Today we’d like to introduce you to Allie Altschuler.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
For pretty much everyone I’ve ever met, owning a home is or has been one of their major life goals. And for something that so many of us desire, the process surrounding it seemed to be pretty wracked with stress and anxiety. Cost aside, I always had anxiety about having to work closely with some blazer-and-nametag-wearing doof with a binder who was never really going to “get” me. Choosing a home and talking openly about finances….that’s an intimate thing and you have to be vulnerable. I hadn’t met any agents that I felt comfortable being vulnerable with like that. I figured if I felt that way, there had to be a lot of other people who felt that way as well. So what better way to make the whole experience more enjoyable than by becoming the kind of real estate agent I wanted to deal with? I was extremely lucky to meet my partner and mentor at the very beginning of my career, and he really fostered the idea that my two greatest assets were my ability to be myself no matter what and to focus on just helping people. Don’t think about money, don’t think about status, don’t get caught up with any of the bullshit that’s pretty rampant in this business. Just do good and be good, and you’ll end up getting to work with clients you really care about and they’ll care about you too. Over the years, we’ve grown our team and made a name for ourselves as the kind of “realtors for people who don’t like realtors.” That is to say, I’m never gonna pressure a client into anything and I’m never going to be cheesy or dishonest or occupy any of the other tropes people in real estate have acquired.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Here’s the secret to being successful in real estate: be born rich and keep rich friends. If you’re like me–and 0/2 there–there will always be some struggles. I started relatively young and not only did I not have anyone in my circle who owned a home already, none of my friends were even close to being able to buy. So there was a struggle in the beginning just to acquire a clientele while learning how to actually navigate an extremely weird and often abstract business. But after a little over a year of keeping my nose to the grindstone, something did kind of click. I found my niche, and the type of people I wanted to work with started finding me. It’s been much smoother since then, but any business that involves a lot of communication with other humans (and managing their emotions) will always have its rocky bits. It’d be pretty boring if it was all on autopilot though.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Everyone on our team is a creative in one way or another–my background is in writing and painting. Because we’re all artists, our clients tend to be creative types as well. That doesn’t mean they’re all career artists, by the way; I’ve got physician clients who are also accomplished musicians, things like that. After all, my tax return doesn’t say “artist,” either, but it doesn’t change the fact that I approach every aspect of my life through an artist’s lens. For creative people, their home can’t just be a box. It can’t just be an entirely financial decision. If you’re not inspired by the place you live in, it starts to take a toll on your work and on your general happiness. Because our clients gravitate toward inspiring homes, I’m really lucky to get to sell and list places of architectural and emotional significance. We realized early on that our business model didn’t really fit this antiquated real estate idea of “focusing on a neighborhood.” We’ve always been more demographic than geographic because people matter more than places, and that “right home” could be anywhere. I’m really proud that we’ve created a brand that people equate with a bunch of honest, adept, loveable whackos. They know they’re going to do well with us, and they know that they can be comfortable being themselves the whole time.
Any big plans?
I just want to keep helping nice people do well. I’ve never aspired to be a monster businesswoman…I think once you focus too much on your own career goals, the relationships start to suffer. You start having to delegate more and you lose sight of the whole reason you started doing this to begin with. It would be really nice, in the future, to have realtors more on board with being active in trying to solve some of our housing instability/inequity problems in Los Angeles, but that’s a rant for a different day.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.clarkliving.com
- Instagram: @alliealt
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/steve-clark-clarkliving-pasadena
Alex Zarour, Rebecca Peloquin