& Marina Accardo
Accardo Real Estate Associates (AREA) is a full-service real estate brokerage established in 2007 as Beach City Tony. Marina Accardo partnered with her husband, Tony Accardo, and rebranded to AREA in 2015. They opened M StudioHouse in 2018, adding design and remodeling to the firm. Marina, Tony and their team focus on both new construction and the reconditioning of existing luxury homes. They offer clients financing options for home improvements, staging and corrective fit and finish.
What do you love most about your job?
Tony: “The excitement of guiding people on a significant personal achievement that will impact their future wealth. Sometimes it’s a first-time home-buyer or an upgrade of their existing dwelling, and other times it’s a strategic growth opportunity to purchase a second home or investment property. In any scenario, it’s a feeling like no other to help our clients reach their goals.”
In what ways is the real estate industry an emotional business?
Marina: “It is extremely important to have a voice and the confidence to take action. Trepidation is due to overwhelming fear or self-criticism. This is a gritty business, and that inner voice needs to champion your thoughts and bring your own sunshine to the party. There are many days nobody is clapping for you; you can be the one clapping for yourself.”
Tony: “I am fortunate enough to have my life partner as my business partner, and that extra layer of support not only benefits me but also our clients. When choosing to work together, we recognized that our synergy would be greater than the sum of our separate efforts.”
What is your #1 piece of advice during this unprecedented time?
Marina: “Now more than ever, stay well-grounded. Be extra patient with your kids. Attitude is contagious, and they look to us as leaders.”
Tony: “Stay calm, navigate your real estate like you would your health and do not make too many adjustments at once. Seek the opportunities to purchase an investment property or second home or upgrade your existing home; with time, real estate will always appreciate. Don’t wait to buy real estate; buy real estate and wait.””
What have been your proudest moments during the recent crisis?
Marina: “COVID-19 has accelerated the need for technology in our daily lives and in the workplace. We are positioned as a tech-enabled brokerage, from marketing your home virtually (both locally and internationally) to geo-targeting prospective buyers or using artificial intelligence to identify homes likely to sell in a particular neighborhood. With these tools under our belt, we have successfully serviced our clients and have grown our business—and that feels pretty awesome.”
What housing market trends do you foresee for 2021?
Marina: “For the foreseeable future, we see trends for home offices and school spaces and the need for more convenient and livable outdoor spaces. These trends have emerged from the overall need for emotional well-being our homes provide in our daily lives.
In addition, our clients are focused on in-house utility and ease of living. They are wanting updated kitchens to prepare home-cooked meals and seating to accommodate their entire family. There’s a desire to spend more time outdoors, so a pool, larger yard and outdoor kitchen have become popular search criteria. We are no longer enduring daily commutes to the office, so communities such as Palos Verdes with its ocean views and larger lots have become popular amongst Beach Cities residents looking to have more space.”
Is there still a market for purchasing vacation homes?
Tony: “We see more clients who have been reassessing the purpose of their second homes. With work becoming non-proximity-based, more people are spending time in what they considered their vacation home. Now, with the impact of COVID-19, many are using second homes as a primary residence. We see people looking in less dense areas with more neighborhood appeal. More people are moving out of San Francisco and Los Angeles and relocating to beach towns and the lower desert. People are looking for a community connection again, and we believe this is a positive development even though COVID-19 is a very unfortunate situation.”
What are your favorite South Bay neighborhoods?
Tony: “As a South Bay native, I have always been partial to Palos Verdes. Valmonte is one of my favorite neighborhoods—known for its natural beauty of eucalyptus and palm tree-lined streets. It’s an active community with young families, horse trails and the Palos Verdes Little League. Locals enjoy wide flat streets and trails that provide a great place to jog, walk dogs or ride bikes. Malaga Cove is another favorite for its views of the Queen’s Necklace, hiking trails, and rich history and architecture with Spanish influences. Plus, it’s home to one of the best sandy beaches in the area—only accessible to locals. Redondo Beach is popular for its ocean views and its prized ‘Avenues’ that conveniently lead to the beach in one direction and Riviera Village in another.”
What are your favorite ways to unplug and relax when you’re off work?
Tony: “Our family loves going to the beach on Sundays— in front of Perry’s by RAT beach. I also love tinkering in the yard while listening to audiobooks. Currently, I am super motivated by The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.”
Marina: “I love to cook homemade Italian meals for our family and friends, and my mornings are always better when I get a ride on the Peloton.”