No one knows their turf better than a real estate agent. From market trends to pocket listings to up-and-coming restaurants, you can count on an agent to know all the ins and outs of a neighborhood. When it comes to the Westside of Los Angeles, consider Hilton & Hyland‘s Lisa Optican an expert. Optican, who previously worked as an attorney and developer, says the business of real estate has always been second nature for her family. The native Angeleno and top-producer—Optican transacted over $60 million in sales in 2020—sat down to discuss a red-hot Los Angeles market, a Brentwood hidden gem and how she finds work-life balance as a working mom.
What did you do before real estate and what got you into the business?
I was an attorney doing business litigation and grew up in Los Angeles to a family that was always buying, building, selling, leasing, etc. It was always a very natural fit for me to be in real estate.
As a top agent and mom, what’s your secret to finding a work-life balance?
There is no secret. Some days are the perfect balance of kids and work, and other days the balance tips more in one direction. The truth is I love what I do and I love being a mom, so it usually works itself out.
What do you like about Hilton & Hyland/being an agent here that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
Hilton & Hyland is the most luxurious boutique brokerage in the country. I love working intimately and directly with literally the best of the best. Hilton & Hyland has a dynamic group of staff (from marketing to management), and the agents at Hilton & Hyland are incredibly skilled and have deep-rooted connections with clients and properties in Los Angeles and across the country.
You work with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. What’s your best tip for working in that space?
“No comment”—I think that would be the biggest tip. Confidentiality and privacy go a long way in this business.
How has business been in 2021?
2021 has been an exciting year. Many people have reevaluated their priorities and focused intensely on where they want to live and what kind of home they want. That being said, I have been able to put some incredible deals together for clients and hope to do many more. It has been challenging to find the “right” properties for clients because our inventory has been so limited.
Do you think it will be a busy Q4 for real estate in LA?
I think it will continue to be busy. The inventory is still relatively low in Los Angeles and there are a number of very serious and qualified buyers actively looking.
What’s one prediction about the real estate market for the rest of the year?
I think you will continue to see some big transactions for homes that are exceptionally well done on good-sized lots in great neighborhoods. Land is so desirable at the moment and getting harder and harder to find. Also, with limited inventory and low rates, we will continue to see a good number of transactions for the remainder of the year.
What has been your escape during COVID?
Playing tennis with friends and being able to take my kids to the beach to surf.
What is a restaurant you recently went to (or got takeout from) with a client that you really loved and why?
Farmshop at the Brentwood Country Mart. It’s just so quintessential Brentwood. It’s a place to grab a coffee or muffin or meal, sit outside at a picnic bench and just catch up.