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Almost 20 years ago, Fredrik Eklund, Julia Spillman and John Gomes were young and hungry. agents testing the validity of one of Frank Sinatra’s most famous lines: “If you can do it there, you can do it anywhere; It’s up to you, New York, New York.”
With guts, perseverance, and a bit of luck, the three of them were able to rise to the top of the super-competitive city. luxury real estate industry and create one of douglas elliman best teams, Eklund Gomes.
“I think we’re very lucky, all three of us,” Eklund said with a big smile as he sat with members of his team on the Luxury Connect stage on Tuesday. “Going back 20 years, when I first moved to New York, that’s how old I am, I was a rookie and I didn’t know anyone.”
“But as soon as I started doing deals, I realized it’s a very lonely business. The highs are high and the lows are low,” she added. “I was alone because I left my family. So meeting John, then finally meeting Julia and becoming best friends, and this association allowed us to have a lot of fun, which I think is really key to success in real estate.”
“Even this room feels very serious. It’s a lot of pressure, a lot of money, and these clients are crazy. If you can’t laugh, you’re going to be bitter.”
Gomes and Spillman echoed Eklund, noting that having fun is a core value for their team, with each member spending time creating joyous moments in and out of the office. “Laughing at things makes everything so much easier,” Gomes said.
While they’ve certainly stuck to the idea that “laughter is the best medicine,” all three said their journey hasn’t been all laughs.
Gomes, Spillman and Eklund have helped each other through tough times, such as when Eklund struggled with the cost of leaving his family in Sweden to find success in the United States and Gomes struggled to manage the thorns of the business as a rookie.
“It’s like getting married,” Eklund said of choosing the right business partner. “It’s like winning the lottery if you find the right person, but it wasn’t easy. Those are not easy things to get going.”
Spillman was the last to join the group and her husband became a fan of Eklund’s during his tenure at One million dollar listing New York.
“I was so drawn to them and I always saw them,” she said. “One of my favorite stories is that John actually took the first picture I have of Fredrik and I – it was for my husband. [who] I was a huge fan of Fredrik during the first season and they were very approachable.”
Equally enamored with Spillman, Gomes and Eklund realized she was the missing piece on their team and recruited her to become the director of sales for one of their biggest projects.
“Everything else is history,” Gomes said of Spillman, who is now the CEO of his namesake team.
The three said their perfect synergy has allowed them to grow Eklund Gomes beyond their wildest dreams, with Eklund launching REAL, an app that helps real estate agents and clients connect through curated-style listing feeds. from Instagram.
“We’re in a really good place right now,” Eklund said of the app’s beta launch and his team’s sales volume, which hit $4.6 billion last year.
Although Eklund Gomes’ team is on top, Spillman said none of them take their success for granted, especially as the market heads into a precarious time filled with uncertainty. With that in mind, he said the team is focused on maintaining a diverse book of business that delivers results even in a slowing market.
“I think one of the things that is very different from the business of a lot of agents, and we talked about this early on, is new development,” he said. “That really makes our pipeline very different from the traditional reselling business.”
“The opening and closing happen pretty quickly. [and] the pipeline business of these developments is a bit like the gift that keeps on giving,” he added. “So this year, even though it may be a little tough to maintain those numbers, we have some amazing projects in Los Angeles in New York that are closing now and they’re going to keep those numbers incredibly healthy for us.”
In addition to bolstering their projects with various business opportunities, Gomes, Spillman and Eklund said they are also bolstering their projects with opportunities for fun and reflection, including team trips to Italy and Miami.
“I feel like the milestones in our career as a team came during the market change, and the market changes create opportunities to take a look inside yourself and your business and ask yourself, ‘Where do I want it to be?’” said Gomes.
“I think this is just a pause in the market; I just couldn’t continue on that trajectory, I think it was an unprecedented 18 consecutive months, one after another,” he added. “But this gives us an opportunity to say how I really take it to the next step.”
Lastly, the three encouraged the agents to reflect on themselves outside of their careers and make sure they are happy not only with their career but also with their lives and who they have become.
“I feel like I wasted so many years trying to be what my clients wanted me to be,” Gomes said. But spend more time with [Spillman and Eklund] It allows me to be blatantly me. So focus on being yourself and having fun.”
Email Marian McPherson