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Inspiring Success: Women Revolutionizing Real Estate

Los Angeles luxury real estate is a dynamic industry filled with opportunity and demanding clients. But who are the women shaping this market, and what sets them apart? In celebration of International Women’s Month, we asked four agents at Hilton & Hyland/Forbes Global Properties to dive in and share secrets to their success. Laura Kalb, Darlene Kelly, Kate Newton, and Alla Furman share their motivations, strategies, and insights into the ever-evolving landscape of luxury real estate, we also celebrate all of their incredible achievements.

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in luxury real estate, and what cutting-edge strategies or technologies do you employ to stay ahead in the competitive Los Angeles market?

Darlene Kelly: “I’ve always loved real estate – homes, commercial properties, hotels, etc. Working with clients from around the world keeps things exciting and challenging as every deal is different and every client brings new layers to my experience in this wonderful career. There are no limits to what one can do in this industry, and your world continues to expand with every new lesson learned in each deal and every new relationship with each new client. Knowing the landscape of my clients’ worlds they are dealing with, here and abroad, as well as keeping informed on the real estate market nuances, allows business to continue to expand and keeps things fun and successful.”

Kate Newton: “I have always had a love for Real Estate. When I bought my first home, I loved touring homes with my agent. This was pre-internet when buyers relied on their agents to see homes or drive around endlessly on a Sunday looking for open houses. At the time I was running a showroom at the California Mart DTLA. I segued into Real Estate when I had my first child. It was seamless as both are about building lifelong relationships, building trust, and staying on top of the current market. Building lifelong relationships, building trust, and staying on top of the current market and inventory. I remain friends with, help and socialize with my clients. Together, we have closed many deals and continue to refer me to new business. I go above and beyond the closing of an escrow by being available and offering to help with anything they need help with. Basically, I love what I do, and it shows; people love that!”

4778 Zelzah Ave. Kate Newton Represented Seller.

Laura Kalb: “The aspect that allured me towards a career in real estate was the ability to create your own destiny. The harder you work, the more success you will achieve. You have to create structure in your daily routine and stay ahead of all trends going on in the market. This includes previewing of inventory, reading local and National periodicals, and having a marketing presence. A strong presence in your community is also very important. Whether volunteering in the community or a presence virtually on social media.”

Alla Furman: “I’m very passionate about homes evidenced by my interior design degree. Houses and estates are a foundation for your life. If you wake up happy, it inspires you to create what you want. You have to live in a beautiful environment.”

Q: How has your experience at Hilton & Hyland/Forbes Global Properties shaped your approach to luxury real estate, and what innovative practices or trends do you see emerging in the industry?

L.K.: “Having the unique, cutting-edge marketing tools Hilton & Hyland/Forbes Global Properties always provides, coupled with the wide, global reach of Forbes Global Properties, sets a tone for my clients of reliability and long-standing high-end branding that compliments and uplifts the way I continue to communicate with my clients and enables me to continually keep their properties and buying opportunities first class. The industry is continually changing. We are able to showcase properties with virtual walkthroughs, drone photography, AI marketing tools and so much more now but I feel that having wide-reaching, well-known brand names like Hilton & Hyland and Forbes, brings a sense of quality that is known throughout the world that is trusted and recognized for the first class service that we are able to offer.”

Rai Ki Wai Compound, Wakaya Island, South Pacific. Sold by Laura Kalb.

K.N.: “The exposure as a member of the Hilton and Hyland/ Forbes community has opened many doors and opportunities both from a business growth and relationship network perspective. Surrounded by market leaders and innovative thinkers, we have the opportunity to learn from the best and how to best utilize our resources and maximize our businesses.  From contractor referrals, marketing best practices, and a network of off-market properties, we are given the advantage of the best resources available.”

A.F.: “Since we deal in high-end properties, I’ve been exposed to the highest level of real estate. Our brand attracts luxury clientele. Being located so centrally in Beverly Hills and working with Jeff Hyland exposed me to so many facets of real estate. Between the city’s finest estates to the most influential people in the world, being at Hilton & Hyland/Forbes Global Properties has shaped my whole business.”

Q: As a female leader in luxury real estate, how do you leverage your unique perspective and expertise to provide unparalleled service to your clients, and what role do you see technology playing in enhancing the client experience?

A.F.: “Third country I’ve lived in, so I have friends and clients from all over the world. I am a foreigner who has broad exposure to all different cultures and backgrounds. I also am very interested in human nature. Combined with my design background, I am able to read between the lines and expose clients to designs they didn’t even know they wanted.”

724 N Alpine Dr. Represented by Alla Furman.

L.K.: “I find women to often be the ones who nurture social environments. They make homes, social gatherings and events warm and inviting in a natural way to make people feel comfortable and engaged with one another. When showing property, you want to foster a feeling of peace, comfort and belonging while clients are viewing what could be their next home. Technology is helpful in marketing to a wide audience, and I love it, but nothing can replace the personal touch that exists when you are in person with a client, walking them through a residence and experiencing it with them.”

D.K.: “I have a referral for everything, from housekeepers to painters to designers and everything in between. My clients know that even after several years they can call me and I will help them with anything they need. I am not a technology-based agent, I am a hands-on agent, communicating via text, email, or phone call; that is as techno as I get. It is still working for me so why reinvent the wheel!”

K.N.: “As females, we tend to excel in multitasking, stress management and personal relationships. Structuring your day to maximize your time is crucial to being able to best serve your clients. As realtors, our clients are busy and expect us as professionals to best guide them. Providing hand-selected inventory for them, market research and area expertise, we are the experts. One competitive advantage is local market expertise. Insight on schools, restaurants, and lifestyle are important factors when determining where our clients want to live. As a mom of two, I can personally speak to raising kids in LA and the best restaurants. LA is an expansive town and creating a micro market for our clients is crucial when buying or selling.”

Q: In your opinion, what are some of the most exciting developments or opportunities in the luxury real estate market, and how do you envision Hilton & Hyland/Forbes Global Properties continuing to lead the way in this dynamic landscape?

A.F.: “The fact that we are affiliated with Forbes gives our agents an exceptional amount of opportunities. We have access to on and off-market properties all around the world and we consistently share information. Hilton & Hyland/Forbes Global Properties will always lead the luxury real estate space.”

D.K.: “Hilton & Hyland/Forbes Global Properties is the epitome of classic Real Estate. I am proud to tell people I am with the best agency in Los Angeles. We sell Luxury Real Estate, that is what we do period. There is a lot of value to clients that we stay focused on Real Estate and nothing more. I love being able to communicate and have the ability to offer my clients a portal to agencies all over the world in our Forbes Network.”

5929 Tuxedo Terrace. Darlene Kelly represented seller.

K.N.: “The network of web syndications for listings is essential for expansive reach. Almost all buyers begin their home search online, and our listings must be syndicated to these online resources for the best exposure- whether locally or globally. We have such a large pool of international buyers and sellers here in Los Angeles that we must be present where they are. The network of Forbes Global Properties allows for an expansive global reach along with the ability to tailor to specific micro markets.”

Q: As the real estate industry evolves, what steps do you take to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing environment, and what advice would you offer to other women looking to excel in luxury real estate sales?

A.F.: “I continue to meet and network with the most powerful people in the world. Exposure to people from all walks of life helps keep me in tune with what is current. Being social and having a pulse to what property people are drawn to.”

L.K.: “Personal relationships and knowing what your clients want in their next purchase or sale is always the utmost of importance. Continuing using the marketing tools that are tried and true, adding new technologies as they become available, and figuring out what works for you as the market changes is key but staying flexible to the changing landscape is even more important.” 

K.N.: “You have to continue to evolve and reevaluate your business. What is working and what needs to be changed? What are your competitors doing and excelling at? How can you maximize the hours in your day? Believe in yourself and take risks. Don’t be afraid to go after the big listings and don’t ever be too big for the small listings. Real estate is a constant progression, and you have to start somewhere. Join a team to learn from a top agent so you can shadow how they work and handle their business. Be present where potential clients are and master the art of networking. Your reputation is your business.”

D.K.: “My advice is to be authentic and real; be yourself and stay loyal, your loyalty will bring loyalty to you by referrals.”



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