“We had a 13-year run of a robust market and are experiencing a necessary cycle change,” says Rayni Williams of The Beverly Hills Estates, reflecting on the 36 percent drop in luxury home sales that hit L.A. in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the median price of a home in Los Angeles hovered at $963,000, down 1 percent from the previous year. The decline can be attributed to a combination of high interest rates, the dual strikes that hit Hollywood and the new ULA mansion tax, in which home sellers in the city of Los Angeles must pay at least a 4 percent transfer on any sales above $5 million. “Sellers are hesitant to sell given these barriers,” says AKG’s Aaron Kirman.
Despite the challenges, L.A.’s agents (chosen based on total sales volume, Hollywood clients and media visibility) continued to smash records, led by the most expensive sale in California history — Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s $200 million purchase of an estate in Malibu in which Westside Estate Agency’s Kurt Rappaport repped both sides of the deal.
“At the end of the day,” says Douglas Elliman’s Josh Altman, “a trophy is a trophy, and if people want it, they are going to buy it.” (Client names are found via public records.)
Heather, Josh and Matt Altman
The Altman Brothers, stars of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, are again on track to break $1 billion in annual deals, fueled by a $55 million sale in Crystal Cove (the highest of the year in Orange County), a $49.4 million sale in Pacific Palisades and co-repping producer Michael Sugar (according to public records) in the sale of a $9.9 million home in Windsor Square to Pod Save America’s Jon Favreau. The team — Josh’s wife, Heather, is CEO — recently signed a multiyear deal to remain at Douglas Elliman, and have a Corona del Mar office opening soon. “Our clients trust us and come to The Altman Brothers because they know we are the deal guys,” says Josh Altman. “We know the ins and outs of properties on the market, what is coming to the market, being built, et cetera. Los Angeles has been our playground for over 20 years, and we pride ourselves in knowing every house in this city.” Their current listings include a seven-bedroom, 16,390-square-foot mansion in Benedict Canyon (below), on the market for $48 million.
AKG | CHRISTIE’S INTERNATIONAL
Cindy Ambuehl, who joined the brokerage in June, banked more than $157 million in deals from July 2022 to July 2023, including ones for record producer Mikkel Eriksen (half of Grammy-winning production duo Stargate) and Fullscreen founder George Strompolos. “Christie’s specializes in serving luxury clientele, and their class, elegance, and chic branding align perfectly with the values of the Cindy Ambuehl Group,” she says. “This transition has enabled us to strengthen our existing foundation and build upon our accomplishments.”
Santiago Arana, who led The Agency’s expansion to South Florida last year, had a banner year with $513 million in sales, including co-selling Ben Affleck’s home (pictured below) in Pacific Palisades for $28.5 million. “One of the greatest things about the high-end areas of the L.A. market,” he says, “is that, with every recession or down market, we’re the last to fall and the first to bounce back. I have no doubt in the near future that L.A. real estate will be on fire again.” He’s currently co-listing a seven-bedroom Mediterranean-style home owned by ex-couple Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello in Beverly Hills that’s on the market for $15.95 million. “The most exciting thing to me,” he adds. “is that Los Angeles is a dynamic, diverse city, with many different styles of homes, and amazing architecture.”
Rochelle Atlas Maize
NOURMAND & ASSOCIATES
Rochelle Atlas Maize — one of the industry’s most innovative marketers, who posted $130 million in sales over 12 months — is embracing AI. The Nourmand & Associates agent predicts it will be “the next significant shift in the real estate industry, allowing for more efficient processes, enhanced data analysis and personalized experiences for clients. “By leveraging AI technologies, I aim to deliver cutting-edge solutions and provide a competitive edge for my clients in the luxury real estate market. The market’s resilience and adaptability will remain key factors in its success,” she says. Atlas Maize’s recent deals include repping the seller of a Beverly Hills house bought by singer Neil Diamond for $12 million, and her current listings include a $25,000-a-month rental of a home in Malibu once owned by actor Robert Conrad.
David Berg and F. Ron Smith
“High interest rates and measures ULA and GS [a recently approved Santa Monica transfer tax] have certainly impacted sales prices and the number of deals this year,” says David Berg of Westside specialists Smith & Berg Partners. Despite the slowdown, the Compass team still raked in $427 million in total sales volume over 12 months. Their deals include a $12 million Brentwood sale in March that they again sold three months later off-market for $13 million. The duo also currently hold the $23 million listing on a Roland E. Coate-designed Hancock Park estate that once belonged to mogul Howard Hughes. “The past year has been most epic as we negotiated the purchase of TacosandTequila.com,” adds F. Ron Smith of their long-running digital real estate and lifestyle blog. “Publishing Tacos & Tequila is both a passion project and a marketing powerhouse. We currently have around 20,000, primarily local, subscribers. Keeping the content irreverent makes it approachable and a great catalyst for maintaining relationships within our sphere.”
With more than 25 years in the biz and two years of being Kendra Wilkinson’s mentor on Max’s real estate reality show Kendra Sells Hollywood, Douglas Elliman’s Ernie Carswell has gained a high-profile media presence. His deals include co-selling fashion designer Sue Wong’s home for $4.7 million (as featured on NBC’s Open House); co-representing a $38.5 million Pasadena compound featuring a movie theater and its own art museum; and the sale of a $10.3 million Egyptian- and Moroccan-inspired home in Los Feliz once owned by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But Carswell says his biggest win of the last year was “a Beverly Hills luxury listing that received 17 offers over four months but took that much market time and effort in order to find its perfect buyer. It reminded me to never give up, the buyer is always out there.”
The No. 1 RE/MAX agent in the world, Jordan Cohen focuses on the celebrity-heavy enclaves of Westlake Village, Hidden Hills and Calabasas, where he recently sold a home owned by Poison’s Bret Michaels for $6.5 million. Cohen — who regularly racks up around $300 million in annual sales, many to sports stars — just wrote his first book, The Agent’s Edge, a guide on how to land listings; client Sylvester Stallone penned the foreward, saying that “[Cohen’s] enthusiastic energy could easily light up the entire state.” Cohen’s wins also include once selling a house to WWE superstar the Miz after the pro wrestler saw the property on his Instagram account. “I’ve sold homes from TMZ. I’ve sold homes from Instagram,” Cohen recently told THR. “My job as a realtor is to really maximize the exposure of the home. It’s to get people aware of the properties that they might not become aware of otherwise. A good realtor is going to try and get you aware of their listings through social media, print, all the hustle.”
Aileen Comora and Paul Lester
“Whereas last year at this time you might have seen 40 trades above a certain threshold in certain neighborhoods, you are seeing a third of that activity,” notes The Agency’s Paul Lester of the market slowdown. Lester stresses that listening, communication and unique approaches have helped him and Aileen Comora achieve more than $250 million in annual sales and wins like repping Get Out producer and heir to the Hamm’s Beer fortune Edward Hamm Jr. in his purchase of a $91 million Malibu home from video game mogul Jonathan Burton. “It has been quite a new experience from the past,” adds Comora of the current market. “Everything that is going on with the economy makes this business challenging, and also one must be even more creative and communicative with clients.”
“I build relationships and my real estate network on integrity, trust and understanding my market,” says born-and-bred Malibu resident Chris Cortazzo, who achieved $562 million in sales over the past year and has more than $8 billion in career sales. Cortazzo handled the sale of Tom Petty’s Escondido Beach property in December, swiftly bringing in $400,000 above the $9.85 million listing price. He is also co-listing famous properties like the Wave House (once owned by Rod Stewart and on the market for $42.5 million) and the Sandcastle ($19.995 million, co-listed with Compass’ Zen Gesner). Both homes were designed by renowned surfing architect Harry Gesner. “It’s been an honor representing Harry Gesner’s iconic properties,” he says. Cortazzo is THR’s 2023 Philanthropic Impact honoree and supports such organizations as the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, Point Dume Marine Science School, Farm Sanctuary, UNICEF, Operation Smile and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He got his start working with the photographer Herb Ritts and “through him, I met many celebrities and entertainment leaders looking for properties in Malibu. My first sale was to Richard Gere in 1994,” he recalls.
Team of the Year
In November, Drew Fenton launched Carolwood Estates as CEO and has been thrilled by its immediate success. “We have already transacted $1.3 billion in 2023,” he says. “We have over 100 agents, many on this list.” He boasts $530 million in sales over 12 months, and clients including Cher and Justin Timberlake, all while heading up Carolwood. Honored this year by THR with the Team of the Year Award, Fenton is currently co-repping Casa Encantada, an off-market $250 million estate in Bel Air that is one of the most expensive houses in the United States, as well as Aaron Spelling’s former mansion The Manor, on the market for $155 million. “The market has seen its highs and lows,” he says. “There have been several record sales, and there will continue to be incredible trophy properties that transact at higher and higher prices.”
Sally Forster Jones
With more than $10 billion in career sales, Compass’ Sally Forster Jones had more than $300 million in annual sales and high-profile listings such as celebrity architectural designer Jae Omar’s $22.995 million Japandi-style Odin house in Encino (co-listed with The Altman Brothers). She also was one of the agents who sold a $26 million Bel Air home scooped up by John Kelly, the creator of Squishmallows stuffed toys, which is Bel-Air’s highest on-market sale for 2023 to date. “When I first started, I wish I had known that it really is an all-hours, every-weekend business and that I would sometimes get even less sleep than when I was raising young kids,” says Forster Jones, who also is repping (along with Compass’ Tomer Fridman) sales of the branded Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills, opening in 2024. “Sleep deprivation aside, I really do love what I do, and I wouldn’t trade a thing.”
Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles star Josh Flagg of Douglas Elliman has been selling properties since he was 19. This year, he broke a record for the highest-ever price for a piece of land in the Beverly Hills Flats; repped UTA’s Tracey Jacobs in a $10.3 million purchase from Rihanna; and repped both the buyer and seller of the former Doris Day estate in Beverly Hills, which sold in May for $16.5 million (the third time he’s sold the property). He also sold the historic 1934 Spanish-style Ernst Lubitsch Estate in Bel Air for $14.6 million. “The biggest challenges right now are the ULA tax, the proposed Wildlife Ordinance [to limit development size in hillside areas of L.A.], and higher interest rates,” Flagg says of the L.A. market. “However, something to keep in mind is that the government was printing money essentially and 2 percent interest rates were a fantasy. People just need to realize that was a moment in time and that’s gone.” Flagg also just co-founded Estate Media, a content company spotlighting agents (like his Million Dollar Listing co-star Tracy Tutor) and digital creators who highlight real estate (like real estate agent Aaron Grushow of AKG Christie’s, who has 1.4 million followers on TikTok).
With more than $690 million in transactions in the past 12 months, Tomer Fridman is the go-to agent for the Kardashian Jenners, appearing on their Hulu show The Kardashians and repping Kim Kardashian on her $70 million purchase of Cindy Crawford’s former Malibu home. He’s also a co-listing agent for fashion designer Eva Chow’s Holmby Hills estate, on the market for $65 million. With sales slower after a few frenzied years, Fridman says he’s leaning more than ever into “the power of personal relationships and networking — being able to rely on my colleagues and be a reliable colleague for my co-agents in deals is the most important aspect of being able to transact and succeed in this industry.” Fridman’s career sales now sit at more than $6 billion. Fridman along with Compass colleague Sally Forster Jones is also handling sales at the 17-unit Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills luxury development, due to open next year. “I am extremely hands-on in whatever transpires throughout the deal or listing. At the end of the day, these are typically my clients’ homes and not just investment assets. I do my best to give honest and effective advice to protect them,” says Fridman of his overriding approach.
Carl Gambino of Compass has repped a veritable who’s who of A-listers, from Jennifer Lopez, Harry Styles and Joe Jonas to Mark Wahlberg, whom the agent co-repped in the sale of his Beverly Park estate in February for $55 million. “It was an extremely complex, down-to-the-wire deal that ultimately worked out,” he says of the transaction. “It’s a sale I’m extremely grateful for and proud of.” Gambino also sold the Toluca Lake house of the late Kim Porter for Sean Combs (according to public records); co-repped the sale of a $35 million home in Trousdale Estates; and is currently co-listing the Encino home of former baseball star Jimmy Rollins. Gambino, who also works across Miami, the Hamptons and New York City, has now surpassed the $1 billion mark in career sales. “We’ve achieved record-breaking sales in multiple U.S. markets,” says Gambino. “The marketability of these sales and the ability to service our clients on a national scale has been a breakthrough for us. In one instance, we sold a client’s house in L.A. for $35 million and their townhouse in NYC for $23 million.”
A licensed attorney with 20 years of experience across six states, Compass’ Ginger Glass racked up $459 million in sales over 12 months and has sold more than $3 billion dollars over the span of her real estate career. “In my almost 20-year career, I have led the idea of collaboration among realtors and industry leaders, and this year many more agents and counterparts were on board with working together,” she says. Glass’s expertise led to her playing a role in Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck buying their first marital home, where she represented the seller in the $61 million all-cash Beverly Hills transaction. Glass also repped the buyer of Mark Wahlberg’s Beverly Park estate, securing the sale at $55 million instead of the $79.5 million sticker price and repped the buyer in the highest sale in Newport this year. The deals were two of the highest sales in Beverly Hills Post Office this year. “I started my career by doing what I know works in all professions: working seven days a week, sitting at open houses and asking questions to become a better agent every single day. I started humble and will continue to stay this way,” says Glass.
Jon Grauman and Adam Rosenfeld
The Agency’s Jon Grauman and Adam Rosenfeld of Grauman + Rosenfeld see a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the market’s current bottleneck. “I am hopeful that we’ll see interest rates start to creep down next year, and as that happens, more buyers will be enticed to reenter the market,” Grauman says. “The current stranglehold on the real estate market is only temporary. There is a pent-up demand for housing that is growing every day. As buyers begin to reengage with the market, we can anticipate a surge in both competition and property prices. This anticipated escalation will likely serve as the precursor to the next real estate boom.” The pair, who appear on Netflix’s real estate reality show Buying Beverly Hills, did $567 million in sales over 12 months.
James Harris and David Parnes
James Harris and David Parnes — former stars of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles and the founders of The Agency’s Bond Street Partners team — are now teaching others the tricks of their trade, launching their very first real estate course titled The 1% Blueprint. The duo also have become champions of L.A.’s upscale condo market, handling the purchase of a $21 million penthouse at The Century, the biggest condo sale of the past 12 months, and are leading sales (along with The Agency Development Group) of the $2.5 billion Century Plaza development. “We also broke the record of the highest-priced condominium sale per square foot in Los Angeles with the sale of Residence 902 at Pendry Residences West Hollywood,” Parnes says. Other big deals include selling Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford’s Spanish-style L.A. house in August for $6.1 million and repping MRC co-chairman Modi Wiczyk (according to public records) in his $16 million sale of a home in Beverly Hills.
“Not nearly as fun as it has been in the past few years,” is how Douglas Elliman’s Juliette Hohnen describes the state of L.A. luxury real estate, noting that there are 36 to 50 percent fewer deals being closed. “Now it’s very unpredictable,” she says. “Even pricing is unpredictable.” Still, Hohnen has kept busy, selling Eric Idle’s Hollywood Hills house to a British heiress in a nearly $6.5 million all-cash deal. She also repped (according to public records) writer-producer Chris Weitz in a $7.65 million Pacific Palisades purchase, as well as listed his Venice house for just under $5.5 million and repped director Tom Shadyac’s $2.75 million Sunset Strip property. Her marketing approach? “The thing that broke through for me was presenting my listings in terms of lifestyle and targeting a specific type of buyer for each property,” says Hohnen. “You can’t just hire a stager; you have to go beyond what is available to every other realtor. I pick furniture for my stager and she buys it for my listings. I use really incredible photographers, and if other agents start using my photographers, I find new ones. I don’t want my listings to look like everyone else’s.”
Marci Kays and Jonathan Mogharrabi
It was a transformative year for the team of Jonathan Mogharrabi and Marci Kays. “We met during our time at The Agency, and we quickly became friends,” Mogharrabi said in a previous interview. “I have a lot of experience working with the top talent agents and business managers at CAA and WME, while she represents many Grammy award-winning musicians so it was a natural partnership. We balance each other out very well when working with mutual clients, especially on Richard Neutra’s Lovell Health House. That opened up a lot of new opportunities for us.” In April, the pair landed at Carolwood Estates from The Agency with a bang, having just repped Brad Pitt (according to public records) in the $38.5 million sale of his Los Feliz compound. The pair tallied $137 million in sales over 12 months. “We each bring a unique style and personality to the mix,” Kays says. “To have the support of each other makes what we do that much more enjoyable.”
AKG | CHRISTIE’S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE
Not only did he open a new brokerage, AKG/Christie’s, but Aaron Kirman also accomplished $1.7 billion in sales, including selling such historic homes as John Lautner’s Garcia House and Mary Tyler Moore’s former 1920s manse in Bel Air and co-repping the sale of the late Steven Bochco’s home in Pacific Palisades, built in 1937 by architect Paul R. Williams. “There’s nothing we won’t do for our clients,” says Kirman. “We’re in a service-based business and cater to every need, from selling their homes to assisting with private jet charters. I’m connected to some of the world’s most influential people, and I leverage these connections to assist my clients in various ways, ensuring both their professional and personal lives thrive.” Major listings include Honey co-founder George Ruan’s $150 million megamansion, Tinder co-founder Sean Rad’s $32 million Hollywood Hills Home, designer Tyler Ellis’ $42 million Brentwood estate, and the $45 million Sugar Ray Leonard estate.
HILTON & HYLAND
Since ascending to the role of president at luxury brokerage Hilton & Hyland — which saw the death last year of founder Jeff Hyland, followed by the exit of the firm’s other founder, Rick Hilton — David Kramer has stabilized and is growing the company. “I am truly honored to be following in the footsteps of the most legendary real estate agent in the country, Jeff Hyland,” says Kramer, who, while running the brokerage is also closing major deals for clients such as DJ Zedd, who sold his 3-acre Benedict Canyon spread to Kenya Barris for $18.35 million. Kramer also co-repped Formula 1 heiress Petra Ecclestone on a $37 million sale to Los Angeles Clippers player Russell Westbrook. “I feel that understanding a client’s needs is the first part of going above and beyond for a client. Our client base is very diverse and discerning, so everyone is going to have different needs,” says Kramer. “Having had a lot of therapy in my life was probably one of the most helpful things in learning how to be a real estate agent. It allows me to understand their needs and have empathy at some of the most stressful times in people’s lives.”
“The market this year has been challenging to navigate with the additional [ULA] tax and increasingly restrictive local ordinances. I am concerned about the current and long-term impact this is having on all of us,” says Carolwood Estates’ Brett Lawyer, who nonetheless posted a stellar year, doing $202 million in sales in 12 months and repping Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in their headline-making purchase of a $61 million estate in Beverly Hills, among other deals. He currently holds the listing for Lopez’s Bel Air home. But Lawyer remains optimistic — and grateful. “I continue to be very inspired by serving my current and evolving client base,” he says. “Each day is an adventure and discovery of extraordinary people and architecture.”
A mainstay of THR’s top agents list, Linda May of Carolwood Estates boasted another strong year with sales of $286 million. Her notable sales included the highest sale in Holmby Hills year-to-date with an off-market sale of $34 million. She also currently holds the $18.9 million listing (along with Carolwood’s Brett Lawyer) for Madonna’s former Lake Hollywood home, the famed Castillo del Lago. May notes that the uncertainty of the new ULA transfer tax and increased interest rates will deter some sellers from foisting homes onto the market. “Listings are always the most important part of your real estate practice,” says May. “Sellers will be more reluctant if they don’t have a clear vision of where they are going. It’s very much a two-part process, now more than ever!” But May remains excited about the year to come. “The market is dynamic, and getting to work with all these amazing power brokers on this list gives me opportunities every single day!” she says, adding, “I love that my profession allows me to be very creative and find specific houses that tailor to the different lifestyles of my clientele.”
In January, Tyrone McKillen opened the first L.A. office of Official, the new brokerage co-founded by Nicole Oge, Andrew Wachtfogel and Richard Jordan, alongside mega-agents Oren and Tal Alexander. In March, he closed on a $16 million sale of a Hancock Park house in a whirlwind two days ahead of the implementation of the ULA mansion tax; McKillen and partners had renovated the house through real estate development and management company Plus Development, working with top interior designer Jake Arnold. “We’ve really started to market the fact that we run a luxury development company as well as market and sell luxury properties,” says McKillen. “This is one of our biggest differentiators and has helped us win and sell a lot of product in the past year.” His current listings include Malibu’s Cantilever House, an 11,097-square-foot modern home that boasts a 100-foot infinity pool and is on the market for $69.5 million.
WESTSIDE ESTATE AGENCY
Onetime WME intern Drew Meyers has emerged as a top broker at the Westside Estate Agency, where he became a partner this year. He repped both sides (along with agency founder Kurt Rappaport) of the sale of the former Broad Art Foundation building in Santa Monica to Scooter Braun for $25.9 million, and represented the buyer of the former Mary Tyler Moore house in Bel Air for $14.6 million. The latter, he notes, is situated “directly on the golf course of Bel-Air Country Club — you can always replicate a home, but you can’t replicate land. Owning on one of the top-five most exclusive golf courses in Los Angeles is like owning gold, and it will only go up in value over the years.”
“In the past year, I’ve noticed a significant breakthrough in terms of marketing,” says Coldwell Banker’s Jade Mills, who, among her marketing approaches, has leaned into home-tour videos on Instagram (@jademillsestates), where she has nearly 90,000 followers. With more than $8 billion in career sales, Mills recently repped the sellers in two Malibu megadeals: a $100 million estate bought by Byron Allen and a $70 million home snapped up by Kim Kardashian. She also represented both sides of the deal for the nearly $5 million Pacific Palisades home of the late Ray Liotta, and repped the buyer for $52 million Beverly Park estate Villa Firenze. “I consistently strive to exceed client expectations by prioritizing their comfort and security throughout the buying or selling process,” says Mills. “To me, luxury isn’t just about lavishness; it’s about creating an atmosphere where clients feel genuinely at ease. In every transaction, I go the extra mile to ensure my clients experience this sense of luxury, making their real estate journey as smooth and stress-free as possible.”
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES
“I generally do not market myself as much as most other agents out there,” says the uber-discreet David Offer. Public record shows that his Hollywood clients include Alexandra Daddario, whom he repped on three L.A. home deals in the past year. He clocks 30-plus years in the business and “tends to work with people I have worked with in the past or their referrals.” And Offer’s clients keep returning because he serves them “the old-fashioned way, providing first-class service, being available virtually 24/7, and being a consultant who puts my client’s interests first.” The No. 2 individual agent in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices global network for 2022, Offer has lifetime sales over $4.4 billion.
THE OPPENHEIM GROUP
Jason Oppenheim went from attorney to president of The Oppenheim Group and star of Netflix’s reality show Selling Sunset. “I left my successful career as a lawyer to join Coldwell Banker and the Joyce Rey team,” he says, adding that he started The Oppenheim Group “from my one-bedroom loft.” His team continues to focus on inventive ways of marketing. “We hired an in-house videographer so we’re doing more videos for every property,” he says, “and now we have a quarterly magazine that comes out called Sunset Living.” Although Oppenheim’s sales were an impressive $419 million, he says 2023 has been a challenging year. “The mansion tax and high interest rates have really stalled the luxury market,” he says. “This has been my slowest year in over a decade, but it can only go up from here.” Last year, Selling Sunset — which has become as notable for its on-screen fashion as for the real estate — spawned a spinoff, Selling the OC.
“It’s very interesting,” says Tami Pardee of Pardee Properties of L.A.’s current market. “It’s both a buyer’s and a seller’s market. This is rare — there is low inventory, so it’s a seller’s market, yet the high interest rates make it a buyer’s market. It’s really case-by-case on what strategy to use when selling or buying right now.” The complex state of the market hasn’t kept Pardee — a Westside specialist , with offices in Culver City and Venice — from having another impressive year, with $521 million in sales and clients including Doja Cat (for whom she sold a midcentury house in Beverly Hills last year). And she continues to love working in the City of Angels. “Everyone has a story and a life that they want to star in,” she says. “I just help them get there through real estate.”
WESTSIDE ESTATE AGENCY
It’s been nearly a quarter-century since Kurt Rappaport co-founded the Westside Estate Agency, and he’s doing his biggest deals now — to wit, repping both sides of the biggest sale ever in California: Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s $200 million purchase of the Tadao Ando-designed Malibu compound owned by the soap opera dynasts Bill and Maria Bell. Rappaport is also the backer of Hollywood’s hottest restaurant to open this year: chef Evan Funke’s eponymous Funke. Among other big deals, Rappaport also co-listed Mark Wahlberg’s mansion sale, handled both sides of Ryan Seacrest’s recent $51 million sale, and repped producer Henry Winterstern in selling his spec mansion for $48 million, a million above asking. Along with Sotheby’s International Realty’s Lisa Laughlin, Rappaport also repped the seller of he Malibu property bought by producer Edward Hamm Jr. for $91 million, the third biggest sale in L.A. in the last year.
With more than $6 billion in career sales, Coldwell Banker’s Joyce Rey holds the $17 million listing on Taylor Hackford and Helen Mirren’s Los Angeles estate. “Our market relies on both successful business entrepreneurs and celebrities, and unfortunately the number of sales is dramatically down. Clearly the lack of inventory and the high interest rates are taking a large toll on the luxury market,” she says. “However, interestingly enough, consumer confidence is rather high and properties priced between $1 million and $3 million move very quickly.” Rey — who has repped such stars as Lionel Richie and Goldie Hawn — also is currently co-listing a $185 million Bel-Air property. As for one of her recent big wins, she says, “[it] remains confidential — I worked on it for nearly seven years and it closed this year in excess of $70 million!”
AKG | CHRISTIE’S INTERNATIONAL
AKG | Christie’s International’s Morgan Trent makes his debut on the THR list after a winning season. A former cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals, Trent earned his brokerage license while still playing in the NFL. The SoCal native’s notable clients include Russell Westbrook (who purchased a property in Brentwood last October for $33.5 million), Mookie Betts and designer Tyler Ellis. He recently was also a co-listing agent on the $25 million sale of the late Steven Bochco’s Pacific Palisades home. He lives by the simple motto, “Love God, Love People.” As for how he got his start in real estate, Trent says, “I started selling homes in L.A. organically. I met a few clients playing golf that asked me to sell their homes off market … and I did. After a couple of big sales, I was on my way.”
Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles star Tracy Tutor has expanded from L.A. into Texas. “The migration to Texas from California has been palatable in the past three years,” says Tutor. “Providing our clients in California with seamless representation in the Texas market was the smartest move I have made in the last year.” As far as what succeeds for her in terms of marketing, Tutor says, “In the last year, digital marketing breakthroughs, particularly through social media and video tours, have been game-changers for me. They’ve allowed me to reach a wider audience and showcase properties more effectively to direct buyers and agents all over the U.S., providing my clients with a broader reach. It also doesn’t hurt to have a TV show surrounding luxury real estate in Los Angeles.” Her listings include Villa Kuro, a modernist 2,110-square-foot desert home in Joshua Tree, California, on the market for $1.749 million.
The Umansky Team
“Real estate is a family affair for us, and one of the best things about being a real estate agent is getting to help other families find their dream home,” says Mauricio Umansky of The Umansky Team, which includes his sister Sharon Umansky-Benton, father Eduardo Umansky, and daughters Alexia Umansky and Farrah Brittany. The Agency co-founder, who was a co-listing agent on the $20 million sale of entrepreneur Robert Rivani’s Game of Thrones-inspired house in Beverly Hills, is now competing on the 32nd season of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. He wrote his first book this year, The Dealmaker: How to Succeed in Business & Life Through Dedication, Determination & Disruption. And with The Agency’s Netflix reality show Buying Beverly Hills renewed for a second season, the Umanskys continue to make real estate a feel-good affair. “We genuinely have a great time and love supporting each other,” Maurico Umansky says. “It’s great to have a group of people you trust to bounce ideas off of and talk through deals with.” Among his listings (along with The Agency’s James Harris and David Parnes) is developer Nick Candy’s The Reserve in Holmby Hills, listed for $85 million.
Branden and Rayni Williams
THE BEVERLY HILLS ESTATES
Husband-and-wife team Branden and Rayni Williams — who did a staggering $1.4 billion in sales in the past 12 months — are developers as well as dealmakers. Their sales and listings include co-repping Drake’s Beverly Hills estate for $88 million; selling UTA chief Jeremy Zimmer’s Brentwood Park home to newlyweds Sofia Richie and Elliot Grainge for $26.9 million; and selling a $70 million Bird Streets home to Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin. Along with co-developer Jason Somers of Crest Real Estate, they have also just brought to market a stunning $38 million James Bond-inspired home, dubbed the Californication House, that includes a $60,000 rotating bed, Arabian black slate and Japanese Shou Sugi Ban raked wood cladding, and Roman titanium travertine floors. “Finishing the design and development of the Californication House with our design firm Disco Volante was a five-year passion project,” says Branden Williams. “It’s always exciting to create an architectural mansion that you see in the hills when driving through a city. I know it will be a part of the Los Angeles skyline even after I’m gone.” Asked what she wish she had known when she started in real estate, Rayni Williams replies, “I got my start from the bottom and used my work ethic to fit puzzle pieces together and crack the code to get to the top. I had no formal training or guide book on how to do it — simply was led by intuition and hard work. I don’t wish I knew anything then I know now as I wouldn’t have made it knowing how hard it would be.”
You can read the article on The Hollywood Reporter here