She says there's '365 Things to Do in Costa Mesa'

COSTA MESA — When you're done reading this article, real estate insider Holly Schwartz has 365 ideas for what to do with the rest of your day.

As author of 365 Things to Do in Costa Mesa, a Torelli Realty blog that highlights local events, places and activities, Schwartz is the unofficial expert on what residents love most about the city.

"There's so much going on here," said Schwartz, Torelli Realty's vice president of media and marketing. "Costa Mesa really is a small city with a big-town heart."

The daily blog — now past the "365" mark at 370 entries — is a constantly growing project, with everything from new restaurants, gallery openings, outdoor fairs, shopping and more, Schwartz said.

Some of her most recent posts include the opening of ZPizza's ZCafe at South Coast Plaza, a girls' skateboarding camp sponsored in part by Volcom, the opening of Five Guys Burgers & Fries and a list of restaurants participating in Costa Mesa Restaurant Week.

The former HGTV director and producer said she stays plugged into the heartbeat of the city by poring over local events pages in newspapers and magazines, talking to residents and connecting with readers through the blog's Facebook page. She's also active on Twitter — an ideal format for short items.

Schwartz was surprised by how quickly the blog took off in just over a year. Hundreds of readers followed the posts within days of the site's launch.

As of Monday morning, 1,178 followed her blog's Facebook page and 2,882 followed her on Twitter.

Schwartz is also active in the community as a member of Mesa United's youth sports board. Though she works primarily in marketing, she is also a licensed real estate agent.

She said her readers live inside and outside of Costa Mesa and are not just Torelli clients.

Torelli launched the blog as a way to stand out in an increasingly challenged market and offer the community a service beyond those typically offered by an agent, said the agency's owner, Valerie Torelli.

"People have come to us as the experts in areas beyond real estate," Torelli said. "It's about being a consultant, more than just a real estate agent, and then rising above that."

The small company in the Mesa Verde neighborhood has seen an increase in business since beginning the blog, which has given Torelli Realty name recognition beyond the city limits.

While Torelli is always focused on growing her business, she also sees the blog as a "voice for the city."

"Costa Mesa is an amazing place," Torelli said. "Even if we never made any business out of it, it's still the right thing to do. We want people to know that Costa Mesa is a cool place to come."

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