Joyce Rey — the grand dame of international luxury real estate. Since launching her career in 1974, she has amassed nearly $5 billion USD in career sales in the luxury epicenter of Beverly Hills and the exclusive westside of Los Angeles. Her reputation is tied to the sales of some of the most historic and expensive properties in America. Some of them have names as famous hers: Pickfair, Owlwood, Green Acres, Le Belvedere and the latest, Chartwell.
Her formula for remaining relevant in the era of Instagram and Zoom is just as legendary: an eye for spotting trends, a constant willingness to innovate, a youthful spirit and a business model centered on delivering conscientious, diligent and enthusiastic service to clients — who range from celebrities to Fortune 500 members and even, royalty.
From the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury office in Beverly Hills, Joyce recently answered 10 Questions.
If you were not a real estate agent, what would you be?
This is the hardest question for me to answer because I love my real estate business. As a young woman, I taught Business Law & Business Principles at Dorsey High School in Baldwin Hills and trained teachers for USC. I also worked as an airline stewardess at Western Airlines (now Delta). I enjoyed those jobs as well. But — if I had to choose another career path now — I would have to be a talk show host!
What’s the most common question you get asked as a real estate agent?
People always ask what celebrities I have represented. Some I am able to share, but some I am not!
What is your favorite part about selling luxury real estate in your market?
I have so many! My favorite parts are making a deal, visiting and showing beautiful properties, meeting wonderful people and developing great relationships.
What are two things you hope to accomplish within the next year?
In a professional sense, helping my team members more to learn and grow in the real estate world. In a universal sense, continue to contribute significantly with UNICEF and all of my other extensive charitable endeavors.
What was a seminal moment in your career?
Selling the Sonny & Cher mansion in 1976 to my friends and longtime loyal clients, The Mishkin Family, for $1.2 million which was record-breaking at the time. I then re-sold it 2 years later for $4.2 million which again, broke all records. The Mishkins named it Owlwood, and it is now for sale with additional acreage for $115 million. I’ve sold a total of 8 properties to The Mishkin Family over the years!
If you could change one thing about the real estate industry what would it be?
Increasing the emphasis on a code of ethics that involves the golden rule.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?
Some years ago, a famous realtor in Beverly Hills, Jill Scott, gave me advice on losing a deal. She advised me to never dwell on the negative and just always move forward.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self about real estate?
Don’t take everything so seriously!
What’s your secret weapon when it comes to winning listings?
Preparation, knowledge and empathy.
What’s the most interesting trend you’re seeing in the market right now?
The exodus from many major cities to more suburban areas such as Montecito, Malibu, Newport Beach and Palm Springs.