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Market Influencer: Raju Chhabria
FOUNDER CHHABRIA REAL ESTATE COMPANY
Raju Chhabria’s love of Palos Verdes began on a fateful day in 1984. Recently moved to the South Bay from Bangalore, India, he headed up the hill to meet a man about an enticing real estate job he had seen in the paper. The job was bogus, but the location was anything but. “I was disappointed that the job ad was not what it seemed,” says Chhabria. “But I looked around me, and said, ‘This place is beautiful.’ I drove around and ended up on an oceanfront street—Paseo del Mar.”
“IN 1986 OR ‘87, I HAD A CLIENT THAT WANTED TO BUY A HOUSE FOR $5 MILLION IN PALOS VERDES, BUT EVERYTHING WAS SO OLD AND BEAT UP. I WAS KIND OF BUMMED THAT I COULDN’T SELL HIM A HOUSE. THAT’S WHERE IT STARTED. I DECIDED, I’M GOING TO START BUILDING HOUSES, ONE BY ONE.”
Over $3 billion in career sales
He was a top agent at Shorewood Realtors every year from 1995 to 2014 before starting his own brokerage
Chhabria has lived in Palos Verdes for nearly 30 years
Like many things in his life, Chhabria made it happen by a combination of iron will and work. He had already tasted success as a young entrepreneur in India when he took over an uncle’s flagging wholesale fabric firm after college, and managed a quick turnaround by implementing innovative new offerings, such as delivering products directly to clients, rather than have them schlep to the busy wholesale market to pick them up.
For Chhabria, it was love at first sight. “‘Someday, I want to own a house on this street,’” he told himself. Five years later, he did.
So the confidence was there when he embarked upon his new career in the United States, first attending real estate school, which he credits with providing key early mentorship. “My real estate teacher was agent Paul Allen from Century 21,” says Chhabria. “He taught A to Z about real estate. He was one of the best educators and teachers.” Armed with his license, Chhabria started selling homes successfully and, in 1989, purchased his Paseo del Mar dream home for $1.2 million.
A booster as well as a long-time resident of the area, Chhabria has raised his family in Palos Verdes with wife Philomina (sons Neil and Anand Chhabria are part of the business), and today, nearing 35 years in local real estate,
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF RAJU CHHABRIA