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Meet Erik Brown of Douglas Elliman in Beverly Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erik Brown.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Erik. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I never dreamed of working in real estate. I had watched The Money Pit, a 1980s flick about a dilapidated house and its unsuspecting buyers, but that was the extent of my property interests. From my earliest years, I was going to be an astronaut, fireman, artist, lawyer, and finally, a professional basketball player. It’s not like I was a dreamer; I was a typical kid who didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Even so, I did have an inherent knack for sales and hustle. I used to pool-shark other kids in my neighborhood for baseball cards by pretending to be terrible at billiards before winning their Ken Griffey Jr. rookie cards. I traded a GI Joe helicopter for a full set of Garbage Pail Kids because I thought they would have more collector value. At twelve, a friend and I convinced our local Hardee’s restaurant that we were of working age so we could dress up as Burger Bear and wave to other kids for $2.50 per hour. I liked to earn a buck, but at no point in my formative years did I imagine being self-employed or working in any capacity of sales, advising, or realty.

The seeds of change were planted the summer before my junior year in college. For the love of all things athletic, I wanted to have a career in some capacity in the National Basketball Association. Recognizing that my actual game skills were more Hickory High than His Airness, I sweet-talked my way into the ticket sales office of the Minnesota Timberwolves, spending weeks of my free time stuffing envelopes, grabbing coffees, stapling and collating anything and everything I could to prove my worth. The effort paid off—when the team announced a summer work program, I beat out over a thousand applicants to become what felt like NBA royalty: head intern of community basketball relations. True, this may not have been CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but I did have a custom name tag; six of one, half dozen of the other. Over the next several months, I assisted in the management of summer basketball camps. Each camp not only taught the fundamentals of basketball, but also the foundational stepping-stones of being a good teammate and better person. Witnessing and facilitating this youth development was inspiring.

As I rounded out my final year of school in the late 90s, the economy was booming, and “consulting” as a career choice was all the rage.

Business firms were giving away jobs like candy at a parade, and the salaries offered for an eager twenty-two-year-old made me salivate at the thought of paying off school debt within my lifetime. After graduation and staring in the face of an NBA labor lockout, I chose financial freedom over professional sports and began a career as a consultant, traveling to such exotic locales as Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Dearborn, Michigan, teaching the miracles of enterprise resource planning and software upgrades. Bouncing from city to city, a few colleagues and I would pass time in the cabs, shuttle buses, and airports by reading various moneymaking books and get-rich-quick schemes. Yes, I still liked the hustle. On one such shuttle ride, youthful enthusiasm boiled over as we expounded on yet another wild-haired idea to build a business empire. As we blustered back and forth, I noticed a well-groomed middle-aged man passively listening to us carry on about making millions. Laid-back and exuding success, he seemed to be amused by our ideological rants. I paid no mind until, after several minutes of listening to us exclaim in wild-eyed fashion all the ways we would theoretically develop our wealth, he leaned in and offered a suggestion. “Fellas,” he said, “Your books sound fascinating. Have you thought about reading something with a bit more…substance?”

We sat, somewhat stupefied, not knowing really what he meant by the question. Over the next several minutes, the curious stranger introduced himself as the owner of a multi-location regional business, and shared insights, concepts, and philosophies that had never, not once, crossed our inexperienced minds. He mentioned that we reminded him of himself at a young age, and as we sat wide-eyed and engaged, he proceeded to share a few book titles, professional contacts, and ideas we should consider. The cherry was dropped atop the sundae he shared when he asked us, “Why?” Why do you want to do these things? What is your purpose? It was like being downloaded into The Matrix for a few minutes. We had no idea. Just as fast as he connected with us, he wished us luck and stepped off the bus at the next stop. It was all a blur, a blink, but a lasting lesson that piqued my entrepreneurial curiosity and sense of greater purpose. Wherever you are, Dallas traveler and businessman circa 1999, thank you.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, that random conversation was one of several awakenings that kept pushing me toward self-employment and the development of something outside my comfort zone. I loved the idea of chasing passions while giving back to the greater good, to society as a whole. So, I took the plunge. Later that year, one year removed from college, I began a path that over the next seventeen years saw me buy, fix, and sell dozens of homes, get a general contractor’s license, start and sell a property management company, start and crash a boutique title insurance company, and build a real estate team from scratch, in two different states, simultaneously.

Has it been a smooth road?
Soo many…

Real Estate has an 85% + failure rate.

Recession.

A contractor attempted suicide, left the state when he was released from the hospital, and left me $250,000 in debt.

Moved to a new market knowing only a handful of people.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Hilton. Rolls Royce. Versace. Chateau Rothschild.

These are not products or services; these are lifestyle choices. You and I can stay at any hotel, drive any car, wear any shirt, or drink any wine… But we don’t want to. We want experiential luxury. And you know what? You deserve it. Luxury living is a state of mind. If you’re like me, you expect the best, and this especially holds true when you buy or sell a home.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home, and appreciate… and deserve… a luxury real estate experience, then here are a few of my differences:

As part of my service, you will receive:

1. A Lifestyle Designer: By honing in on your home goals, we are able to use our luxury expertise to create the home and lifestyle you desire. A personal real estate concierge will be assigned to you after an initial want and needs consultation, either live or via phone. This professional will be dedicated to your successful home plan, with our entire team as a resource for you at your beckon call.

2. Coordinated Communication: As a successful consumer, your time is precious. With so many communication channels today, we synchronize scheduled times with you to keep you well balanced with information at the right times, and do so in the format you like best. We are available to video conference with you or your representatives, and also video home tours or previews you are unable to attend.

3. Custom Resource Package: To prepare you for your luxury journey, we provide a comprehensive gift package filled with tools, tips, and resources to guide you through your next steps. Information includes luxury mistakes to avoid, best practices to get the best price, and what tasks to do to be successful in today’s market.

4. Tailored Home Evaluation: A customized evaluation of a home of your choice, including improvement recommendations to maximize value or ROI.

5. Confidential list of off-market homes: A % of our market sells confidentially and only the most exclusive brokers have access to the inventory and sources to find these secret homes… The time it would take to manage a database like this would be more than a full-time job. This list is not compiled via email, but is more manual, granular, as it is always changing, as the best homes can sell in a day or less. Since this is labor intensive and requires a lot of our attention to find the diamonds in the rough, we share these properties exclusively with our membership.

6. Confidential list of home buyers: Unlike many real estate professionals, we have created an ongoing nurture campaign for home buyers in various phases of the home buying process. Be it ready to buy now to beginning their search next year, our ongoing relationship management gives us a steady stream of active home buyers. These buyers are told of our members interested in selling 1st.

7. Luxury vendor referrals: Over the years we have met, developed, vetted, and nurtured relationships with hundreds of vendors, such as design-build, interior design, architectural, dozens of law practices, insurance, finance, business and entertainment management, luxury event planning, moving services, and the like. Instead of taking the time and money to source your own vendors, ours have agreed to a complimentary consultation to assist you with any goal where they may be able to professional guide you.

8. Quality Content: Historically, the most successful home buyers and sellers want quality content not just during their home buying or selling process, but before AND after. Be it a luxury real estate blog, social media group, YouTube page with multimillion dollar video tours, or VIP newsletter, we provide excellent content for all our members’ real estate needs and questions.

9. Neighborhood Knowledge Oracle: When moving to a new home or area, most sophisticated would like to have knowledge of crime rates, school districts, walkability scores, access to amenities, places of worship, and much more. We provide this information for a one-stop source of high quality research.

10. Signed book copy: Filled with the best tips and ideas on how to successfully buy, sell, or invest in real estate with the right professional to manage your needs, receive a signed copy of “One in a Million: Everything you need to know to find the best Realtor”, by the Author.

11. Office Services: By appointment, access to our 30 Southern California offices. Need a conference room? Access to a color copier or fax? We are here to assist.

12. Bespoke Investment Plan: Creator of the “0 to Millions” Investment strategies, members may initiate a customized investment strategy geared towards developing local, national, or international assets.

13. Charitable Donations: Be a part of our charitable donation plan, where we donate a portion of commissions to a charity of your choice.

We know these outstanding privileges and amenities are just as important as the intangible benefits that come with our service, such as communication, follow through, and a sense of community. This service is not offered to everyone. On the contrary, it is reserved for those who have gone through an initial consultation with us and we deem each other the right fit.

Average service will never aspire to impeccable taste. I’d love to share the difference with you.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
It is an excellent place for our business, but the competition is high. If someone is starting in this business, it is not the city that will defeat you, it is the market and barriers to entry.

Pricing:

  • Coaching new Agents is $500-$15,000

Contact Info:

  • Address: 9470 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
  • Website: www.erikrbrown.com
  • Phone: 424-333-6697
  • Email: erik@erikrbrown.com
  • Instagram: @theerikbrown
  • Facebook: erikbrownhomes
  • Twitter: theerikbrown
  • Other: youtube.com/erikbrownhomes

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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