Sally Forster Jones and her team build a legacy of service and success.
She’s seen the real estate industry inside-and-out. As an expert and highly-skilled professional, she operates at the highest level of residential luxury with her capable team. Our interview with Sally Forster Jones examines her career in real estate, the international buying trends that Los Angeles experiences, and what the future holds for this industry icon.
Q: Talk to us about the early days in your real estate career. How did you get started, and when did you know that the luxury market was your niche?
SFJ: My foray into real estate started in my 20s. With the little money I could gather, from savings and borrowing from family, I put down as little as possible to buy my first home – a real fixer upper. Two years later, after making improvements to the property, I was able to sell it for nearly a 50% return! You could imagine how absolutely exciting that was for me being so young. I took the modest proceeds from this first sale and used it to purchase 10 little houses applying a similar strategy. That’s when I just knew in my heart that I had found my calling and it wasn’t long after I got my real estate license, formally launching my career.
Over the 80’s and 90’s my expertise started to quickly expand from residential to include commercial, development, property management and mortgages. By the late 90s, my business had grown to become a key player in the marketplace whereupon I made the decision to merge my residential company with Fred Sands’ brokerage and center my focus on residential real estate.
How did I know that the luxury market was my niche? As my career progressed, I noticed that the standard of service I provided particularly resonated with buyers and sellers of luxury homes. Having a personal appreciation and intuition for upscale residential aesthetic, it felt like a natural fit and here we are now.
Q: Describe the experience a client can expect when working with you; what sets you and your team apart from others?
SFJ: I am highly selective when it comes to recruiting agents and support staff. Each member is, of course, an expert at their role but in addition they are genuinely passionate about the business which naturally breeds commitment and enthusiasm towards servicing our clients. Our team culture is tight knit like a family, creating a collaborative environment that enables us to gladly work tirelessly around the clock to provide the distinguished quality that we’re known for.
Q: The ultra-luxury real estate market often contains separate cycles from the normal market. What has been the trend for the ultra-luxury market in the last few years, and what do you expect from it moving forward?
SFJ: Yes, the ultra-luxury segment doesn’t see the same trends as the general market. You are dealing with very wealthy people, local and foreign, who aren’t as affected by market conditions. There is no sign that the upward trend of the luxury real estate boom in the United States will change anytime soon and we are enthusiastic about rising with the tide.
Q: How have international buyers transformed LA real estate? Where do you see most international clients coming from?
SFJ: A few years ago, we had an influx of Chinese buyers purchasing properties across Los Angeles along with buyers from the Middle East and Europe. However, within the past year, I have noticed a decrease in Chinese buyers and international clients in general.
Q: You’ve brokered record-setting deals and regularly work with high-profile figures. What personal and professional attributes have enabled you to accumulate and retain such impressive clientele and be involved in 8- and 9-figure deals?
SFJ: Our longstanding reputation of experience, diligence, and integrity. Referrals are a foundational element of the real estate industry. Good service begets more business, whether referred or repeat business, and our team validates that philosophy to clearly be true.
Q: Looking to 2018 and beyond, what’s on the horizon for Sally Forster Jones?
SFJ: With our recent move to Compass, we are confident that 2018 will be our best year yet! My team and Compass are dedicated to changing real estate, and between my industry knowledge and Compass’s best-in-class technology, marketing and support, we are on track to do so! In doing this, we are looking to exceed last year’s $370,000,000 total sales volume with a goal of $500,000,000+.
To learn more, please visit www.sfjgroup.com.