The mavens on Variety’s Showbiz Real Estate Elite overcame the challenges of 2020 in innovative ways, through clever flexes involving all the tricks of the trade, and most saw some of their best years in a long time, and even ever as the high-end luxury market boomed. Our list includes the best of Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Atlanta and Nashville.
Josh Altman and Matt Altman
The Altman Brothers at Douglas Elliman in Beverly Hills
The stars of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing L.A.” had a 2020 total sales volume of $583 million-plus adding to their $4.17 billion sales volume. They sold Kathy Griffin’s Bel-Air mansion at $16 million; 336 S. Hudson at $16.1 million (record-breaking in Hancock Park); 8 Beverly Park, Beverly Hills, $27.25 million; and 11951 Pinnacle Pl., Beverly Hills, $25 million. In 2020 the team officially launched in the Orange County market and listed a Corona del Mar estate at $58 million — another record. “COVID totally shifted sellers’ mindsets and made them far more realistic. 2020 was our best year ever, with people upgrading and downgrading, and thanks to historic low rates. And it made us more mobile than ever — far less time in the office, far more in our cars,” says Josh Altman.
Ambuehl logged 2020 sales volume of approximately $160 million including 1116 Napoli Dr., Pacific Palisades, $25 million; 600 East Rustic Road, Santa Monica, $14 million; and 1709 Broderick St., San Francisco (the “Full House” home), $5.35 million. Current top listings include 12625 Homewood Way, L.A., at $10.75 million and 717 Greentree Road, Pacific Palisades, at $6.96 million. Notable clientele: Jeff Franklin, creator of “Full House” and “Fuller House”; musician Flea; and Robert Herjavec, “Shark Tank” star. “COVID-19 made our business so much less personal and much more independent. It has forced us to work even harder around tightened parameters — not having open houses, caravans or signage. I’ve also made efforts to increase my digital exposure.”
Managing partner, the Agency
Arana is currently ranked the No. 8 real estate agent in the country. He has a long list of celebrity clientele including Larry David, LeBron James and Lady Gaga. He sold more than $310 million worth of properties in the past year; most notably, he represented Anthony Hopkins in the sale of his Point Dume mansion in Malibu and sold multimillion-dollar properties such as 12833 Chalon Road for $20 million and 227 N. Tigertail Road at $22.1 million. Arana currently holds the listings for Vice co-founder Shane Smith’s $50 million Santa Monica estate, Villa Ruchello, and the Beverly House, which is currently on the market for $119 million. In addition to his realty work, Arana also runs a high-end spec home development company. “I bring construction knowledge and expertise to buyers and know the market extremely well,” Arana says.
CEO/founder, Revel Real Estate Founder, Rila Social Real Estate
Big sales include 924 Bel-Air Road, $94 million; 820 Whittier, $23.5 million; 440 Martin, $11 million; 1895 Rising Glen, $12.25 million; 1424 Bel-Air, $5.775 million; 1883 Rising Glen, $6.25 million; and 7052 Dume, $5.25 million. Active listings include 10679 Somma Way at $78 million and 2538 Carman Crest at $11.75 million. “Off-line and online businesses from hotels to e-commerce were forced to lean out. Businesses refocused on KPIs [key performance indicators] and GMVs [gross merchandise values] that actually measure success. The stimulus checks, M&As, debt deals and bets were made,” Bacal says. “Institutional and retail investors earned outsized returns. Sellers sold quickly. Home seekers flush with cash … took advantage of stellar interest rates in low inventory locations and real estate values held and soared.”
Douglas Elliman in Beverly Hills
In 2020, Carswell did a total of $218 million-plus in sales volume with 97 transaction sides. Sold famed Brady Bunch home in Studio City for a record-breaking price to HGTV; is currently listing former ABC studio head Patrick Moran’s 105 N. Rossmore home for $13.65 million; and sold fugitive financier Jho Low’s lavish Bird St. home for $18.5 million. He listed and sold Donald De Line’s Hancock Park mansion off-market as well. “COVID’s greatly improved residential real estate. At first we were all shocked and scared, but it’s returned it to licensed professional agents, and L.A.’s seen a 5.7% price increase. It’s a new era.”
Co-founder/partner, The Agency
In 2011, Chang founded the Agency alongside his partners Mauricio Umansky and Billy Rose and quickly built up a celebrity clientele. He enjoys selling high-wattage homes that were designed by master architects including Wallace Neff, Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was the best year yet for Chang. He racked up around $155 million in sales last year, including the sale of Asian Logic co-founder Chris Parker’s $26 million Bel-Air mansion as well as Turkish billionaire Ali Yildirim Koç’s new Bird Street mansion. He has high hopes for the future. “I think the market will continue to appreciate and keep setting records,” Chang says. “I’m excited.”
Ranked as Re/Max’s No. 1 agent worldwide, Cohen annually closes around $295 million in sales. He currently holds more than $100 million in listings, has over 469,000 Instagram followers and maintains an A-list clientele with actors, entertainers and 100-plus professional athletes. During the past year alone, Cohen has represented stars such as Anthony Davis, Reggie Bush, Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer and Poison frontman Bret Michaels. He’s also the exclusive Realtor for the gated community the Estates at North Ranch, in Westlake Village, which is a luxury development of 15 brand-new estates. Cohen is especially proud that he operates as an individual agent. “When you hire me, you’re going to get me and not a teammate,” Cohen says.
The Malibu native and local real estate icon had over $689 million in 2020 sales, including 6962 Wildlife Road, Malibu, the former Johnny Carson estate; 26848 Pacific Coast Highway, $48.75 million; and 33218 Pacific Coast Highway at $45 million. Top current listings include 31118 Broad Beach Road at $100M. “There’s definitely more activity as the pandemic has changed people’s buying requirements and needs for their families since they are spending more time at home,” he notes. Significant changes he’s had to make as a result of the pandemic include, “How we show a property, providing safety for sellers, buyers and staff. The inability to have open houses has limited physical property exposure.”
Hilton & Hyland
Fenton turned a childhood interest in art, architecture and design into a successful real estate career that has amassed more than $4 billion in sales since 2007. A one-man show, Fenton has sold iconic Los Angeles properties such as Chartwell Estate, the Playboy Mansion and the Ennis House. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a record-breaking year for Fenton with more than $780 million in sales. Of his 36 transactions of the past year, 15 sales included properties that were valued to be worth over $20 million. Perhaps most notably, Fenton was part of the listing team that sold Owlwood Estate, which closed for $88 million. He predicts that his success will continue into 2021. “I think what a lot of people realized during quarantine is how important real estate is,” Fenton says.
Rodeo Realty Fine Estates
The Bravo “Million Dollar Listing” star is among the top producing agents in the luxury market. Top 2020 sales include 1001 North Roxbury Drive, the estate of philanthropists Lisa and Josh Greer, sold for just under $40 million; 121 Udine Way, $18.75 million sold to childhood friend and Tinder co-founder, Justin Mateen; Matthew Perry’s 25438 Malibu Road beach house, $13.1 million; Diane Keaton’s former home, 212 Copa de Oro Road, $17.45 million; and 1458 Bienvenida Ave., sold for $8.13 million. “Ironically, people woke up one day and in the middle of a pandemic, counterintuitively said to themselves, ‘Let’s go buy real estate in the middle of a crisis,’ and that’s the tale of one of the best years in real estate and one of the worst years in civilization. I would trade 2020 for normalcy any day.”
The Fridman Group, Hilton & Hyland
Having recently left Compass and joined Hilton & Hyland, Fridman oversaw approximately $539 million in 2020 sales. Highlights include sale of the storied Owlwood estate in Holmby Hills for $88 million; sale of Khloe Kardashian’s Calabasas mansion for $15 million, a record for the area; and a $60 million off-market transfer of a Bel-Air compound. Current top listings include Eva Chow’s South Mapleton Drive estate at $65 million and Tristan Thompson’s Encino home at $8.5 million. “The pandemic has presented challenges that have in-turn evolved our business for the better, including offering more video tours, increasing our digital marketing, focusing deeply on international buyers who may be affected by travel bans, and, internally, we grew our staff and adjusted daily practices,” he says.
Gambino oversaw over $200 million in 2020 sales, and he expanded to Miami. Celeb clients include Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas, Harry Styles, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez. Top sales include 12255 Sky Lane, L.A., $23.5 million; 25342 Malibu Road, $6.775 million; off-market sales in Sherman Oaks at $9.5 million and Encino at $7.6 million. Top Listings include 133 Mapleton, Holmby Hills, $65 million, and 1860 Doheny Road, Hollywood Hills, $9.95 million. “The pandemic ignited an unprecedented demand in the high-end residential market, particularly Los Angeles and Miami,” Gambino says. “We have followed all the CDC protocols, eliminated open houses, opting instead for virtual open houses and FaceTime tours. Physical showings are reserved exclusively for clients with proof of funds, bank pre-approvals and signed coronavirus disclosure forms.”
Her 2020 sales volume of $474 million includes top recent sales 145 N. Mapleton Dr., which sold for $36.5 million to Kylie Jenner; 2627 Benedict Canyon Dr., which sold for $14.695 million to Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden; and 5394 Ross Ave., La Quinta, which sold for $17.5 million — a record for a single-family desert home. “It has been a time of placing business second as people relocated or transitioned their homes into offices, schools, gyms. As a result, I saw an increase in transactions. I work from my home office and use Zoom and FaceTime very frequently with clients all over the world, but I had to adjust to the no-open-house policy,” Glass notes.
James Harris and David Parnes
Directors, the Agency
The Brit stars of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing L.A.” had another banner year thanks to their blend of English style and American drive, with sales in excess of $325 million. Top sales included 9520 Hidden Valley, Beverly Hills — new construction in a gated celebrity enclave — repping buyer and seller, at $17 million; 1475 Bel-Air Road; new construction by Huntington Estate Properties, repped seller, $15.399 million; 905 Corsica, Pacific Palisades, new construction by Ken Unger, repped seller, $13.995 million; 4467 Woodley, new construction by Evan Gaskin Design, repped seller, $13.2 million; 8080 Laurel View, a celebrity sale, repped seller, $8.25 million. “COVID changed everything as people’s lifestyles changed dramatically — suddenly they’re not going to the office, school, on trips — and real estate went crazy,” says Harris. “And record low interest rates and the volatile stock market made real estate a very attractive investment,” notes Parnes.
CEO/founder, Aaron Kirman Group
President, estates division, Compass
Did $729 million in sales in 2020. Noteworthy deals include Rancho Latigo in the Santa Ynez Valley; 3742 Brinkeroff, $24.5 million; 1275 Benedict Canyon, $12.995 million; 600 Perugia, $17 million; 7163 Birdview, $8 million; 1449 Bel- Air Road, $15.995 million; and sales for YouTuber David Dobrik, Olympian Shaun White and rocker Billy Duffy. Also debuted first season of CNBC’s “Listing Impossible.” “We quickly adapted [to COVID] and evolved how we conducted business. While there were challenges, we had our best sales year ever, and our team grew to 90-plus agents and staff. The pandemic was a catalyst for us developing a new technology platform that we’re launching this year, along with five new brand extensions of AKG, evolving the brand beyond real estate,” he says.
Hilton & Hyland
Kramer has logged over $1 billion in career sales and over $224 million in 2020. Represented the buyer of 375 Fordyce Road, the highest 2020 sale in Brentwood, at $25.8 million; represented both sides of the Lee Iacocca estate, which sold for $19.5 million; represented Petra Ecclestone on the $85 million purchase of the Spelling Manor. Celebrity clients included representing the sale of Jodie Foster’s 1267 Lago Vista home for $14.9 million; Lilly Ghalichi in her purchase of Kathy Griffin’s 11782 Southampton home for $14 million; and the sale of Elon Musk’s 2232 Westridge Road home for $3.295 million. “2020 presented us with several first-of-their-kind challenges, but rather than fighting them, we adapted to the ever-changing marketplace and had our best year ever.”
Sotheby’s Intl. Realty
Had $144 million-plus sales last year. Top 20 sales: 2845 Sycamore Canyon Road, $32.25 million; 600 East Rustic Road, $14.3 million; 11790 Southampton Court, $14 million; 28724 Grayfox St., $13.341 million; 28830 Bison Ct., $13.15 million; 100 Fremont Pl., $11.4 million; 911 North Beverly Dr., $9.1 million; 2230 Maravilla Dr., $6.425 million; 10556 Fontenelle Way, $6.3 million. “The buyer-vetting process is more important than ever today,” Lavey says. “With the elimination of any open houses, when we have a buyer that requests to preview a client’s property, we must be diligent and precise in our efforts to prevent the usual window shoppers that may normally show up for an open house.”
Hilton & Hyland
May’s 2020 sales totaled $282 million, spanning ultra-luxe properties in Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Bel-Air, Hancock Park and Malibu. Half of May’s sales went for more than $20 million and her highest sale of the year was to Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, who purchased the Bellagio Estate in Bel-Air for $68 million. Philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen purchased a home in Holmby Hills on 320 Delfern for $25 million. “While 2020 held so much uncertainty and enormous new challenges, we pivoted in our work and personal lives. Surprisingly through it all, the high-end luxury residential market stayed strong. I’m looking forward to a new year of opportunity and growth.”
Coldwell Banker Residential Broker
Mills is currently Coldwell Banker’s No.1 agent and is ranked as the No. 3 agent worldwide across all brokerages. Over the course of her 30-year career, Mills has sold more than $6 billion worth of property. In 2020 alone, Mills sold just under $500 million in real estate (her best year yet) and represented celebs such as Cheryl Tiegs, Avril Lavigne and former WarnerMedia chairman Bob Greenblatt. This year is already off with a bang for Mills with sales including 23330 Malibu Colony Road for $18.5 million and 23762 Malibu Road for $21.5 million. She currently holds more than $340 million worth of property in listings. “I love finding the right home for people,” Mills says. “My clients understand that about me. I love what I do.”
Berkshire Hathaway Homes Services
The specialist in Brentwood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Venice was recognized as the No. 11 producing agent in the U.S. in 2020 by Real Trends. Over his career, he’s completed more than 1,000 transactions totaling over $3.75 billion. Active listings include 416 and 420 S. Bristol Ave. for $18.495 million and 299 Saltair for $32 million.
The Oppenheim Group
While his agency is the setting of the Netflix hit series “Selling Sunset,” readying to shoot Season 4, Oppenheim Group expanded into Orange County in December, opening up a Newport Beach mega-office. His sales volume for 2020 hit $200 million-plus. Some top deals included 8899 Beverly Blvd. at $17.5 million and 1985 Rising Glen Road at $12.2 million. “The luxury market had expanded … we sold more homes in the Hollywood Hills and West Hollywood and Beverly Hills and Malibu areas [than ever] — 15% more homes in 2020. … I think there’s a sense of optimism, I think the economy is probably set to explode in the next couple of years,” he says.
Founder and CEO, Halton Pardee + Partners
In the past year alone, Pardee has sold 350 homes. Some of her biggest sales of the past year include 3235 Maplewood Ave. for $3.625 million, 841 Norway Lane for $3.865 million and 111 Eastwind St. for $3.54 million — the second-highest sale to close in Marina del Rey in 2020. She currently holds listings such as 446 23rd St. ($6.5 million), 414 Carroll Canal ($9.875 million) and 17 23rd Ave. in Venice — known as the Hollywood Bowl House and designed by David Hertz — which is currently asking $12.5 million. She prides herself on providing a service that helps people find an ideal place to center themselves. “A home is where people can ground themselves — especially during COVID,” Pardee says. “Helping people get where they want to be in life has been really beautiful.”
Westside Estate Agency
Co-founder and CEO of the Westside Estate Agency, Rappaport is one of the top Realtors in L.A. This year, Rappaport repped Jeffrey Katzenberg when he bought a $26.7 million Trousdale Estates mansion, Neil Kadisha when he purchased a $25 million Beverly Hills estate and Taiwanese electronics tycoon Terry Gou when he shelled out $70 million for two side-by-side Bird Street properties. “Last year was a very interesting year that no one predicted,” Rappaport says. “The home became as important as it’s ever been. You can give up going to a concert or movie, but the home is irreplaceable.”
Westside Estate Agency
Shapiro is the co-founder of the Westside Estate Agency and has more than 45 years of real estate experience. This year, Shapiro represented Casey Wasserman during the $68 million sale of his Beverly Hills estate and also repped the media heir when he purchased a $23.6 million Bird Street mansion. Some notable current listings include 703 N. Arden Dr. for $25 million and 9040 W. Sunset Blvd., #1203, for $14.85 million. Shapiro predicts that the Los Angeles market will continue to remain strong. “You can buy a bag at Kohl’s or you can buy a Birkin bag,” Shapiro says. “You pay extra for a luxury product. And between the weather, ocean, mountains and desert, California is a luxury product.”
Marc & Sara Shevin
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
The Shevin Team (which now includes sister Hannah and a nephew of Marc’s) specializes in the Hidden Hills area. In the past year alone, they have repped celebrity clients including Jeffree Star, Paul George and Morris Chestnut. In total, they sold $235 million worth of property in 2020. They note that there has been a significant increase of out-of-state buyers interested in buying in L.A. “These buyers want a change in lifestyle,” the father-daughter duo say. “They want to be in the guard-gated developments, they want good schools, open air and hiking trails. They want what this area offers as a lifestyle.”
The first female broker on “Million Dollar Listing L.A.” exclusively reps luxury development the West Hollywood Edition, 95% sold at the end of 2020. Listed sister Kristin’s Holmby Hills mansion at $29 million, producer Jack Giarraputo’s Malibu estate at $31.5 million, Sammy Hagar’s Lake Arrowhead estate and the Barrymore estate. “When the pandemic hit, our offices shut down. We suddenly had to adjust, send our staff to work from home and learn to communicate and be efficient remotely. Real estate took a hit. It has taken focus and tenacity to close deals despite strict COVID guidelines. Despite feeling 2020 was going to be pretty grim we had $40 million-plus sales in December alone,” Tutor says.
Mauricio Umansky, Eduardo Umansky, Alexia Umansky and Farrah Brittany
The Umansky Team
Agency founder and CEO Mauricio Umansky works with father Eduardo and daughters Alexia Umansky and Farrah Brittany, and also makes regular appearances on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” alongside his wife, Kyle Richards. This year the Umansky team sold 75 Beverly Park Lane ($19.3 million), 167 S. Rockingham Ave. ($20.83 million) and 350 Ortega Ridge ($8.5 million). They currently hold the listings for prestigious addresses including the Beverly House, 72 Beverly Park and 11490 Orum Road, which was designed by architect Zoltan Pali. Naturally, the Umansky team had to make a few changes to weather the market during COVID lockdown last year. “2020 was about adjusting to a new world,” Mauricio says. “There’s not a lot of lookie-loos now because of the virus. So, if they’re looking it’s because they are serious about being a client.”
Branden & Rayni Williams
The Beverly Hills Estates
Another record-setting year in which they started their new brokerage, cleared more than $740 million in sales and secured four of the top deals of 2020. Celebrity sales include Bridget Fonda, Brian Robbins, Jason Statham’s Malibu house ($18 million) and the famed Opus estate for $47 million. In 2021 they will launch five projects through their design firm, Disco Volante, including a mansion with the architect Scott Mitchell. “2020 changed not only our business but defined our next chapter,” says Rayni. “The pandemic inspired us to create our new hybrid brokerage that intersects global properties with the community of a private members club. We saw the need for a space for designers, architects and top agents to collaborate and come together. In a post-pandemic world, the luxury market will rely more on personal relationships than anything else and we’re thrilled to open the first office on Sunset this year.”
Hilton & Hyland
Wilson logged more than $200 million in sales in 2020, including a classic Spanish on Doheny Drive to David Katzenberg at $4.65 million; a ranch house in Encino to David Arquette at $5 million; an estate to Michael Feinstein for $7.3 million; and a villa in Beverly Hills to Priscilla Presley at $13 million. “During the pandemic we saw huge demand and price increases in the outer areas such as Malibu, Hidden Hills, Montecito. But in town, higher-end properties tend to be large estates, so we didn’t see the same lack of demand as cities like New York. We did experience far less demand for multi-family condominiums at the high end, which has brought some surprisingly good deals lately.”
Oren and Tal Alexander
Co-founders, the Alexander Team at Douglas Elliman, New York
Celebrity clients include the Weeknd, Kanye West and Timbaland. Highlights of 2020 include over $744 million in resale and new development sales with more than $500 million in Miami, including three of the city’s most expensive penthouses: 87 Park, Faena House and Arte. Facilitated the first, most-expensive sale post-COVID-lockdown in New York City, a $25 million townhouse on the Upper East Side; sold the most expensive penthouse in SoHo for $35 million; and sold out Gurney’s Residences in Montauk for $30 million; Representing sales at 111 W. 57th designed by Shop Architects with interiors by Studio Sofield, including the $50 million penthouse sale. Currently representing Tommy Hilfiger’s beachfront property and the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria. “The pandemic has emphasized the value of a home, with many of the amenities we considered luxuries becoming necessities,” notes Oren.
Douglas Elliman New York City
Top deals of 2020: 66 E. 11th St., $14 million; 152 Elizabeth St. $11 million; and 63 Greene St. $9.45 million. Current listings include 730 Fifth Ave. for $59.466 million. “COVID’s force-fed us a giant dose of humility — of course there’s been new technology to learn for presentations and ways to make/keep a connection when the world is at best masked and distanced if not totally virtual,” he says. “But more than anything it’s reinforced that so much of what we do is totally out of our control. The ‘therapist’ and counselor part of the job — which I love so much — has taken on even greater importance.”
The Corcoran Group
The top Hamptons agent racked up more than $340 million in 2020 sales plus over $20 million in rentals, adding to her career total of over $5 billion. Highlights in 2020 included 24 & 28 Gin Lane, Southampton, $38 million; 38 Two Mile Hollow Road, East Hampton, $24 million; 113 Mid Ocean Dr., Bridgehampton, $20 million; and 86 Highland Terrace, Bridgehampton, $17.725 million. “It was a very tough and challenging year because of the pandemic, especially at the beginning, but I never thought it’d be the great year it turned out to be, thanks to so many people suddenly having to work from home and moving out here permanently from New York,” she says.
Raphael De Niro
Founder, the De Niro Team at Douglas Elliman
Top sales for 2020 include 94 Mercer St. penthouse, $12.93 million; 3 Collister St. for $11.4 million; and units at 111 Murray St. for $11.4 million and $11 million; 390 West End Ave., 11G, for $6.5 million; and 7 Hubert St. 4A for $6.237 million. Current listings include 111 Murray St., penthouse 2, at $40 million. De Niro is also brand ambassador to multiple building projects including the XI. ”There are a lot more off-market properties quietly circulating now because people are worried about being exposed by having their homes open to the whole market,” he says. “We have to be sure we are staying even more connected so that we know about every property that might work for our buyers.”
Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes
Co-founders, the Eklund Gomes Team at Douglas Elliman
The 80-plus team did more than 720 deals and $2 billion in transactions in 2020 (closed and signed). Highlights include Sky Lane (asking $29.995 million), 24 Leonard St. 2 (asking $19.995 million) and 905 Corsica (asking $13.995 million). Celebrity clients include John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez and Bruce Willis. “We did a lot more virtual showings and created a lot of digital assets, and sold to clients who’d never physically entered the property,” says Eklund, star of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York.” “We really benefited from our expanding markets,” adds Gomes. “At the start of the pandemic, the California market was doing well, with a lot of Asian buyers. Then Miami got hot, and now Texas is the new hottest market.”
The veteran New York City agent is a consistent high producer and handles some of the top listings in the Big Apple. In 2020, Lambert was ranked the No. 1 residential broker in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal/Real Trends, with a sales volume of $761 million. Current listings include 160 E. 81st St. at $26 million, 80 Columbus Circle unit 74AB at $25 million and 555 W. End Ave., the Terrace Penthouse, at $22.5 million. Her web page includes this quote that underscores her success: “Buying or selling real estate should be clear, creative and, hopefully, fun.”
Douglas Elliman New York
Top sales of 2020: 160 Leroy St., N12B, $15 million; 160 Leroy St., N14A, $12.45 million; 1021 Park Ave., 10/11A, $11.5 million; 817 Fifth Ave., 5, $9.999 million; 1067 Fifth Ave., 10, $9 million; and 443 Greenwich, 2G, $8 million. “While March to Oct. 1 of 2020, was a difficult time, it allowed me the opportunity to sit back and decide how I wanted to move forward with my business,” Muss says. “I made sure to listen more carefully to buyers and become more stern with sellers. Sellers became more receptive to advice and began seeking expert opinions on the sales price of their home based on what was happening in the market both pre- and post-COVID.”
Clayton Orrigo & Stephen Ferrara
Hudson Advisory Team, Compass
Their 2020 sales volume was approximately $415 million. Highlights included the sale of 812 Fifth Ave. (Nelson Rockefeller’s former apartment that hadn’t traded hands in 63 years) for $9.95 million; and represented the seller on the sale of Tom Ford’s Tadao Ando-designed Santa Fe Ranch. Current listings include 212-214 W. 11th St., at $24.5 million. “[COVID] forced us to transition quickly to technology-based client services with a number of Compass tools,” they report. “It also allowed us to expand to other markets such as the Hamptons, something we long planned to do, where we are now in contract on one of the largest waterfront trades in Amagansett history. Over the course of the last year, we shifted our team’s marketing by bringing photography and all visual operations in-house, inclusive of videography, photography and Matterport [3D] models.”
Founder, the Holly Parker Team at Douglas Elliman
Notable sales of 2020 include 45 E. 22nd St., $45 million; 17 Jane St., $21.5 million; and 90 Morton St., $7.7 million. Currently representing sales for some of Manhattan’s most well-known residential developments, including 111 W. 57th St. designed by Shop Architects with interiors by Studio Sofield, with the penthouse listed at $66 million; units in 111 W. 57th at $28.5 million and 44 E. 22nd at $16.5 million. “We took on the role of a general during the pandemic. Our clients, tenants and buyers were terrified with all the unknowns. It was critical to listen to those fears and have a clear path forward. There was no room for our own doubt or pessimism,” she says.
Serhant used the lockdown to launch a new company, Serhant., which encompasses an in-house studio and production team, an in-house branding team and a proprietary technology platform. It also has a YouTube channel Listed, packed with lifestyle and real estate shows hosted by the Serhant agents. Oh, and he just published his second book, “Big Money Energy: How to Rule at Work, Dominate at Life, and Make Millions.” The “Million Dollar Listing New York” star says although 2020 started out with difficulties, “at the end of the year, there was great activity, and in the beginning of this year, business has been pretty awesome.” Among other luxury properties, his brokerage handles sales and marketing of the 68-story Brooklyn Point. Serhant’s shingle has closed more than $400 million in the five months of business. Some of Serhants’ clients include Marc Jacobs, Bella Hadid and Elie Tahari.
South Florida’s Alatriste closed a total of $110 million sales in 2020. Celebrity clients include Nikki Jam, Ozuna, Elle Macpherson, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning, Chris Bosch, Donald and Lisa Pliner, and Roy and Leah Black. Biggest sales of the past year: 64 La Gorce in Miami Beach, Cher’s former home. It sold for $17 million and she represented the seller; also sold Cash Money Records co-founder Bryan “Birdman” Williams a Palm Island estate for $10.9 million. “COVID’s made us be more cautious, more patient, more aware of the needs of both sellers and buyers. You have to take all the precautions to make everyone feel safe, and the Florida market has boomed,” Alatriste says.
Eloy Carmenate & Mick Duchon
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
The team closed on about $112 million in 2020, specifically in Miami Beach, with an additional $52 million-plus in pending sales to close. With lifetime sales of about $2.5 billion in real estate transactions, the team’s high-profile clientele include Bruce Eichner, the New York/Miami developer whose Continuum penthouse was listed for $39.9 million, and AQR Capital Management co-founder Cliff Asness, whose 321 Ocean penthouse sold for $22 million. “We had a record-breaking year with unprecedented sales and rentals from high-net-worth domestic buyers. Anyone that could leave dense urban markets has made the move. For many this was initially a rush to ride out the unknown implications of the pandemic. Now, it seems many have come to really appreciate the lifestyle and landscape of South Florida, which has turned the leasing into purchasing,” said the pair in a statement.
Sotheby’s Intl. Realty
Condon has been Sotheby’s top producer in Palm Beach for more than 25 years, and has sold over $1 billion of residential sales in Palm Beach over the past 10 years. With a boom in residential high-end sales, her top sales include 60 Blossom Way, $81 million; 589 N. County Road, $50 million; 800 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan, $33 million; and a new-construction British Colonial oceanfront estate in Palm Beach, last asking $59 million. Top current listings include a palatial 15-acre ocean-to-lake estate on Manalapan for $115 million and an oceanfront condo at 2 N. Breakers Row N42, $16.5 million.
Hogan logged $150 million-plus in 2020 sales. Top recent sales include 21 Casuarina Concourse, Coral Gables, $37.5 million; 9001 Collins Ave., Unit S-801, Surfside, at $13.5 million; 6365 Collins Ave.; and Unit TS-01, Miami Beach, $4.1 million. Top current listings include 94 Palm Ave., Miami Beach, $29.9 million; 3525 Anchorage Way, Coconut Grove, $17.9 million; and 6835 Fisher Island Dr., Unit #6835, Miami Beach, $6.8 million. “Since the lockdown ended, the Miami market has accelerated dramatically and is trading at a pace never experienced previously,” Hogan says. “In particular, the luxury market is on fire with the inventory being absorbed by out-of-state buyers from New York and California. The pandemic has had a really dramatic effect as the overall market resets to a new pricing level.”
Jill Eber, Jill Hertzberg and Judy Zeder
The Jills Zeder Group
The team, which is affiliated with the Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Intl. Luxury Alliance, has exceeded $1 billion in sales, with over 180 transaction sides and listed more than 160 properties, including single-family homes and condominiums. Current listings include 382 S. Beach Road, Hobe Sound on Jupiter Island, a classic estate listed at $59.9 million; 41 Arvida Parkway in Coral Gables, a waterfront estate listed at $49.9 million; and 11501 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, a Mediterranean estate listed at $14.9 million. “Consumers were very concerned [about COVID], and the quarantine changed the landscape immediately,” Jill Eber says. “Surprisingly, after a very minor pause, our business exploded,” Jill Hertzberg adds. Notes Judy Zeder: “Domestic buyers and local transfers fueled the boom in the highest-end market of luxury real estate.”
Principal at Robinson Group with Engel & Völkers Atlanta
Atlanta-based real estate agent Robinson hails from Michigan, but now calls the Big Peach her home. She launched the Robinson Group in 2002, and she has sold more than $800 million in properties. In 2020, Robinson sealed the deal for the highest real estate transaction completed in Georgia since 2016 with the sale of Tyler Perry’s former estate at a record $15 million. In 2020 alone, the Robinson Group cinched more than $50 million in sales. Celebrities such as Steve Harvey, Usher Raymond and Queen Latifah grace her team’s clientele list. “My team truly makes it possible for me to shine. My consistency of production in my over 25 year career could not happen without my loyal ace team,” she says. Like many other markets in the South, Atlanta is experiencing a major influx of out-of-state buyers. “Maybe it’s the sunshine and the leadership, but it’s clear that Atlanta is continuing to grow and will be stronger than ever before post-pandemic,” Robinson says.
Fridrich & Clark Realty
The president/managing partner of the Nashville outfit racked up total sales of $127 million-plus for 2020. Highlights included 610 Belle Meade Blvd. for $8 million; 200 Jackson Blvd., $6.825 million; 215 Deer Park, $4.275 million; 4416 Sheppard Pl., $4.5 million; 710 Jackson Blvd., $5.25 million; 960 Overton Lea, $7.3 million; and 1500 Chickering, $4.95 million. Current listings include 211 Deer Park Dr., $8 million; 301 Westview Ave., $4.25 million; and 4444 Tyne Blvd., $4.25 million. “Ironically, the pandemic has not affected the greater Nashville market, which had a record year. Our state has no individual income tax — a draw as well as the new trend of employees working remotely and efficiently. Property values are skyrocketing.”
President and CEO, the Wilson Group Real Estate Services
Native Nashvillian Wilson is one of the few women in the city to own her own firm. The Wilson Group currently employs more than 70 agents and specializes in both commercial and residential real estate as well as property management. Wilson possesses a deep knowledge of Nashville homes but says she still feels like a student of the industry — especially with the influx of interested parties coming from California, Chicago and New York. “With the pandemic, both the employee and employer realized people could work from your home and the floodgates just opened,” Wilson says. “That led to people so many people moving to Nashville that otherwise thought they were tied to their job.”
Ansley Real Estate
One of the top-selling agents in Georgia and the No. 1 agent in metro Atlanta for home sales over $2 million for the past decade, Ansley had 2020 sales of $267 million-plus. Top sales included 1145 W. Paces Ferry Road, $7.4 million and 10 W. Andrews St., $5.4 million. Current listings include 2520 Peachtree Road NW #2202 for $8.499 million and 3497 Woodhaven Road NW for $6.995 million. “The pandemic changed everything in Atlanta. People moved out to our resort areas as they could work remotely out of town, and people moved here from New York, Chicago. It was great for business and our company sales were up 59% from 2019.”
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Luxury Collection
In addition to being the No.1 individual agent at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Luxury Collection’s Buckhead office in Georgia, Johnston is also Atlanta’s top real luxury real estate agent and specializes in selling multi-million-dollar properties and also represents clients in the New York and Los Angeles markets. She’s ranked in the top half of the 1% of all Realtors globally and currently holds more than $60 million in listings, including three trophy properties. Johnston sets herself apart from her competitors through her marketing and advertising know-how that she picked up from years of working in corporate America. She closed $30 million in sales last year and is already on a roll going into 2021. “Atlanta is being dubbed the Hollywood of the South,” Johnston says. “A lot of my clients are in the movie or music industry. There’s lots of activity happening.”