We’re back this week with the second installment of Life Before Real Estate, when we join our agents for a little trip down memory lane and get the dish on how their past vocations have carried over to their careers in real estate. Last week we caught up with Hollywood’s finest, and this time we’re stepping into courtrooms and campaign headquarters with agents from the worlds of law, politics and finance.

Andrea Korchek: With a J.D. from Georgetown University Law, Andrea was a business litigation attorney for seven years, specializing in representing banks, and eventually earned a partnership at a high-profile Los Angeles law firm before transitioning to real estate. “I implement my skills in negotiation, contract drafting and interpretation daily, but the fiduciary duty that is part of my DNA from my days as a lawyer guides me through all of my transactions,” she says. “I intuitively put my clients’ best interests before my own and before the deal. My clients know I have their backs, and it is incredibly comforting to everyone.”

Justin Fichelson: Before entering the world of real estate, Justin worked in politics for Gavin Newsom, who currently serves as Lieutenant Governor of California. Justin began working for Lt. Gov. Newsom when he was 15 and was later appointed to serve as his representative on the San Francisco Youth Commission, advocating for issues in the city concerning young people. With a lifelong interest in politics and helping others in need, he continues to maintain a strong civic interest. “My past experiences working in politics exposed me to people from all different walks of life, which has been instrumental in my business in real estate,” he says. “It has enabled me to better relate to and communicate with people from all different backgrounds and cultures. I’m of the mind that a thorough understanding of different fields, cultural practices, architecture and history gives agents the ability to differentiate themselves from being merely salespeople to valued advisors and negotiators.”

Kristin Regan:  Before joining The Agency, Kristin practiced real estate law for a New York law firm in Los Angeles representing large real estate brokerage firms. Kristin’s team is credited with winning a landmark real estate case, which resulted in a complete overhaul of the real estate purchase contract. Adept in the art of negotiating and seasoned in contractual issues, she leverages her background in law to better serve her clients, going above and beyond the typical agent’s call of duty.

Michael Perez: With a varied background in law, psychology, and digital media, Michael offers clients a well-rounded approach backed by real-world knowledge and experience. Armed with a law degree, Michael is an expert at reading and writing contracts, while his background in psychology enables him to understand the human psyche and approach each transaction from a place of objectivity. Once a movie trailer editor, working on such films and franchises as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, Michael applies the marketing techniques he honed as an editor to real estate, leveraging his keen eye for design and detail to effectively market and sell luxury properties across Los Angeles.

John Tashtchian: With 16 years of experience in corporate banking and 12 years in direct lending, John is able to guide his clients through every step of the real estate process—from making the initial offer to creating financing strategies for structuring the transaction. His strong command of numbers and experience in regulatory compliance, bank products and financial services have proven invaluable to his real estate clients.