As a real estate agent and partner with The Agency, Michelle Schwartz guides clients through the buying and selling transaction process, assisting them with everything from property prep and staging to design and landscaping. She has an equal grasp of the 310 and 818 markets and their respective nuances. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Michelle owned her own marketing and public relations firm and worked with Fortune 500 companies such as Reebok, Herbalife International, Disney, Bank of America and ESPN prior to practicing real estate. She and her husband live in Studio City and have two sons, Ethan and Asher.
What challenges are specific to your industry?
“Women in our industry tend to be more respected the older they are. However, the older we are, the less innovative we tend to be. While we have some fantastically successful and admirable women in our industry, the numbers are far fewer than the number of men who are celebrated.
As a younger woman in this industry, I have to innovate, reinvent myself and constantly prove to others—and myself—that there are enough hours in the day to manage my clients, kids, household and myself on a daily basis. I think that is true innovation.”
What could women be doing to better advance their careers?
“I have never been one to believe that failure is bad. I think failure is essential to success—they go hand in hand. That said, I think more women need to be bold and unapologetic. Take the chance, make the choice and feel comfortable that you may fail and fall. That actually defines growth and success.”
Which personality traits are most important to be successful in your field?
“To be an individual agent—not on a team—you have to be self-motivated and super-organized. I struggle quite a bit with the latter, so I have created systems in my office that help keep me on track. I am very competitive with myself. I set goals—most of which I have tacked on walls in my office, as I am a visual person.
Also, in the last two years I have become quite spiritual and have welcomed crystals and cleanse my home and work spaces with sage and palo santo. I can’t begin to share how much this has changed my energy … I’m obsessed.”