A lot of people grow up wanting to be rockstars or ball players or astronauts – others of us want to be real estate agents. And let’s be real, we are superstars! From Los Angeles to New York, there are many agents that rock the socks off the real estate world, and I’m going to tell you about 10 of the most famous real estate agents who’ve made their mark in the industry through their unique approach, exceptional skills, and impressive track records. Plus, some tips on how to replicate this success for yourself. 

1. Mauricio Umansky

Headshot of Mauricio Umansky.
(Source: The Agency)
  • Brokerage Affiliation: The Agency
  • Target Market Location: Globally in 10 countries
  • Niche Market: Luxury real estate
  • Notable Property Sale: Playboy Mansion

Background: Mauricio Umansky is the co-founder and CEO of The Agency, a luxury real estate brokerage based in California. Mauricio’s journey in real estate began early on. He grew up in Mexico City, where his father was a successful businessman. Inspired by his father’s work, Mauricio ventured into the real estate industry and quickly made a name for himself as one of the most famous real estate agents. He started his career in real estate in 1996 and founded The Agency in 2011, which has since become a renowned brokerage with a global reach.

How he does it: With a passion for high-end properties, Mauricio has an impressive reputation in the industry among other famous real estate brokers. His niche lies in luxury real estate as a trusted advisor to affluent clients seeking exceptional properties. Mauricio’s success can be attributed to his extensive knowledge of the market, strong negotiation skills, and personalized approach to each client’s needs. He has been involved in numerous high-profile deals and several multimillion-dollar estates in Los Angeles. Mauricio’s ability to cultivate strong relationships with clients has positioned him as one of the top real estate agents in California.

Mauricio Umansky’s Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business

  • The luxury market demands impeccable service and the utmost discretion. Strive to deliver a personalized, white-glove experience to your clients.
  • Networking is key in the luxury real estate market. Connect with influential individuals and build relationships with professionals catering to high-net-worth clients, such as luxury property developers, architects, interior designers, and wealth managers.
  • Familiarize yourself with the unique needs and expectations of affluent buyers and sellers. This knowledge will allow you to position yourself as an expert in the luxury market and provide valuable insights to your clients.

2. Fredrik Eklund

Headshot of Fredrik Eklund.
(Source: Douglas Elliman)

Background: Fredrik’s journey in real estate began when he moved to New York City in 2003. Initially, he started as an entrepreneur, establishing a successful internet company. However, his passion for real estate led him to transition into the industry in 2005. Fredrik’s innate sales skills and magnetic personality quickly set him apart from his peers. These skills propelled him to become one of the leading agents on the reality TV show “Million Dollar Listing New York.”

How he does it: As one of the most famous realtors, Fredrik specializes in luxury residential properties as a top agent at Douglas Elliman. He has earned a reputation for securing some of the most prestigious deals in Manhattan. Fredrik’s success lies in his ability to create a captivating narrative around each property he represents, showcasing their unique features and potential. His marketing ability, combined with a relentless work ethic, has led him to achieve record-breaking sales and become one of the most sought-after agents in New York City. 

Fredrik Eklund’s Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business

  • Create a professional website that showcases your services, expertise, and listings. 
  • Establish yourself as a knowledgeable and trustworthy professional by offering value through educational seminars, workshops, or informative blog posts. 
  • Have a strong elevator pitch ready. Identify your niche market, specialization, or key strengths that make you stand out.
"Just listed" marketing materials for a property through online and direct mail.
Marketing automation for listing agents (Source: Market Leader)

Market Leader is a leading marketing platform in the real estate industry. It provides innovative solutions to help real estate professionals grow their businesses. With its comprehensive suite of tools and resources, Market Leader empowers agents and brokers to generate and nurture leads, manage client relationships, and streamline their marketing efforts. The platform offers automated marketing campaigns, customizable websites, and a mobile application to enhance agent productivity and drive business growth.

3. Jason Oppenheim

Background: Jason Oppenheim is the founder and president of The Oppenheim Group. He has established himself as a prominent figure in the luxury real estate market, particularly in Los Angeles. Jason and his brother, Brett Oppenheim, are both real estate agents and stars of the popular Netflix series “Selling Sunset.” Jason’s journey in real estate began after he earned his law degree and worked as an attorney. His passion for real estate led him to transition into the industry, and he founded The Oppenheim Group in 2008. 

How he does it: With his business acumen and deep market knowledge, Jason quickly established the firm as a leading player in the luxury real estate market. With a focus on high-end properties, Jason has successfully represented clients in the sale and acquisition of some of the most prestigious estates in the city. His expertise lies in luxury properties, and he has built a strong reputation for his meticulous attention to detail, market knowledge, and strong negotiation skills.

Jason Oppenheim’s Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business

  • Keep a close eye on market cycles and fluctuations to identify favorable times to encourage clients to buy a house. 
  • When it’s a seller’s market with low inventory and high demand, it may be an opportune time to share with clients that they should list a property and maximize the potential for a quick and profitable sale. 
  • Stay informed about changes in market trends, pricing patterns, and supply and demand dynamics.
  • Utilize reputable sources, such as local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data, industry reports, and economic indicators, to gain insights into market conditions and help clients make informed decisions.

4. Josh Altman

Background: Josh Altman moved to Los Angeles after college to pursue a career in real estate. Initially, he started as a real estate investor and flipper, but his career took shape when he joined Hilton & Hyland, a prestigious brokerage in Los Angeles. He quickly made a name for himself, closing significant deals and establishing strong client relationships. He joined Douglas Elliman in 2010, where he continues to thrive and set new benchmarks in luxury real estate.

How he does it: Josh is an influential figure in the real estate industry specializing in luxury properties in Beverly Hills and Bel Air. His niche lies in the representation of high-net-worth individuals, assisting them in the acquisition and sale of multimillion-dollar estates. Josh’s success can be attributed to his unmatched determination and strong negotiation skills. His dynamic approach and ability to adapt to changing market conditions have propelled him to have such a successful career in real estate. 

Josh Altman’s Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business

  • Establish a strong network of real estate professionals, including agents, wholesalers, and property managers. They can provide valuable leads and insights on off-market properties, distressed properties, or properties with renovation potential. 
  • Prioritize renovations that offer a good return on investment, considering both cost and market appeal. 
  • Before purchasing a property, conduct comprehensive market research and analysis to ensure you are investing in the right location. 

5. Cathy Franklin

Headshot of Cathy Franklin.
(Source: Corcoran)
  • Brokerage Affiliation: The Corcoran Group
  • Target Market Location: New York
  • Niche Market: Luxury properties in Manhattan
  • Notable Property Sale: 109 East 79th

Background: Cathy specializes in luxury properties in Manhattan, New York, and tops my list of the most famous real estate agents with over three decades of experience. As part of The Corcoran Group, Cathy’s honed her skills to build a strong foundation in the luxury real estate market. She also has received many accolades for her career in real estate including recognition by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Real Trends as one of the top 1% of agents in the US.

How she does it: Cathy has established herself as a trusted advisor to high-profile clients seeking upscale homes in the city. Her commitment to helping clients achieve their real estate goals has contributed to her long-standing success in the industry. Understanding the unique needs of her clients and guiding them through the complex real estate process of purchasing in the Big Apple has earned her a reputation as a top agent in Manhattan.

Cathy Franklin’s Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business

  • Take an inventory of your skills, experiences, and areas of expertise within real estate to identify your niche. Identify what sets you apart from others and the specific knowledge or talents you bring to the table.
  • Conduct thorough market research to identify emerging trends, underserved areas, or niche markets within real estate. 
  • Define your ideal target audience based on demographics, interests, and specific needs. Consider who you enjoy working with and who could benefit the most from your expertise. 

6. Ryan Serhant

Headshot of Ryan Serhant.
(Source: SERHANT.)
  • Brokerage Affiliation: SERHANT.
  • Target Market Location: New York
  • Niche Market: Luxury properties in Manhattan and Brooklyn
  • Notable Property Sale: World’s tallest penthouse

Background: Ryan Serhant is the founder of SERHANT., a highly accomplished real estate agent specializing in luxury properties in Manhattan and Brooklyn. As one of the most well-known real estate agents, is journey in real estate began when he joined a small brokerage in New York City. Ryan gained recognition beyond real estate through his appearances on the reality TV show “Million Dollar Listing New York” and his book “Sell It Like Serhant,” which is a bestseller. 

How he does it: He is one of the top real estate agents in the USA known for his unmatched energy and relentless drive—helping Ryan build a reputation as one of the top agents and most successful real estate brokers in New York City. His niche lies in the representation of high-profile clients and the sale of high-end residential properties. He also is extremely active on social media platforms like Instagram, which showcases his strong branding and personality. 

Ryan Serhant’s Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business

  • Position yourself as a trusted authority by sharing valuable content related to the real estate industry. Write blog articles, create informative videos on Instagram, or host live Q&A sessions that offer insights on home buying, selling, staging, market trends, and local community information. 
  • Social media is a two-way communication channel, so actively engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and inquiries in a timely manner. Leverage social media tools to help you encourage conversation with prospective clients by asking questions, running polls, and soliciting feedback. 
  • Real estate is highly visual, so leverage social media marketing companies to help you showcase high-quality photos and videos of your properties. Use professional photography, virtual tours, and drone footage to highlight the unique features and selling points of each property.

7. Jade Mills

Background: Jade Mills is one of the top famous realtors affiliated with Coldwell Banker Realty. Jade began her real estate career in 1979 and quickly rose to prominence due to her dedication and passion for the industry. With over three decades of experience, Jade has established herself as one of the leading agents in the luxury real estate market. Her niche lies in representing affluent clients seeking exclusive properties in one of the most desirable locations in Los Angeles.

How she does it: Jade’s success can be attributed to her exceptional market knowledge, strong negotiation skills, and unwavering commitment to her clients. She has achieved numerous record-breaking sales and has been involved in high-profile transactions. Some of her accolades throughout her career include being recognized as the number one real estate agent in the world by Coldwell Banker. 

Jade Mills’ Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business

  • Dedicate time to research and analyze market trends, statistics, and data. Utilize resources, such as real estate reports, industry publications, and online platforms, that provide market insights. 
  • Engage with other real estate professionals by attending industry events or joining professional associations. Collaborating with industry peers can provide a broader perspective on the market and help you stay informed about new developments and opportunities.
  • Invest in ongoing education and professional development to stay ahead in a dynamic market. Attend seminars, workshops, and webinars to enhance your understanding of real estate principles.
Profile of a lead on Zillow platform.
Sample lead profile (Source: Zillow)

To help agents generate leads and grow their business, Zillow is used by many famous real estate agents. It provides a comprehensive database of property listings, allowing users to search for homes, apartments, and other real estate properties. Since Zillow is the go-to resource for home buyers, sellers, and renters, it’s a great opportunity for real estate agents to list their listings or participate in their Zillow Premier program to purchase leads. 

8. Josh Flagg

Headshot of Josh Flagg.
(Source: Douglas Elliman)

Background: Josh’s real estate journey began at a young age when he was still in high school. He gained widespread recognition and is among popular real estate agents through his appearances on the TV show “Million Dollar Listing.” His exceptional track record has positioned him as the top volume agent in Los Angeles and the second-highest agent in terms of sales in the entire state of California.

How he does it: With an aptitude for sales and a keen eye for unique opportunities, Josh has achieved remarkable success in the competitive Los Angeles market. Josh Flagg is a highly regarded real estate agent specializing in luxury properties. Josh has set numerous sales records and has a reputation for his ability to navigate complex transactions with ease. He has records for the highest sale in the history of Brentwood Park. 

Josh Flagg’s Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business

  • Establish a robust online brand and presence through a well-designed website, active social media profiles, and engaging content. 
  • Clearly articulate what sets your business apart from competitors and identify the unique value you bring to clients. Communicate this value proposition consistently across your branding materials and marketing efforts to differentiate yourself in the market.
  • Gain in-depth knowledge of the luxury real estate market in your area. Understand the unique demands and trends specific to high-end properties. 

9. Joyce Rey

Headshot of Joyce Rey.
(Source: Joyce Rey)
  • Brokerage Affiliation: Coldwell Banker Realty
  • Target Market Location: California
  • Niche Market: Luxury real estate in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills
  • Notable Property Sale: Nimes Road

Background: Joyce Rey has an impressive career spanning over four decades and established herself as a trailblazer in the industry. In 1978, she achieved an unprecedented feat by becoming the first agent to sell a home worth $4 million. This exceptional sale involved a house owned by the iconic duo Sonny & Cher. In 1979, she established Rodeo Realty, a prestigious real estate firm exclusively specializing in the sale of properties valued at $1 million and above.

During the 1990s, Joyce made history once again as the buyer and seller agent on a $30 million property. It set a record for the highest-selling property in Bel Air for that decade. In 2010, she secured her place in real estate history by selling the highest-priced residential property in the United States at an impressive $72 million.

How she does it: Joyce’s remarkable career is marked by a series of record-breaking sales, making her one of the top-selling real estate agents. Her unstoppable attitude has brought her longevity in the real estate industry. She continues to educate young real estate professionals on her team so they can provide unparalleled services to the next generation of buyers. 

Joyce Rey’s Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business

  • Actively prospect and network to generate listings by reaching out to potential sellers, attending community events, building relationships with local businesses, and utilizing online platforms.
  • Develop a compelling listing presentation that showcases your expertise, market knowledge, and unique value proposition.
  • Create a detailed listing marketing plan that outlines your strategies for promoting and maximizing exposure for each property.

10. Cindy Ambuehl

Background: Cindy Ambuehl is affiliated with Christie’s International Real Estate and specializes in luxury homes around Los Angeles. Prior to her real estate career, Cindy had a successful career as an actress, appearing in television shows such as “JAG” and “Seinfeld.” Cindy’s foray into real estate began after she transitioned from acting to pursuing her passion for luxury homes and interior design. She was ranked as the #20 agent in California and #40 agent in the nation based on her sales volume. 

How she does it: Cindy brings a unique perspective to the real estate industry with her strong background in acting and modeling. Her exceptional performance has earned her recognition as one of Los Angeles’ Top 100 Real Estate Agents by the Los Angeles Business Journal. She was also one of Hollywood’s Top 30 Real Estate Agents by The Hollywood Reporter. Her array of careers has helped her become one of the best real estate agents because of her adaptability and ability to create a brand beyond her acting career.

Cindy Ambuehl’s Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business

  • Establish a consistent and visually appealing brand aesthetic that reflects your business values and target audience. Use consistent color schemes, typography, and staging furniture to create a cohesive and memorable brand. 
  • Prioritize functionality and user experience in your interior design projects. Understand your client’s needs and design spaces to make them aesthetically pleasing but also practical and functional. 
  • Employing curb appeal as a strategy is crucial for attracting buyers as it enhances the visual appeal of a property which can significantly increase interest and market value.

Tips for All Successful Real Estate Agents

Most famous real estate agents require a unique combination of skills, knowledge, and determination. It’s essential to develop a strategic approach that sets you apart from the competition, whether you’re just starting your career or are experienced. From building strong relationships to honing your negotiation skills, these agent tips will provide you with actionable tools to thrive in a dynamic real estate career and be like the most successful realtors. 

Here are five valuable tips that can help you on your journey to becoming a successful real estate agent:

  • Build a strong network: Networking is crucial in the real estate industry. Cultivate relationships with colleagues, clients, and professionals in related fields, such as mortgage brokers and attorneys. Attend industry events or join professional associations to expand your network and gain valuable referrals.
  • Develop a unique personal brand: Differentiate yourself from the competition by creating a compelling personal brand. Define your unique value proposition and identify your target market. Craft a professional and engaging online presence. This includes a well-designed website and active social media profiles to showcase your expertise and attract potential clients.
  • Continuously educate yourself: Stay updated on industry trends, market conditions, and legal regulations. Invest in ongoing education and professional development to enhance your skills and knowledge. Obtaining a real estate mentor can also assist with your success. By staying informed and up-to-date, you position yourself as a trusted and reliable client resource.
  • Master the art of communication: Effective communication is essential in real estate. Develop excellent listening skills to understand your clients’ needs and preferences. Communicate complex information clearly in a way that is easily understood by your clients. Promptly respond to inquiries and keep all parties involved informed throughout the transaction process.
  • Provide exceptional customer service: Going above and beyond for your clients is a key differentiator to becoming a successful real estate agent. Strive to exceed expectations by delivering exceptional customer service. Be responsive, attentive, and reliable. Show genuine care for your client’s needs and provide them with a positive and memorable experience. Satisfied clients are more likely to refer you to others and become repeat customers.

By implementing these five agent tips, you can position yourself for success in the real estate industry. Most successful real estate agents have a strong network, and developing a unique brand and exceptional customer service will set you apart and help you thrive in this competitive field. Success in real estate is a journey. Having dedication, perseverance, and a strategic approach will assist you in achieving your goals and building a rewarding career as a real estate agent.

Bringing It All Together 

The success stories of these famous real estate agents serve as a source of inspiration and valuable lessons for new agents entering the industry. Their achievements are a testament to the power of hard work, perseverance, and a commitment to excellence. Each agent has carved their own niche and established themselves as leaders in their respective markets. By studying their journeys, new agents can gain insights into the strategies, qualities, and values that have propelled these agents to the pinnacle of success.

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