''If you have a 10-year time line, Los Angeles real estate is generally a good investment.''
An Interview with Patty Waltcher
Luxury Realtor, LIV Sotheby's International Realty
Our interview with PATTY WALTCHER, Luxury Realtor at LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, returns to the familiar world of high end luxury real estate in the Ojai Valley, California. Executive Global gets the inside scoop from the prolific agent and architectural specialist who has been connecting the dots for people and buying and selling for over 27 years, representing the grandest properties in Ojai, as well as family homes, commercial properties and buildable lots.
Executive Global: What is it about the Ojai Valley that makes it such an attractive location for wealthy home buyers?
Patty Waltcher: Ojai is a unique, country getaway for many types of successful people: Hollywood stars, business executives, artists and politicians. They come to the Ojai Valley to be surrounded by nature, silence, beauty and community. Only 90 minutes from LA and 40 minutes from Santa Barbara, Ojai has amazing schools and is a wonderful place to raise children. Often a second home will become a primary residence. Especially now, in the pandemic, people are flocking to the safety and serenity of Ojai.
EG: To home buyers who may be new to these areas, how would you compare both the Ojai and Malibu real estate markets?
PW: For over a century, Ojai has been a place where A-list architects come to build unique properties. There are homes in Ojai designed by some of the most famous California architects, such as George Washington Smith, Paul Williams, Green & Green, Mead & Requa, Julia Morgan, Richard Neutra. Ojai is about 15 minutes inland and more rural, whereas Malibu is right on the coast and much closer to LA. The architecturally unique homes in Ojai are more affordable compared to other nearby, high-end neighbourhoods such as Malibu, Beverly Hills, Montecito and Brentwood.
EG: With a flair for aesthetics as a specialist in unique architectural homes, what fundamental elements are required to sell a property at the maximum asking price in the Ojai Valley?
PW: In Ojai, people are looking for large parcels of land, amazing views of the surrounding mountains and the valley, beautiful landscaping, including ancient native oak trees, and, of course, gorgeous, well-maintained, modernised and unique homes.
EG: What is the most expensive real estate deal you have ever closed, and what factors led to your success in the sale of the property?
PW: The highest price home I ever sold was in Beverly Hills, which was listed at $26,995,000. In Ojai, I have sold the vast majority of the highest priced homes over the years. I just closed the El Toro Estate which listed at $13,500,000, a magnificent restoration of an estate designed by Arthur E. Harvey, and prior to that I closed Twin Peaks Ranch, another iconic Ojai estate designed by Pasadena architect Palmer Sabin that listed at $16,000,000.
I attribute my success to my willingness and ability to work with people through challenging and sometimes emotional situations. I don’t sell anything; I facilitate a process that is trying to happen. Every transaction has its challenges, whether during the initial negotiations or while working through inspections and contingencies. If my clients aren’t happy, I’m not happy. So I do my best to create a supportive, transparent environment where the best outcome for everybody is available.
EG: You also do a lot of charitable work as President of Lotus International. How important is giving back to the community?
PW: I have been on the Board of Lotus Outreach International for 25 years and its president for the last 12. Lotus Outreach serves vulnerable girls and women in India and Cambodia primarily by providing access to education. I feel that my privilege, in particular, access to education and opportunity, demands that I offer something to other women who are less fortunate.
EG: You have been the top-grossing realtor in the Ojai valley for several years! What is the secret to your success?
PW: My business is all about relationships. The majority of my clients are repeat clients or referrals and many of them have become very close friends. Ojai is a small community, so integrity is everything. Because I honour the relationships and do my best to help people get to the best outcome, people come back.
EG: As a 25+ year professional with an intricate knowledge of the Ojai real estate market, what can High Net Worth clients expect when being represented by you?
PW: My goal is to find a buyer the property that makes their heart thump and then connect all the dots so the transaction goes smoothly. I also have exclusive access to high end properties not on the market.
EG: As someone who is highly successful in this industry, can you tell us why some realtors succeed in the world of luxury real estate where others fail?
PW: I work hard, respond quickly to the needs of my clients, find creative solutions, and I am dedicated to the well-being of everybody involved. EG