Edward Barrios started working in the South Bay real estate industry in 2005 with Shorewood Realtors. As a broker associate with Vista Sotheby’s International Realty, he focuses on the South Bay Beach Cities and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. He also owns Sandhill Real Estate, Inc. and serves in leadership roles with the National Association of REALTORS®, the California Association of REALTORS® and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Association of REALTORS®.
How do you help your clients beat the competition?
“Professionalism first, then relationships, then just working relentlessly to get them what they need. Relationships in the Beach Cities and Palos Verdes go a long way as we represent our clients in their best interest. If an agent on the other side knows who I am and knows my professionalism and will partner in a transaction, that helps tremendously.”
In what ways is the real estate industry an emotional business? How do you deal with those emotions?
“Always listen. When it comes to a home, emotions are inherent, and I never discount the emotions someone feels about their home or a home they want. But in real estate, whether it’s a home or a commercial office space, you gotta be sharp and focused. I keep the facts straight and offer solutions to avoid the errors that emotional decisions can make.”
What advice would you give a brand-new real estate agent?
“Be patient. Never stop learning. Take the real estate profession seriously. It will bite you in the ass when you aren’t watching.”
What do you love most about your job?
“Developing relationships with my clients and understanding their goals. Each client is so unique: engineers and sales executives, hospitality professionals and marketing managers, finance guys and a retired fishing boat captain. Their personalities, experiences, real estate IQ and future needs all differ. I make it part of my job to know what they want and need—now and in the future—based on really getting to know them.”
How has the shift to working remotely impacted the real estate industry?
“In my opinion, not good. It’s a trend that’s been happening for a while, with more agents working from home or remotely. There’s nothing better than being in an office where you can learn from one another, share upcoming activity, discuss the market, trends, sales tactics, etc. This is a profession that thrives on interaction with your peers and requires discipline to maintain sales activity. Working remotely can be distracting and can affect productivity. Also, Zoom and FaceTime will never replace the need for face-to-face interaction. I’ve seen a lot of Zoom meetings being unnecessarily created because the casual face-to-face opportunities are gone. But it has brought a lot of people together more often who may not have had a lot of interaction before. So there are some positives.”
How are 3-D home tours changing the real estate world?
“The consumer appreciates it for sure. It’ll never replace the in-person viewing, but I’ve helped two clients buy their homes after only seeing them virtually on a 3-D tour.”
Is there still a market for purchasing vacation homes?
“Yes. Real estate is a constant. If values go down, they’ll eventually be back up. Currently, the market for vacation homes is hot. It’ll eventually cool down when hotels and resorts open back up and travel between states eases. But with the movement toward more employers allowing for remote work, vacation and second homes will continue to be in demand.”
What housing market trends do you foresee for 2021?
“The tight inventory will continue to be an issue. With low interest rates and the need to happy in your home, demand will continue to be strong with limited homes available. We are seeing are more people in the L.A. area looking at the South Bay and Palos Verdes due to the beautiful setting, where we are steps from the ocean, the stunning natural landscape of Palos Verdes to explore, and a community where there’s less hustle and bustle. Having to work from home is drawing people to homes with more outdoor space, walkable neighborhoods, the beach, the peninsula, etc. They’re also looking at updating their current homes, keeping contractors busy and the home improvement ecosystem healthy.”
Your thoughts on Fair Housing, Equality and Equity?
“It’s something we should all be actively fighting, working, thinking, visualizing to achieve. Working in real estate brings to light the importance of home, and history has made the opportunity of homeownership for some Americans—particularly African Americans—a challenge. We’ve all seen the what is happening in our country, and it’s time for everyone to do what they can to lift up their brothers and sisters. Equality does not mean someone is stepping down a level; it’s about uplifting the people around you. I’ve made an effort to be a part of the change towards greater diversity and equality with the REALTOR® organizations so that we can weave this initiative and change into the organizations and the real estate industry as a whole.”
Tell us about the home you grew up in.
“It was a single-level, mid-century ranch in North Hollywood with tall windows facing south and a big backyard. A huge plum tree had the sweetest plums. I have awesome memories there, but then we eventually ended up in a newer construction home in Studio City. My parents added a pool, and I used it nearly every day. They’re still there, and now my kids escape the 68º June gloom of the South Bay and go to the Valley where it’s 105º to enjoy the pool.”
What are your favorite ways to unplug after work?
“Surf, play baseball with my boys, eat good food and drink great wine, chill at home in Lunada Bay.”