Although LA’s top-tier real estate scene is known for its hyper-competitiveness and even some long-running feuds, good humor and camaraderie reigned at The Hollywood Reporter first Power Broker Awards, presented by The Society Group. Held as a private event in West Hollywood on Wednesday night, the honors were held in conjunction with the magazine’s 2021 list of Hollywood’s Top 30 Realtors, which honors the Greater Los Angeles Area’s top sellers based on volume overall transactions, MLS-listed sales to Hollywood customers and media exposure.
Many of the agents on this year’s list attended the frenzied cocktail party and dinner, where Sell ââSunsets Jason Oppenheim and million dollar list Douglas Elliman’s Matt Altman engaged in friendly back and forth.
“We like The Hollywood Reporter. We like the way they treat agents, and their lists are valid and important,â Altman said.
“But we don’t like the way they’re listed in alphabetical order,” Oppenheim added. “Because Matt Altman comes first every time!”
Throughout the night, however, there was also a feeling that elite Los Angeles agents were all in this together. âWe are the best,â said Sally Forster Jones of Compass while accepting the award from the Historic Architecture Officer. “You’re all the best, and getting to know you and being with you, learning from you and respecting you all has been amazing.”
Even Fredrik Eklund, star of million dollar list and one of the most well-known agents in the American real estate industry due to his presence on television, was a little stunned by the sight of so many Los Angeles power brokers gathered in one room . He moved to Los Angeles just two years ago.
“There are so many big, huge personalities that I’ve read about all my life as a foreigner coming to LA, so it really felt like a family affair,” he says. “It felt like there was friendly competition in that room, and despite all the trillions of dollars we’re competitively selling, it seemed like everyone was really happy to see each other.”
Participants included THR List of top 30 agents Juliette Hohnen from Douglas Elliman, Eric Lavey from Sotheby’s International Realty, Rochelle Atlas Maize from Nourmand & Associates, Cindy Ambuehl and Carl Gambino from Compass, Josh Myler from The Agency and Ikem Chukumerije from The Ikem Company.
After dinner and cocktails in a private dining room, brokers took their seats in a private screening room, where awards were presented for outstanding work in an unprecedented year. (Many agents have recently said The Hollywood Reporter that they achieve record sales in 2021, as many LA owners have sought to trade to bigger locations amid the pandemic.)
Kurt Rappaport, the co-founder of Westside Estate Agency, has won the Celebrity Property Portfolio award, which honors the agent whose deals for Hollywood’s elite have made headlines in the real estate newspapers for the past 12 months. Among his big sales in 2020 and 2021, according to public records, were transactions for clients including Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg and WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum. “It’s unexpected,” he said. “We work in a business where we choose who we work with, and sometimes we take that for granted, talk about the drudgery, and that’s a distinct pleasure, and thank you so much.”
Santiago Arana of The Agency received the Philanthropic Impact Award and, in the presence of his children, delivered a moving speech on the nature of giving back. âThere is nothing more rewarding than helping organizations or individuals who want to make the world a better place,â said Arana, who supports organizations such as Union Rescue Mission, Synergy International School and Give Back Homes. , which works with established charity partners to organize home building projects around the world.
Sally Forster Jones, Tomer Fridman and Tyrone McKillen of Compass and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland received The Agent of Historic Architecture award for their sale of the historic Owlwood Estate for $88 million (a grand Holmby Hills mansion from the 1960s). 1930 whose former owners include Cher, Tony Curtis and late 20th Century Fox chairman Joseph Schenck). During his acceptance speech, Forster Jones recounted their efforts to sell the house, showcasing its Hollywood history and making numerous television appearances. âWe were on Japanese television, and we were dubbed! she said.
Recognizing how television and social media are changing the world of real estate and amplifying its players, THR presented Oppenheim, co-founder of the Oppenheim Group, with The Media Maverick award. âI guess I got lucky with the Netflix show, and that definitely helped,â Oppenheim said of Sell ââthe sunset, which was renewed earlier this year for the fourth and fifth seasons. “I have to say I’ve had a few jobs in my life, a lawyer, really everything, but I have to say it’s the job I’ve enjoyed the most. I think it’s because of you guys. Even as a lawyer I got to work with some great people, but it wasn’t as fun as the people I work with now. Also in attendance were Oppenheim’s girlfriend and co-worker Sale of Sunsetstar, Chrishell Stause.
For Stratospheric Sale Angel award winners Salvador, Branden and Rayni Williams, all of The Beverly Hills Estates – who were honored for the $70 million sale of a nine-bedroom Bel Air estate last August to superstar singer The Weeknd – the THR award felt like sweet recognition. âI’ve been saying it forever, we realtors blow our bullets seven days a week, 24/7, and there’s no price. We finally got it here in Hollywood! Branden got excited on the podium.
Angel Salvador accepted. “We don’t get any recognition,” he said. âI remember going to change the batteries in a smoke detector for a client at midnight. And you don’t get kudos for it. Obviously you get the references â but getting recognition from your peers is special.
The awards portion of the evening also took time to recognize agents who were named in its real estate coverage as rising stars in the Los Angeles industry, including attendees Heather T. Roy and Learka Bosnak of Douglas Elliman, Lily Harfouche of Compass and Cooper Mount of L’Agence. Dalton Gomez of Compass, who was unable to attend the event, received the Rising Star award.
Rayni Williams hopes this will be just the first of many THR awards celebrating real estate in Los Angeles. “I think this is just the beginning,” she said. “I think we’re going to look back and be like, ‘Remember the first Power Brokers Awards?'”
But more important than the rewards was the ability for agents to reconnect after more than a year and a half of lockdown and virtual selling. “We really love how you all bring us together as friends – it’s a great event. We’re all very close and we never get to see each other,” Oppenheim said.
Later, guests continued the festivities at an afterparty held at an Outpost Estates home, the ASH Staging Concept House, hosted by ASH Staging, where Branden Williams added a touch of reality: “Well, this is only for one night, you know,” he said. “Then we have to wake up tomorrow and start fighting each other in the real estate wars again.”
This event was hosted by The Hollywood Reporter in conjunction with a paid brand partnership with The Society Group.