Rooted in Local: A Chat with Michelle Linovitz

Michelle Q. Linovitz as featured in The Scout Guide Newport Beach Volume 1

Top producing realtor and Founding Member of The Scout Guide Newport Beach, Michelle Linovitz proved she could turn lemons into lemonade early in her career. In 2008, as the recession was in full swing, Michelle was a newly minted USC alumnus with a business degree in real estate finance. The job market across the country was dismal, but it was this economic environment that became the catalyst for Michelle’s ultimate success. Michelle pivoted to real estate sales, where she saw the opportunity to merge her academic background with her design talent, and most importantly, a love for her hometown, Newport Beach.

Fifteen years later, Michelle Linovitz is a force to be reckoned with as one of Newport Beach’s highest-producing realtors. With over $500 million in career sales and records for some of the area’s most exceptional real estate, Michelle is perhaps best known for having top-tier listings, the result of her skill for transforming properties, like lemonade, and market positioning. Clients applaud her level of service, which extends beyond the scope of any one transaction and is likely to include dinner and drinks at Volume 1’s A Restaurant or Zinc, where she’s a regular fixture.

Recently we caught up with Michelle over lemonade (of course), chatting about her Newport Beach roots which, among her prolific talents, make her a top expert to tap when putting down your own in Orange County.  

TSG Newport Beach: Your Orange Country roots run deep. Can you tell us about your history in the area? 
Michelle Linovitz: My father is from Los Angeles, and like many other Angelenos-turned-OC-residents, he spent summers on Balboa Island. In the early 1960s, his parents and three brothers made the full-time move to Dover Shores. Recently, I found the listing for his childhood home on Highland Drive, a much different price tag then you would see today! By the time I was born, my parents were living in Corona del Mar. I attended Harbor Day School, Corona del Mar High School, and then USC, where I met my husband, Tom, and lucky for us, we now are raising our own two children, Luke (4.5) and Kate (3), in Newport Beach, where they often frequent the same parks I enjoyed as a child. 

TSG Newport Beach: You graduated at the height of the 2008 recession. How did that influence your career path?
Michelle Linovitz: My career path was the result of unfortunate-turned-fortunate timing. It was 2008 and as I was collecting my diploma from USC, the markets were crashing around me. Unemployment was at its highest since the Great Depression. Layoffs were commonplace. There wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity for a 21-year-old with a newly minted business finance degree, and certainly not in finance. But as home prices were plummeting, a local real estate broker saw my potential and offered me an assistant position. I was grateful for the work and to my parents for keeping a roof over my head — after all, I didn’t get paid much that first year!

TSG Newport Beach: What did the next few years look like? 
Michelle Linovitz: In the following years, I worked for a powerhouse team – we sold billions of dollars of real estate during my time there – and some well-recognized local brokerages, ultimately venturing out to build my own team, Michelle Q. Linovitz Real Estate Group, under Coldwell Banker Realty.



TSG Newport Beach: Now, you’re one of Corona del Mar and Newport Beach’s fastest-growing individual realtors, holding records for some of our area’s highest and most exceptional sales. To what do you attribute your success? 

Michelle Linovitz: I am a relationship-based operator. Most people assume a realtor’s job is to sell houses and while that’s not untrue, the most successful realtors understand that our role is to know people just as well as the product we are selling. I’m the type of person who will know half the patrons at our local coffee shop or grocery store – one of the many advantages to having grown up here – and when you know the people, it’s easier to connect the dots. 

TSG Newport Beach: You’re also known for a design-centric approach. How has your eye for interiors guided you as a realtor?
Michelle Linovitz: In my line of work, I get to exercise my creative muscles with property listings in need of attention. I bring in the paint, the right light fixtures, and the staging – I help create the vision that most buyers cannot see for themselves. Similarly, with my buyer clients, I can walk them through a property’s potential and connect them with the right team to carry it out.

TSG Newport Beach: Let’s talk about your buyers and sellers… Who is Michelle Linovitz client? 
Michelle Linovitz: I have the most wonderful clients. Some relocation, some local, some investors, and all good people I am grateful to work with. Occasionally my name will land in the paper for having represented a notable someone, but discretion is part of the job!

TSG Newport Beach: In addition to your appreciation for aesthetics and discretion, what can clients expect from working with you and your team? 
Michelle Linovitz: I offer clients a “white glove service” that is more elevated in quality and experience than they might expect elsewhere. I understand my clients’ lifestyle needs, their real estate needs, and, most importantly, I know where the pitfalls lie in most of their transactions. My client relationships are not transactional: these are people I expect to remain in my life for the long term, so we make decisions together that best suit them in the long-term. I am equally likely to promote a good deal as I am to discourage a bad one. 



TSG Newport Beach: We’d also add that you’re a longtime local with an incredible commitment to Newport Beach and Orange County at large… 
Michelle Linovitz: One of the reasons I got into my line of work is because I love promoting Newport Beach. In the same vein, I love supporting the local small businesses that help make it such a wonderful place to call home. The Scout Guide is similarly aligned and through its publication and network, has brought together a community of small business owners across different industries, all at the top of their class. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the other Volume I members and collaborate on future projects, events, and ways to benefit the community together. 

TSG Newport Beach: Speaking of your commitment to the community, we know you’re involved with several local causes and charities…
Michelle Linovitz: I’m fortunate to sponsor and champion many great local charities, including the Corona del Mar & Newport Harbor High School Home Tours, St. Jude Trike-a-Thon, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, and The Gray Academy OC

TSG Newport Beach: You recently collaborated with fellow member Amy Berisha of Amy Berisha Aesthetics to host a shopping event benefiting The Gray Academy OC, which we know to be close to your heart…  
Michelle Linovitz: My close friend and client, Dana Tompkins, faced challenges when looking for local schools for her son, Bennett, who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy shortly after birth. Dana’s journey to find an appropriate place of learning that could support her son’s complex needs led her to the Gray Academy, a Santa Monica school for children with neurological disorders, founded by Kristin Gray. Just nine months later, with Kristen’s support, Dana opened Orange County’s own Gray Academy in September, to the benefit of many local children like her own and the families who raise them.
I am humbled by the work Dana has done to get the program this far, but the school’s needs continue, and so does their need for fundraising. Learn more about supporting The Gray Academy OC here. 


For breakfast and coffee… Zinc Café in Corona del Mar

Go-to workout… Pilates Plus OC 

Meeting for lunchArc Butcher & Baker

Happy hour haunt… On the patio at Gulfstream 

Go-to for great gifts… Juxtaposition Home 

For wardrobe additions… A’Marees 

Dinner destination… Selanne Steak Tavern  

Kid-friendly favorites… The Orange County Fair 

Outdoor activities… Hiking through Crystal Cove

Learn more about Michelle Linovitz at or reach out directly to her at [email protected] or 949.632.1618. We also recommend following along with her on Instagram for previews of Orange County’s most exceptional real estate opportunities.