John Aaroe Group closes Calabasas office — two months after opening

The brokerage’s presence in Calabasas lasted less than a school’s summer vacation

Sep.September 06, 2017 08:00 AM
Major players in Calabasas, from left: John Aaroe, the Kardashians, Tomer Fridman, Mauricio Umansky, Ernie Wish (credit: Calabasas, Getty, John Aaroe, Tomer Fridman, Mauricio Umansky, Ernie Wish)

In the Kardashian’s kingdom, it was a quick “hi” and “bye” for John Aaroe Group.

The brokerage firm’s Calabasas office at 23647 Calabasas Road closed its doors last week — just two months after opening, The Real Deal has learned. Several John Aaroe agents were fired as a result of the closing, and have moved on to other firms, sources said.

The brokerage opened the 7,000-square-foot location on July 6, just months after it was acquired by San Francisco-based brokerage Pacific Union. Ewing & Associates, a division of Sotheby’s International Realty, previously held the space — and John Aaroe hired some, but not all, of its agents.

A representative of John Aaroe’s Beverly Hills office confirmed the closure Tuesday. The website for the office now leads to an error page. John Aaroe, the president of the brokerage, said it shuttered because of leadership struggles.

“Regardless of how well-positioned the location may be, no John Aaroe Group office can be successful without ideal leadership,” he said in an emailed statement. “Unfortunately, we were not able to find the right management to oversee and support our Calabasas agents.”

A few of the brokers from the Calabasas office will still do business out of the Sherman Oaks office, according to John Aaroe spokesperson.

The company remains “bullish on expanding,” Aaroe said.

The tumultuous residential brokerage drama in Calabasas began when venture-capital-rich Compass poached Tomer Fridman — the go-to broker for the Kardashian family — in April. The brokerage also poached several of his colleagues — enough to shutter Ewing’s office. John Aaroe swooped in two months later and took over the lease.

Around the same time, Ernie Wish opened Wish Sotheby International Realty down the street, hiring 25 former Ewing agents. While not involved in the drama, the Agency, has also added to the competition in Calabasas, after opening its first Valley office there in June.

Now, John Aaroe Group has closed its own doors — and some insiders wonder whether the suburban city, catapulted to fame by the reality star franchise, is oversaturated.

“I don’t expect big growth there,” Michael Nourmand, president of Nourmand & Associates, told The Real Deal in July. “You have a finite number of sales and more companies opening offices, so the pie is going to be split more ways.”

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