Beverly Hills super-broker Jade Mills made headlines when she sold half a billion dollars of real estate during 2020. She was the top-performing sales associate at the brokerage Coldwell Banker, out of more than 45,000.
Mills, who has four children and seven grandchildren, has twice broken the record for the highest sale in California: when she represented the buyer of the Playboy Mansion in 2016 for $100 million and when she sold the Chartwell Estate for $150 million to Lachlan Murdoch in 2019. Also in 2019, she sold the Spelling Manor for $119.7 million. Here she shares her post-pandemic predictions for LA and beyond.
What’s your specialty?
The area that I work is pretty much from the Hollywood Hills to Malibu. I handle my friends’ children’s first homes, which could be $1 million up, but I’ve had three over $100 million sales. So I handle any dollar amount. It’s so important to me that my clients are taken care of and that I find the right things for them.
And how is that different from other brokers?
I will pass on a sale if I wouldn’t purchase something myself. You have to have the knowledge, and after 30 years I feel I really do, and you have to have integrity. All these young brokers come to me and say, “How do I get immediate success; what is your secret sauce?” There isn’t any. It’s doing the right thing and knowing your business well.
What effect did the pandemic have on the luxury market in LA?
During Covid, the market was very steady and buyers were very serious. People were looking at something once and making an offer. It wasn’t like people were going out just to look. I actually had my best year ever. Now people will see properties two or three times, so it’s much more back to normal. Also what we’re seeing, and we’re loving this, are the foreign buyers coming back. They’re saying, “Our money is safe here; the weather is amazing,” and there are some people that just want to be close to Rodeo Drive to shop. Right now I have overseas clients in town with a $100 million budget, so I have to be at their disposal.
What type of home are high-end LA buyers asking for?
We are still seeing people who want contemporary farmhouse-style homes. I’ve had a few clients lately that are going back to wanting an old Spanish home, though with the systems upgraded. The soft contemporary home is very much in demand. I would say the very, very hard white box, not so much anymore.
What’s happening with prices?
The market is very, very busy. If it’s priced right, it will sell in a short period of time. I hear people saying, “We did buy this house in Malibu, or in Montecito, but we want to come back to Los Angeles.” We’ve never seen this many homes over $20 million, and they’re selling.
What do people want from their $20 million home?
Land. Before the pandemic, we’d been selling homes with views that had very little land. Now I think people are wanting to entertain at home, outside, and more than just having that view, they want land. People want clean, fresh air, and a lot of different systems are being installed in homes [so that buyers] feel that the air is clean.
What are your predictions for the rest of 2021?
Prices will continue to rise. There isn’t enough inventory, and as long as the sellers are realistic, I think the market will be very, very strong.