For these sports stars, there’s only one (real estate) agent in town
When the Rams drafted Jared Goff in 2016, the highly touted rookie quarterback arrived in L.A. as a 21-year-old outside his comfort zone. Alone, he started searching for a home as he navigated the stresses of life in a brand-new city.
That’s when Jordan Cohen stepped in. Referred by Goff’s agent, the RE/Max agent quickly helped Goff find a spot in Oak Park, an unincorporated community near the Rams’ practice facility in Thousand Oaks — but the work didn’t end there.
“He was available for anything,” Goff said. “Recommendations for a landscaper. Where to find a good Italian restaurant. Where to ship mail from. His wife offered to do my laundry.”
It’s a typical relationship for Cohen, who was recently crowned by real estate news outlet Inman as the top luxury agent of 2019. He credits his deep pool of athlete and celebrity clientele to his willingness to do anything to find them a home, and after three decades in the industry, his feverish pace of work has never tapered.
The work itself, however, has changed dramatically. Fresh out of school at Cal State Northridge in 1990, Cohen spent the early part of his career paying his dues with old-fashioned real estate techniques: cold calls, knocking on doors and giving away pumpkins in hopes of landing a sale.
At 23, he landed two listing appointments that would have paid out $6,000 each in commission and doubled his net worth. He failed both, and in the wake of the defeat, he decided to go all in. Maxing out his credit card, he began aggressively marketing properties with videos and print ads while convincing himself that he was the best real estate agent in L.A.
“I practiced my pitches seven nights a week for hours with my fiancée. I didn’t turn on the TV for six months,” Cohen said.
Over the next few years, he grew from selling $100,000 homes in the San Fernando Valley to $300,000 homes in Porter Ranch. He still works seven days a week now, but his client list has evolved from first-time home buyers to the likes of football star Reggie Bush and billionaire film producer Thomas Tull.
Last year, he racked up $181 million in sales. This year, that number is well over $200 million and includes the $35-million sale of Tull’s compound in Thousand Oaks — a Ventura County record. He also represented the buyer on a $22.2-million deal in Hidden Hills, the most expensive home ever sold in the equestrian community.
“The Wedding Planner” actress Bridgette Wilson and her husband, tennis legend Pete Sampras, have contributed to those numbers quite a bit over the years. The pair have bought and sold five homes with Cohen over the last 15 years, including spots in Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Westlake Village, where Cohen’s office is located.
“You don’t have to come with much energy with Jordan. He supplies it,” Wilson said. “He’s always real about the market and gives you both sides of the coin.”
Cohen counts Rams linebacker Clay Matthews as another longtime client. A California native, the six-time Pro Bowler said Cohen has not only helped him purchase two homes in L.A. but has always made himself available whenever Matthews has a question.
“I moved from Wisconsin to California not too long ago, and he gave me advice on selling my house there based on comparisons in the area,” the longtime Green Bay Packers star said. “His tutelage has helped me make a lot of decisions. I know I can always go back to the well.”
In an age in which brokerages merge and the top companies poach the most talented agents, Cohen credits his loyalty as a boon. He’s been with RE/Max for decades and balances his business with the help of only one assistant.
Clad in jeans and a sweatshirt most days, Cohen considers himself an old-school agent. It’s a style that leads to his befriending many of his clients — whether they’re an under-the-radar investor or two-time NFL defensive player of the year Aaron Donald.
“Jordan’s my guy. He’s always cracking jokes and having fun, so it’s easy to feel comfortable with him,” said Donald, whom Cohen helped buy a place in Calabasas. “You do business together, and then you have that relationship going forward.”
Cohen relies on referrals for most of his celebrity clients, especially athletes. In addition to Goff, Matthews and Donald, he’s worked with other Rams such as quarterback Blake Bortles and wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods.
Others, such as WWE wrestler Michael “The Miz” Mizanin, stumbled across his name on their own. While scrolling through Instagram in search of luxury homes, he came across Cohen’s profile and decided to direct message him. “He responded immediately, and we met up that same day within hours,” Mizanin said.
Mizanin’s list of demands was extensive. The property would need a guest casita for his mom and a separate place for his mother-in-law, and it had to be in a guard-gated neighborhood because his previous home was broken into multiple times.
“He said, ‘Let me see what I can do,’ and found an off-market house in Westlake Village the very next day,” Mizanin said. “I bought it right away.”
Throughout all of his interactions, Cohen exudes confidence. It’s something he learned as a 7-year-old when he appeared in Steven Spielberg’s film “1941,” and it has continued throughout his career. He markets himself aggressively. He markets his homes aggressively. He’s on his own, and he likes it that way.
“Most agents that work at my level have a massive team working under them. My clients don’t have to interact with anyone under me because I’m the only one that sells their property,” Cohen said. “I’m a true independent agent.”
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