Realtor® America Michael specializes in Los Angeles and South Bay luxury real estate and residential properties. America founded Homes By America, which operates under the umbrella of Compass. She has worked in real estate for 13 years and is a Certified Negotiations Expert. Before entering the real estate industry, she worked in sales and marketing and operated a home-organization business.
What value-added incentives do you offer?
I’m extremely hands-on and have a talent for getting a house ready for market—from ideas for property updates to attract more buyers and merit a higher price tag to helping buyers envision what they can do with a home or space. I love all of it! Working with me means you get my added expertise.
How do you help clients achieve their vision?
So much of what we do is about vision. Clients who are selling need help to visualize their house when it’s ready to come to market and see what the competition is so we are as appealing as possible. Some sellers have been in their property for a long time and can’t see it as objectively as we can. That vision can get them significantly more money if executed and save them time on market. Of course, our buyers are always envisioning what their life would be like to move into a property or neighborhood. Our job is to help them explore all their options with their vision in mind while offering creative input they may not have considered.
What differentiates you in real estate?
I’d like to think we are all in this business to help people. I’ve built my reputation in the real estate community as someone my clients and referrals can count on for a variety of needs—related to home buying and selling and much more. My network is enormous, and my ability to problem-solve, negotiate and execute has awarded me hundreds of happy clients and testimonials.
What do you enjoy outside work?
Traveling! It’s truly one of the greatest gifts to be able to see and connect with the world. I’ve been an avid traveler since I got my driver’s license—it recalibrates and inspires me. I’m also really into nature and love to hike and explore, climb a mountain and be in the trees. I’m proud to say I’ve hiked Half Dome in Yosemite, although I was terrified.
What motivates you as a real estate agent?
I am passionate about real estate and helping people. It’s one of the greatest feelings to align with my clients’ goals whether for something happy, like getting married or having a baby and needing a bigger house, or something harder, like a death or divorce where changes need to be made. It gives me a deep sense of purpose to be a part of the change and hopefully become a long-term partner in my clients’ Rolodex of resources.
How do you build and maintain your network?
I’m a born social creature. I love meeting new people and getting people together, especially for face-to-face time. While I’m not out as much as I used to be in my 20s and 30s, I’ve grown my network by engaging in any way possible—being open to leaving our beautiful bubble in the South Bay and practicing follow-up to build deeper connections with new people.
What technology helps you provide better client service?
I moved over to Compass almost two years ago as I fell in love with their technology and culture. They are so forward-thinking and have an unparalleled platform for clients and agents. Not to mention we have such a powerhouse of agents who all are collaborative that the creative environment allows for only better things for our clients. We also have Compass Exclusive listings: properties listing only with us that we can network privately, giving an advantage to both our buyers and sellers.
What do you expect to see in real estate this year, specifically in the South Bay?
I’m expecting to see more inventory. I think many people were at a standstill with both COVID-19 and local restrictions, making it difficult to sell or find replacement properties. Also, interest rates spiked last year and spooked some buyers. We’ve seen rates level out a bit, and I see a hopeful sign of a correcting market from the “unicorn days” of real estate several years ago.
What is new and exciting for your business in 2024?
I’m excited that in the last couple of years, I’ve expanded my ability to be a resource and help people with their real estate transactions in the high desert near Joshua Tree. I bought and fully remodeled a house there myself and have many years of history there. I’m enjoying the variety of selling in the South Bay and Greater Los Angeles as well as the desert more this year. I’ve found the high desert to be a hot market with such a wide variety of possibilities and price points different from L.A.—perfect for investing!
What is the best advice you’ve received?
Stay true to yourself, and above anything, do the right thing. Be a good human. Be someone you are proud of. Live life fully. Give to others and share your talents and gifts. The world is an abundant place—so come from abundance!
Photographed by Lauren Taylor