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Hottest Brokers Round 1, Heat 7: Laura Epstein vs. Lauren Reichenberg

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Welcome to Hottest Week 2012, that magical time in August when we pit local brokers against each other to determine once and for all (for this year) who's the hottest of the hot. Stay tuned this week and next as the tournament unfolds. And let the games begin!

It's our last day of round one voting. We have two eastish-side specialists for our women today: Laura Epstein of Silverwood Properties, who worked for the designer Rebecca Minkoff, and Lauren Reichenberg of Extraordinary Real Estate, who are known for their eastside hipster flip work. In keeping with our New Year's resolution to be a little less shallow, we asked all the contestants a few questions about their lives before real estate, their advice for buyers and sellers, and more. Read Laura's below:

Laura Epstein

What did you do before you became a real estate agent? How did you get into the real estate game?
I worked for the designer Rebecca Minkoff in NY. I love fashion and design but decided to make the move to LA and when I got here fell instantly in love with the houses and architecture of this city. I had a friend who was a contractor and we partnered up and started looking at properties. I was captivated by the search process and decided to channel this excitement and energy into a career in real estate. It's the perfect combination of business skills/shrewdness and my love for creative design. I'm so happy to have found a way to mesh the two. Very right and left brained working in unison.

What's the most memorable property you ever helped buy or sell?
After a year of searching and getting let down more times that I care to talk about, I finally helped buy some dear friends an income property in Highland Park that wound up being a greater investment than we could have ever hoped for. One thing after the other just fell into place and worked for us. After all the hard work, endless searching, driving around and offer-writing, we finally got our foot in the door. Sharing their excitement and appreciation was very fulfilling. I am now helping them do all the upgrades and love watching this diamond in the rough get turned into a hipster's haven! Before my eyes I see the neighborhood changing and I am now assisting them in the leasing stage, i am seeing the market change drastically. It's a remarkable experience to see this process happening first-hand and at such an immediate rate.

What's the biggest mistake made by either buyers or sellers?
I think the biggest mistake is giving up. I've seen so many buyers and sellers give up because, understandbaly, they get burnt out, and beyond frustrated. I have only been in the biz 2 years but they've probably been the most exciting two years ever for Real Estate here in this area. I can see that right now, to get things done, you need to persist, you need to know it takes a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of patience, a lot of perseverance to get something done, but it WILL happen if you keep at it. And it is quite rewarding and lucrative if you do.

Why do you think real estate agents are, on the whole, so damn attractive?
HAHA! Maybe because when a client is entrusting you to buy or sell their dream house, they want someone with good taste and someone who can appreciate what's beautiful and knows what's cool. So naturally, cool and beautiful people are the one's they'd want and the ones that would do well in this business. If you've got that and you've also been blessed with good business sense, then you'll do great as a broker so it's an attractive field to go into.

Lauren Reichenberg didn't respond to us (hurtful!), but her nominator says "On top of her ethereal beauty, she also takes no bullshit. Love her. She works at Extraordinary Real Estate, the Highland Park house flippers."

Vote below--poll closes at 3 pm PDT on Friday, Aug. 17, 2012.
Poll results

· Hottest Week 2012 [Curbed LA]