When it comes to luxury real estate, Los Angeles can’t be beat. From the properties and estates to the lifestyle and the culture, LA represents the finest of everything, exuding class and the good life.

That includes the real estate agents.

Becoming a top real estate agent in Los Angeles is no easy feat—but breaking into the luxury real estate market is even more difficult.

For advice on making that move, we turned to a few of Mercer Vine’s top luxury real estate agents:

Elisa Baran

“It's extremely important to exude class and style but also humility in the luxury real estate market. You should also be knowledgeable in every aspect of real estate. This includes the basics of knowing all contracts, how to deal with inspections, knowing the luxury market areas and listings, connections to other agents who have pocket listings, connections with developers and builders, have an eye for high-end design by going on caravan in these high-end areas, knowing about the remodeling process, familiarize yourself with high-end retailers and vendors, etc. It was important for me to network at high end restaurants/bars to seek out people my own age that I knew were eventually going to be in the market for a new home. I keep these clients close, even if they are far out from buying something because I know when that day comes, I'll be the one they call.”


Coley Laffoon

“Don’t insert yourself in the deal. Your job is to represent your clients, so let them lead. And, never underestimate what someone’s willing to pay.”


Lisa Optican

“Be nice to everyone. You never know who someone knows, or who someone’s client is. Some of the most interesting agents I know and who have big, big clients are not the big splashy real estate agents.”


Tara Hotchkis

“If you want to focus on Bel Air or Holmby Hills or Beverly Hills and you’re just starting out, pick an area within those neighborhoods and know the properties better than they know themselves. What affects it? What’s the history? What affects property values? Know what a $2 million home looks like compared to a $5 million home. You have to be an absolute expert -- there’s no way to get around that, and the only way to do that is by studying it. If I’m a seller and I’m interviewing agents and one of them can tell me the entire history of my street -- who lived there in the 20s, 30s, 40s, what homes sold for, who designed my house, who designed the others on my street, who bought the lots, who master-planned the community -- they’re going to get my listing.”


Brian Griffin

“If you want to work in luxury real estate, be a luxury person. It’s not just a transaction—it’s a lifestyle. You can try to sell the luxury life, but unless you’re in it with the people who make it up, then you’re going to sit on the outside for your whole career. This is also what makes the idea of selling top real estate hard—unless you are with the people at the top, you can’t do deals with them.”


Mercer Vine agents are knowledgeable, professional and dedicated to working hard and achieving the best outcomes for their clients. Get to know the rest of the Mercer Vine team.