By Misty Hall
Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “Intuition is the whisper of the soul; intuition is the guiding word in our life.”
That might seem an odd line to quote in a real estate magazine. But for Patty Waltcher, real estate and intuition go hand-in-hand. “When a buyer is looking for a home, they should listen to the home and property, and what it reflects back to them,” the Realtor said. “It’s not just about the home, or the grounds, it’s about the whole container, and how it speaks to them. Listen to yourself deeply. Listen to your own intuition.”
As someone who has studied Buddhism and meditation for much of her life, Waltcher finds a connection between her practice and her business. “In meditation and Buddhism, basically you’re working on yourself and how you work with others,” she said. “So it’s somewhat logical that my job mainly involves serving others.” But serving through real estate was not in Waltcher’s original plans. A native of New Jersey, she traveled a lot and lived in several places — Colorado, New York, and Nova Scotia among them — before obtaining her Master’s Degree in Buddhist Studies.
Eventually, she moved to Ojai with her two young children.Waltcher’s lifelong interest in architecture, combined with a suggestion from a friend, inspired Waltcher to earn her real estate license. She’s been helping buy and sell real estate in the Ojai Valley for 27 years now, and has consistently been among the valley’s top Realtors. Her performance nationally has also earned her a place in the coveted Coldwell Banker President’s Circle. “I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of repeat business — a lot of consistent clients — and a lot of new clients, as well,” Waltcher said. “I like working with others. I like challenges, and to facilitate communication between people. In many ways, I’m a mediator.”
And although in some respects she approaches real estate as an art, she emphasized that “Real estate is not easy … there’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of details. As much as it’s based on energy and intuition, it’s also hard work!” Every transaction, Waltcher noted, has its own unique challenges, and knowing how to approach them — not dodge them — is key. “You really have to do a lot of inquiry and research,” she said. “The main thing is to work out the problem, and solve the problem, not disregard it or put it aside. You have to embrace the issues, and then actually solve them.” And whether it’s a $500,000 house or a $9 million estate, she continued, the most important thing is “confidentiality, and protecting the client.”
Having that level of trust frees everyone up to explore and discover what the Ojai Valley truly has to offer each client. “There’s a certain energy here that’s undeniable. It’s almost palpable … Ojai is a refuge for people,” she said. “I think people are looking for some sort of solitude so that they can live holistic lives with their families.”
Ojai definitely offered that for Waltcher, her children, and husband William, whom she met while teaching a meditation class. It is the ideal place for her to continue her meditation practice, as well as hike the local trails and visit with friends and her now-grown children. It’s also the perfect home base for a world traveler like Waltcher. “I’m always happy to come back to Ojai after being in beautiful places around the world,” she said. Some of her current favorite destinations are India, Japan, and Scotland. India, in particular, holds a special place in her heart. She travels there every few years as the president of Lotus Outreach, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating women and children in India and Cambodia. “Our main mission is educating girls,” she said. Whether it is “getting them out of sex trafficking, stopping childhood marriages — they can be 11 or 12 in India … we’re doing all sorts of programs for them,” she said. Education is the primary tool through which Lotus Outreach helps lift people out of poverty and create opportunities for better lives. And there are a lot of programs that help facilitate that. The nonprofit has completed water well projects, given thousands of bicycles to school girls, awarded thousands of high school and college scholarships, and also provided food, healthcare, skill training, and counseling, among other initiatives. This year, Lotus Outreach will celebrate its 25th year of empowering women and girls. Waltcher has served as president for almost half that time and, prior to that, has served as vice president and a board member.
“It’s an incredible organization,” she said. “There are some amazing people all over the world connected to Lotus Outreach … it’s helped so many people.” Learn more about the nonprofit at lotusoutreach.org.
To view Waltcher’s current listings, visit pattywaltcher.com.