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Yawar Charlie: “When you are authentically yourself, that energy draws other people who are like you towards you and that makes your job, life, and general well-being a better place to be”

If I could inspire a movement, that movement would be titled “be yourself.” I live in Los Angeles, and there’s always a temptation to try to be like someone else, pretend to be like someone you’re not, show off in a way you can’t afford. When you are authentically yourself that energy draws other people […]


If I could inspire a movement, that movement would be titled “be yourself.” I live in Los Angeles, and there’s always a temptation to try to be like someone else, pretend to be like someone you’re not, show off in a way you can’t afford. When you are authentically yourself that energy draws other people who are like you towards you and that makes your job, life, and general well-being a better place to be.


I had the pleasure to interview Yawar Charlie. Yawar is the grandson of Indian film legend, Noor Mohammed Charlie, one of the pioneers of the Bollywood film industry. Following in his family’s footsteps, Yawar moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Television and Film. After dozens of roles in TV and Film, Yawar turned his focus to Real Estate. Yawar joined Sotheby’s International Realty in 2008, eventually forming The Charlie and Sanchez Realty Group with his business partner Karen Sanchez. In the spring of 2014, they made the exciting move to join the international real estate brokers Engel & Volkers, in their new Beverly Hills office. In 2016, Yawar and Karen were invited to join the real estate powerhouse team, Aaron Kirman Partners. Having sold several hundred listings in the Greater Los Angeles area, Yawar prides himself on providing constant attention to detail, genuine care for his clients, vast market expertise, and creativity which has made him one of the top agents in Los Angeles. “I have never forgotten how exciting it was to buy my first home and how hard I had to work to achieve that goal. My motto has always been, ‘love the place you live’ and this is the focus, energy, and dedication I carry through to each and every client transaction.” Yawar can be seen on “Listing Impossible” on CNBC in the summer of 2019.


Thank you so much for joining us Yawar!Can you share a bit about your background and how you grew up?

I was born in Karachi, Pakistan and immigrated to the United States as an infant when my grandfather retired from the Bollywood film industry. My grandfather was Noor Mohammad Charlie, who did one of the first ‘talking films’ back in India and was a comedian. His stage name became the Charlie Chaplin of India, hence my legal last name. Both of my parents were actors. Currently, my brother is a television personality in South Asia. Though I was raised in the United States, I have a background in theater arts. I earned my Masters Degree of Fine Arts (MFA) and toured the world for many years on stage. I moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting in television and film, which eventually led me to my career in real estate.

Can you tell us about what brought you to your current career path as a realtor?

While I was pursuing a career in acting full-time I booked several jobs and then decided to take the money that I made acting and invest in real estate. Unfortunately, my first real estate purchase did not go as I had planned, as my realtor was rather inexperienced and didn’t give me the best advice. I ended up doing a lot of research on my own and felt that I had a true passion for real estate. I eventually transitioned from entertainment into real estate using a lot of the contacts I had built up in the entertainment world and translating that into business in real estate. Within the first eight months of my career, I was the top rookie agent in my office.

Can you share an interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Something interesting that happened to me since I started my real estate career was a realization that the various educational degree is that I have received were not a waste after all! For example, are used to sometimes think that the Masters of Fine Arts they received acting would never be used again, or the Bachelor’s degree in psychology/communication that I have would never have any application in my real estate career. Boy was I wrong! In almost every transaction, I find myself playing psychologist, using my acting background to sell, and using my degree in communications to make sure everyone gets heard and understands their duties and responsibilities. In fact, I really do attribute my education to helping my real estate career go well.

Do you remember a funny circumstance or mistake you made when you were first starting and what lesson you learned from it?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my real estate career is when you’re doing a showing, make sure you show up early because you never know what condition the house may be in. I can not tell you how many beds I have made, floors I have swept, sex toys I’ve had to hide or put away, and countless items of drug paraphernalia I have had to throw a coat over! In fact, I had so many stories that I started the #YawarsAdventuresInRealestate. Of course, I always change the names to protect the innocent. LOL.

Are you working on any exciting projects now?

My current project “Listing Impossible” is actually really very exciting because it’s unlike a lot of the other real estate shows you see on TV. Being a part of the top sales team in California, and the fifth largest sales team in the country, we often have the opportunity to come into homes that are problematic and we are able to achieve results other agents have not. So the premise of this new show is that we go into homes that have either been sitting on the market, haven’t sold, or problematic for whatever reason. Our team comes in remarket, rebrand, re-stages and works with the sellers, who are often times very difficult, to sell their home. Sometimes we get results and sometimes we don’t, but the show is very open and very honest. If you watch you’ll get a true understanding of how luxury real estate works.

I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I have always thought it’s very important to have diversity represented in film and television. Being a person of color, we often times don’t get to see people who look like us up on the big screen. When I was an actor full-time, I can’t tell you how many terrorists or drug dealers that I read for. That seemed to be the only thing out there, other than the occasional doctor and maybe engineer. Now, things have really changed, but we still need more. It’s inspirational when you see someone who looks like you up on the big screen or someone who is from your background that is on your television every week. It gives you, the viewer, hope that you are seen and heard. It really does affect the culture overall because the more we see diversity in inclusion in entertainment, The better chance inclusion happens in real life.

From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?

From my experience, the biggest thing that the industry, and society, and the community, in general, can do to foster diversity is to have more opportunities for people of color, or from marginalized communities. I always appreciated the work of Shonda Rimes. I thought that every project she did was inclusive, no matter color, religion, or sexual orientation, there was something for everyone in each one of her shows. More TV needs to be like that.

What are your “5 things you wish someone told you when you first started” your career or that you would advise to someone just starting out and why!

The five things that I wish someone had told me when I started my career are the following, in no particular order of importance:

1. Watch where you spend your money on your advertising. If you’re not getting a return, don’t beat a dead horse and do the same thing.

2. Draw boundaries. It’s important to have work-life balance, and in an industry where you are your own boss, there is a temptation to work 24/7. I have been guilty of that, and I currently battle that every day, but I have to make sure that I take time for myself so I can be there for my clients 100%.

3. Find your people. Find the people you get along with, and identify with and try to work with those people. When you work with like-minded people the end result is successful.

4. Learn to say no! This is probably the thing I struggle with the most. When your income is self-driven and in an industry where thousands of dollars can disappear in a matter of moments if a deal goes south, you always want to say yes to everything. It’s important to know your limitations, draw your boundaries and save your energy and only say yes to those things people and projects you feel passionate about and want to work with.

5. Always be yourself. There are almost 50,000 realtors in California, it’s important to distinguish yourself from others. I will never be a better version of someone else, but I can definitely be the best version of me. When you’re your authentic self, people want to gravitate towards that and that’s who people want to work with.

What tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

The biggest piece of advice I would give a colleague in my field to not burn out and thrive is to really be true to yourself. In an industry where it’s very easy to see other people succeed and wish that was your success, instead of feeling envious, you need to feel thankful and grateful that that person has success because that means that you have the chance for the same success. At the same time, it’s very important to know your limits, and take care of yourself. In a business where you are your own boss, make your own hours and can drive yourself into the ground, it is very important that you take time for yourself and create a work-life balance or you will burn out.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

If I could inspire a movement, that movement would be titled “be yourself.” I live in Los Angeles, and there’s always a temptation to try to be like someone else, pretend to be like someone you’re not, show off in a way you can’t afford. When you are authentically yourself that energy draws other people who are like you towards you and that makes your job, life, and general well-being a better place to be.

Is there a particular person or mentor who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are and why?

I always thank the day that my business coach, Andrea Quinn, came into my life. In my career, you often times hear a lot of real estate/business coaches who have workshops and or seminars that are inspiring, but Andrea is the first person who truly touched my soul. In fact, I don’t even call her a business coach per se, more like a mentor of my soul. She has helped me opened up as an individual in ways that have dramatically affected my business in a positive fashion. I definitely don’t think my career would be where it is had our parts not crossed. Again, things and people happen in your life for a reason.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My life lesson quote would be sometimes, “they are just not your people.” What I mean by that is, often times in business you run across people who may not be the most ethical, or people that have a sense of self that does not jive with yours. Instead of getting caught up in why things aren’t working with that person or trying to force a square peg into a round hole, it is important to realize sometimes they are just not your people. In business sometimes you have to deal with that and get through a transaction, but given the choice, it’s important to work with people who are your people and think like you and have similar morals. It makes the transaction go much better. And then at the same time, not sweating the fact if something goes south in life, because “they were not your people”, so it’s ok!

Is there a person in the world with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why?

It would have to be lunch because I practice intermittent fast so I don’t have breakfast. LOL. Also, I’m not the best morning person in the world, but that’s another story. I hate to be so cliché, but I think it would have to be Oprah. She’s someone who I feel has found the perfect work-life spiritual balance, which is something that I strive for each day. Though she’s on her TV so much and I’ve watched a lot of her work, it would still be fascinating to get to know the real person. Also, she looks like she gives great hugs!

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