We had the good fortune of connecting with Matias Baker Masucci and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matias, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The first answer that comes to mind is “hard work”. But that’s an incomplete answer. If I have to be completely honest, any success I have achieved as a real estate agent has been due to the people I have been lucky enough to surround myself with. Apart from showing up every day and working as hard as you can, in my experience, humbleness is the most important quality a person can have. Being humble has never come easy to me. It is something I’ve had to work really hard at and continue to do so every day. I’ll never forget how my first sale in real estate came about. An experienced agent in the first office I worked at had a luxury condominium for sale in Hollywood. Since it was a gated building, he said he was looking for someone to stand downstairs by the front door to let people in as they arrived for the open house. He was planning on paying an assistant to do the job. Without hesitation I volunteered for the job free of charge. That weekend I stood outside all afternoon in the hot sun opening the door for anyone who showed up. Next thing I knew, the agent called me upstairs and told me that a family sitting on the patio was looking to submit an offer. That was my first sale. My point is that had I not been humble enough, I would have never done it. Being humble allowed me to ask for help from great realtors and it allowed me to learn from wonderful people. Today, even though I never stop learning, I do my best to pass my knowledge and experience along to those who just enter the business. In Los Angeles real estate it’s not easy to stay humble. Realtors, just like actors, love to give each other awards: top ten this, top five.. percent that, number one in this neighborhood, number three in this region, and the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be recognized for my work just as much as the next person. But the moment you let it get to your head, it’s over. Once you start believing you are great, you shut the door on learning and personal growth. The best way to avoid that is to constantly surround yourself with people who keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. It’s okay to take a bow once in a while so long as once you are done you move on and get back to working hard and staying humble.
What should our readers know about your business?
Have you noticed how people have a tendency to get defensive when they meet a real estate agent? They are always afraid he or she wants to sell their house or sell them a house. I like to joke and tell people: I am not your neighborhood realtor. And there is some truth to that. A lot of my business is B2B. In other words, it is other professionals such as attorneys, financial advisors, professional fiduciaries, and bankers who recommend me to their clients. Believe it or not, I also end up representing quite a few real estate agents. Have you ever heard a lawyer say “He who represents himself has a fool for a client?” Well, that is just as true in the purchase and sale of real estate. Fortunately, because of the nature of my practice, I work all over Los Angeles County. I’ve sold luxury estates, your typical single family home, as well as apartment buildings and of course trust and probate real estate sales. I guess you could say that I can be your neighborhood realtor when you need me to be. The only difference is that instead of just serving one neighborhood, I give people options. My goal is always the same, to provide a remarkable real estate experience, yet the process changes constantly. What works for probate and estate planning attorneys, may not work for your seasoned house flipper, or first-time homebuyer. The ability to adapt is very important in Los Angeles real estate. Not just to adapt to your client but to adapt to a changing market. The last thing you want to do is to chase the market. Whether you are chasing it up or down you are doing a disservice to your clients. That is why it is so crucial to be dedicated to obtaining results. It is that dedication that keeps you learning and improving every single day. Nothing is ever perfect. I am constantly fine tuning. The journey was everything but easy. Fortunately, I had a lot of help along the way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love Los Angeles. Let me repeat that, I LOVE LOS ANGELES. I’ve had a love affair with this city ever since I moved here when I was 18 years old. Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware of all of its shortcomings and I know that all of us Angelinos can do better to make sure the city is a better place for all. But despite all that is wrong, I just can’t help it but love everything that is right! Anyone who visits the city should stop by the California Science Center. I don’t care how old you are, if you don’t get excited by the Space Shuttle, you are no friend of mine. The Getty Center should be next on the list. I once invited my friends there to celebrate my birthday. Then you have the Japanese Gardens in Van Nuys. I never even knew the place existed until years after I started living here. For the lovers of nature, Griffith Park has a lot to offer, from the Bronson Caves to a hike to the Hollywood sign. And of course, the Griffith Observatory deserves a visit. But if you are into astronomy, and are willing to set a whole day aside, I think Mt Wilson Observatory is a really special place. That’s where I proposed to my wife. LA has some great food. Personally, I love sushi but there are so many hidden gems out there. I won’t mention any because finding them is part of the fun. Here are some clues, look in Little Tokyo Downtown, Culver City Arts District, La Canada, Larchmont Village, and Virgil Village.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The list is huge. There is no doubt in my mind that what I’ve been able to achieve in real estate is due mostly to the people who have helped me along the way. I have an immense debt of gratitude toward Brian Joy, Nancy Sanborn and The Sanborn Team. They took me under their wing and put a great deal of faith in me from day one. They are without a doubt the people who laid the foundation of my real estate career. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. In my professional journey I have been able to benefit a great deal from the kindness and generosity of others. I also believe that Berkshire Hathaway has a corporate culture that is conducive toward mutual support. This may sound like a cliche but it is hard for me to find someone I come into contact with I don’t learn something from. The same is true for the books I read. I was fortunate enough to grow up with a father who put a lot of value on reading. I never lost the habit. Speaking of reading, I recently read that a survey of Fortune 500 managers revealed that most of them credited a supportive partner as the reason for their success. This couldn’t be truer in my case. My wife deserves a lot of credit. One thing is for sure, I would have never been able to get here without everyone who helped along the way.