old adage is true, your network is your net-worth so make it a point to meet people both in and outside of your industry. If you’re starting in in real estate, go to broker’s opens, meet other agents, reach out to your sphere of influence to let them know you’re now a licensed agent. Get involved in the community to grow your local touch-points; (3) Don’t compare yourself to others – it doesn’t matter what car you drive or what purse you carry, but the way you treat other people that will make you stand out and be remembered. Each persons’ journey and expression of success is different, so focus on making small improvements daily, and be authentically you- that’s a brand that no one else can replicate or compete with; (4) Find and define your “why” – especially in a commission based business, there will be times when you may feel discouraged or less motivated, so remembering your “why” (why you chose this industry, how this fits into your life’s purpose, why you are working so hard, your grand vision for what you are doing, and why this brings you fulfillment) will be that spark of energy and motivation to dig deep when things get tough ; (5) Continuously Learn – study your market, attend industry conferences, workshops or specialized courses. The more you grow and develop yourself, the more you’ll be able to offer your clients.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a second generation real estate agent with Alta Properties, specializing in residential real estate in the South Bay-Los Angeles. I earned by First Time Home Buyer Specialist Designation from the California Association of Realtors in 2017, and love working with first-time buyers to find them their perfect home. I’m patient, thorough, and truly care about each and every client, and hold the client service experience to the highest regard. What sets me apart is my international experience working, living, and studying in Paris France from 2008-2012 allowing me a broadened perspective of international business and a deeper understanding of culture globally. Additionally, in 2018, I received my Certified International Property Specialist Designation from The National Association of Realtors, and I hope to grow my real estate business with a more luxury, international focus in the coming years.

As a company, I am proud to work for Alta Properties Real Estate & Property Management who has served its’ clients in the South Bay, Los Angeles, and Orange County for over 30 years, representing sellers and buyers in numerous Residential and Commercial Real Estate transactions, and providing professional, top tier property management.

Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
In my life, I feel very lucky to have crossed paths with many inspiring women who have affected my life in a positive manner. My mom for her strength and honesty; my first boss (Nadine who owns a Public Relations company) taught me the ins and outs of personal branding and the importance of work/ life balance; my dance teacher Loretta who always led by example and gave me my first opportunity to be a leader; my former corporate work colleague Aline who taught me to command space and uplift others.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 3102452564
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @melissaokabe

Image Credit:
Kevin Nakasone

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