For 10 years, Josh Altman has just been a Realtor. But suddenly he’s a star. And that’s been a bit of surprise to the 32-year-old.
Altman recently joined the three-member cast on Bravo reality show “Million Dollar Listing.” The program follows young and aggressive real estate brokers as they compete to sell homes in such high-end neighborhoods as Beverly Hills and Malibu.
The television exposure has been good for Altman, who lives in the Hollywood Hills and is an agent with Hilton & Hyland. He recently sold Kim Kardashian her home. And he was filmed closing the deal on a $16.5 million home in Beverly Park, which was the sixth highest sale in Los Angeles in 2010.
“It’s weird to be recognized when I’m walking around,” said Altman. “I’ll be out with my brother and a girl will recognize me but be too shy to come up and talk to me. My brother will say, ‘He’s just a Realtor.’”
Since Amir Daroubakhsh is a partner and vice president with Archway Holdings in Beverly Hills, he knows what it takes to make real estate attractive. But lately he has gotten a lesson in what it takes to make a bicycle hot.
The tale begins about three years ago when his nephew called him with an idea for a business. Daroubakhsh, 34, took a chance and gave him $20,000.
The nephew, Ely Alexander, 22, launched Retrospec Bicycles. The company wholesales what are commonly called “fixies,” stripped-down, fixed-gear bicycles that have no brakes. The pedals move in synch with the rear wheel.
One day last fall, L.A. Galaxy star David Beckham strolled into a bike shop in Venice Beach and got interested in a Retrospec. The next thing Alexander knew, he was showing the bikes to Beckham at his Beverly Hills home. He purchased enough for the whole family. Photos of the Beckhams with their bicycles soon went viral, and orders for Retrospecs started coasting in.
The Beckhams, being trendy, made the bicycles so.
Said Daroubakhsh: “Once he started riding our bikes, business really blew up.”
If you hear a cell phone go off with the recording of Kirk Gibson’s famous 1988 home run, you may be standing next to Los Angeles Times editor Russ Stanton.
Stanton picked the ring tone not just because it’s Dodgers history, but because of its personal resonance: He was at the stadium the night Gibson limped out of the dugout in the bottom of the ninth to win the first game of the World Series with his famous hit, setting the Dodgers on the road to a series victory over the Oakland A’s.
“I said I’d never go to another game, because it couldn’t get any better than that,” Stanton remembers.
“And now, some 400 games later, I was right.”
Staff members Jacquelyn Ryan, Sam Bennett and Steve Silkin contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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