Haute Living talks with everyone who’s anyone in the red hot Los Angeles marketplace.
Photography by Laura Wagner
Personal attention and staying on top of things will guarantee happiness all around.
Jeff Hyland’s career spans over 20 years as a leading real estate broker. In addition to being one of the first exclusive affiliates of Christie’s Great Estates, Inc., Jeff is also a past president of the Beverly Hills Board of Realtors. As an architectural historian, he assisted in the publication of books on Wallace Neff and Paul Williams. Clearly one of the most recognized real estate figures in all of Southern California, he was recently named “The Gatekeeper of Holmby Hills” by Town & Country magazine. He partnered with Rick Hilton to create Hilton & Hyland, a unique and dynamic combination of success, expertise, and experience where both principals, along with the entire staff, have distinguished themselves as sophisticated industry veterans who are committed to redefining personal service.
HL Where are you from? What attracted you to L.A.?
JH My parents moved here because my father was a screenwriter. He wrote 19 motion pictures, so I was born and raised in the Little Holmby section of Los Angeles.
HL What attracted you to real estate?
JH As a native, I was always attracted to the neighborhoods surrounding where I grew up. A love of exploring nearby communities taught me to appreciate architecture, and the two became the cornerstone for my passion of real estate.
HL Who was your first mentor, and how did he/she influence you?
JH A devoted teacher at the Ojai Valley School instilled in me the love of California history. During my early years in real estate, I began to focus on local history and subsequently, it became such an important part of my career that today, I have become an expert. My contemporaries in and out of the business have fondly referred to me as an architectural historian.
HL You’ll never be found without your…
JH Photos of my four-legged companions and my wife, Lori.
HL What were your yearly sales for 2007? Forecast for 2008?
JH We have created what our competitors acknowledge as the hottest office in town. Even in a slowing market, our continued growth through expansion should generate another $200 million in sales to close $1 billion in 2008.
HL What is your most memorable deal?
JH The sale of totally untouched Enchanted Hill, so named by Greta Garbo, to Paul Allen. It was 120 acres in Beverly Hills with the most commanding views from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean.
HL Where do you live?
JH My wife forced me to buy TV producer Ralph Edward’s 1960s time-warped home on a hilltop in Beverly Hills. We spent two years rebuilding and then furnishing in French Art Deco. Today, we have a contemporary villa that overlooks a 25-acre preserve that is eight minutes to the office. I lovingly blame her every time we watch the sun set over seven mountain ridges all the way to Malibu.
HL If money were no object, what property on the market would you recommend in Southern California?
JH My partner’s grandfather’s house, which sits on eight acres overlooking the Bel-Air Country Club. It will never be duplicated.
HL What is your formula for keeping your high-end and/or high-profile clients happy?
JH Personal attention and staying on top of things will guarantee happiness all around.
HL Tell us one thing most people wouldn’t know about you.
JH I don’t party every night, and read more than 50 books a year.
HL What is your proudest achievement?
JH Building Hilton & Hyland into the most respected real estate boutique office in Los Angeles.
HL Where would we find you on a Friday night?
JH R & R.
HL What are your favorite vacation destinations and/or leisure activities?
JH Visiting almost any art museum anywhere. For quick escapes, it’s taking friends out on my boat. The captain pilots and I have as much care-free time as any guest.
HL Your forecast for the L.A. real estate market for 2008?
JH Because of the enormous new money finding its way to Beverly Hills, I foresee a very healthy residential market in the high-end for years to come.
HL What are your personal goals for 2008?
JH Every year, it has been to slow down. Now that I can, I work even harder. Actually, my goal will be to publish my upcoming book, The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills, the sequel to The Great Estates of Beverly Hills. I have completed the research, and Rizzoli is going to distribute with an October release.
HL In your opinion, what makes L.A. so special?
JH Everyone has a chance to succeed. We have no ruling families and Los Angeles is all about the future. Of course, we are also fortunate to have the best weather.