After some high-profile moves last week in San Diego, the next spate of brokerage recruiting wars is going down in Los Angeles, where Pacific Union, the largest independent brokerage in California, today announced the opening of a new office in the trendy Highland Park neighborhood and the addition of three top producing real estate teams from Keller Williams to its Southern California operation.
The three teams include the L.A.-based L34 Group, a team of seven led by Deirdre Salomone and Terry Saltzman; the Brad Holmes Group, a team of three also from L.A.; and Santa Monica’s Regina Vannicola Real Estate Group, a team of six. The L34 Group and the Brad Holmes Group will be working out of the new office in Northeast Los Angeles located on the second floor of the well-known 1928 Frank’s Highland Park Camera building.
“The new Highland Park office marks Pacific Union’s 20th office location in Los Angeles and 51st company-wide and is an integral part of our strategic expansion in Southern California,” said Nick Segal, president of Pacific Union in Southern California, in a company statement shared exclusively with Inman. “We saw the incredible sales volume our real estate professionals were achieving in L.A.’s Northeast neighborhoods and realized there was a significant need for a real estate company that could better serve buyers and sellers in the area. Also, we feel it’s important for our real estate professionals to have a home office that is close to both where they live and do business.”
Salomone and Saltzman of the L34 Group, who have already started at Pacific Union, are moving into the new office space today. Speaking to Inman, Salomone said that her team did 90 percent of its business in Highland Park, considered by some to be the “Brooklyn of L.A.,” so the new office location is ideal. Their sales volume last year was $32 million and with a couple of new people added to the team, including a fluent Spanish-speaking agent, and the new office, Salomone is forecasting almost doubling that sales volume in 2018.
On her decision to join Pacific Union, Salomone said she liked that the company had a lot of “hands-on” leaders who were quick to respond to queries, as well as the concierge service agents offered at the firm.
Brad Holmes, meanwhile, joined Pacific Union with his team a couple of weeks ago, lured in part by Salamone.
“He’s always been one of my favorite people there, we always shared intel; we thought he’d be a great person to come over,” said Salomone, who said she was enjoying “hand-picking” of seasoned agents to join the office.
“We are thrilled to be joining a company that is breaking new ground in technology and design, yet remains focused on community and client services,” said Holmes in a statement. “We find this unique blend of tech and community a perfect fit for our team’s values and provides us the necessary tools to succeed in today’s real estate market.”
On the west side of Los Angeles, Keller Williams’ Vannicola and team will now work from Pacific Union’s Ocean Park and Santa Monica locations. Vannicola, who has been a managing director at Keller Williams, was the most active agent last year in Santa Monica, according to the MLS, with 21 transactions, said a Pacific Union spokesperson. The Regina Vannicola Real Estate Group also recently received the Keller Williams Double Platinum Team award for being the no. 1 team in Santa Monica.
“This was a very strategic move and an opportunity for me to better serve my clients, as well as to grow my team and expand our reach,” said Vannicola in a statement. “I considered other brokerages, but it’s refreshing to work with a company that is ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, data, and marketing, and that is led by executives who know the market as well as I do.”
“Regina is one of the most dynamic people I’ve worked with over the years and we’re fortunate to have her and her talented team join us,” Segal said of Vannicola’s move.
Keller Williams was contacted by email for a comment on the recent departures but had not responded by the time of this article’s publication.
Pacific Union launched in Los Angeles in January, putting the former John Aaroe Group, Partners Trust and Gibson International real estate firms, a combined total of 900 agents, under the Pacific Union Southern California brand.