Real Estate Experts Account for History and Design to Truly Create a Home
Written By: Alexandra Huynh Home Buying Made Simple in South Bay With Edler Group Realtors
Photographed By: Hunter Cole
Names: Rick Edler, Darin DeRenzis, Meredith Johnson, Bill D’Alvia
Credentials: Realtors who represent the needs of clients for Sotheby’s International Realty
Current Project: Construction of a 6, 000-square-foot home in Palos Verdes
As you step onto the dirt beneath the bare wooden frames and absorb the resonant echoes of clanging and sawing that vibrate through the air, you can’t help but envision the breath-taking pool, the immense movie theater and the rustic wine cellar that will soon take place on the 20, 000-square-foot lot. Once completed, the massive residence will be worth about $5 million. The wooden structure resting atop the bare bed of dirt will join the myriad of beautiful Palos Verdes estates overlooking the scenic rolling hills and panoramic ocean backdrop of the coastal city. The locals here take full advantage of the bountiful landscape the city has to offer with outdoor activities like hiking, going to the beach and horseback riding. This home is just one of many projects the realtors the Edler Group are working on—and probably the biggest.
Knowledge, ambition and passion have allowed these Realtors to rise to the top. Rick Edler, Kitty Edler, Darin DeRenzis, Ed DeRenzis, Meredith Johnson, Anne St. Cyr, Lynn Potter and Bill D’Alvia represent the South Bay of Los Angeles from Manhattan Beach to Palos Verdes and all the communities between. These homes are significant in their architectural magnificence and their breathtaking ocean views. Many of the agents live locally in Palos Verdes and Hermosa Beach and have a diverse base of knowledge of those communities. They have been the No. 1-producing luxury team in the market for a few years, which has allowed them to have unprecedented reach in both their market knowledge and knowledge of the community. Having that wide range of local knowledge in all markets is critically important in helping clients choose a home.
Despite the competitiveness of the market, Edler credits his company’s success to the personal relationship the Realtors have with their clients. They take great consideration of what, specifically, the client is looking for—whether it is a good school system, interior design, proximity to the beach or seclusion. Although most people believe price per square foot is the most important thing to get a good deal, purchasing a home is about more than that. It’s about comfort. Every house has its own personality, so it’s about understanding clients and fitting their needs. Their clients are like family to them and the houses they sell are not just living spaces, but homes.
Q: Can you describe your average client?
Rick Edler: Typically they end up being higher-end clients with multiple needs: residential, sometimes investment, getting referrals outside of our area, finding some homes here, helping them with tax preparation, getting them contacts for management property, whatever their needs may be.
Q: What locations do you work with?
RE: Our focus and our expertise is in the South Bay Los Angeles area. With that being said, real estate’s real estate. It’s land, it’s dirt, it’s structure, so we can help find the right people and the right resources throughout the world, whether it’s a second home in Florence, whether it’s investment property in Oklahoma, whether it’s development property or commercial property. If we don’t handle it we find the right resources to do it.
Q: What makes you stand out among other Realtors in the area?
Darin DeRenzis: As partners, Rick lives in Palos Verdes, I live in Hermosa Beach, so we’ve got a diversely-spread base of knowledge and we’re networked into those communities. On a local level no one can touch the knowledge and the information that we have and we utilize that information to help our clients. On a local level in the luxury market, over 20 percent of all sales in the last two years have been off MLS.com. For us, being able to have a wide range of knowledge in all the markets we service is absolutely critical. Bill D’Alvia, one of our partners, works down in the Long Beach market. Meredith also lives in Hermosa Beach but works the Downtown Los Angeles market and the Westside. Really having a wide range of knowledge is critically important.
Q: What are some interesting and unique features about some of the houses that you sell?
Bill D’Alvia: There’s everything from architectural significance to being done really well. One of the best lines is that a house is just a house until you get to finishes. We’re able to look at houses at any price range and see a change because it comes down to what the details are and how people live their lives.
Meredith Johnson: I think another thing that’s significant in the South Bay in particular is the ocean and the views, whether they’re on the hills or down in Manhattan or Hermosa. The views are critical.
Q: What are some differences you see within the markets that you serve?
DD: This home will be about $5 million. It’s over 6, 000 square feet. It’s got a movie theater, a wine cellar, a pool. It’s on a 20, 000-square-foot lot. You can see the ocean, you can see the city, you go down to the beach for about the same amount of money, you get a much smaller lot but you get proximity to the ocean; you’re walking distance to some of the top restaurants in California. And you go out to the Westside and for the same amount of money you get a beautiful condo, so there’s a lot of diversity there in that same price range.
Q: What have been some of your favorite homes and why?
RE: My favorite and to date the best sale I ever made was a 2-bedroom on Winlock and Torrance. The family that was selling it was in a really bad spot personally. It was a really good group of people who were in a really bad spot and they needed help and we stepped in and we did an exceptional job for them. We took care of them all the way through and to this day they thank us for helping them through, so much so that they actually asked us to speak at a funeral service. The job wasn’t outside of our scope. What we did was what we normally do, but we took such personal care and it had such a profound impact on their lives that that became special to me. The most significant sale in my life was $285, 000.
Q: How do you make a new house a home?
RE: Every house tells a story. Each home is unique but you can’t tell a story until you live in it. So people will often get in, they’ll remodel their home right away and I think that’s a mistake. I think you need to live in it a couple days, a couple weeks and see how the home works with you, how the light works, what rooms the family spends time in. How the person uses the home is how the home speaks to them.
BD: What makes a home a home is an individual thing. Some people want more proximity. They’re willing to take a smaller house that is closer to the ocean and for them that’s what matters the most. For others it just depends: they want it comfortable, they want to spend a lot of money on interior designers, making it a showpiece. Others just want comfort, they just want a place to disappear.
Q: What is your favorite room in your home?
RE: In my house we have a patio in the back and I find that I spend a lot of time sitting in the chairs in the back at sunset because it kind of comes over the trees and the color is nice. It’s not even in the home. When you walk through the house it’s not something I would present to someone normally because it’s not a significant part of that house, but it’s my significant part.
Q: Does every home have a personal story that you try to sell to the buyer?
RE: Yes, it’s typically when we’re selling a house we want to find out the story of the house, how the people used it, what’s important to them, what their favorite room is, what their favorite window is, what special memory they’ve had, what they’ve done. It’s usually stories with friends and family and once we know that, that’s how usually the house speaks to the next buyer.
Q: How is the market changing as far as what people are looking in homes nowadays?
RE: I think most engineers look at price per square foot and you really can’t measure a house on price per square foot. A house has to meet your needs and the way you live in it. A 10, 000-square-foot house that has no living space and just lots of room doesn’t really work. If a house is really well-designed or really well-functioning or extremely architecturally significant it’ll go for a premium. We’ve also seen that people want larger family rooms, more outdoor space, larger dining rooms—living rooms have gotten smaller.
Q: What is the biggest mistake people make when purchasing a home?
RE: Not using a Realtor. A Realtor can walk you through. You really wouldn’t want to set up your own will, you wouldn’t want to set up your own trust, you wouldn’t want to set up your own investment, you wouldn’t want to clean your own teeth. You need somebody who specializes in it, who understands it. Just having that advice and that guidance is exceptionally valuable. It’s such an expensive and large purchase for some people. You don’t want to leave it to an amateur. You want to give it to someone with the resources and the knowledge to get it to the end.
Q: What is your source of motivation?
RE: Some of my better inspiration is from meditating—goes against the caffeine and the busy schedule.
Sotheby’s International Realty
2501 N Sepulveda Blvd, 2nd Floor
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
310.546.7611 | www.vistasir.com
R E A L /// Experts. Edler Group Strives to Find Homes That Are The Right Match for Their Clients