One of the top-producing agents on the Westside of Los Angeles, Dan Urbach brings boundless energy, passion and enthusiasm, as well as more than 25 years of real estate experience to his diverse clientele. He loves working with people and it shows in the lifelong relationships he builds with his clients and colleagues alike. Dan specializes in estates, homes and luxury condos.
Post: Tell me a bit about your background—where did you grow up?
Dan Urbach: I was very fortunate to have grown up in Malibu on Point Dume. In the ’70s, it was a very different Point Dume than today. The homes were mostly small, ranch-style homes on large lots with very few fences. There were lots of trails, and our local Mayfair Market had a hitching post to tie off horses.
To me, Malibu was a giant playground with the ocean on one side and the Santa Monica Mountains on the other. I took full advantage—surfing, skateboarding and biking almost every day.
Post: How did you get into a career in real estate?
Dan Urbach: Immediately after college, I started working in the entertainment industry as a production assistant and then production coordinator on television shows.
To be honest, I never enjoyed working in the entertainment industry. It was the mid-1980s and I had friends who were becoming very successful in real estate, as the market was soaring. I took the real estate license exam while still working in entertainment in 1990.
My timing couldn’t have been worse, as the real estate market promptly began a nosedive that lasted for the next six years. I stuck to it, persevered, and slowly built a loyal clientele and a successful business. My focus immediately went to the Westside and the neighborhoods that I knew best.
Post: How does your background help you when working with clients to buy or sell a home?
Dan Urbach: For the past 25 years, I have developed deep roots in the neighborhood as both a resident and within the agent community. These cultivated relationships enable me to be a trusted source of information for my clients and a respected broker in the community that other agents would like to work with.
In addition, it is imperative to listen and understand my client’s needs and motivations from the start on either side of the sale.
Post: What are some of the most memorable homes you have sold or helped a client purchase?
Dan Urbach: My clients had just relocated to California from England and found what they immediately knew was their dream home at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in the Will Rogers neighborhood. Of course, it was many other buyers’ dream home too.
The property received four offers, three of which were well above our offer. The listing agent accepted the highest offer, put the other two offers into the first and second back-up positions and asked if we would like to be in third back-up position.
I counseled my buyers that while the chances were slim, it couldn’t hurt. Unbelievably, the initial buyer and both back-up offers fell apart and my clients successfully closed.
Post: What advice do you have for someone buying their first home?
Dan Urbach: Take the time to meet with two to three agents that are experts in the neighborhoods that interest you. It is extremely important to work with an agent you really connect with and trust.
Get pre-qualified for financing before you begin your search. Be willing to make some compromises. And most importantly, make it a fun and rewarding process.
Post: What made you move to Compass?
Dan Urbach: Compass offers agents unparalleled marketing, global reach and services that have never been seen in the industry before—it comes down to how I can best perform for my clients. With that being said, the move was a tough choice after having such a phenomenal experience running The Agency’s Pacific Palisades office.
Compass is building a modern and unique real estate platform based on technology and client service to make the search and sell experience intelligent and seamless. As an example, their Compass Concierge service covered the up-front costs of staging, painting and other preparatory services before launching my latest listing in the Palisades. The result, 17790 Calle de Palermo, went into escrow in less than one week on the market with multiple offers well over the asking price.
Post: What do you attribute your success to?
Dan Urbach: Hard work, truly caring and loving what I do. Not to mention the amazing team that works with me: my longtime associate, Candace Fengler, our Marketing Director Sam Green, as well as agents Billy Tobenkin and Lydia Yun, play an integral in our success.