My big break: 7 top producers on the moment that changed it all

  • Looking for your big break in real estate can come from a negative experience rather than a positive one. Bouncing back can be what makes you great.

Faster. Better. Together.
Inman Connect San Francisco, Jul 16-20, 2018

Stephen Shapiro started in apartment leasing when he arrived in L.A. from Philadelphia in the 1970s. Early on, he found a niche leasing property to celebrities including Al Pacino and Mick Jagger in Beverly Hills. Selling agents didn't think it was worth their while to get into property leasing, so this space was all his. "Agents were not paying attention to rental, and people were coming to do films and record albums who you would kill to have as a client, but they were ignoring this," said Shapiro, who ferried celebs around in a limousine. Now the chairman of Westside Estate Agency in Los Angeles has been operating in the $10 million-plus real estate market for over 35 years. One thing led to another, and he finally had an opportunity to sell a home. Shapiro and these six other top producing agents remember the moment that led to something more. Whether it was a sluggish progression that finally paid off, a natural disaster or painful rejection, their stories high...