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These Agents Sell LA

Aaron Kirman is the chief executive of the Aaron Kirman Group and owner of Christie’s International Real Estate Beverly Hills. With more than $16 billion in luxury home sales, Kirman represents some of the finest estates across the globe and is consistently ranked in the top five luxury real estate agents in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal. Prior to opening Christie’s International Real Estate in Beverly Hills, Kirman was at brokerage firm Compass.

How did you first get into real estate?

I got into real estate by accident. Between the ages of 15 and 18 I worked as a waiter, and somehow ended up owing the house money because I wasn’t great with numbers. It was costing me money to work. I realized at that time I had to be my own boss. I knew what I was good at, and more importantly, I knew what I was not good at. So I got into selling houses.

Tell me about your choice to branch off on your own and open Christie’s International Real Estate’s Beverly Hills office.

I was actually part of it years and years ago with Hilton & Hyland. It was everything luxury, and at the time it felt like it was very grand in its own right. So fast-forward to 2022; we had gotten to a place with a very large team that we wanted to take the next step and move on to greener pastures. And we had no question on our end what that was when it came to an international presence, alignment with our existing clientele, and of course the way Christie’s defines luxury on a global scale.

What are some of the benefits and challenges that first came with being on your own?

The challenges are really the same from brokerage to brokerage, financial risk, competition, recruiting, etc … Honestly, it has been difficult, especially with the market that we walked into. However, the team I have in place to help the growth and management, the brand and what it stands for, the growth and reception we are seeing, is incredible. It allowed us to penetrate the market in ways that have otherwise been challenging, locally here in Los Angeles and even internationally.

What excites you most about a home?

The unique aspect of any given home is something I love. Every house that we have taken on has been unique in some way, in its own way. It’s an ever-evolving landscape with each house we have taken on, and that keeps us up to date with the latest trends, things that aren’t working, things that are.

Within Los Angeles, which neighborhoods are you most passionate about, and why?

Santa Monica captures the essence of California’s coastal living with its stunning beaches and lively downtown. It’s a place where I’ve called home, and it’s overdelivered on everything I was expecting from it. The growth the city has seen offers just about any type of residential offering you can imagine.

And then there’s Bel Air, it’s exclusive, it’s a haven, it’s sophisticated, it’s breathtaking. Bel Air has had the unique ability to show the rest of the world year after year what the benchmark for luxury is. It offers the latest and greatest. It’s always changing, and never for the worse.

Tell me about the size of your team. How has it grown since its inception?

Well, right now I don’t have a team. Ever since we started the brokerage, every agent has been on their own. We started out with maybe 10 of us when we were at John Aaroe (Group), and that blossomed into 75 or so and continued to grow. Right now, the brokerage is all independent agents, which is around 180 agents and juniors.

What’s it like to run a brokerage in addition to being an agent?

Running a brokerage while also working as an agent has been both rewarding and demanding. On one hand, it offers a unique opportunity to have a direct impact on the direction and success of the brokerage, while also maintaining a hands-on role in serving clients and closing deals. As an agent-broker, you have the autonomy to set the vision for the brokerage. However, running a brokerage alongside an active agent role also comes with its share of challenges. Overall, it’s been something extremely rewarding.

How do you balance the two?

The right management team. Balancing the responsibilities of managing the brokerage with the demands of serving clients and closing transactions requires strong time management and organizational skills, something I hope I can say I have. Additionally, wearing multiple hats can be mentally and emotionally taxing, so I have a great team in place to help with a lot of those things that come up. It’s vital to have that structure and management team to still practice as an agent while running the brokerage.

How did 2023 compare to other years for you?

You really can’t compare 2023 to others. It was a year unlike any other in recent memory. The market dynamics were unprecedented, marked by a combination of factors that presented both opportunities and obstacles for agents and their clients. Overall, 2023 will be remembered as a year of resilience, adaptability and perseverance for Los Angeles real estate agents. While the market presented its fair share of challenges, it also underscored the importance of expertise, diligence, and a client-centric approach in achieving success in even the most demanding of environments.

What are your expectations for 2024?

I am optimistic and hopeful about the prospects for growth, expansion and rebounding in 2024. Despite the challenges and uncertainties of recent times, I see several factors that point towards a positive trajectory for the real estate market in the coming year. My expectations for 2024 are high when it comes to the Los Angeles real estate market. While challenges may still exist, I am confident that the resilience, adaptability and enduring appeal of the Los Angeles market will pave the way for a prosperous and thriving year ahead.

https://labusinessjournal.com/special-reports/la-real-estate/

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