This Swedish meatball’s act has gone a little stale.
After touting his position at the top of New York’s brokerage ranking for years – even including it in his email signature and contesting any rankings that dared say otherwise – Douglas Elliman’s Fredrik Eklund said he will no longer participate in rankings.
“My team was always competing against ourselves anyway,” Eklund wrote on Instagram Tuesday, in an act of apparent altruism. He declared that lists “create more headaches than they do good, taking away from the real price (sic)” and ended by encouraging aspiring agents to never give up.
There are plenty of top-echelon agents who don’t participate in these rankings, done by The Real Deal and other industry publications and based on factors such as total volume of listings or total closed sales. Serena Boardman, for example, is a perennial top agent who led TRD’s ranking of top resale brokers this year, but stays mum. Coming from Eklund though, it seems a little rich: A master of self-promotion, he is someone who has splashed the results of previous years’ rankings all over his formidable social media empire. In July 2014, he shared TRD’s ranking in which he and business partner John Gomes took the top spot, adding that he had sent the link to the story to his parents. In November 2014, he described himself as “the number one agent in NYC this century.”
In 2015, Eklund and Gomes played up TRD’s rankings and berated the ranking done by Real Trends. In TRD’s ranking, which was based on total dollar volume of listings taken from a single-day snapshot of On-Line Residential, Eklund-Gomes were on top of the heap, but on Real Trends’ ranking, which is based on self-reported numbers, they placed sixth.
“It appears as though there is some confusion over who the #1 real estate team in NY is,” Gomes wrote on Instagram, making a case that TRD’s ranking is based on hard facts whereas Real Trends’ ranking could be manipulated.
Eklund’s Instagram bio continues to describe him as “The #1 real estate team nationwide at Elliman.”
In TRD’s top agent ranking this June, which was for the first time determined by total dollar volume of closed sales in 2016, the Eklund-Gomes team came in fourth, with $373.8 million in closed sales. They were bested by colleagues such as Raphael De Niro and Holly Parker, as well as Alexa Lambert’s team at Stribling. Predictably, Eklund did not promote the story about the rankings this year.
Going forward, “we won’t be on any lists and won’t submit our data to anyone,” Eklund added in his Instagram post.
In this, Eklund is following in the footsteps of other star brokers who removed themselves from the running when they lost the top spot. Dolly Lenz did the same thing when she was back at Elliman. And other firms, such as Los Angeles-based luxury brokerage Hilton & Hyland, refused to provide their numbers for Real Trends’ ranking.
Luckily, TRD’s rankings carry on whether or not brokers participate. So do check in next year to see how Eklund fared.