Real Estate Couples

With today being Valentine’s Day, it seemed appropriate to highlight some of Rodeo Realty’s couples who are also real estate teams. How do they do it? How do these couples also work successfully as professional partners?

The answer boils down to synergy, according to four of those teams.

“Clients tell us there are a couple different pieces to why they like working with us,” said Steve Goldbaum of The Gold Team in Northridge. His wife is Teri Goldbaum.
“We each have unique abilities and personalities. The combination creates a synergy that allows us to achieve our client’s goals. She dots the I’s, crosses the T’s, and does our marketing. My job is more about being out there working with clients to buy, build or sell homes.”
David and Michelle Cohan of the Calabasas office say there are pros and cons to being a married couple and professional real estate team. “Our priorities are clients, work, kids and being a couple,” said David Cohan. “But sometimes it’s hard to just say ‘How are you?’ and not talk about work.” Communication is everything, he added.

One of David’s strengths is going out and showing homes for long stretches of time. One of Michelle’s strengths is seeing the potential in a home and understanding its floor plan, history and the like.

When meeting with clients, David and Michelle speak to each other’s strong points. They also have to communicate information effectively with the rest of their real estate team.

When it comes right down to it, David also knows how to keep the peace. “The most important thing about working together is me accepting that Michelle is boss,” he said lightheartedly.

Desiree and Gregg Zuckerman of the Calabasas and Beverly Hills offices also have a clear understanding of who does what.

“Gregg does most of the behind the scenes work and I do everything on camera -so to speak,” said Desiree.
Gregg excels at taking care of the weekly advertisements, technology stuff such as making sure computers are doing what they should, and the organizational side of the business. Desiree does most of the home showings, inspections and anything else needed to close on the sale or purchase of a property.
Ken Bryant and Barbe Nance of the Studio City office have been in real estate together for the past decade.
“Some clients really like working with both the male and female sides,” said Barbe.
Ken works on the computer related parts of the business, paperwork, and going over sales materials with a fine tooth comb to find mistakes. He’s also good at initiating client relationships. Barbe works more on the sales side. Clients look to her for technical details about real estate.

The duo works closely on developing sales strategies for each home. “When we’re working with clients we always have a brainstorming session, a lot of back and forth,” said Ken. “Like they say, two heads are better than one.”

Joe Babajian showing Bel Air estate

Beverly Hills agent Joe Babajian recently gave a tour of one of his ultra-lux listings to Beautiful Homes & Great Estates. The 12,300 square foot, nine bedroom, 11 bath home is listed for $22,500,000.

The estate is Tim Morrison’s latest masterpiece. Situated on a completely private 1.6 acre promontory in prime Bel Air, it commands unending views from the Pacific Ocean to Century City to downtown 

The re-imagined 1930’s style Colonial compound has large entertaining areas, media room, gorgeous milk-painted paneled salon and grand master suite occupying the entire upper level.

Oaks and manicured gardens lead to a grand pool overlooking the entire city . Two guest residences, destination gym, a separate maid’s apartment and a pool change room round out the estate.

See the property information at:

Oakshire Drive Estate

Homeowner lore says this Old Hollywood gem was once a guest house on the estate of silent film era icon Rudolph Valentino.
Could be. The Latin Lover’s Whitley Heights home, later torn down to make way for the Hollywood Freeway, was located only a few miles away. The homes also share similar Spanish villa architecture.
See the property on Luxist’s Estate of the Day:
The 2,276 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3 ½ bath walled and gated Spanish villa was originally built in 1924, and is currently on the market for $1,295,000. Carol and Jim Shogren of Rodeo Realty’s Sunset Strip office are the listing agents.
The classic living room has vaulted ceilings, exposed and carved wooden beams, leaded glass window and a raised fireplace. The master bedroom and music room open onto another patio with a soaking tub. Iron work gates accent the home’s entrance.
The house was recently expanded with updated bathrooms and kitchen. The country kitchen opens to one of the outdoor patios that has dining and living spaces. There is also a built-in barbecue on the patio for entertaining.
The home is situated on a double lot. Award winning designer, John Greenlee, designed the landscaping for the second lot with natural grasses, succulents and a vegetable garden.
Greenlee’s designs are featured in The San Diego Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, and private residencies all over the world.
The property web site is:

Million Dollar Listing Season 4 – The Highest Offer – Video – Bravo TV Official Site

It has been a been a big week of media exposure for Rodeo Realty agents. See the past few blog entries to get a taste of what they’ve been up to.

The latest fun fact is that Todd Bernstein, Ken Zietz and other Woodland Hills agents were on an episode of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing.”
Just so you know what a couple of the agents look like, here are their photos. Bernstein is featured prominently in the video and photos.
Todd Bernstein
Ken Zietz

The Alfred F. Rosenheim Mansion

Rodeo Realty agents Joe Babajian and Brad Downs, both of the company’s Beverly Hills office, made a splash today on Huffington Post and Curbed LA.
The agents are co-listing a landmark historic home designed and owned by quite the historic figure in Los Angeles.
L.A. Historic Cultural Monument #660, otherwise known as the Alfred F. Rosenheim mansion, is located in the Country Club Park area of Los Angeles.
Listed for $4.5 million, the 10,440 square foot, six bedroom, five bathroom home has a three-story main house plus a grand ballroom (formerly a chapel) that’s currently used as a recording studio. It sits on almost an acre of land.
The house has Tiffany stained glass windows, Tiffany light fixtures, Tiffany leaded glass display cases, and a museum-quality set of Tiffany glass doors.
Additional features include wood paneling, wood floors, six vintage tile fireplaces, and beamed ceilings, among other touches.
The formal dining room features antique gold and silver leaf hand painted ceilings. And a large solarium overlooks the private grounds. The property’s web site is:
Architect Alfred Rosenheim, known for designing Los Angeles monuments such as downtown’s Hellman Building, the Hamburger Department Store, and the Eugene W. Britt House, designed this as a home for himself in the early 1900s, according to the Huffington Post and Curbed LA.
To contact Joe Babajian, call (310) 623-8800 or visit his web site at: Brad Downs can be reached at (310) 435-3225.
(Photo credit: Cameron Carothers Photography)

Brittany Murphy's Former Home in the Hollywood Hills

Aitan Segal of Rodeo Realty’s Beverly Hills office is handling the sale of actress Brittany Murphy’s former home in the Hollywood Hills, according to recent news reports.
Murphy, well-known for her roles in movies such as “Clueless” and “8 Mile” passed away in December 2009. The home was left to her mother, Sharon Murphy, said the Hollywood Reporter. 
To see the latest news about the home, visit the Hollywood Reporter’s story at:
The 8,000 square foot, five bedroom, five bath Mediterranean estate was built in 1997. It is located north of Sunset Blvd. on a private cul-de-sac with amazing city views. The list price is $4,995,000.
The home has soaring ceilings, formal dining room, gourmet kitchen, large living room, French doors opening to a pool and gardens that overlook the city. It also has an incredible master suite, gym, office, motor court, four car garage, among other amenities.

San Marino Home Sales

YanYan Zhang, an agent with Rodeo Realty’s Beverly Hills office, was quoted extensively in a front page story in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. The story points out how home prices keep climbing in the San Gabriel Valley community of San Marino. And Asian home buyers and investors are helping to fuel that trend.
YanYan Zhang, who covers areas such as San Marino, Pasadena and Bel Air, advertises quite a bit in Chinese publications, according to the LA Times. She also travels to China every couple months to meet clients and get referrals.
Zhang has close to a decade of experience selling and explaining investment properties and services to real estate investors and financial services sales personnel. She also works closely with property owners and consumers.
She also facilitates presentations both nationally and internationally on topics ranging from how to find income properties under the market, to the business of 1031 tax deferral strategies. She speaks Chinese Mandarin fluently and attended Beijing University and the Beijing National Sports Academy.

Outside of real estate, Zhang has worked on stage at both the Academy Awards and the American Music Awards.
She can be contacted at (310) 724-7100 or

Shannan Click Selling Home in Los Angeles

Jon Shelton of Rodeo Realty’s Beverly Hills office has listed the home of fashion model Shannan Click. The contemporary house, located just a short drive from Sunset Blvd., is listed for $1,995,000.
It’s currently one of the Los Angeles Times Hot Properties. See the story here:,0,6551338.story
The 2,058 square foot, three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home was originally built in 1961. It has double steel front doors that open to loft-like living spaces and incredible city views. Disappearing walls of glass merge interior and exterior with two levels of expansive decks.
The modern interior includes hardwood floors, formal dining room, living room and bedrooms. It has hardwood floors, an eat-in chef’s kitchen, stainless steel appliances and built-in audio system for entertaining. The secluded master suite has a fireplace, marble bath, and walk-in closet.
Click, who is 27-years-old, has modeled for Victoria’s Secret and done covers for international editions of Vogue, according to the L.A. Times. The latter are just a couple examples of Click’s long and impressive resume in the fashion world.

Rodeo Realty on the Sunset Strip

Earlier this month, Rodeo Realty opened a new office at 9200 Sunset Blvd, Suite 200. It’s amazing and the company is starting to make quite a splash in the Westside market.
Along with opening the new office, Syd Leibovitch, president and owner of Rodeo, ran a prominant billboard a few blocks away on Sunset. The new digs, located in Sotheby’s former suite, have already attracted more than a few top notch agents from other companies.
The Sunset Strip branch, managed by Fred Henry, will eventually house approx. 100 agents.
This is just the start to Rodeo’s expansion on the Westside. The company will soon unveil a 13,000 square foot new office at 202 N. Canon Drive in prime Beverly Hills 90210. Here are a few photos to give you a sneak peak of the Sunset Strip hub. Enjoy!
(Above: Building directly across from 9200 Sunset)

A Double Dip in the Los Angeles Housing Market?

There’s a lot of talk right now about the real estate market heading toward a “double dip” -a reference to housing prices continuing to deteriorate. The latest read on home prices, released Tuesday morning, shows fresh declines in the vast majority of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times.


The coastal cities of California and the nation’s capital were the only apparent bright spots in a November report, said the L.A. Times. In November, only four metro areas — Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — showed year-over-year gains. Every city declined from October to November besides San Diego, which eked out a 0.1% gain.

However, the performance of the California cities in the index doesn’t reflect the state’s hardest hit markets in the Inland Empire and Central Valley.

But what are real estate agents seeing on the ground here in the greater Los Angeles area? Even though we are a supposed “bright spot” in the nation, are we headed for the dreaded double dip?
“Double dip…I don’t think it’s really a double dip,” said Mike Ace, a Rodeo Realty agent who works out of the company’s Sherman Oaks office. “A lot of it is seasonal. In fact, I just took another listing today.”
Ace said buyers and sellers pay close attention to the news. But every time they show him an article about the real estate market, he asks them whether the article quotes local or national numbers. Real estate in the San Fernando Valley is very different than other parts of the country, he said, and each neighborhood is unique.
“People aren’t rushing to get out of the Valley,” he said. “Interest rates have risen a little bit, but that was to be expected. They’re still less than 5%. I think it’s an unbelievable time to either buy or sell.” Ace is also looking forward to activity picking up in the Spring.
“There’s not a lot of buyer confidence right now,” said Sheila Milano, a broker with Rodeo’s Westlake Village office. She is currently working with many clients in the $400K-$700K category. “Buyers are still guarded because they’re not sure where the market is going.”
She anticipates home prices will continue to decline in some local markets. The large number of short sales and bank owned properties are a big factor preventing home prices from rebounding, she said, adding eight out of every 10 homes on the market is a short sale. High unemployment is also an issue.
The upper-end home market is bound to see further price reductions, said Milano, adding lenders need to figure out more options for the self-employed. There’s also a need for more conventional listings to hit the market in all price categories.
That said, Milano had one of her busiest years in 2010. And she’s optimistic about the future. “If interest rates stay low, we’re going to start seeing more activity in the Spring.”

David and Michelle Cohan of Rodeo’s Calabasas office have been reading a lot about the impact of the apparent “double dip,” but have not seen a significant hit to their business.
“As a matter of fact, since Thanksgiving, our business has actually improved, making the last half of the 4th quarter 2010 and beginning of the 1st quarter of 2011 better than the previous year,” said David. 

“The identified national drop in housing prices may be lagging behind the dips we’ve already experienced, and we may already be feeling the positive impact of the improved market.”

The Cohans certainly felt a hit in both 2009 and early 2010, as the “first time buyer credit” expired. But lately, their sellers have gotten more realistic about the remaining weak real estate market and buyers (and buyers on their listings) seem to have done a better job of qualifying.

The couple remains optimistic that 2011 will continue to get better so long as the economy continues to recover and unemployment numbers continue to drop.

Encino agent Carol Wolfe believes home prices will continue to drop, but the term “double dip,” at least locally, may be a little strong. The drop is likely not going to be as dramatic as when the housing market first crashed, she said.
Echoing Milano’s statements, Wolfe said home prices continue to decline because there are so many short sales and foreclosures on the market that are competing with conventional sellers.
“When you look at the MLS at any price point, about 40 percent of the sales are foreclosures and short sales,” she said. “A lot will depend on how many more of these types of properties come to market. I talk with people daily who are upside down or in default.”  
On the bright side, Wolfe said homes continue to sell and mortgage rates remain low. 
“It’s a good time to buy,” she said, adding especially for those looking to move up. “You can never predict the precise moment of a market hitting bottom.” Wolfe also encourages most people to buy for the long-term, rather than for what the house might be worth next year.