Q&A: Advice from a Property Diva
Lauren Klein, better known as the Pittsburgh Property Diva, combines her love for the city and real estate while dishing out homebuyer tips.
photos by nathan joseph dodson
She calls herself the Pittsburgh Property Diva, but while the nickname is catchy, Lauren Klein is as down-to-earth as can be. She says her intent simply is to improve her clients’ home-buying experience — no diva antics included.
My main focus is always on the client experience,” Klein says. “It’s really important to me that each of my clients feels like they’re my only client so they have an experience that they deserve to have.”
A Monroeville native, Klein studied psychology at the University of Pittsburgh and later earned her master’s level certificate in forensic science and law from Duquesne University. After working in the legal field for 15 years, Klein decided it was time for a change. She became a real estate agent in 2008 and quickly fell in love with her new job.
Today, she works for Coldwell Banker selling homes that range in price, age and style. While she sells many homes in Pittsburgh and the surrounding eastern suburbs, Klein says she does not limit where she will work with clients.
She lives in Monroeville with her husband, and business partner, Chris Klein. Between them, they have seven children, ranging in age from 10 to 25, three dogs and three cats. Despite her busy schedule, Klein began hosting a radio show every Saturday morning on KDKA last September where she talks about the real estate industry and answers questions from listeners.
What inspired you to choose the name “Pittsburgh Property Diva?”
LK: “I was taking a nap and I woke up and just had this thought: ‘Pittsburgh Property Diva.’ It was just like that. I tell everybody this — I’m not a diva, I’m really not. The name works, people remember it and I always thought it was kind of cute. I wanted something with Pittsburgh, something with real estate and something that pulled it all together with me in it.”
What types of homes are local people buying?
LK: “I think we’re seeing a nice kick in new construction, (which) is always appealing to people. They can pick anything they want and design it themselves. Am I seeing any major trends in house styles? No. I think more than anything, it’s what’s affordable and the locations for people, because it’s important that their commute isn’t outrageous to work, or they’re close to a certain school. Every buyer is different.”
Are there any up-and-coming neighborhoods in the Pittsburgh area?
LK: “In the east, I would say Stanton Heights, Morningside and Forest Hills. Those all have walkability, and the commute to the city is not horrendous. When you’re in Stanton Heights or Morningside, you’re right over the hill to Lawrenceville or Bloomfield, but you’re going to pay a little bit less.”
Do you have any tips for first-time home-buyers?
LK: “I’m going to encourage you to be a little bit conservative and save your money, take care of your credit, get a good agent to help you and get your pre-approval in place. I like people to pick three neighboring areas to focus their efforts on, but I do my best to keep them organized and excited and conservative. I want you to have money to still do the things you like to do but be a homeowner.”
What do you love the most about your line of work?
LK: “Everything. I love the people that I have the privilege of working for and with to buy and sell houses, but I also have great relationships with other agents and lenders and closing companies and my manager at our office. I love going on listing appointments and touring houses and taking buyers out and the closing. It never gets old. It’s always exciting. For each person that buys a new house, it starts a new chapter in their life, and I want to be a good memory when they start that chapter.”