In what may be the biggest numbers racked up by any real estate team in the United States in 2023 — a challenging year for residential sales across the country — the Eklund Gomes Team at Douglas Elliman tells The Hollywood Reporter exclusively that it closed $3.77 billion in deals last year.
The team, co-founded by Fredrik Eklund (former star of Bravo’s reality series Million Dollar Listing) and John Gomes, counts around 80 agents on its roster who work in celebrity-heavy markets in four states: New York, Florida, California and Texas.
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Contributing to that $3.77 billion number is the fact that around 25 of Eklund Gomes Team’s agents made more than $1 million in commissions last year and “13 of our agents had better years in 2023 than they did in 2022,” says Eklund Gomes Team CEO Julia Spillman. Adds Eklund, “We’re proud.”
The team also excelled, true to form, in its sales of new development, including at such high-profile properties as the Edison Gramercy at 250 East 21st St. (which Eklund calls “the fastest-selling project in New York last spring”) and 64 University Place in Greenwich Village. At the latter, “John [Gomes] and I bought [there] ourselves and it sold out with record pricing in a record amount of time, completely off market,” says Eklund.
The agent — who moved to Miami full-time last year, where he says, “the demand is really roaring right now” — also trumpets Eklund Gomes’ work on such in-development projects in Florida as the Shore Club in Miami Beach, the Residences at Shell Bay by Auberge Resorts Collection, the 100-story Waldorf Astoria Residences and The Ritz-Carlton Residences South Beach. “We’ve been lucky to have some of the best, best addresses and the most iconic new development projects,” he says, in a phone interview over the weekend from Tulum, where he, Gomes and Spillman were hosting a three-day retreat for the team’s agents.
In 2023, even as prices rose on average, the number of U.S. homes sales dropped a stunning 18.3 percent from January to November, according to Redfin, with 4.59 million homes sold, compared to 5.62 million in the same period in 2022. The Eklund Gomes Team saw its own decline from its all-time record of $4.6 billion in sales in 2022 (with $4.5 billion in sales in 2021.)
Eklund credits the team’s ability to still rack up tremendous numbers with the fact that it has expanded to key markets. “We’re nationwide,” he says. “All the markets had same challenges because of the interest rates, but they all performed differently. Florida of course was very strong, New York is starting to come back with a vengeance, L.A. is defrosting and becoming very, very active in the last two weeks alone, the same with Texas, we’re seeing a lot of activity there. We expanded for quite some time into these markets, which was very costly and took a lot of resources and energy for us, and now we’re done with our geographical expansion and we’re building up in each of these markets.”
Adds Gomes, “By being nationwide, it really allows us to hedge because if the market is not doing so well in California, as it was not, then we focus our business in Florida, where it was raging. We’re also diversified because we’re in many different sectors across the country. We’re not all working super prime, although many of us are. Some people are focused on high-end rentals, some people are focused on $1-3 million homes, some on $3-5 million, some people do $5-20 million. It’s a balanced mix, and that to me is intentional and strategic.”
Not counted in Eklund Gomes’ $3.77 billion sales haul for 2023 is their mega-sale in Manhattan: a penthouse at Central Park Tower that is set to sell for around $115 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. “That sale will count toward 2024, but we did sign that deal in 2023,” says Gomes, who along with Eklund and the team’s Kent Wu, represent the buyer of the condo. “When it closes, it will be the fourth most expensive sale in the history of New York real estate, which is pretty epic.”
Eklund also shares with THR that he’s exploring a return to television after exiting Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing reality show in 2022. He says he spent some time in the development of a new show but has scrapped that in favor of a new concept.
“There was a format that didn’t happen and that was a disappointment to me, and now I feel like everything happens for a reason. There’s a new format that’s being discussed. I’m taking my time and I feel like that real-estate reality corner that we did [on Million Dollar Listing New York] was the best, I think still to this day, and it was epic and a moment in time in reality TV. It was so exciting. I don’t want to do that again. I want to do something that is epic again and something that feels really different. That’s my answer: to be continued.”
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