Forget “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” It’s hard enough keeping up with Tomer Fridman these days.
After a record-setting 2020 in which Fridman and team closed $539 million sales, the “King of the Platinum Triangle” has put the finishing touches on a deal of his own, joining No.1 Los Angeles luxury brokerage Hilton & Hyland.
A “real estate agent-to-the-stars” in every sense of the phrase, Fridman’s understanding of the luxury landscape has made him an invaluable resource to clients that include tech titans, showbiz elite and several of the Kardashian-Jenner clan.
Among his top transactions of 2020: Representing Forbes-minted billionaire Kylie Jenner in her purchase of a record-setting land deal, and representing Viewpoint Collection in the sale of the legendary Owlwood estate. He currently shares the listing for fashion designer Eva Chow’s Beverly Hills estate, listed for $65 million.
Fridman recently sat down to talk about his move to Hilton & Hyland, the next generation of luxury homebuyers and even GameStop stock.
NL: You’ve been a household name in luxury real estate circles for years and regularly rank among L.A.’s top agents. What made you choose Hilton & Hyland?
TF: Hilton & Hyland is the heritage brand for the L.A. market and Forbes is the heritage name for anyone that is of a specific caliber. In this business, it’s important for us to hone our brand and build our brand. Hilton & Hyland provides that. It’s much more of a concierge-level approach where you have a bespoke brokerage and a very curated methodology of representing properties, marketing properties and servicing properties.
NL: Hilton & Hyland became a founding member of Forbes Global Properties last year. Why is the association with Forbes important to you?
TF: Most of my clients are on the Forbes 400 list, and that’s such a big deal. People like to be affiliated with Forbes and they like to see the Forbes name behind something like this. Just by association, that elevates our brand. It elevates the service and the pedigree of what we do for our clients.
NL: You were involved in some of L.A.’s most prominent sales in 2020. What are the luxury housing trends emerging so far in 2021?
TF: COVID has really shown us the importance of home and the importance of having a shelter where we can feel safe. I think that feeling has actually escalated and expanded our market substantially. We’ve had a massive influx from the East Coast moving to Los Angeles. I think that has a lot to do with Los Angeles being a metropolis but also being more spread out.
NL: What about foreign interest in the Los Angeles housing market?
TF: Los Angeles, over the last 5-6 years, has had a renaissance in terms of becoming a significant global marketplace for real estate and sophistication. It has a big international draw, and we’re now seeing more of a national appeal. New York and San Francisco have long been considered sophisticated hot spots of our nation. Now, Los Angeles is having a revolution and evolution and a renaissance of culture, of food, of architecture, and of certain type of lifestyle. That’s bolstered our market in the last few years.
NL: Who are the buyers in today’s luxury market?
TF: Los Angeles has become a huge destination for finance and tech, specifically newly-minted tech billionaires. It’s important to understand who’s buying in today’s market. Last year, one of my listings sold to a tech buyer, and you saw some big deals in Malibu that involved tech titans.
NL: How are you reaching the younger generation of affluent homebuyers?
TF: I think it’s a different product we’re selling. To reach the younger generation, it takes a different approach, both in terms of marketing and branding. I think the younger tech buyers are looking for something that’s a new or very chic product, and I think people in finance or venture capital are looking for properties with pedigree. The nice thing about Los Angeles is we have a great balance of both types of properties.
NL: Last question. GameStop stock: are you buying, selling or holding?
TF: [Laughs] I don’t even know what’s happening with that. Listen, I’m 44 years old; I grew up on Atari games and stuff like that. I don’t know enough about stocks to say one thing or the other. I will say that I like tangible things, like buying a nice pair of jeans or shoes. [Laughs] Or way-overpriced Chinese food.