Luxury residential real estate agent Aaron Kirman, who moved his AKG team from Compass to Christie’s International Real Estate last month, is not shy about his latest goal.
“We aim to be the number one luxury brokerage in the country,” Kirman said.
In November, Kirman moved his AKG team – now 160 agents and 14 support staff — to Christie’s International Real Estate.
“We saw now was the perfect time to open AKG as a luxury boutique, but we also wanted to partner with Christie’s, which obviously is the number one luxury name in the country and one of the well-known names, with offices all over the world,” Kirman said. “We felt like the duality of our technology in luxury plus the heritage and brand of Christie’s was an amazing opportunity to give the market what the market wants for both agents as well as sellers and buyers. What is important for them is being able to market the properties nationally and internationally and have huge outreach.”
Kirman takes the proptech aspect of real estate very seriously beyond marketing on social media.
“We have a very robust AI system,” he said. “So the merger between our AI technology infrastructure and (Christie’s) general infrastructure and heritage is what we’re betting on. We’re giving sellers marketing where there’s no stone unturned. We built an incredible AI tool … that gives us the ability and intelligence to see who is looking at what houses around the world.”
Kirman looks forward to deepening what he calls “a very exciting collaboration” with Christie’s.
“What excites us is the alignment with the auction house and we now have access to 60 different countries, 900 offices,” Kirman said. “We have very strong alignment with not only the Christie’s real estate brand, but also the Christie’s auction house brand. Obviously, the clients that are buying the most expensive artwork in the world and as well as the finest products in the world are the same clients who are buying the most expensive houses in the world.”
At 44, Kirman has already had a storied career. This year, he sold The One in Bel-Air — one of the largest homes in America at 100,000 square feet — which traded hands for $144 million, and in March, Kirman represented both seller and buyer when British singer Robbie Williams purchased a Holmby Hills house for $49.5 million.
Kirman said he also recently sold one of the most expensive houses in Europe in a confidential sale for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Kirman started out at 17 in real estate and overcame dyslexia to succeed in the industry.Early on, he found himself representing Modernist architectural masterpieces.
“Before I started selling the big estate homes, I sort of built my reputation as a guy who sold really cool houses.”
He sold homes designed by Frank Gehry, Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler and Paul Williams, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House.
“I think we sold (Pierre Koenig’s) Case Study #21 twice,” Kirman said. “A big passion of mine was selling (classic) architecture and making sure that it falls into the right hands, to make sure it gets restored and preserved so that it will be here for later generations.”
Kirman served as executive director of Hilton & Hyland’s architectural division before leaving for the John Aaroe Group.
Kirman formed AKG as a small team in 2014. For the past six years, Kirman and his team were at Compass.
“Through the course of multiple years, we kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger and better,” Kirman said of AKG.
Kirman holds luxury listings in every posh corner of Greater Los Angeles.
“We specialize all the way from Los Feliz to Malibu and everywhere in the middle,” Kirman said. “I personally sell a lot of homes in Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, (Pacific) Palisades. But a lot of money has ventured out of those spots into other areas. The San Fernando Valley is on fire right now, Hidden Hills, Calabasas is very popular. A lot of our clients have moved over into Orange County.”
Because of his clientele, his business has even gone international.
“Our primary business is in California, although because I represent so much wealth around the world, it’s not uncommon for me to list homes anywhere from Hong Kong to the South of France,” Kirman said. “Recently, we listed a beautiful castle in the South of France, we listed a house in Paris. We’re going to another state to look at a $100 million estate. What we noticed is that a lot of wealthy clients around the world own multiple homes, and a lot of times they think of us as their real estate advisor, not just a localized real estate agent.
They usually call us for all areas and all countries.”
Kirman said he finds the homes, and the people that he meets through them, the most rewarding aspect of his profession.
“And I love the fact that the business has changed so much,” Kirman said. “When I started in real estate, it felt like your mom and pop’s sort of business. ‘Why do you want to be a real estate agent? My grandma does that.’ But today it’s become such a global industry based on so many facets including technology, and it’s always changing.”