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Lara Arslanian

Episode 013

Keeping Community

Lara Arslanian, J.D. is a full-time REALTOR® and Broker within Pasadena. Lara combines her exceptional educational and professional training when assisting each of her clients with their real estate transactions.

She became a licensed California Real Estate Broker in 1998 after receiving her Juris Doctorate from the University of La Verne College of Law. Before that, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism.

Lara’s legal education has given her the knowledge to understand complex real estate transactions. She possesses the skills required to be a formidable negotiator on behalf of her clients.

Additionally, her public relations background gives her the tools to market properties to their highest potential and act as an effective liaison between buyers and sellers.

Lara gained in-depth knowledge of home design, architecture, and construction by working with one of the most esteemed home builders in Pasadena at the start of her real estate career. Later, she became the Director of Sales and Marketing at Toledo Homes, Inc., where she specialized in luxury home sales.

Entrusted with all their real estate needs, Lara provides each of her clients with the knowledge, expertise, and dedication they deserve. She is there for her clients well beyond each transaction, building relationships that last a lifetime.


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Lara Arslanian Takeaways

  • Lara was Lebanon-born and immigrated with her family to America
  • Lara’s family lived in Cleveland, Ohio
  • She moved to Southern California when she went to USC
  • Lara became a lawyer because of pressure from her family
  • Lara’s sister saw that she was unhappy and offered her a job as a broker.
  • After the 2008 bubble crash, she switched to selling because her company couldn’t build.
  • Lara eventually became a broker with Compass and has been there since.
  • Today, Scott and Russell Talk to a very intellectually talented and influential woman in episode 13. She is a member of a significant minority group that populates the San Gabriel Valley.
  • She is a real estate agent and broker with Compass in Pasadena. Lara speaks proudly of her Armenian heritage and many other accomplishments in this episode.
  • “I can easily adapt to situations right now because I’d been forced to do that.”
  • “If that person is not meant to be, because these professions tend to be very rigorous, they don’t end up being that anyway. You know they find other avenues just like I did.”
  • “The hard part was when you’re working for somebody; it’s a whole different animal than when you’re working for yourself. Where you’re your own business owner, and I would have to say it’s a lot harder.”

Lara, what is your connection to the San Gabriel Valley?

Lara was born in the capital of Lebanon, Beirut. In 1975, a civil war started in Lebanon, and Lara’s parents decided it was time to escape.

Both her parents were physicians, and luckily, America welcomed them into the country on those qualifications. Lara’s father got a good job at the Cleveland Clinic, and Lara’s family settled in Cleveland when she was 11.

Lara’s sister eventually went to California when she went to law school, and Lara followed after when she went to USC.

What was it like growing up in Ohio?

Lara’s parents had a hard time deciding if they even wanted to live in America when they came from such a wonderful place as Beirut. They debated heavily about leaving the culture, food, and beautiful weather of Beirut for the less exciting but safer Cleveland.

When they decided, Lara’s father and older sister came to Cleveland to work out the situation with the Clinic, and Lara and her mother stayed in New Jersey. Lara moved around a lot during this time while everything was set up for them to immigrate to America.

Though hard for a child, this experience of constantly moving taught Lara how to adapt quickly to her life.

What was going to the University of Southern California like?

It was a whole new world for Lara. She mainly grew up in the dreary Cleveland, Ohio. So, coming to USC was such a shift; it was bright and sunny, and she loved it.

She studied journalism while at USC.

Lara’s parents pressured her in a way to become a lawyer after her undergrad.

What did you bring?

Lara brought with her a gold chain that meant a lot to her because it was given to her by her father before he passed. At her sister’s wedding, all the attention was rightly focused on her sister.

However, Lara’s father gave her this chain to remind Lara that although her sister was going through this very special ceremony and she was the focus, Lara was also memorable. Lara keeps this chain on her now, especially after her father has passed away.

What was after law school?

Lara went to work for a lawyer who worked on many insurance cases. She realized she hated it. It was evident to Lara’s sister that Lara hated this new job.

Luckily, Lara’s brother-in-law was getting going on a construction company, and her sister and her brother-in-law invited Lara to be the in-house broker.

She worked for them for around eight years and loved it. She met many of her contacts and agents. Because of the 2008 crash, Lara had nothing to market. She started selling.

But she learned the ins and outs before she even got into selling. Her educational background did help her in this field. It helped her understand all the paperwork and contracts in a way that most realtors aren’t privy to.

What has COVID done to the market?

Lara has been selling with high demand, low inventory, and low interest rates. Maybe because we realized we’ll spend more time at home. It was insanely hot in Pasadena over the summer. She was slammed.

Lara does have a brokerage license, so in theory, she could strike out on her own, but she does work for Compass. Working for her brother-in-law gave Lara a strong foundation for this business.

This is a hard job because Lara makes her hours, so she is kind of always working, and it’s hard to pair a life with the job, so you need to love it.

Picture of Lara Arslanian

Lara Arslanian

Lara loves the beautiful Arminian grocery stores, the Good Food on Washington, and Allan. Also in Washington and Colorado are Family Produce. The last is Armins Market on Allan and New York Drive.

The best place to work out is Matador Fitness, Joseph Del Toro’s gym.

Lara recommends Celestinos in Pasadena for their pasta. They make great authentic Italian food.