Luxury Agent Spotlight: Sam Real

Our mission at Inman is to help agents and brokers solve their business problems. Luxury agents in particular need trusted referral partners. That’s why we launched the Luxury Referral Network — presented by Engel & Völkers — to help you connect with the right person, at the right time, and in the right place.

This is the first in a series of select Luxury Referral Network agent spotlights to highlight the variety and caliber of elite professionals that are part of the network.


Engel & Völkers advisor Sam Real works in the shadow of the Hollywood sign. His Beverly Hills market is the epitome of luxury. But do not let the elegance fool you. Nobody works harder than he does.

How did you get your start in luxury real estate?

Sam Real

I used to work in commercial real estate. Then one day, my broker got a Zillow lead for a residential sale. I spent days preparing, researching and chasing it down. Finally, I got to the presentation only to find out that the seller was just testing the water.

I was pretty deflated when I got on the elevator to leave, but there I met a very nice, older couple. They assumed, correctly, that I was a realtor, and asked if I’d like to see the unit they had on the market. It was one of the nicest in the whole building. And as we talked, it turned out they had just canceled the listing with their previous broker.

Not only did they list with me, but they took me to see their other unit in the building that they had just remodeled. Both properties had been listed for over four months, but I sold them within two weeks.

What was your favorite sale?

Honestly, my favorite sale is always my most recent, but in this case, it’s more than true.

It was, hands down, the nicest house I’ve ever been in in my entire life. As I walked in for the listing appointment, another high profile agent walked out. So I started bringing buyers. I had 15 or 20 showings. The client was very impressed and said I showed it more than any other agent. So he gave me the listing. It sold for $ 15 million dollars — the highest price per square foot in Brentwood Circle. Now we’re listing his daughter’s penthouse and looking for another 10 million dollar house.

What’s new in your market?

We’re seeing a lot of price reductions. It’s definitely going toward ad buyer’s market. But I’m excited about that. It’s a correction that we needed, and I think it will bring more buyers and closings. It will also help weed out the agents that do this part-time or think it’s a matter of doing two or three deals a year and going on vacation.

Where is market headed?

We are definitely in a shift. And that means we are going to see a correction. We did see one already in Q418, then things picked up a bit more when rates were lowered. But real estate is cyclical. We’ve been on a high for so long, we need this correction. I feel like I do better business in the down market, anyway. It’s not going to be like 2008 08. But it will be healthy for us on a local, national and global scale.

What are some words to live by you’d like to share?

More than anything, know your market. I mentor a lot of agents and speak all over the world. And I always say this: know your market.

And not just your local market, either, which you should know like an encyclopedia. But know the national market. Know the global market. At the end of the day, almost every single person you know will be touched by real estate. Everyone is always interested, whether or not they are high-end clients. Be knowledgeable, and people will always be intrigued.

And never stop learning. I spend two hours every day reading and educating myself. There isn’t anyone else in any real estate community that has more knowledge or works harder than I do. That’s what will set you apart as a true professional.

Inman