(Above) Cristie St. James, President, and Markus Canter, CEO, St. James + Canter
When Markus Canter and Cristie St. James met, they were an even match.
“The formation of our team takes us back to our favorite love story: one where Cristie and I first met at an A. Quincy Jones, mid-century modern masterpiece in Beverly Hills,” Canter, CEO and co-founder of the St. James + Canter team, tells RISMedia. “One of the many merits of our partnership is our alignment on personal and professional values.”
In a foretelling twist, Canter and St. James eventually listed the property, garnering multiple offers and selling in the span of a week. Today, the couple leads the St. James + Canter team, a Beverly Hills-based, elite group of seven, affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.
“As we joined forces in business and family, our agreement on values guided our consideration for the extension of our team—and so, we are very proud of the caliber of our St. James + Canter family,” Canter says.
Within their brokerage, Canter and St. James are central figures in the luxury segment, both as Luxury Properties directors and founders of the New Homes Division. Recently, St. James + Canter was honored on one of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s prestigious “Lists,” ranked one of the 75 top Residential Real Estate Agents, with $88 million and 37 units in 2018.
“We are fortunate to experience the fruits of our labor of love by always providing an extraordinary service experience to clients for more than 30 years,” St. James, president of the team, says.
Below, the duo share their thoughts on their team, the luxury market, and more.
Suzanne De Vita: To begin…what’s one common misconception about luxury real estate?
Markus Canter: That it’s easy.
SD: Which markets do you serve, and how are they faring?
MC: I am a native of Los Angeles, and Cristie has maintained the top-producing agent distinction in the region for over three decades, particularly in lifestyle and luxury categories. Whereas we are recognized as real estate investment sales experts across Southern California communities, we have enjoyed our most fruitful success in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, Malibu and other adjacent communities.
Cristie St. James: Considering Q1 market activity year-over-year (2018 and 2019), 2019 has presented new challenges, with less inventory of desirable product and changes in valuations. However, we have been fortunate to experience more activity this year with multiple offers and fast selling time, especially with lifestyle properties.
SD: Are there any distinctive listings you’re marketing at the moment?
MC: Absolutely! Today we’re finding considerable interest for three of our celebrity properties: Star Wars’ actor Billy Dee Williams’ former home and current Balinese modern oasis in Beverly Hills; famed musical artist estate manager Jeff Jampol’s Sunset Plaza Drive home; and a storied Frank Sinatra desert hideaway home overlooking the Coachella Valley.
SD: What’s the culture like on your team?
MC: We are a family. Our culture as a family enables us to embrace everyone that we work with as an extended family member.
SD: What’s your approach to luxury marketing, and how does your brand fit that strategy?
CS: We create an extraordinary service experience to all facets of the marketing communication suite.
MC: We see ourselves as thought leaders and trendsetters on the state of the Southern California lifestyle and luxury real estate market. Well-respected as subject matter experts in real estate activity across Los Angeles, we are commonly sourced by industry professionals and the news media nationwide for unique perspective on this great city and region.
SD: You have clientele from outside the U.S. What’s your advice for breaking into the international luxury niche?
CS: Recognizing Los Angeles as arguably the most attractive internationally lifestyle market, we recommend aspiring luxury specialists do what it takes to become a blue-chip resource for area market intelligence at a level unlike any other.
SD: To conclude, what’s your overall philosophy regarding real estate?
CS: Real estate brings together our team’s greatest loves: people, storytelling and unique architectural properties. By pursuing these loves, our life purpose/philosophy to transform the lives of our clients through real estate inspires us to serve our client’s best interests every day.
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at email@example.com.