UPDATED, Oct. 8, 10:40 a.m.: Douglas Elliman’s celebrity luxury broker duo of Eklund and Gomes are the latest team to take a bite out of the Agency.
Three months after Frederik Eklund and John Gomes expanded their team into Los Angeles, they have snagged top broker Stacy Gottula from Mauricio Umansky’s Beverly Hills-based firm.
Gottula spent three years at the Agency after leaving her longtime home at Coldwell Banker in 2016. Mauricio Umansky, the Agency’s CEO, did not return requests for comment.
In July, Eklund moved to L.A. to spearhead the team’s West Coast expansion. He has gained celebrity status as a star of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listings New York.”
For L.A., Eklund said he needed experienced agents to nab big listings.
“I’ve been chasing her and we’ve been talking for a long time,” he said of Gottula. “What she’s bringing, which is something I really need at this point is the experience pitching big, big listings.”
Gottula has the listing for the 25-acre Palazzo di Amore estate in Beverly Hills. Its $129 million price tag makes it one of the priciest listings on the L.A. market. Billionaire developer Jeff Greene first listed it in 2014 for $195 million, but the fading local luxury market led to the price chop.
She said the move to Elliman happened “organically,” and that she “loved the Agency,” but missed working on a team. “I proved myself solo,” she said. “After weighing out solo versus a team, when I met Fredrik and saw what he was doing here…it felt right.”
The two are now nearing a contract to represent the owner of 15,000-square-foot mansion at 9555 Heather Road in Beverly Hills. They said it will hit the market soon for $22.5 million.
The Agency has endured several defections in recent months, including former Agency brokers Brendan Fitzpatrick and Sean Landon, who also departed for Elliman.
Eklund’s move to the West Coast could make Elliman more competitive in L.A., where it trails brokerages like Hilton & Hyland and Compass, as well as the Agency, in terms of listings volume.
But the Agency has been losing top producers over the last two years or so, many of them to Compass.
In March, Cindy Ambuehl and her team departed for Compass, and a month later Don Heller followed with his team.
Between January 2018 and June of this year, Mauricio Umansky’s firm has lost 45 agents in L.A. County — many of them big producers — or about 15 percent of its June 2019 total. The brokerage has also added 140 over that period.
Clarification: The updated version of this story includes the Agency’s total number of brokers it added from January to June.