Above L to R: Jagger Kroener, Michelle Ramsey, Roma Barba, Lauren Forbes, Val Pagett, Kelsey Riggan
Lauren Forbes Group is a full-service real estate company handling transactions of any price in the South Bay of Los Angeles—including both leases and sales. In 2023 owner Lauren Forbes and her team had 68 closed and pending sales ranging from $365,000 to $13.5 million for a total volume of more than $138 million. Lauren attended the University of California, Irvine, and earned her JD from Loyola Law School. She practiced law for eight years before transitioning to real estate in 2000.
What differentiates Lauren Forbes Group from others in real estate?
We are a small team of four agents and two full-time assistants. We are each seasoned, hardworking team players and professionals at the top of our game. We don’t “need to be a team,” but we thrive on this team. We are as interested in the success of the team and each other as we are in our individual successes.
What is key for high-achieving Realtors?
Work ethic and consistency. Connecting with people and making a difference in their lives through real estate. Ironically the best Realtors make it look so easy, people think they can get into the business and make quick money easily.
How do you balance career, personal life and passions?
Much better these days! Early in my career it was all-consuming, and with small kids I had very little time for myself. Over the years I have had to work on “me time.” One of the ways I do that is by getting up early (around 5 a.m.) and doing things that fill my cup—like gratitude practice, journaling, reading, meditation, yoga and my new favorite (or least favorite!): cold plunge. By the time I get to the office, I am ready to conquer the day.
What do you enjoy doing outside work?
I do a lot of coaching both within and outside my work—and I love it! I volunteer at the divorce and separation support group at American Martyrs church, which gives me the opportunity to help others going through divorce. So many people helped me through that challenge in my life, so giving back is very rewarding.
I also am a devout Al-Anon member and sponsor women in that group, helping them deal with their lives while having loved ones who suffer from addiction. I coach my team members and other Realtors who reach out all the time. It feels good when I can make a difference for others as a way of repaying all that has been given to me.
Tell us about a book that has impacted you.
I love to read for both business and pleasure! A recent favorite business book is Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, who was an FBI hostage negotiator before he became an adjunct professor at Harvard Law School, Georgetown University and others. There are so many gems—many that I use regularly in my personal and business relationships. I had the fortune to be coached by Chris via Zoom during the pandemic—I learned so much about honing my listening skills, slowing down and dealing with negative emotions. My favorite novel is The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. I just love that book!
What do you do when clients have unrealistic expectations?
Calmly provide accurate information. Early in my career—and I see it today with many newer agents—there was a tendency to tell people what they wanted to hear or to confirm their thoughts in order to get the listing. Doing that is one of the largest mistakes in our industry. It hurts everyone! Clients hire us because we are the experts. I give them my honest, educated opinions based on real facts and my 23-year experience. If they don’t agree with my recommendations, I may not be the right fit for them.
My job is to get sellers the highest price and buyers a good deal on a home that fits their goals. Having done this for well over two decades, I know how to do both things very well. If a buyer or seller has “a better way to do it,” they usually aren’t the right client for me. That’s one of the many beautiful things about this business. Clients and transactions vary widely, and if you miss or turn down one opportunity, another is likely waiting just down the road.
What do you expect to see in real estate this year, specifically in the South Bay?
2024 is going to be interesting: so much pent-up demand and such low inventory. With interest rates trending down and inventory picking up (albeit slowly), the first quarter is going to be very strong—and probably the second quarter as well. Election years are always tricky to predict. With the global economy and conflicts, it will likely be a bumpy road. The South Bay remains an extremely strong community, and our property values reflect the positive attributes it provides. I am very bullish on our local real estate market.
Disclaimer: Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the state of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License #01991628. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified.
Photographed by Fabien & Laura Castro