Santiago Arana, a top real estate agent in Los Angeles, has found that partnering with the right people can reap rewards — and listings.

Santiago Arana, a top real estate agent in Los Angeles, has found that partnering with the right people can reap rewards — and listings.

He’s currently representing two listings that he clinched by virtue of his team-up attitude, one in San Clemente, California, and one new construction offering that he masterminded on Tigertail Road in Los Angeles — and he landed both listings without much of a referral process to speak of.

San Clemente

Arana was contacted by the owner of the San Clemente listing, who’d been trying to sell the property for a year. “He didn’t even have one showing, according to the seller,” Arana said.

The owner had asked several prominent real estate agents in the area about the best person to bring in and help with the property from outside the San Clemente area. The agents, including Rob Giem — who’s working with Arana to present this $44 million property — recommended Arana as someone who’s done substantial property deals out-of-area.

“He heard that I’m able to deliver that service,” Arana said.

“It’s an incredible house,” he added. “I told him that I thought it would be a good idea to have someone there locally, too, because as much as I want to drive down there when he needs me to, sometimes if people call and want to see it right away, I’m too busy.”

So Arana picked Giem to be his partner.


The property at 568 North Tigertail Road is one that Arana dreamed into existence.

“I’ve been specializing in new construction for 10 years now,” he explained, and he’s gotten a reputation through that business for having sophisticated tastes.

“Through working new construction, what has happened is, because I’m on the front lines I know what buyers want — and times change,” he noted. “It’s not always dark hardwood floors — it’s dark and then it’s light and then it’s gray, and the only way you know what the trends are is when you’re going to the open houses and listening to buyers go ‘I wish they had used lighter wood or carpet.'”

As a result, builders in the area consider him an asset, and oftentimes Arana will offer consulting services on popular finishes or even show builders he knows a piece of land and tell them, “You can buy this and build this and I can sell it for this amount of money.”

One day, Arana got a call from the person who owned the property at 568; he’d decided not to develop it, but Arana thought it had potential — and great views.

He brought a few developers in to talk to them about selling them the land, but eventually Arana decided “I’m going to do this one,” he said.

“I wanted to partner with a developer that knew his product; it was great and amazing quality — and someone who is a good person,” he added. “David Herskowitz lives in the Palisades; his kids go to school with my kids. I met with him and brought him there and he saw exactly what I wanted. He saw my vision and was able to deliver exactly what I had in mind.”

Email Amber Taufen

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