While playing in Cincinnati on tour as an ATP professional tennis player who was ranked as high as 58th in the world, Drew Gitlin met his future wife, Susan, and the real estate love story began. They got their licenses together, and while Drew dove into multiple ventures including working at Warner Bros. Records, writing the movie Chill Factor and also subsequently running different companies, Susan began working in real estate immediately in Los Angeles. Little did they know that some years later they’d become the premier Westside real estate team within Coldwell Banker Realty.
“In the very early 2000s, I just came to help Susan out with her real estate business because she was so busy,” Drew says. “It was kind of a transitional situation, and the business absolutely exploded for us. So, since that time, every year has been better than the year before. Now we’ve reached a new level that’s been fantastic, and we just feel very fortunate.”
Based in Brentwood, one of Los Angeles’ wealthiest neighborhoods where they have lived and worked for over two decades, the Gitlins have positioned themselves as the go-to pair for luxury clients. Working on the Westside and surrounding areas has led them to represent some very remarkable properties. In 2019, for example, they brokered the highest-priced, and most iconic, single-family residence in the United States—the Chartwell Estate in Bel Air for $150 million.
Built in 1933, the Chartwell estate is one of the most expensive homes ever sold in California.
“We’ve done a lot of business in Brentwood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and in Malibu, and now we’ve spread out to Montecito.” Susan says. “We don’t really focus on just one area, so our business comes in from everywhere, which makes it really fun and exciting.”
The Perfect Formula
One reason for the Gitlins' success and prowess, according to the couple, is the compatibility of their skills. Each person’s strengths complement the other’s. For Drew, having a background in tennis and running companies gives him a competitive edge. And for Susan, her years of experience and charismatic nature gives her invaluable people skills. And together with their business acumen, they know how to create a beneficial experience for both the buyer and the seller.
“When it comes to negotiating, both Susan and I want to find the middle ground for all the parties,” Drew says. “We want everyone to walk away from the whole process feeling good about it, whether it be the buyer, seller, or other agent”.
They note that even when the real estate market is unpredictable, such as the transitional market we are in now, it’s important to remember that when buying a home, you aren’t just investing in an asset, you are creating the backdrop of your life.
The Chartwell estate is best known for its role in the 1960’s sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
“We love telling people our personal story, which is that we bought our home in Brentwood on the very last day of the upmarket, and all our friends called us crazy,” Drew says. “I mean, before we had our first bowl of Frosted Flakes, our house was worth a quarter of a million dollars less, literally. And then, eight years later, those same friends came to us and asked us, ‘How did you get in this neighborhood? How did you know to buy here? That’s unbelievable!' We went from crazy to genius, and we didn’t even do anything. And we tell our clients the same thing: Don’t try to time the market. Just find a solid location where you want to make your memories, and then live there long enough.”
Another ingredient to their talent is that their 40-plus combined years in real estate has taught them the nuances of working with different levels of luxury homes and clients. According to the Gitlins, it’s all about knowing your audience.
“Susan and I are very well-versed with every level of real estate and what people require at every demographic. The $20 million client has different needs, real estate experiences and lifestyles from what the $2 million client has,” Drew says.
This home showcases Montecito’s stunning stretches of coastline.
The last five weeks have been very busy for Drew and Susan—they have closed escrow on two properties in Brentwood, one property in Venice, went into escrow on an $11.5 million dollar home in Brentwood Park and another escrow in Westchester, and have a $16 million new listing coming very soon in Montecito.
Located in the ideal central Brentwood location, 327 S. Westgate Ave. sold over 15% above its $4.175 million asking price. Close to several esteemed private schools and iconic restaurants, such as Katsuya, this 4-bed, 4-bath home features a large backyard, swimming pool and spa to enjoy the famous L.A. weather.
The other Brentwood property the Gitlins sold set a new record for price per “land” square footage in Brentwood Park at $8.25 million. Situated on a 14,500-plus square-foot lot, 230 S. Chadbourne Ave. has over 100 feet of street frontage. “We did it in December,” Drew says. “The worst month supposedly. Most agents would wait until January, but Susan and I said, why wait? Let’s put it on the market now, and we closed in 14 days.”
Surrounded by beautiful scenery and plenty of privacy, this Montecito property is one-of-a-kind.
Drew and Susan have been working closely with the seller to get their new listing in Montecito ready. At $16 million, this property is the epitome of California luxury. Completely reimagined and situated on two acres, this property features breathtaking ocean and mountain views, a spacious wrap-around patio, expansive living areas, a beautiful Chef’s kitchen, exquisite finishings and top-tier privacy. This home is quite the place to make memories.
To learn more about Drew and Susan Gitlin, go to www.GitlinLuxuryProperties.com.
If you or anyone you know is interested in buying or selling property in Los Angeles, call the Gitlins through the number on their website.