Craig Strong, a native New Yorker and Ithaca College graduate, rose to the position of vice president of manufacturing at Point Blank Body Armor. When he relocated to Los Angeles, he got involved in property investment and transitioned to the field of real estate. Craig has been an award-winning, top-producing local Realtor® for more than 25 years and is the founder of The Craig Strong Group under the umbrella of Compass. He has been a Toluca Lake resident for nearly two decades and has invested 16 years serving on the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council, as well as serving for years on the boards of the Toluca Lake Homeowners Association and the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce.
What differentiates you from others in the real estate industry?
Having spent over 25 years in real estate, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing a full spectrum of experiences—the highs, the lows and everything in between. It’s important to note that many agents in today’s real estate landscape have primarily operated in a robust market. This is precisely why, as the market undergoes shifts, it becomes paramount to select an agent with a wealth of experience—one who has weathered downturns and understands how to navigate challenging times. This expertise isn’t just beneficial during market fluctuations; it’s invaluable in the everyday workings of the industry. I am always 10 steps ahead, and that comes only from experience.
How do you stay inspired after working in real estate for so long?
What makes this industry truly remarkable is the opportunity to connect with incredible individuals—people who genuinely value my assistance in either discovering their dream home or facilitating the sale of their most significant asset. What continues to astonish me is the formation of new friendships along this journey. It’s an incredible feeling when past clients refer me to others, and those newcomers have nothing but praise for their own experiences. Building these relationships and earning such positive endorsements is so rewarding!
How do you balance your career, personal life and passions?
Balancing life in this field can be tough. What works for me is blending my passions into my career. For example, mixing my love for buying and fixing up homes with my job is a blast. Meeting clients on the golf course adds a personal touch and builds unique connections. And let’s not forget the joy of catching up with old friends or potential clients over a martini. But truth be told, in this line of work it’s hard to keep these aspects completely separate—they tend to overlap.
What listing are you excited about?
A magnificent residence on the lake. Several years ago, I had the pleasure of assisting my clients in acquiring this property, and they have since transformed it into one of the most stunning homes in the area. With breathtaking views of Toluca Lake, a state-of-the-art media room and many other exceptional features, this extraordinary property is now available for $15 million. For additional details, please visit our website at 10050TLA.com.
What is new and exciting for you in 2024?
I am absolutely thrilled to announce the official launch of my mentorship program: StrongMentorship.com. It’s an exhilarating opportunity to impart knowledge on excelling as a real estate agent and to see others succeed. This program has limited spots, and agents need to meet certain qualifications to participate. One of the unique aspects of this coaching and mentoring initiative is that you can start learning now and defer payment until later. We’re in it together! It’s an exciting journey we’re embarking on, and I’m looking forward to helping aspiring agents achieve their goals.
What was your favorite community involvement last year?
As 2023 began, I found myself inundated with requests to revive the Toluca Lake Magical Holiday Parade—a long-standing tradition for decades that had to be paused due to mechanical and financial difficulties. When I decided to take on this responsibility, I was well aware that it would be a challenging endeavor. However, I assembled a team of remarkable individuals with diverse talents, skills and strong community support, which made my role more manageable.
The result was nothing short of a huge success, and the community was overwhelmed with excitement regarding the turnout. The parade unfolded on Christmas Eve and brought back the magic of the holiday season to Toluca Lake.
Would I undertake this task again in 2024? Without a doubt. Being a part of this cherished tradition—one that brings joy to so many people—was an amazing experience. The continuous flow of gratitude and compliments serves as the driving force behind my commitment to upholding this tradition. I am immensely grateful to this community and feel truly fortunate to be part of it!
Disclaimer: Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to the accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. Exact dimensions can be obtained by retaining the services of an architect or engineer. This is not intended to solicit property already listed.