MEET THE MEMBER
This month’s Meet The Member podcast features E1 member Michael Bloom who works at The Agency, an outstanding real estate company, and his first love. Michael specializes in selling multi-million-dollar homes in Calabasas and Hidden Hills, and historically, his clients have included movie stars and well-known musicians. His real estate career began as an intern at Grubb and Ellis in 1993, and later at Prudential California Realty in Woodland Hills, from 1994-1998.
Michael prides himself on being a true local LA real estate agent. After all, he grew up in Hidden Hills, and graduated from Calabasas High School in 1986. A third-generation member Hidden Hills resident, Michael’s mother, sister, and children all live in that town. He has a unique perspective on the best local areas to canvas in his ongoing search for homes and properties in Calabasas and Hidden Hills. Over the years, Michael has watched Calabasas grow from rural horse country to an exclusive network of residential communities that many high-profile and celebrity residents call home, all while continuing to preserve the area’s natural beauty.
Throughout his field experience, Michael has also acquired a strong set of negotiation tactics that are crucial when helping his clients find their “dream home.” All of Michael’s clients receive the same focus and care that he used when choosing the ideal home for his own family in Los Angeles. To add to his range of skills that serve as an asset in the real estate field, Michael is fluent in Spanish and Japanese.
“I’ve found Echelon to be very welcoming,” Michael says. “The group is very helpful and insightful. I would recommend it to other, driven professionals who really want to better themselves.”
In his spare time, Michael enjoys his role as a true family man. He has two children, Carly (18) a freshman at UCLA, and Johnny (17) a senior at Calabasas High School. He has been happily married to his wife, Clarice, for 20 years, and loves playing tennis, golfing, and fishing. Michael has been known to surprise his dinner companions while speaking Japanese when he eats sushi at his favorite restaurant, Shibuya in Calabasas. Michael, along with several of his fellow real estate agents from The Agency, will be seen on a new Netflix TV series this Fall, called “Buying Beverly Hills.”
Listen to Michael’s story here:
HOW SHE GOT HER START
Our How She Got Her Start podcast for October profiles E1 member Melissa Phillipp-Himes, who is the President of Phillipp & Associates Insurance Services, Inc., since 2008. Melissa is a second-generation insurance broker, who works with a wide range of clients, including real estate owners, property management companies, lawyers, consultants, medical professionals, and restaurant owners. On behalf of these clients, Melissa handles all lines of Property, Casualty, and Professional Liability insurances.
An insurance professional with over 30-years of experience, Melissa’s goals are to be an effective intermediary, a strong advocate, and a thoughtful advisor to those she serves. She says, “Risk transfer planning is focused on what matters most — recovery, continuation of income, and preservation of lifestyle after a loss. Our core planning principals are Coverage, Carrier, Competence, and Cost. Our common sense approach and close client collaboration are the keys by which we deliver meaningful and reliable insurance solutions.”
Melissa has been an Echelon Member since the group’s founding. “I came on early,” she says, “and one of the reasons I like Echelon is that they offer a more intense group focus with fewer individuals, so that the conversations about business in our meetings are meaningful and insightful. The context of our meetings is less about who’s doing what for whom, but, instead, on how each of us in our different disciplines can benefit each other with shared knowledge. And you can build relationships much quicker in that environment!”
She adds, “I highly recommend becoming an Echelon member. Personally, I greatly enjoy the many social opportunities Echelon provides, as well, as a way to broaden my relationships in a social setting. Not to mention the fact that Jerri and Brian are a lot of fun! And I would say one critically important aspect when someone is considering joining Echelon is that they can help start — or expand upon — a member’s social media presence. That is what Echelon is focused on and is all about. Through a variety of media opportunities (including a print magazine, podcasts, blog posts, video recordings, and a public-facing website), these all work in tandem to create a huge advantage to start to broaden your social media presence.
Echelon is focused on building business for their members — that is unique amongst their competition. Also, as a business owner, Echelon has a terrific entrance level program for younger professionals, which is really a program that continues to promote and support entrepreneurship. This can be beneficial to other members. The management at Echelon realizes that their E2 level is vital to growing a thriving business, because it helps provide younger professionals an entrance towards their future. We spend money to join these groups, and I can see a long future with Echelon. They have created a building block opportunity for younger professionals to network with the same level people, and continues to support them as they evolve into the more advanced, E1 level.”
In her spare time, Melissa enjoys playing golf. She and her husband, Les, also enjoy walking their Siberian husky puppy, Kima, in their neighborhood. “Kima is very vocal,” Melissa explains, “so people come to say hi to her, and she’s also very friendly with all the small dogs near our house!” Melissa and Les also enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Listen to Melissa’s story here:
Our October Tax Matters podcast features E1 Member and Coldwell Banker Realty Agent Katherine Stark, who provides the highest level of service to buyers and sellers in West San Fernando Valley, Westlake Village, Calabasas and Thousand Oaks. Her innovative marketing, community expertise, and commitment to personalized client attention ensure an excellent real estate experience.
Katherine has closed hundreds of transactions and has remained in the top 2-10% of all Coldwell Banker Realty agents throughout her career. Her clients have included numerous professionals, attorneys, and celebrities, including actor John Anniston (Jennifer Anniston’s late father). Licensed in 1987, Katherine’s many professional achievements include membership in the Coldwell Banker® International President’s Elite, #1 Agent in the Coldwell Banker Calabasas office, Top 100 Agents in Southern California, and one of Los Angeles Magazine’s All-Stars.
She takes tremendous care of her clients, protecting their interests with the utmost diligence and integrity. Sellers can expect attention to every detail when listing their home in today’s competitive market. After meeting with clients to determine their goals and expectations, Katherine targets the most likely buyer demographic through vibrant digital and print media. Accurate pricing further catches the interest of potential buyers, and impactful staging highlights the property’s assets. With this hands-on approach and Katherine’s negotiation expertise, sellers can confidently look forward to the next stage of their lives.
When assisting buyers, Katherine tailors her strategy to each client’s specific wants, needs, and budget. Having lived in the Woodland Hills area for decades, she has deep insight into the San Fernando Valley’s unique communities and neighborhoods. Using Coldwell Banker Realty’s powerful technologies, she stays current on local pricing and property trends, focusing on homes with sought-after features that perfectly enhance her clients’ lifestyles. As a full-service agent, Katherine handles all property tours and contract negotiations, and is never too busy to talk over any concerns.
“I absolutely love being a longtime Echelon Member,” Katherine says. “The benefits Echelon offers are unsurpassed. Echelon supports its members — they help each of us by promoting our businesses through social media as well as print advertising. I appreciate the vast resources I have at my fingertips. For example, if I need a trust attorney, a real estate attorney, an accountant, an insurance broker, or a financial planner, I have many fellow Echelon members to refer to. There are many other professional resources available to help my clients as well. These resources are hugely helpful to me because I take such a personal approach to every transaction. I’ve been working in the real estate field since 1987, and recently, my daughter, Jacqueline Baze, joined my business. She’s fantastic – she covered my business for me while I was recently out of the country. I often recommend Echelon to others – you get great support from being in our networking group, access to our highly professional and knowledgeable fellow members, and the chance to create long-lasting friendships.”
In her spare time, Katherine enjoys traveling, hiking, spending time in Lake Arrowhead, practicing yoga, swimming, and most importantly, spending time with her family. She recently returned from trips to Greece and Israel.
Listen to Katherine’s story here:
Tune-in to our Echelon Podcast each month for new episodes