Lily Liang of Strand Hill Properties, Christie’s International Real Estate

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Lily Liang of Strand Hill | Christie’s International
Lily Liang discovered her passion for real estate at a young age. After moving to the United States to start work at the University of Nevada, and before deciding to sell real estate, Liang started investing in houses by renting, buying and redecorating them.

Now, as a top agent in high-end residential real estate and Executive Vice President of Strand Hill Properties, she focuses on cultivating personalized marketing experiences for each of her clients. This year, Lily Liang also served as a featured panelist at Christie’s International Real Estate’s Spring Auction in Hong Kong, representing the L.A. / South Bay market to Asian buyers looking to invest in luxury real estate. Here, the top producer shares with DIGS her selling philosophy, work with Christie’s Auction House and love for the South Bay.

How has your client-driven philosophy contributed to your success in the industry?

I enjoy working closely with my clients to ensure that each transaction closes to their full satisfaction. I am totally involved in every transaction and I am always walking through the process together with my clients; whether the transaction is easy or difficult, I am with them all the way, we are all part of a team. I usually work over 60 hours a week, if not more. I also personally reply to and write every e-mail to my clients.

How has your experience as an investment consultant living in different countries contributed to your success in the industry?

I have lived and worked in both Europe and Asia. As an expatriate, you get to know people from all over the world. I have always tried to learn from others with different backgrounds, and to appreciate their culture. My 10 years of business experience overseas has really helped me in working with international clients who are coming to buy homes and settle in the South Bay and Palos Verdes.

You have called Palos Verdes home for over 30 years. How does your expertise with the local market give you a competitive edge?

It is an instant comfort to many clients that I can share my 30 years of local experience with them. Whenever they mention a street name, I already know the area and if a client mentions an address, many times I already know what the house looks like, how many times it has been on the market, and whether or not the house is still owned by the original owner. Clients appreciate knowing the history of a neighborhood and a particular house.

There are some homes for which I have been the listing agent several times in the past 30 years, so I not only know the house but I also know the neighbors. I also assist clients by knowing which streets or blocks are more in demand, which area is more or less popular, and which section seems to have a better appreciation than others. 

What do you love most about Palos Verdes?

Of course, there is the great weather and clean air, and Palos Verdes residents tend to be low-key and committed to family life. Even though Palos Verdes seems quiet, we are within a reasonable distance of everything that Los Angeles has to offer. Not to mention the great education system, easy parking everywhere and great city planning with lots of parkland. I have lived and worked in Geneva, Paris, Hamburg, Hong Kong and Taiwan and have traveled to lots of other important cities, but there is just no place like Palos Verdes. It is one of the best-kept secrets in the world. 

You also served as a board member of the American Asian Symphony and LABioMed, major donor of others. Will you tell about your philanthropic work?

Over the past 30 years, I have been involved with many different local organizations. Most of the time, I am involved with raising funds by using my home as a site for fundraising events, providing financial support, donating goods for auctions and volunteering my time. 

What distinguishes your firm from others in the same market?

We work really closely with Christie’s Auction House by sharing the same clients. Many times, collectors of art will sell a home and then their collection items will be sold through Christie’s Auction House. Christie’s history, reputation and success are second to none in the luxury real estate market.

In addition, we have 32,000 agents and 1,350 offices globally. We have close connections with our affiliates across different countries and continents. We work together with very qualified clients and we are truly an international organization for the luxury real estate market. We are not just working under a licensed name, but we have a true connection to Christie’s Auction House. Also, the agents that work for Christie’s are not only hard working, but they also put their own reputation above all other things, making us a strong team altogether.

That was a great experience! As mentioned, the real estate presentation was run in connection with Christie’s annual Spring Auction and it was attended by the clients present at the auction. There were only seven of us on the panel, representing different parts of the U.S., UK, Australia and two other Asian markets. My role was to familiarize investors with real estate opportunities in Palos Verdes and the South Bay Beach cities. In addition to individual clients, there were also representatives from different news media in attendance, including Thomson Reuters. I was able to explain the advantages of purchasing property in our area and answer audience or media questions in both Mandarin and English.

How did the L.A./ South Bay area come to earn the ranking of one of “The most prosperous luxury real estate markets for Asian buyers in 2015”?

The South Bay has been getting more and more attention from the Chinese community because of our outstanding education system, weather, ocean views and great air quality. As you may know, Chinese buyers have purchased several homes for over $10 million in Palos Verdes over the past months. We are now marketing the Palos Verdes and South Bay areas to markets on the other side of the Pacific and not just to buyers that are already in California.

Why was it important for you to introduce the beach cities and Palos Verdes markets to the audience at the auction?

When foreign investors or immigrants first come to the U.S., they tend to buy where they feel most comfortable. In the L.A. area, the majority of new Chinese immigrants have bought in areas like San Marino/Arcadia because they already have a lot of their own citizens. Now, most Chinese buyers are more accustomed to thinking about the U.S. as their new home and feel more at ease to move to an area that is closer to their work, or that could offer a better fit for their new lifestyle.

Hopefully, through my introduction of what we can offer in our area, we will attract buyers who will appreciate and recognize the value and lifestyle we have in the South Bay and Palos Verdes—not just for today, but for many years to come.

Photo Courtesy of Lily Liang

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