A Los Angeles native, Jennifer Caras attended Marymount High School and continued her education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she graduated with a degree in psychology. In 2004 she began her career with South Bay Brokers, which became Vista Sotheby’s International Realty in 2015.
What is a unique feature of your business?
“A unique feature is that I am focused on working one-on-one with clients. This is the heart of my business. Despite the growth in my business, I want to be my clients’ point of contact and give guidance throughout the process. I believe it’s something they appreciate, given that 90% of my clients are referrals or repeat business. I get deeply involved in each escrow and each relationship. Although I have someone assisting me behind the scenes, adding others to the mix on the front line would change the nature of my business.”
Tell us about a recent success story.
“I had clients in escrow on an extraordinary prime double walk street lot. Then COVID-19 hit. I had other escrows fall apart during this time, partly because panic and fear were initial reactions. This was an incredible journey as my clients kept focused and their eye on the prize of this rare opportunity. There was a lot of collaboration, and all parties involved—including the seller and the listing agent—were incredible to work with and stayed on task and committed to close this transaction. Communication and collaboration were key elements. My clients are so happy with their purchase; double walk street lots in an exceptional location are few and far between.”
When did you first consider working in your industry?
“When I was younger, I was so intrigued with the details of homes that I initially wanted to be an architect. I have always been drawn to homes and the details and design behind them. Landing in real estate has been a perfect fit for me.”
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
“Last year I was the #2 Top Producing Agent at Vista Sotheby’s out of 250+ agents and the largest producer of Beach Cities sales, totaling $40 million of real estate last year. This year I am on track to exceed that.”
What is your #1 piece of advice during this unprecedented time?
“Take nothing for granted—your health, your family, your loved ones, this beautiful South Bay we are so blessed to live in. Being grateful is a daily practice that energizes me.”
What challenges are specific to your industry?
“The supply does not meet the demand. Despite the recent crisis, the South Bay market is on fire! There is a large pool of buyers and buyer needs and not enough inventory of properties to meet the demands. Hence when a property is priced appropriately and shows well, it is receiving multiple offers and going well over the list price.”
What are you especially grateful for today?
“I am especially grateful for my family— they are my world—my husband, Chris, our children (CJ, Julianne and Grace), my incredible mom and our sweet lab, Woody. I lost my sister at a young age and more recently lost my father in May. Turning loss into life lessons has transformed me as I count my blessings and am committed to not sweating the small stuff!”
Tell us about your support system.
“My biggest support system is at home. My husband, Chris, encouraged me to get my real estate license in 2004 after a career in pharmaceuticals that was successful yet unfulfilling. Once I joined a brokerage, my heart was so much more into it right from the get-go. Being a developer and commercial broker, he also gets riddled with questions from me and is always there to review an inspection report or give valuable advice with his extensive experience in real estate. I truly couldn’t do my job without his incredible support and love.”
Has motherhood made you a better entrepreneur?
“Hands down, YES! Motherhood is by far the toughest and most rewarding job all bundled together. In my job, it has made it easier for me to relate to family priorities and needs when families are looking for their next home or selling their current home. It has made me more flexible and understanding. Having your house on the market when you have children is no easy feat!”
What vacation destination are you dreaming of these days?
“Greece! My husband is Greek, and we embarked on our first overseas vacation with our three children last summer. It exceeded all of our expectations. It was utterly glorious and the best family trip. It was so incredible that we had plans to go back this summer, so I am dreaming of it already for next summer!”