For the Finest in Los Angeles Westside Luxury - Ring Shelby
''If you have a 10-year time line, Los Angeles real estate is generally a good investment.''
An Interview with Shelby Ring
Director, The Ring Group Compass Luxury Real Estate
We sit down with SHELBY RING, Director at The Shelby Ring Group at Compass Luxury Real Estate to talk about the market and the latest opportunities, as Executive Global return to the familiar realm of Los Angeles luxury real estate in an exclusive interview with one of the Westside area’s pre-eminent realtors.
Executive Global: As someone who grew up on the Westside of Los Angeles, what would you say makes this area so attractive for luxurious living?
Shelby Ring: The basic reasons are the same reasons the movie industry decided to move here in the 20’s! The weather couldn’t be more perfect, temperate all year round, particularly nice when we have days with 70F in December. Then there’s the location itself – being close to the ocean is always a luxury, and having LA’s vibrant film, arts and restaurant culture while being on the ocean is unbeatable.
Another factor is the economic fundamentals – Los Angeles has a diverse set of industries that keep real estate a good long term investment, which allows clients to invest in a city everybody recognises and see a good return on their investment, even if they don’t want to live here full time.
EG: What fundamental factors are key to successfully selling real estate at the full asking price in Los Angeles?
SR: The most critical point is to understand the hyper local market – the exact same homes a mile apart might need to be marketed differently – timing, pricing and presentation. The market is changing, and it is critical to present the property correctly, to understand exactly which buyer is looking for this type of property and appeal to them. Presentation is huge here, and all buyers have high expectations about their new homes, so presenting the home tuned to the exact niche is important to create that initial buzz – which in turn generates multiple offers and a sales price over asking.
EG: You are also fully bilingual, having worked in France. How did your experience in Europe deepen your insight into the real estate market?
SR: My time in France – and Europe generally – gave me a range of experiences that serve me in all my relationships. The first and most important is that there is no one “normal”. There are different versions of normal, so it is very important to listen first and understand the other person’s assumptions and start points so that you can speak to those immediately. Also, how we use space and the types of space we value varies culturally, so again, not making the assumption that every buyer wants the house that works for most local buyers is important.
EG: In what ways would you say that your degree and expertise in Urban Studies and Design presents additional benefits to clients?
SR: I speak planning! Seriously, that can be helpful for clients to understand what a property can be – either because they would like to make changes to the property and improve it, or because they want to be sure a property will hold it’s value – or because they want to invest in property that will appreciate or that they can force an increase in value. With the price of real estate in Los Angeles, it’s important to understand the investment value of a property, even if it will be a family home. So the ability to recognise the effect of infrastructure change, changing planning rules and ongoing development on neighbourhood desirability and property values in a medium to long term time line, helps my clients make decisions that suit them and their longer term financial priorities. Real estate pulls together the skills I’ve used along my career – my marketing and PR history is also called into use on a daily basis.
EG: How can investors strategically position themselves for opportunities in the next 5-10 years?
SR: Purchase in a desirable area in Los Angeles, and understand why others purchase in the area. If you have a 10-year time line, Los Angeles real estate is generally a good investment. If you invest in desirable neighbourhoods, they substantially outperform the LA average. For example, Santa Monica housing prices recovered a full 3-4 years before the average Los Angeles price. Investment properties, particularly residential rentals are a great investment right now, as long as an investor is well informed, given the ongoing pressures on housing stock.
EG: As a native born resident, what can clients expect when being represented by you in the Los Angeles Westside area?
SR: Full service focused on them and their goals – I’ll help them define what they want and make it happen. In addition to really understanding the local market myself, I work with my clients to help them be very clear on their goals and what Los Angeles has to offer that will suit them. And since I’ve moved internationally, I understand the process from both sides. And of course, I have a great list of people and services that can help my international clients with the process as well, from the financial, to construction, to child care.
EG: Tell us more about your latest luxury listing?
SR: It’s a unique property that is in the middle of downtown Santa Monica, a private Zen retreat that is walkable to everything – restaurants, cafes, shopping and also the beach.
The property was built by a couple – a sculptor and renowned scientist – as a labor of love and art. The wife created the building and spaces as a sculpture. Upon entering the property you’re greeted by a private, light filled gallery with two story ceilings, which then leads a remarkable artist’s workspace. The husbands’ workspace and office are right next-door. Heading up to the top floor by private elevator, you step out into the stunning penthouse suite, made for privacy, entertaining and displaying treasures. The master suite has it’s own library. There is a huge amount of outdoor space, with patios off of every room that all connect – it’s an incredible place to entertain. EG