There’s a notion that to develop into a prime agent in L.A.’s ultra-competitive real estate market, one must have private connections. Referrals and networking are the muse of success. Or, as one wag just lately put it, “You’ll want to know wealthy folks.”
However one agent, Tony Mariotti of Ruby Dwelling, breaks that mildew. Final 12 months, he repped the consumers of a $17.5 million Malibu seashore home owned by Skrillex and represented Rock and Roll Corridor of Famer Joe Elliott of Def Leppard in his purchase of a $2.3 million pied-a-terre in West Hollywood, as reported by Grime.
Mariotti’s shoppers on these gross sales weren’t related to him by referral or phrase of mouth. They merely discovered him via his Ruby Home website, which Mariotti has shrewdly optimized to rank on web page considered one of Google Seek for a bunch of phrases. Kind in “luxurious houses Los Angeles” and Ruby Dwelling comes up because the fifth end result. Kind “Hen Streets houses” or “Los Angeles penthouses” or “Trousdale Estates,” and Mariotti’s web site ranks No. 1., forward of Zillow. In whole, Mariotti did $33 million in gross sales in Southern California in 2021, up from $5 million the 12 months earlier than.
Mariotti leaned into his digital publishing background to nab these high-ranking outcomes, which in flip generate buyer leads and finally gross sales. “I’m accustomed to what digital publishers attempt to do to get eyeballs and advert impressions,” says the agent. “I sort of took the publishing mentality into constructing Ruby Dwelling.”
To that finish, he began publishing weblog posts in regards to the structure and character of assorted neighborhoods round Los Angeles on Ruby Dwelling’s web site, alongside actual property listings. “I used to be pondering if I can write about issues that I really like like structure neighborhoods and trade — all three are inextricably sure particularly in L.A. — perhaps folks will present up and examine [for example] Carroll Avenue’s Victorian homes,” he says. “I sort of constructed evergreen content material about neighborhoods. I’m attempting to outrank Zillow, Trulia and Redfin, which simply supply houses on the market.”
Mariotti, who grew up within the Pacific Northwest, launched Ruby Dwelling in 2017, and for the primary couple years of its existence, he didn’t even try and do any actual property offers, regardless that he had obtained an actual property license. “It was actually nearly getting some respectable site visitors. In 2019, I used to be getting perhaps 20 or 30 folks registering [on the website] per 30 days or making a exhibiting request. I used to be ignoring them. I wasn’t out promoting,” he says, including that he first obtained his actual property license merely to “get the feed of listings on my web site.”
Ultimately, individuals who signed up on the Ruby Dwelling web site started reaching out to Mariotti about shopping for houses. “I had wives of well-known folks, well-known folks themselves texting me together with Tommy Lee,” says Mariotti (although no transactions ended up occurring with the Mötley Crüe rocker.)
His first sale occurred in 2019. It was, he says, “an accident.”
“I answered my cellphone at 9 o’clock one evening. It was a girl on the lookout for a house in Beachwood Canyon. She was enthusiastic about bushes and an enormous yard. I stated you must take a look at Outpost Estates. Two weeks later, she purchased a $2.8 million dwelling.” (Mariotti was then working as an actual property agent via the brokerage United Actual Property. “They’re a flat price brokerage,” says Mariotti, a distinction to many actual property brokerage, which takes a set share of agent’s commissions.)
His largest sale up to now was representing the consumers of Skrillex’s Malibu seashore home, who, sure, found Mariotti via a web based search. “They discovered us, and so they registered on the web site. They have been abroad shoppers from Australia who invested in luxurious properties across the globe. They have been staying at Shutters and have been right here for per week and wished to take a look at houses in Malibu. They stated, ‘Our finances is $20 million.’ OK, let’s go,” recollects Mariotti.
Final November, Mariotti took his enterprise one step additional. He arrange Ruby Dwelling as a brokerage and now counts two different brokers, Judy Lin Younger and Beata Mandell, as a part of his workforce. (Younger joined in the summertime of 2020, whereas Mandell “approached me to affix RubyHome — out of the blue — after repeatedly seeing Ruby Dwelling present up in search engine outcomes pages,” he says.)
Altogether Mariotti, who additionally sells within the Pacific Northwest, did $40 million in gross sales in 2021. And whereas that doesn’t put him into the higher echelons of L.A.’s top-selling brokers — Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker, as an illustration, did $471 million in gross sales final 12 months, topping Actual Developments’ California rankings — Mariotti speaks with shocked delight at promoting a celeb seashore home for practically $20 million.
“I didn’t see that coming. In case you advised me 5 years in the past, ‘Hey you’re going to try this,’ I wouldn’t have believed you.”