This Real Estate Agent is Taking Over LA
Written By: Tamara Austring
Photographed By: Tae Kwon
The allure of Hollywood entices many, but only a few make it to the top. It’s a turbulent business, made for those most dedicated to their craft or those with an unwavering work ethic. When an LA local can make it in the film and television industry, and then turn around and become a top selling, multi-million dollar real estate agent, one should be inspired.
One man who has done just that is Craig Knizek, Co-Managing Director/Partner of The Agency’s Sherman Oaks and Calabasas offices. The producer of Sony/NBC’s “Mad About You,” and the original associate producer of “The Simpsons,” Craig made the transition to real estate after a 20-year career in entertainment.
Though you may think the two industries stand far apart from one another, Knizek would disagree. “I learned to exert incredible attention to detail [as a producer],” he explains. “In creating content, conducting business or making a deal, every thought, every email—it all matters. I also learned that I had to work harder than anyone else, and to understand the creative temperament of artists, which is similar to understanding the sensitive mentality of a home buyer/seller.”
Real estate felt like a natural transition for Craig, who was already building and renovating spec homes with his wife, designer Allison Knizek. In fact, they have built 14 homes to date since 2002. This longstanding passion led to Knizek’s transition to The Agency.
Mauricio Umansky and Billy Rose founded The Agency fueled by a passion and desire to offer their clients better representation and unsurpassed service. With a star-studded team, including Knizek, The Agency has redefined the business of real estate, modernizing and advancing the industry by fostering a culture of partnership and collaboration. “It’s truly an entrepreneurial enterprise that fits my temperament,” Knizek says.
The majority of Knizek’s business covers the San Fernando Valley, from Hidden Hills to Toluca Lake, but he has clients all over LA, including Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Los Feliz and Beverly Hills. Although he closes plenty of deals under $2 million, a larger portion of Knizek’s business is migrating upward toward more expensive homes.
According to Knizek, Encino is one of the hottest spots in LA to buy right now. “[This area] has large lots, which yield large homes in this era of zoning restrictions. Large homes afford affluent buyers the amenities they seek—wine cellars, movie theaters, gyms, guest houses and that rarest of attributes—land.”
While land, a finite resource in our bustling city, is one of the most coveted commodities in LA real estate right now, Knizek said he still feels we’re in a seller’s market. “A good house is what everyone wants, more so than an affordable or ‘cheap’ house at a bargain. Today’s world demands people work harder, and they want to spend their precious time with family, not necessarily putting in sweat equity to renovate their home,” he asserts. “Plus, by working so hard and enjoying financial success, most buyers want and deserve a lovely home.”
As for his own version of home, Knizek and his wife have lived in Sherman Oaks for 21 years, raising their two daughters in the neighborhood. With a generous lot size, the couple utilized their experience of building homes to construct a beautiful guesthouse that was featured in the Wall Street Journal, with an incredible backyard where the family can relax and spend time together. “My wife is an incredible designer, and we’re constantly renovating rooms and redesigning space within the house,” Knizek says.
“I strongly believe in the American dream and am so heartened daily by getting the privilege to witness firsthand the fruits of this incredible system,” he continues. “I love seeing first-time buyers and families reaching for their dream home. It’s an honor to be their trusted guide.”
Sunset Sips: Knizek loves to grab a beer at Dodger Stadium. He also enjoys drinking wine at Augustine with his wife and dog, “We sit outside with Milo and marvel at our good fortune to be sipping wines in this weather.”
On the Go: When Knizek isn’t throwing down deals, he loves to spend time with his daughters—whether it’s at a sporting event or a concert, he’s in.
Make This House a Home: This 6,150 square foot home has incredible curb appeal with a circular driveway behind two gates. The 46-acre property has a pool, sports court, putting and chipping green and a sand trap.
331 Foothill Road, Ste 100
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
19321 Wells Dr
Tarzana, CA 91356
Craig Knizek BRE #01377932
From TV and Film to Selling Multi Million Dollar Listings, Craig Knizek Can Do it All
Tamara is SoCal born and bred with Dutch roots. With an English degree from Vanguard University, she is thrilled to be part of the LOCALE editorial team. She enjoys reading, eating green bell peppers, petting other people's dogs, and cooking/baking while singing into a kitchen spoon to Broadway show tunes.