There’s a notion that to change into a prime agent in L.A.’s ultra-competitive actual property market, one wants to have private connections. Referrals and networking are the inspiration of success. Or, as one wag just lately put it, “You need to know rich people.”
But one agent, Tony Mariotti of Ruby Home, breaks that mould. Last yr, he repped the consumers of a $17.5 million Malibu seaside home owned by Skrillex and represented Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joe Elliott of Def Leppard in his purchase of a $2.3 million pied-a-terre in West Hollywood, as reported by Dirt.
Mariotti’s purchasers on these gross sales weren’t related to him by referral or phrase of mouth. They merely discovered him by his Ruby Home website, which Mariotti has shrewdly optimized to rank on web page one in all Google Search for a bunch of phrases. Type in “luxury homes Los Angeles” and Ruby Home comes up because the fifth end result. Type “Bird Streets homes” or “Los Angeles penthouses” or “Trousdale Estates,” and Mariotti’s website ranks No. 1., forward of Zillow. In complete, Mariotti did $33 million in gross sales in Southern California in 2021, up from $5 million the yr 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 familiar with what digital publishers try to do to get eyeballs and ad impressions,” says the agent. “I kind of took the publishing mentality into building Ruby Home.”
To that finish, he began publishing weblog posts in regards to the structure and character of assorted neighborhoods round Los Angeles on Ruby Home’s web site, alongside actual property listings. “I was thinking if I can write about things that I love like architecture neighborhoods and industry — all three are inextricably bound especially in L.A. — maybe people will show up and read about [for example] Carroll Avenue’s Victorian houses,” he says. “I kind of built evergreen content about neighborhoods. I’m trying to outrank Zillow, Trulia and Redfin, which just offer homes for sale.”
Mariotti, who grew up within the Pacific Northwest, launched Ruby Home in 2017, and for the primary couple years of its existence, he didn’t even try to do any actual property offers, regardless that he had obtained an actual property license. “It was really just about getting some decent traffic. In 2019, I was getting maybe 20 or 30 people registering [on the website] per month or making a showing request. I was ignoring them. I wasn’t out selling,” he says, including that he first obtained his actual property license merely to “get the feed of listings on my website.”
Eventually, individuals who signed up on the Ruby Home web site started reaching out to Mariotti about shopping for properties. “I had wives of famous people, famous people themselves texting me including 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 phone at nine o’clock one night. It was a woman looking for a home in Beachwood Canyon. She was interested in trees and a big backyard. I said you should look at Outpost Estates. Two weeks later, she bought a $2.8 million home.” (Mariotti was then working as an actual property agent by the brokerage United Real Estate. “They are a flat fee brokerage,” says Mariotti, a distinction to many actual property brokerage, which takes a set proportion of agent’s commissions.)
His greatest sale to date was representing the consumers of Skrillex’s Malibu seaside home, who, sure, found Mariotti by a web based search. “They found us, and they registered on the website. They were overseas clients from Australia who invested in luxury properties around the globe. They were staying at Shutters and were here for a week and wanted to look at homes in Malibu. They said, ‘Our budget is $20 million.’ OK, let’s go,” remembers Mariotti.
Last November, Mariotti took his enterprise one step additional. He arrange Ruby Home as a brokerage and now counts two different brokers, Judy Lin Young and Beata Mandell, as a part of his staff. (Young joined in the summertime of 2020, whereas Mandell “approached me to join RubyHome — out of the blue — after repeatedly seeing Ruby Home show up in search engine results 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, for example, did $471 million in gross sales final yr, topping Real Trends’ California rankings — Mariotti speaks with stunned delight at promoting a celeb seaside home for practically $20 million.
“I didn’t see that coming. If you told me five years ago, ‘Hey you’re going to do that,’ I wouldn’t have believed you.”