The Hollywood Reporter’s Power Broker Awards Recognize L.A.’s Top Real Estate Agents
James Harris, Bond Street Partners at The Agency, joked that “It’s great that you got all the lunatics together!”
This feeling of gratitude and jovial collegiality was in the air at The Hollywood Reporter’s second annual Power Broker Awards, presented by The Society Group and sponsored by ASH Staging and the REAL real-estate messaging app on Sept. 20. The ceremony was held at Heimat, a private members-only fitness club in the Hollywood Media District. It was attended by new blood and old legends who made deals and hugs. The honors were held in conjunction with THR‘s 2022 list of Hollywood’s Top 30 Real Estate Agents, honoring top sellers in the greater Los Angeles area based on MLS-listed sales to Hollywood clients, overall deal volume and media visibility.
The awards were hosted by Selling Sunset stars Jason Oppenheim and Mary Fitzgerald — with Oppenheim finding an opportunity to gently rib the Altman brothers for being absent (absent since the Altmans, stars of a competitor series, Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles, were flying back from Dubai).
Rayni Williams of The Beverly Hills Estates and Branden Williams, winners of The Celebrity Property Portfolio Award, expressed excitement at being recognized by the magazine. Rayni stated in her acceptance speech that “The properties are the stars…these illustrious property… and ofcourse our famous clients.” We get nothing, right? We are all here to work and grind, and we get to do it together which is great. It’s nice to be acknowledged. Thank you .”
Additional Power Broker Awards winners included Westside Estate Agency co-founder Kurt Rappaport, who won the Stratospheric Sale Award for a $177 million transaction in Malibu (the second-highest-priced sale in the U.S. in 2021), and Hilton & Hyland’s Linda May, who won the Agent of Historic Architecture Award, presented by Andrew Bowen and Samantha Atlas of ASH Staging. May’s deals in the last 12 months included sales of the Paul Williams-designed Bellagio Estate, the late Yvette Mimieux’s Il Sogno property and the Hearst Estate.
Oppenheim noted the importance of the list, now in its 10th year, in his own career. He recalls that he was far from being on any other type of list when the list was first published. “I can still remember when it was first released, and I was so far away from being on this list and this was my ultimate list,” he said. “I read it. I read everything everyone said. I knew all the agents involved in it, and honestly I never imagined that I would make it. It’s personal to me, it’s my passion.” He also credited an ad he placed in The Hollywood Reporter for helping him land Selling Sunset ,, now with its own spinoff, Selling OC .
He also expressed gratitude to Joyce Rey, Coldwell Banker’s recipient of the Philanthropic Impact Award for her mentorship during his early days as an agent. Rey gave a touching acceptance speech about how her high-powered career has allowed her to give back to the community.
Rey, co-chair of UNICEF’s Southern California board, stated, “First of all I’m overwhelmed just being here and to be part this incredible evening with you all,” “Our profession and business are such a wonderful way to live. It has given us all such an amazing opportunity and the blessing of a great salary. Giving back is the most important thing in this life. I can’t remember a time when I was more happy being involved in a charitable organization. It didn’t matter if it was the St. Joseph Center for the Homeless, the American Cancer Society, or Coldwell Banker’s CB Cares [the brokerage’s educational foundation] – it made me feel even better than making a deal. … It doesn’t matter what I do to help others, it makes me feel even more than making a deal
In fact, thankfulness seemed to be a theme of the evening, with first-time list maker Neyshia Go of Sotheby’s International Realty discussing her relationship with her former boss and mentor (and fellow member of the 2022 Top 30 List) Aaron Kirman of Compass. “He played a part in my wedding. She says that this is how important our relationship is. “And even though I’ve moved on, I’m enjoying a great career with Sotheby’s, but we’re still very close. Aaron and the other colleagues I work with on this list have maintained great friendships. We’ve all been to each others’ houses for barbecues or vacations together.
Jacob Greene, a Rising Star Award recipient, is perhaps the most memorable story about mentorship. Greene spoke about his time as a teenager in the mailroom of a talent agency. He was driving down Sunset in his mother’s station wagon when he saw Josh Altman’s flashy sportscar.
“I said, “I’m going follow him and let’s see what happens,” and I literally followed him until he pulled up in front. I replied, “Josh Altman. My name is Jacob Greene.” You must hire me. You guys know Josh. He’s like, ‘All right, bro. It sounds good. So I harassed him, his brother, and him. I finally got in there and said, “I’ll do what I can.” I’m going to do my best
The rest is history.
Greene accepted the Media Maverick Award, presented by Thomas Ma, founder of REAL, on behalf the winning Altman Brothers team.
After a year of uncertain sales and rising interest rates, there was a sense of relief among the room of experienced pros and eager newcomers. They were grateful to have survived the storm with the positive attitude that is typical of L.A. power agent. Blair Chang, list honoree of The Agency, said, “It’s a little more challenging, but with the challenges comes reinvention and with reinvention comes incredible things.” “I always see the glass half full, no matter how difficult it gets. We’re still having an amazing year. It’s been great fun.”
In reality, in an industry known for backbiting and snipping, the glittering evening was free of the usual rancor, even with gentle prodding. David Parnes, Bond Street Partners, smiled when he was asked if he didn’t want to see anyone. He said, “I’m excited for everyone.” “It’s nice to be able to celebrate and appreciate one another in the industry. No, I’m truly, really grateful to have been included. Truthfully. I don’t offer anything else on the !”
Don’t be fooled, these agents are at the top for a reason. When former pro basketball player Marco Salari of Coldwell Banker, a THR 2022 Rising Star nominee, was asked who was more competitive — Los Angeles real estate agents or basketball players — he smiled. “Real estate, I would choose .”
Also making the rounds were THR Top 30 list makers including Coldwell Banker’s Jade Mills, Hilton & Hyland’s Drew Fenton and Justin Paul Huchel, The Agency’s Santiago Arana, Nourmand & Associates’ Rochelle Atlas Maize, The Ikem Company’s Ikem Chukumerije, Compass’ Tomer Fridman, Carl Gambino and F. Ron Smith and David Berg of the Smith & Berg Team, Douglas Elliman’s Juliette Hohnen, Amalfi Estates’ Anthony Marguleas and The Beverly Hills Estates’ Angel Salvador.
Below is the complete list of nominees, winners, and additional photos
STRATOSPHERIC SALE AWARD (for a major single sale)
Aaron Kirman, Compass
Kurt Rappaport, Westside Estate Agency (WINNER)
Branden and Rayni Williams. The Beverly Hills Estates
PHILANTHROPIC IMPACT AWARD
Chris Cortazzo, Compass
Anthony Marguleas – Amalfi Estates
Joyce Rey, Coldwell Banker (WINNER)
CELEBRITY PROPERTY PORTFOLIO AWARD (to a trusted agent of Hollywood clients)
Tomer Fridman. Compass
James Harris and David Parnes, Bond Street Partners, The Agency
Branden and Rayni Williams, The Beverly Hills Estates (WINNER)
AGENT OF HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE AWARD (for an agent who puts special care into deals for venerable residences)
Drew Fenton, Hilton & Hyland
Linda May, Hilton & Hyland (WINNER)
Jade Mills, Coldwell Banker
MEDIA MAVERICK AWARD (for innovative marketing)
Josh and Matt Altman, The Altman Brothers at Douglas Elliman (WINNER)
Rochelle Atlas Maize Nourmand & Associates
Umansky Team, The Agency
RISING STAR AWARD
Kati Cattaneo Sotheby’s International Realty
Jacob Greene, Douglas Elliman (WINNER)
Marco Salari, Coldwell Banker
Kevin Stewart, The Agency
Caroline Wolf, Compass
of the Jenna Cooper Team
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.