Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 – 7:01 PM
By Matt Lopez
Selling a house might not be rocket science, but it certainly takes a lot of hard work.
Don’t believe it? Ask one of Beverly Hills’ most successful realtors, Michael Libow, who was literally on a path to becoming a rocket scientist before switching gears to real estate more than three decades ago.
“I was majoring in mathematics at UCLA and planned to be a rocket scientist,” said Libow, who graduated from Hawthorne School and Beverly Hills High. “I fell into gophering for a real-estate agent named Elaine Young and got a taste for the business, I just fell in love with it.”
Libow is the first to admit he was a “painfully shy, heavy kid” who didn’t much fit in with other youth growing up in Beverly Hills. Real estate, however, opened up a side of his personality that he didn’t quite know existed and led to a three-decade career of real estate success and philanthropy in the Beverly Hills community.
Libow made the decision to stick with real estate full time in 1986, getting hired on at Mimi Styne Associates. From there, his career took off and he’s become one of Beverly Hills’ preeminent power brokers.
“It’s always been about helping people. My clients put so much trust in me and I don’t take that trust lightly,” Libow said. “I have seen clients through marriages, births, deaths and divorces and am always made to feel as if I am a small part of their family, which is highly rewarding to me.”
Libow’s loyalty to Beverly Hills – the city he was born and raised in by his parents Sally and Mitchell, and has never left – is evident in his career path. After joining Mimi Styne, he never changed companies.
“It’s funny, the company changed around me,” Libow said. “Mimi Styne sold to Prudential, which sold to John Douglas, and then to Coldwell Banker. I don’t believe the grass is greener; if people treat me well, I’m incredibly loyal.”
Libow has shown that loyalty in the way he gives back to Beverly Hills. In addition to several philanthropic efforts inside and outside of Beverly Hills, he has been a staunch financial supporter of the Beverly Hills Unified School District.
“My feeling has been that I profit from the community in which I live, so I need to give back in some manner,” Libow said. “Not having a legacy is a detriment to anyone, and what a great feeling to be able to assist the schools.”
Much of his giving has gone to the BHUSD’s performing arts programs. He’s funded several theater productions at the various schools. “A lot of arts programs have been decimated by budget cuts. Whether or not the kids ever use it, to be given that ability to think creatively is wonderful. You need that creative outlet.”
Libow still finds time to rock out with his band, Rod Lightning & The Thunder Bolts of Love. The band is set to kick off the annual Concerts on Canon series with the debut concert next Thursday at 5:45 p.m. in Beverly Canon Gardens.
Libow, a lifelong music fan, said he sort of fell into the lead singer role. His brother-in-law Steve was in the band, and they needed a lead singer. Libow auditioned and got the gig. The band is known for playing straightforward classic rock hits. Libow said his favorite gigs are always the ones the band plays in Beverly Hills.
“I enjoy it more when I see a face out in the crowd I recognize, because on stage I’m giving something of my soul to them,” Libow said. “It’s nice to see my fellow community members singing along and rocking out and enjoying that time together.”