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Luxe Agent: Drew de la Houssaye of The Brokerage Real Estate Group

Drew de la Houssaye is a regular commentator on the LA Times Hot Properties webcast and can be found on Twitter @MadCribs where he tweets about celebrity homes, architecture and real estate economics. He is an agent with THE BROKERAGE Real Estate Group Beverly Hills, which specializes in renovating and marketing luxury homes. Their Palm Springs office specializes in mid-century modern architecture and offers vacation rentals through its affiliate, Concierge by THE BROKERAGE.

Drew began his career in real estate over 20 years ago, and he has advised over 550 families and investors on real estate transactions.

He regularly volunteers at homeless charities, enjoys skiing, sailing, travel, working-out, air hockey and hot wings.

Let’s get to know Drew de la Houssaye better:

How did you get your start in real estate?

My first job out of USC’s Marshall School of Business was with a commercial real estate firm that specialized in tenant representation for Fortune 500 clients. Our broker had formed real estate investment partnerships with many the city’s top CEOs, CPAs and real estate attorneys. My job was to administer the day-to-day operations of these partnerships and oversee the office and industrial buildings that they controlled.

What sale or career milestone are you most proud of?

Once my clients got moved-in to their first home, they invited me over to watch the Superbowl. I noticed that they had framed their son’s drawing of “Our Dream House,” and put it in the foyer. Looking outside, I saw his kids playing in the yard — not in the alley behind some apartment building anymore, and I thought, “This is a great job.”

What is your dream home location?

I live in a home in Bel Air with canyon views, but I have a deep affinity for lake front homes. I find homes overlooking large, placid bodies of water to be relaxing and serene…even a little mystical. I love Ashton Kutcher’s contemporary modern home overlooking Lake Hollywood, and I have friends with a home at the north end of Lake Tahoe which has amazing sunrise views of the lake. I could very easily imagine myself in either of these homes.

What kind of car do you drive?

I drive a convertible Jaguar XK8. It’s my second Jag. I’m a big fan of English cars. I love my convertible, but it isn’t practical for taking buyers to showings. So, my next car will be a sedan. I’ve fallen in love with the Jaguar XJL Ultimate which has iPad monitors and a Champagne cooler in the backseat…perfect for chauffeuring clients to showings in Bel Air, Holmby Hills, Beverly Hills or Palm Springs.

iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry?

I got an iPhone for Christmas a few years ago and reluctantly gave up my TREO. Now, I LOVE IT! It has actually made me more productive.

What site/app do you check first when you wake up?

After I work-out and meditate, I check my Facebook account for inspirational and humorous posts. I like to have a good laugh before I start my day. In the afternoon, I usually go to my Twitter account @MadCribs and tweet about celebrity homes, architecture and major real estate market trends.

What was the last book you read?

Unreal Estate by Michael Gross. I love the history of Los Angeles, and this book chronicles the growth of the city by recounting the stories of a dozen great homes and the people who lived in them. It starts during the Spanish Colonial period and traces the growth of the city though the development of Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Westwood and Bel Air; and it exposes the scandals behind the building of these world-class communities.

Name your favorite guilty pleasure?

I’ve seen every episode of The Kardashians. Please, don’t judge me.

What’s one thing someone would never guess just by looking at you?

I’m a computer nerd. I write in HTML, ASP, JavaScript, VBScript and Visual Basic. I built and manage my own website, I also wrote an application for pre-qualifying mortgage loan applicants. I have a vision of one day writing a single super-application that will help an investor locate, analyze, purchase, finance, remodel, manage and market properties.

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