Tomer Fridman, the Kardashians' real estate agent, tries to stay humble

If you're celebrity real estate titan Tomer Fridman, sometimes you're helping a Kardashian drop millions on a new mega-mansion, and other times you're mopping up wildlife droppings.

"I'll climb into attics; if I need to, I'll clean up coyote poop from a kitchen. I do it. I just do what it takes," the 39-year-old said. "You have to stay humble when dealing with high-profile people. They're the superstar, the celebrity. Not me."

Fridman has built a name representing the Kardashian clan's numerous real estate deals since 2013, including the $20-million sale of a Hidden Hills home to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

Other notable clients: Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, and Jessica Simpson. He also handled the $7.2-million sale of Justin Bieber's Calabasas digs to Khloe Kardashian in 2014.

Last year Fridman crushed the $100-million mark for closed sales in a single year as partner and executive vice president with Ewing & Associates Sotheby's International.

Given a career finessing deals in such rarefied air, one might expect a personality that veers to the cosmetic. Instead, Fridman possesses an authentic charm that disarms — optimal for elite clientele who live behind guarded gates. "He's a sweetheart of a guy, very popular around the business," said Ewing's founder, Roger Ewing. "He has the ability to calm emotions and works well in complicated negotiations with a lot of egos."

After quoting Fridman's boss, it would seem disingenuous to next quote his mother. But Isidora Fridman is Tomer Fridman's 10-year, 50/50 business partner; both at Ewing's Calabasas office and in a burgeoning empire the pair have built as co-owners of Sotheby's Israel brand. Tomer Fridman is chief executive.

"Tomer's always had a passion for real estate, even way before I got into the business in the 1990s," said Isidora, who was born in Romania and raised in Israel. In the 1980s she emigrated from Israel to the San Fernando Valley with her husband, Gideon, and Tomer.

Isidora recounts a time when she asked if 10-year-old Tomer wanted to see a movie. "He said, 'Mom, you know, I'd really prefer to go look at this new gated community in Calabasas,'" she said. "Even as a child, he was hooked on real estate."

The Fridmans keep an apartment in Tel Aviv. Their Tel Aviv market is a portal to European deals, key to a global real estate trade that increasingly fuels Los Angeles sales, especially in celebrity-trendy Calabasas.

The Fridmans don't so much handle individual clients as they navigate the labyrinthine teams behind them. "There's a lot of moving parts in these negotiations," said Tomer, known for being highly protective of clients. Added Ewing: "Tomer understands the balance between coming from a strong position, and still remaining friends. This is a small community."

So small that the Fridmans both live amid the Kardashians in the Oaks of Calabasas. Done in shades of gray, the walls of Tomer's postmodern digs are adorned with Joan Miro color dashes amid monochrome furnishings.

A Tibetan mastiff might feel at home amid the Philippe Starck Louis Ghost chairs. But true to his affable nature, Fridman prefers rescue dogs, and both of his are mutts: Griffin and Chloe.

To keep clients happy, he offers a concierge service, says he is more a representative than a salesman, and is available 24/7 for anything.

Fridman's business and social lives sometimes fuse, given his orbit around Planet Kardashian. He's a regular at Kris Jenner's Christmas Eve bash, held at her Hidden Hills home. And yes, Fridman has Kim Kardashian's emoji app, Kimoji, loaded on his iPhone.

"I always support the client," said Fridman.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on March 26, 2016, in the News section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Amid the egos, Fridman keeps it real" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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