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A seasoned real estate expert with over three decades of experience, Ed Kaminsky oversees ItzSold, Inc., with an annual sales volume exceeding $180 million. He leads SportStar Relocation, assisting professional athletes nationwide, and operates Premiere Estates Auction Company, specializing in luxury property auctions across the United States.
Kaminsky and his team have been featured on ESPN, FOX, NBC, ABC, BRAVO!, HGTV and The Fine Living Channel. The team has been seen on The Today Show; Real Estate Confidential; Good Buy, Bad Buy; and The Sports Business Journal. Kaminsky has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Breeze, The Beach Reporter, The Orange County Register, The LA Business Journal, The Boston Globe, Realtor magazine and Top Agent.
Name: Ed Kaminsky
Title: Founder and team leader
Experience: Thirty-six years in residential sales, athlete relocation, luxury marketing, and auction marketing and sales
Location: Southern California – Beach communities of Los Angeles and Manhattan Beach
Brokerage name: eXp Realty
Team: I have run a team of about three or four agents plus admin for the last decade or two and have now scaled it over the past year to 33 agents.
Transaction sides: In both 2020 and 2021 around 140 sales and $300 million. In 2023, dropped to closer to 100 sales and $180 million volume.
Awards: Had received No. 1 producing small team at eXp in 2022, Icon every year, Best Marketing Campaign from the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
The moment you stop looking and hunting for business, everything stops. I learn this every time I think I have built my business to a level that it will just flow in. The moment that happens, listing opportunities stop, and buyers stop calling.
The moment I start working my database, past clients and hot leads, business just starts flowing again. It’s the energy you put out that attracts the business to you.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child I looked at what my dad was doing and he encouraged me to join him in his field of interest. The issue was, he changed fields a lot and so did my direction.
At 18, he was in the jewelry business, so I headed in that direction. I was managing stores and teaching sales in my early 20s when an employee said he was going to go to real estate school.
I joined him, got my license and then was offered jobs by real estate brokers. I couldn’t understand how I got offered a job when I didn’t apply for one. Then of course I figured it out: no salary, no pay, spend money and you can work here.
What’s the most important thing you learned in school?
Follow the law, and stay out of trouble. Everything else I learned during real estate practice.
What’s the best advice you ever got from a mentor?
Show up, pay attention and don’t be attached to the outcome. Not a lot of words but a lot of meaning.
Showing up to work and showing up often and consistently is the key to success in real estate. You can’t wing it. You must pay attention, to your trainers, advisors, mentors, your staff, your co-workers and your clients.
Don’t be attached to the outcome is hard especially when you are new and broke. Keep the emotions between the lines; this is an up-and-down business and you can’t let it get to you or it will hamper your growth possibilities. All from Mike Ferry.
What would you tell a new agent before they start out in the business?
I tell them all the same thing. I ask them what do you think your job is in real estate? They all say, “Serve the client, know your market, be this, be that.” None of that matters unless you do one thing. You must wake up every day and do your one job: Find someone who wants to buy or sell a home and convince them to use you.
That’s it. It’s a job of hunting and prospecting and if they don’t learn that, they are destined out of the real estate business.
What do clients need to know before they begin a real estate transaction?
They need to know Ed Kaminsky.
What do too few agents know that would make their lives easier?
Sales skills. If you don’t know what to say, you won’t feel comfortable getting out there in sales situations, and it’s the death of your business.
What book has taught you the most?
I have read hundreds of books and any book that tells you to read more books is the right one. My first inspiration was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Never Split the Difference for negotiation skills. Rocket Fuel, Traction and The E- Myth to learn how to run a business like a business.
What is the one thing everyone should be doing to make their life and business better?
Break your long-term goals into clear must-do’s. Know what your daily must-do is and achieve that daily. Is it a minimum contact number? Appointment set number? Just simple — not easy, but simple.
If you could do anything other than real estate, what would it be?
I would be a chef for the fun, but if I had to start over again, I would want to work in a business that had more zeros in it, which would be large-scale development, private equity or hedge funds. Most likely private equity, if I fully understood it. I love the idea of exit plans that can earn you hundreds of millions of dollars, and it’s repeatable.
Tell us a story about your most memorable transaction
I was called by an agent I knew who got a call from the owner of the most expensive home in Idaho. He wanted to sell it and thought a California agent would be the right option. The California agent he called said he couldn’t sell it, and there was only one guy he knew that could: Ed Kaminsky.
I listed the home for $30 million with a co-marketing agreement with an agent in Idaho. I received a call from an interested buyer. Once they told me who he was, I knew this would be his home, both based on knowing the home and the history of the buyer, who was a well-known, multi-generational media giant.
I flew up to meet the buyer; he bought it for $27.5 million and the entire campaign from list to close was 119 days. The home was spectacular, the largest lakefront parcel of land in Couer d’Alene, Idaho. The home came with a helicopter pad, an airplane hanger to fit multiple jets at the airport, acreage, and the largest boathouse ever built to house multiple boats and watercraft, which were all included.
Well, that is second to another one, as it was the most historical home that I know of that sold. It was in Virginia and was designed by former President Thomas Jefferson. It was owned by two U.S. presidents.
The owner of the property when I sold it was a survivor of the Titanic and met his wife on the Carpathia, which was the boat that saved the passengers. It was the oldest continuously operating farm in the United States and had over 5000 acres, many of which were on the river.
The front door actually had bullet holes in it from the Civil War; the owner left them, as they were still mad about being shot at.
We sold the home for around $18 million using the auction process to find the right value for the property.
Troy Palmquist is the founder of DOORA Properties in Southern California and director of growth for eXp California. Follow him on Instagram or connect with him on LinkedIn.