Home is now more meaningful than ever. Home is a sanctuary, it’s where we find refuge, comfort, and our loved ones. And now it’s also the office, the gym, a school, playground, and more. From Los Angeles to the Bay Area, our agents are adapting their business to serve their clients like never before — from within their own homes. In this series, we take a closer look at a day in the life of our extraordinary Compass agents in the place they know best.
Q + A with Compass agent KC Lehman
Where’s home for you?
My home is in one of my favorite pockets of Los Angeles, Leimert Park. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, so all of the city is truly my home.
Even if it is renovated, don’t expect perfection. It is best to spring for all the inspections in the beginning so you know exactly what you are getting.
What hats are you wearing at home these days? (Example: real estate agent, parent, teacher, yogi, chef de cuisine, etc.)
I’m a mom first, but Covid-19 has turned me into a Jane of many trades. I was a teacher prior to being an agent, so I have been able to utilize that skill set to keep my children on track with their studies. I prefer baking to cooking, but I have had to stretch and do more in the kitchen. I write in my spare time so I have been able to indulge in that a bit more.
Tell us about a recent deal or client service. How did you/your clients overcome obstacles? What was the outcome?
A couple was referred to me the first week we went on lockdown. I had to work to keep them positive about shopping under the current conditions. Although everything went virtual almost immediately, as a practitioner of real estate, I can’t advocate for anyone to buy a home without going inside of it, touching its walls, peeking into closets, etc. They opted to wait until restrictions for viewing properties became clear and considered all of their options. They were very close to buying a new construction condominium but I’m happy to say we just opened escrow on a single family home which is what they really wanted.
What is your favorite feature of your own home?
I have a Spanish Colonial home that was built in 1933. When I first viewed it what caught my eye were 25-foot wood beamed ceilings in the living room. They are still my favorite feature of the house.
SIP homebuyers are uncompromising. This is a time of much uncertainty, and they don’t know what to think of the market… As such, they want a property to have as many items on their wish lists as possible. Also, buyers want lots of space, both indoors and outdoors.
Have you redecorated or undertaken any DIY projects under SIP?
No, but we were at the beginning stages of a big renovation at the start of SIP and intend to complete it before the end of the year. We have made modifications to the plan to prepare for this new way of life.
What is the one room you can’t live without?
My bedroom. It is my sanctuary.
Give us a tour of your home office? Did you redesign or enhance due to Shelter-in-Place orders?
To be honest, my home office is wherever I feel comfortable for the day. I run a paperless business, so I don’t need a ton of space, but I do need quiet. Some days, I work from my bedroom, other days in my living room. It just depends on my mood. I plan to add a writing desk to my bedroom during the renovation because I find myself staying in that space most of the time when I’m working. I’m appreciate all the natural light it gets more than ever before.
What do you look for in a home?
Space, light and flow. I also love a good backyard. Having great outdoor space is one of the perks of living in a city like Los Angeles that has great weather year-round.
Do you have a favorite architectural style?
I use to think it was Craftsman until I bought a Spanish house. Now it is definitely Spanish.
What evergreen advice do you always give your clients?
Unless you are buying new construction, you are buying used property. Even if it is renovated, don’t expect perfection. It is best to spring for all the inspections in the beginning so you know exactly what you are getting.
What local business are you supporting during SIP?
Leimert Park has a ton of small, Black-owned businesses that I want to ensure keep their doors open in spite of Covid-19. We have a few eateries and an apothecary that I support frequently.
My grandfathers on both sides of my family were brokers, and my paternal grandfather also invested in real estate pretty heavily. He taught me the importance of utilizing real estate as a wealth building tool.
How did you find your way to your career in real estate? Why do you stay?
My grandfathers on both sides of my family were brokers, and my paternal grandfather also invested in real estate pretty heavily. He taught me the importance of utilizing real estate as a wealth building tool. I expected to come into the industry as an investor, but quickly learned agents find out about the best investor opportunities! I stay because it offers me a lifestyle and freedom like no other career path, and I enjoy being in service to others. To buy or sell real estate is a really big deal and I like helping people through such a big transaction in their lives.
What trends have you noticed among SIP homebuyers? What is the most wished for home feature?
SIP homebuyers are uncompromising. This is a time of much uncertainty, and they don’t know what to think of the market. Although they are shopping with extremely low interest rates, the prices haven’t budged. As such, they want a property to have as many items on their wish lists as possible. Also, buyers want lots of space, both indoors and outdoors.