In 2016, millennial real estate agent Kelsey Kroon merged her love for marketing, architecture, and business by facilitating the sale of a $45 million Holmby Hills estate. Since then, she has represented properties that are both for sale and for rent across Los Angeles. We sat down with Kroon to discuss how she got involved in the luxury real estate market, what millennials are looking for when buying a home, and how the high-end market will continue to change and evolve.
Is real estate something you were always interested in? How did you get into luxury real estate in particular?
Living in Los Angeles for over 10 years provided exposure to top luxury real estate markets, primarily Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Holmby Hills. Even prior to obtaining my license, I was always fascinated with visiting open houses and used to spend one to two Sundays per month driving around town perusing properties with no idea that one day I’d be selling those very listings. Real estate is . . . an investment that the vast majority of people make in their lifetimes, so it is important to learn and understand. Real estate is in alignment with my passions—a combination of architecture, interior design, marketing, business, market trends/forecasting, and working with people with effort and heart put into it.
Your first major listing was a $45 million property in Holmby Hills. How did you get connected with the listing, and what was that experience like?
My $45 million listing was a spectacular 20,000-plus-square-foot Mediterranean estate in Holmby Hills that embraced the beauty of Italian Renaissance design. Timing and personal relationship were what granted me this listing. The seller is a close friend, had confidence in me, and saw potential and drive.
We sold the property in a little over a year. First came adequate marketing of the property with proper staging, magazine ads, drone and professional photography, and special events relevant to the quality of the listing. Then conducting showings for a small niche of a buyer pool and having the patience and focus to find the right buyer ready to submit an offer.
What else are you working on now?
Currently, I’m representing several buyers that are looking for very specific properties and opportunities. I have a stunning must-see lease listing at 467 Paseo Miramar in Pacific Palisades for $42,000 per month if long-term [a higher rate applies if short-term].
What are some of the unique challenges and opportunities you’ve experienced working in the luxury real estate realm?
The biggest challenge in luxury real estate is achieving buyers’ and sellers’ expectations while serving their requests, as well as competing with other agents trying to get the same client and sale. The goal is to create a win-win between both buyer and seller and make sure each party is happy with the deal.
What are millennials looking for when house hunting as opposed to older generations?
Typically, millennials have less time for renovations due to the focus on building their careers, so [they] want turnkey houses that are brand-new and need no maintenance. Other generations are more willing to develop a fixer property and have the determination for customization. More established generations tend to prefer downsizing and show interest in condos with full-service amenities that allow time for travel, hobbies, and enjoyment of a second home out of town.
What are the hot new amenities that everyone wants in a home today?
Some hot new amenities that people want in a home today are infrared saunas and bathrooms with steam showers, heated floors, and electric bidets. Smart-home technology like LED pads controlling temperature, lighting, music, and all home functionality and environmentally friendly green features such as solar panels and electric vehicle charging capabilities are popular. Swimming pools are still in demand, with a new trend toward indoor pools. His-and-her walk-in master closets with an island are a necessity, and panoramic views and indoor/outdoor flow are more important than ever.
What are some of the up-and-coming neighborhoods for luxury real estate?
As the already established luxury market of Beverly Hills and surrounding areas have been in existence for many decades, up-and-coming luxury neighborhoods have moved east, such as the case of a recent $33 million sale in the 90046 zip code. Many high-end development projects are nearing completion, hitting the market in the Hollywood Hills West in an area known as the Bird Streets and multimillion-dollar new projects in the Sunset Strip location.
What predictions do you have for the luxury real estate market in 2018 and beyond?
The luxury real estate market will only continue to rise in Los Angeles due to growing international demand, the exploding art scene and entertainment industry merging with technology, and pricing still being below pre-recession values causing inventory to reach lowest levels for special properties, extending the current sellers’ market. This solid foundation of growth will continue to be strong in prime luxury neighborhoods for the foreseeable future.