Whether she’s assisting a real estate client, driving her sons to school, or preparing a Jewish holiday feast for friends and family at her home, Realtor® Michelle Schwartz never fails to seize the day. She is a founding member of The Agency and has worked in the Los Angeles real estate industry for more than a decade. We asked Michelle to share her life philosophy and what motivates her every day.
Growing up in Los Angeles, I have heard over and over how Angelinos lack depth, substance, culture and identity. In a city where we are a true melting pot—a city that is a collector of all people from all places and offers something for everyone—looking at my life, I feel like a true and complete representation of the only city I have ever called home.
Today, I am a mother of two beautiful boys, the wife of a man I often feel I don’t deserve, a best friend to many, the first daughter to a Mexican immigrant who fought to get an Ivy League education, a proud and deep-rooted Jew, the first woman managing director of three offices for The Agency, and a proud protector of my clients by means of real estate.
But the truth is, I’m no different than anyone else. My life is full and colorful and crazy. I love having friends over for impromptu dance parties and hangouts like we did in high school. In our home, we prioritize each other and the F-word: FUN!
I grew up with divorced parents; one lived in Beverly Hills, the other just outside in Beverlywood. I was a poor little rich girl, quite literally. My mom struggled while my father had a steady and established career. It was strange. I learned very young that it was a volatility that I never wanted to maintain. This is one of my “whys.”
I attended USC after transferring from Santa Monica College. I was accepted into the theater program, but I realized that I wanted to have something to say in a room of suits, so I changed my major to political science and focused on the Middle East. I loved every minute of it.
My first year out of college, I worked for a boutique public relations firm in Beverly Hills—learning the hustle and getting to “yes” by all means necessary for our clients. That same year, my family’s world was rocked. My beautiful 16-year-old sister suffered traumatic brain injury in a car accident on Sunset Boulevard on Valentine’s Day—a sudden reminder at the mere age of 24 that life is short and fragile and to love hard on those you love. She remains in the same state as she did that day. I am reminded daily of the care we must take for one another. This is another “why” for me.
After recognizing that nothing was going to be easy in this life, that if I wanted something I had to go out and make it happen, I had my aha moment: Happiness is a choice. I cannot depend on anyone or anything to bring me happiness. Happiness doesn’t come with money or things; it comes from within, and it’s truly a matter of perspective on life.
I entered the real estate world when I was pregnant with my first son. I have developed into a top Realtor in the nation, selling numbers I never even fathomed. I have built relationships with other agents and clients who fill my life with joy. I literally choose happiness every single day. That’s not to say that there aren’t hard days. I simply know that happiness is also there at the same time and will remain there when I’m ready to experience it.
I revel in being busy; I just say YES. I say yes to making dinner at home. I say yes to vacation. I say yes to date nights with my husband. I say yes to helping our older parents with tech issues. I say yes to having an open-door policy in our home for our friends and family. I say yes to watching reality TV. I say yes to business of all sizes and amounts. I say yes to bargain-hunt shopping and yes to high-end retail therapy. I may actually say yes too much, but the truth is that this all brings me such happiness and I choose this full life.
I want my kids to see that there are no regrets; each choice leads to the next. Life is filled with ups and downs, and sometimes the downs are so bad we may not be able to see the light at the end. But choosing to see the life we have as one that is full of happiness means that it’s all worth it.
Michelle Schwartz | Managing Director, The Agency
12080 Ventura Place, Suite A Studio City | 424-230-3716
theagencyre.com/agent/michelle-schwartz | DRE #01889141