Broker Spotlight: Gregory Ochoa, Mountain Luxury Properties
Gregory Ochoa’s Southern California kid biography is the quintessential real estate success story. After two decades home appraising, flipping, and nightclub promoting—combined with his innate eye for architecture and design—Ochoa is now one of Lake Tahoe’s top producing agents five years running and his independent brokerage Mountain Luxury Properties is quietly taking over one of the most competitive real estate markets in the U.S.
Many agents’ and brokers’ paths into real estate aren’t linear ones.
For some, buying and selling homes is a second (or even third) career. For others who eventually go on to become top producers in their markets, falling into real estate was the best thing that ever happened to them.
For Gregory Ochoa, Founder of Lake Tahoe’s Mountain Luxury Properties, manifesting a successful career in real estate was the logical result of twenty years of accumulated knowledge and experience—which is precisely what’s made him one of the most successful agents in Lake Tahoe, CA & NV.
Ochoa grew up near Malibu, a quintessential Southern California boy—surfing and skateboarding after school and snowboarding on winter weekends at Mammoth Mountain. After high school, he played college football on scholarship at California State University of Sacramento where he played wide receiver and set an NCAA record for the longest touchdown reception of 99 yards.
It was after college that Ochoa would begin to hone the skills he would later utilize throughout his real estate career—working construction in Los Angeles and developing an understanding of the intricacies of home building.
A few years later Ochoa took a job with AT&T where he spent thirteen years crawling under houses repairing phone lines. Although his humble beginnings were appreciated, Ochoa realized his burning desire to enter the real estate industry was a foregone conclusion.
Ochoa was also raised in a real estate family long before HGTV and “flipping” became a thing. “When I was growing up, I watched my parents make incredible returns buying and selling properties,” recalls Ochoa. “We moved a lot. But my parents would buy in growing areas and then sell for big profits and that definitely influenced me. Ultimately though it was my passion for unique architecture and design that was the driving force toward manifesting a career in real estate.”
While he was still working for AT&T in L.A., Ochoa decided to become a licensed residential real estate appraiser. At first, it was a casual side hustle. But it elevated his knowledge of architecture and design even further and gave him a 360-degree eye for quality and value.
“My career as a real estate appraiser definitely gave me an edge once I got into selling real estate,” Ochoa recalls of the decision to start selling properties back in 2011. “No other agent can compete with me when guiding a client on determining market value for a property they’re purchasing or selling. Also, my background in construction and experience flipping a couple of homes using reclaimed materials helped me to understand first-hand the cost to remodel a property and the value that can add to a home.”
Ochoa also credits part of his success in Lake Tahoe’s highly competitive, high roller real estate market to his background working as a nightclub promoter
“During my late 20s when I was working for AT&T and appraising, I was also moonlighting as a Hollywood club promoter,” Ochoa recalls. “I was surrounded by some of the most talented musicians, artists, clothing designers, actors, and models in L.A. and that definitely honed my social skills and ability to network with some very talented, creative, and sometimes challenging people. Fifteen years later, that’s clearly influenced my eye toward how I market myself and my luxury listings, which has helped me break several records in my career. You only get one chance to make your presence felt when meeting new people or walking into a room, and in real estate that’s one of the most important personality traits to becoming a top producer.”
Ultimately, however, selling luxury real estate in upscale markets like Lake Tahoe isn’t just about the bling and being able to manage high end expectations, Ochoa says. It’s about helping people, finding passion in your work, and solving problems—for buyers, sellers, as well as for the industry itself.
“Good people skills are vital to becoming a successful agent along with being able to problem solve in a non-emotional way,” Ochoa explains, “Especially when advising clients through stressful situations which almost always happen. When you become a top producer, it only gets more and more competitive. But ultimately you always have to be client-centric in everything that you do”
Ochoa’s leadership skills, vision, and passion for real estate have helped him successfully launch Mountain Luxury Properties, his own luxury boutique brokerage, into a real estate powerhouse in Lake Tahoe’s hyper-competitive market—especially against bigger, national brands like Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s, and Compass. Staying independent, says Ochoa, has its advantages when recruiting new agents, by creating a more collaborative culture and a curated approach to brand and marketing. Since launching in May 2020, both STAOR MLS and NNRMLS rank Mountain Luxury Properties within the top 10 brokerage firms in gross volume sales.
“Indie brokerages are able to curate their marketing strategies for each property specifically, which is a big deal in Tahoe,” Ochoa explains. “Mountain Luxury Properties has worked really well in Lake Tahoe because our branding is tied in with our lifestyle and mountain living experience. So, we do our best to find creative ways to market each home: professional photos, videos, custom property websites, print ads, and social media are the baseline. Then we get more creative like throwing fully catered parties with DJs or live music just to get people inside the homes.”
“Curated marketing strategies are more important than ever right now when selling a high-end home,” says Ochoa. “Big box brokers really don't allow this or they have a very templated style which means listings might not stand out online. So indie brokerages like ours are attracting a lot of top-producing agents in America because they like the flexibility and control over their own branding. Sellers also love our boutique marketing partnerships with companies like Leverage which allow us another layer of advertising locally, nationally, and internationally, instead of just getting exposure on Zillow or Redfin.”
Ochoa’s eye for creativity and curation has clearly paid off. Since 2017, he has personally sold over $200,000,000 in real estate throughout Lake Tahoe, CA & NV, including over $54,000,000 in 2020, and over $73,000,000 in 2021. In 2019, Ochoa ranked #2 in overall gross sales in the South Lake Tahoe market and has ranked within the Top 10 of agents in total sales since 2016.
Whether you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in real estate throughout Lake Tahoe, CA & NV, Ochoa looks forward to sharing his vast knowledge, passion for real estate, and local market expertise with you.
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