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Hot Brokers Round 2, Heat 4: Laura Epstein vs. Yawar Charlie

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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. Round one is a wrap, knocking out eight brokers, so now on to round two.

And here is our final heat of round two: facing off are Laura Epstein of Silverwood Properties and Yawar Charlie of Sotheby's. We didn't get to interview Yawar in round one, but now we have and his answers are below; for fairness, we're rerunning Laura's answers too.

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.


Yawar Charlie
What did you do before you became a real estate agent? How did you get into the real estate game?
I was a working actor before I became a realtor. My grandfather was one of the founders of the Bollywood film industry (they called him the 'Charlie Chaplin' of India-that is also how I got my last name), and both of my parents are actors as well. Once I finished my MFA, I was working as a stage actor on tour before moving to LA. Once in LA I worked on several tv shows including JAG, STRONG MEDICINE AND HEROS. While working on GENERAL HOSPITAL, I decided to buy a house. Once I went though the process of purchasing a home, saving up for a down payment and dealing with an escrow, I found I really loved the process and thought I would be really good at it.

What's the most memorable property you ever helped buy or sell?
Quite honestly (and not just being lame) each transaction is very special to me. I tend to deal with a lot of first time home buyers and I understand the process they had to go through to buy their first house. It's not easy saving up for the down payment and taking on the responsibility of a mortgage is HUGE. It is the biggest investment most people make in their lifetime. I take that very seriously. I also have never forgotten how excited I was to get my first set of keys, and I try to carry that excitment through to each transaction.

What's the biggest mistake made by either buyers or sellers?
I think for both buyer and sellers you need to have clear and realistic expectations of the market. For buyers, low balling and taking your time to decide if you are going to make an offer will not work in most cases any more. Our market is up, so if you see something that is priced well and you like it, you better make a move before someone else does. For sellers, know your market and what homes are selling for around you. Homes that are priced well, sell fast. Homes that are over priced sit on the market and often times the seller ends up chasing the market down, often times getting less than they would have had they priced their home properly.

Why do you think real estate agents are, on the whole, so damn attractive?
This is LA, so I think we are prone to have lots of good looking people about town. We also live a place where people work out, eat right and dress well. Toss that up with a lot of ex actor/models and you have plenty of pretty of selling houses ;)

Vote below--poll closes at 3 pm PDT on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012.
Poll results


· Hottest Week 2012 [Curbed LA]