Venture capital-backed Side has plucked a veteran real estate executive to manage its Southern California office, on the heels of having lured several high-profile Los Angeles agents to the three-year-old brokerage.
San Francisco-headquartered Side hired Spencer Krull as its first managing broker of the region, managing 23 offices. Krull started in January, with the news made public Thursday. He joins Side after spending over a year as general manager at Beverly Hills-based Westside Estate Agency.
Before handling operations at the luxury boutique Westside Estate Agency, Krull was broker of record for Beverly Hill-based Teles Properties— which Douglas Elliman acquired in 2017.
“Brokerages have changed incredibly, with quote, unquote disruptors destroying traditional brokerages without bringing anything new to it,” said Krull who has 17 years in the real estate business.
He also contrasted Side with those “disruptors” — which he did not name — by claiming his new employer encourages the independence of its agents, while also featuring, “a very robust and collaborative auditing system.”
Side partners with boutique real estate shops, but doesn’t acquire those agencies or put its brand on them, a key difference from the likes of Softbank-backed Compass, along with the Agency.
As of November, Side had 500 agents in California and Texas, who it said at the time were on track to close $8 billion in deals.
Side said it has raised over $70 million in venture capital funding, and it has recruited high wattage agents like Ben Bacal, a former star performer at Rodeo Realty who hired away in October. It also became the broker of record for former Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Matt Luke and his team in January, when it moved deeper into Southern California, partnering with agent teams in Orange, San Diego, and Riverside counties.
Krull said he will provide a “backstop” for these agents. In a phone conversation Friday, he was self-deprecating about his new role, jokingly asking this reporter if he was falling asleep, and providing examples of his craft only to then wonder if it would “make for a good TV episode.”
As general manager, he will handle a myriad of compliance issues, many of which concern the trusts and limited liability corporations that are the ostensible owners of many properties. He will also troubleshoot issues around the federal Fair Housing Act, which protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home.
Krull said he remains on good terms with Westside Estate Agency, co-founded by Stephen Shapiro and Kurt Rappaport, which topped The Real Deal’s ranking of L.A. luxury brokerage by sales volume in 2018. Shapiro agreed, saying the two remain friends.