Last year was a challenging one for many agents in the US real estate market.
Limited stock numbers, rising mortgage rates charting close to 8 per cent and increasing prices dampened buyer enthusiasm.
Sales were slower for many agents, with Redfin noting the number of homes sold dropped 18.3 per cent in the year to November.
However, the Eklund Gomes team, at Douglas Elliman, remained relatively resilient.
Headed by former Million Dollar Listing star, Fredrik Ekland and John Gomes, the 80-agent team racked up $3.77 billion in sales.
Key sales included 64 University Place in Greenwich Village, which Ekland told The Hollywood Reporter he and Gomes bought into themselves and the 28 condominiums sold with record pricing in record time.
Eklund Gomes Team Chief Executive Officer Julia Spillman also revealed about 25 of the team’s agents wrote more than $1 million in commissions last year and many agents had a better year in 2023 than they did the previous year.
So, how did they do it?
- They went nationwide
Eckland told Hollywood Reporter the team didn’t put all its eggs in the one basket, and that operating in various states meant what they missed in a down market they picked up in a more buoyant one.
“All the markets had the same challenges because of the interest rates, but they all performed differently,” he said.
“Florida, of course, was very strong, New York is starting to come back with a vengeance, LA is defrosting and becoming very, very active in the last two weeks alone, the same with Texas, we’re seeing a lot of activity there.”
Eckland had taken time to expand and establish themselves in the various markets, in addition to being costly, but now they were building their numbers up.
“By being nationwide, it really allows us to hedge because if the market is not doing so well in California, as it was not, then we focus our business in Florida, where it was raging,” Gomes agreed.
- Active in various property price points
Once again the team opted for a multi-hit wonder strategy.
Rather than every agent working in the super prime price bracket, the team diversified.
“Some people are focused on high-end rentals, some people are focused on $1-3 million homes, some on $3-5 million, some people do $5-20 million,” Gomes says.
“It’s a balanced mix, and that to me is intentional and strategic.”
- A new development focus
The team also excelled in the niche area of new developments, as evidenced by the University Place sales.
“We’ve been lucky to have some of the best addresses and the most iconic new development projects,” Eckland says.