The Eklund-Gomes team has declared manifest destiny.
Douglas Elliman’s top broker team is expanding to Los Angeles, in a move aimed to take advantage of market crossover among its clients. The foray into a new market comes as Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes have opened a new 10,000-square-foot office at 936 Broadway in New York.
While Elliman limits broker teams to 10 members, Eklund said he and Gomes met with brokerage chief Howard Lorber about a year ago and asked him to make an exception. With his approval, the team started searching for their own office space in New York — and has been planning the L.A. expansion since the spring.
“We’ve always flirted with the notion of going to LA,” Gomes said. “We were referring a lot of business out there and thought, isn’t that a missed opportunity for us?”
The new arrangement gives them the sort of autonomy as other star broker teams, like Nest Seekers International’s Ryan Serhant, whose team has 54 members — and also a presence in LA. Eklund-Gomes, of “Million Dollar Listing New York” fame, has added four agents in L.A. and has 23 in New York. The pair is interviewing agents for both locations but said they’re in no hurry to add headcount and have no firm growth targets.
“We want to take it slow there,” Eklund said. “We’re not in any way slowing down business on the East Coast.”
The team’s West Coast presence piggybacks on Elliman’s increased footprint there. Last year, the brokerage acquired Beverly Hills-based Teles Properties — a deal that added more than 500 agents and 20 offices to its operation and made Elliman one of the largest residential players on the West Coast.
Both Eklund and Gomes will be licensed in California but continue to spend majority of their time in New York, they said. The team said last year that it would no longer participate in rankings. In The Real Deal’s ranking of Manhattan’s top agents, the team was No. 3, with $259.2 million in closed sales in 2017. Roughly $188 million of that sales volume was in new development.