There are a lot of anniversaries to celebrate: weddings, relationships, baby’s first steps, divorce settlements, your first BMW, and the list goes on! I wanted to make a special announcement about my greatest love – the one year anniversary of my brokerage, Rich Kids Real Estate. Be prepared, as this is going to be a long entry!!!! I developed the Rich Kids brand under the corporate umbrella of Keller Williams BH in 2009. Having gained quite a bit of name recognition, I became a broker and turned the brand into an independent brokerage on June 8th, 2011. I could not have asked for a more blessed year in terms of business, opportunities, and just an endless list of amazing personalities who I have met along the way. People often will see the success of my business and ask how it all came together so quickly. There is no explanation other than to say that I have worked my ass off for many years and continue to do so every day.
In case you are just dying to know the back story, here it is! I started out as young agent at Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills back in 2004 where I had absolutely no clients. I would literally walk up and down the streets of random neighborhoods “door knocking” to get listings (per CB University’s suggestion) which usually resulted in said door being slammed right in my face, dogs chasing me, and once even having a 10 foot automatic gate lock behind me where I had to climb a massive iron fence in Prada loafers with little tread (the “boys” are still in tact, don’t worry) to escape. My father was kind enough to give me about 1.5 years of support, but eventually I had to sink or swim. Money was tight – Oodles of Noodles and dollar beer happy hours were pretty much what I lived off of. A wonderful real estate agent by the name of Michael Collins (still a very successful agent at Coldwell Banker BH) saw how hard I was working and hooked me up with a friend of his looking for an assistant! I assisted a major celebrity power agent from whom I learned an incredible amount from (I still idolize her and look up to her to this day)! THANK YOU, MICHAEL and A (I know you like your anonymity). The next stop was the elite brokerage of Hilton and Hyland where I exclusively sold the wildly successful Rob Clark, which had just been converted from apartments to condos. People will often reflect back on “their big break” in their career, which I can say for me that this opportunity was. It was back breaking work – 6 days a week, 1 day off, no free weekends, full throttle…and I loved every second of it. It was an awesome gig and I felt so lucky to have had it. I think that really instilled in me that to be successful in real estate or anything in life, it’s a 24/7 venture. The economy collapsed as my last deal closed at The Rob Clark in September 2008 (won’t forget that day), which gave me quite a bit of time to develop the Rich Kids brand. I’ve written all the content myself, every blog entry, and article. I started a daily blog column called the “Hot Prop of the Day” which was where I showcased other agents listings that I deemed to be a great value. This was an important marketing tool as I didn’t have any listings of my own yet to showcase. Those blog posts brought me my first “Rich Kids” client who took a chance on me/my business and the rest is history! The moral of the story. Do what you love, stay resiliant no matter what, listen to feedback but follow your instincts, and take risks with new ideas or concepts. The only failure is not trying!
My goal for Rich Kids Real Estate: The Brokerage was/is to provide the absolute best service possible to my clients, closely mentor new licensees who I believe will be stars one day in the industry, and to not only sell my clients the dream property, but the life to go with it. Rich Kids has become a sort of social network unto itself, which I am quite proud of. I also wanted to be highly involved with every step of the buying/selling process. I take on fewer clients so that I can really be there for them. Someday I may have to find a balance with that but it will always be relationships first, money second. I have found this to be way more rewarding and the money tends to just follow.
I have to say, I think I have achieved that in this first year! When you do what you love, it’s hard to not be constantly thinking about work. With that said, my mind is constantly coming up with new ideas to create an even more unique and special experience for the Rich Kids Clientele. There is the old adage that states “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. My mantra has always been “if it isn’t broke, break it and make it even better”.
I never like to look back because as I see it, we are only as good as our last transaction. However today is all about celebrating what has been achieved over the last year. I don’t think any entrepreneur ever really takes the time to think about their achievements. Instead I think we always focus on what we could have done better and what we need to do next.
In the spirit of today’s anniversary, I wanted to share with you a few sales that have meaning to me in one way or another as well as the progression of the sometimes controversial Rich Kids Ad campaigns. I have gotten a kick actually seeing them side by side as I reflect on this year!
Much like a proud parent, there are no favorite properties but there are a few sales this past year that I wanted to showcase:
8180 Mannix - Stunning/8180 Mannix Dr - Car-Mageddon Pool Party Open House
8180 Mannix Drive, Los Angele, CA 90046- “The Wow Factor” – List: $1,499,000/Sale: $1,485,000- This was one of the slickest homes I have ever seen. The buyer bought it completely furnished and my seller put his whole heart into creating this masterpiece from scratch. This was just a show stopper of a property. Explosive city view in the front with an infinity pool spilling into the canyon in the back…what more can I say! Whether it fit your lifestyle or not, everyone’s jaws dropped at this million dollar marvel in the hills off of Laurel Canyon. I will never forget the infamousCar-mageddon Pool Party Open House that my client was cool enough to let me throw! Hey – we got a buyer out of it! I think he would have purchased my other clients with the house if he could!
1494 North Kings Rd - Elegant, Timeless
1494 North Kings Road, Los Angeles, CA 90069 – “The Legacy – Charlie Chaplin’s House” – List: $1,725,000/Sale: $1,650,000 – There was so much history to this home. I sold this to a young guy who lives throughout the world. Prior to him coming to LA, I saw this property and knew it was the one. If memory serves, we literally wrote an offer the first day he was in town. It was originally owned by Charlie Chaplin. From there it has an amazing Hollywood Pedigree. Robert Downey Jr. resided there during the filming of “Chaplin” where he was nominated for an Oscar. Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kelly Osbourne were also residents. Aside from it’s lineage, this is absolutely a spectacular piece of Spanish architecture done beautifully. My client just competed a stunning further renovation with media room, swimming pool, and deck with killer city views
One of the Most Significant Pieces of Architecture in Los Angeles
825 North Kings Rd #15, West Hollywood, CA 90069 - “The Steal of A Deal” – List: $734,900/Sale: $734,900 - I have been in love with this Lorcan O’ Herlihy original for quite some time. If you live in or know the West Hollywood area well, most people are familiar with this iconic and in my opinion, one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the city. Lorcan has a knack for creating unique design aesthetics that literally pop out at you when you drive by. When Lorcan makes his presence known on your street, the area is automatically catapulted to another level. I would say that this particular building is the crown jewel of his work. This was an REO sale that was quietly announced over a holiday weekend last summer. Upon notice, I hopped a flight from visiting friends on the east coast, went straight to the lockbox on this property, and my clients stole it for a killer deal, 20 day close. I could sell it for over $1 million right now!
All I can say is "WOW"... The Terrace Overlooking Beverly Hills at Night
447 North Doheny Drive #3o1 , Beverly Hills, CA 90210- “Rich Kids Get What Rich Kids Want…Now – The 5 Day Escrow” – List: $1,650,000/Sale: $1,500,000 – This sale was so “Rich Kids” and an uber significant one for two reasons: 1) This was a record breaking sale for me in terms of the closing period. My young client immediately fell in love with the property and we recorded within 5 days from acceptance of offer – my fastest escrow period…ever. 2) I had the opportunity to work with the most accomplished and recognized residential developers in Beverly Hills (if not the world), Brian Adler. Brian has made his mark on the Beverly Hills real estate scene in numerous ways since age 21, but is probably best known for developing the ultimate in gated living chic, Beverly Park North and South. If you are familiar with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Adrienne Maloof and Lisa Vanderpump both reside in Beverly Park. (average sale price is roughly $23,000,000). Brian took this vision of opulence and superb craftsmanship to his newest incarnation, La Terrasse in Beverly Hills.
Now for the ads which is where I get to have a lot of fun creatively. I wanted a very different type of real estate ad that I felt gave a pictorial view of the Rich Kids brand and lifestyle. Again, I don’t just sell you the property, but also the life to go with it. The first one was with my agents and a couple clients. I had no idea what I was going to use it for. We grabbed some clothes and returned them, hired a fashion photographer, and shot it at Mannix (that view is now photoshopped). As time progressed, the ads have been the cornerstone of my marketing:
Original Rich Kids Shot – Always Will Be the Most Special Shot to Me
“The Godfather” aka “The Broker”
$10,000 Oscar Gown/Velvet Dolce & Gabbana Tux – Thank You ODL for the Lending Us Beautiful Clothing
Banned from MLS – What Was I Thinking With This One???
This Is The Sequel to the First One – Tagline is Meant to Be Ironic – Like Agents are Rock Stars – W Residences Cantoni Penthouse Master Bedroom
Mr. and Mrs. Smith Meets James Bond – W Residences Cantoni Suite
Rooftop – W Residences – November in Speedos, Sunbathing at Night – Why Not?
I Love Brett Easton Ellis (“Less Than Zero”)…Exploring Decadent Pan Sexuality in Real Estate…W Residences Cantoni Penthouse
Really Organic SoCal Sunny Day – Rich Kids Surf Day – I Like to Plan Gatherings for Clients With a No Real Estate Talk Allowed Policy – Beachy, Fresh, Different – I Wanted a New Take
8180 Mannix – Stunning
8180 Mannix Dr – Car-Mageddon Pool Party Open House
1494 North Kings Rd – Elegant, Timeless
One of the Most Significant Pieces of Architecture in Los Angeles
All I can say is “WOW”… The Terrace Overlooking Beverly Hills at Night
Thank you for tuning into the (very lengthy) Anniversary Edition of the Rich Kids Blog. A very special thanks to all of my friends and clients who have been so loyal. I also want to give mad shout outs to the following: Rich Kids rising star/estate specialist extraordinaire Monica Der who came with me Jerry McGuire style, RB of CAA & RB/GC of GBP for your continued belief in me/Rich Kids Real Estate, my two most loyal clients who have been with me since the Rob Clark Days – DT/JC, a very special agent who was there when I needed her and who I just fell in love at first site with – HB – you are such a star now - so proud of you, and finally the Ko Sisters who have been with me pretty much every step of the way since I was teenager (so like for 2 years) and are there for me Rich Kid or not! Bottoms up