Real Estate

Jordan Cohen Is As ‘Blue Collar’ As They Come, But Beloved By LA’s Elite

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Jordan Cohen is the kind of person you might expect to bump into at the grocery store, stocking up on the basics like bananas and coffee.

And when speaking to him in line at the cash register, you’d do a double-take upon hearing that he had just checked in with his client, Lakers power forward Anthony Davis, about how the team’s season is going.

The six-time No. 1 RE/MAX agent worldwide is about as down-to-earth as they come, despite growing a massive real estate business over the course of his career and interacting with some of LA’s most elite professional athletes and other celebrities on a daily basis.

The man who describes himself as a “blue collar” real estate agent is authentic, straight-talking and a hard worker. And that’s why his clients love him — not for any other flashy attachments to his name.

“Some of my most famous, most wealthy, most powerful clients, a lot, if not most of them, may not even know the company I work for,” Cohen said. “They just know me as me. And it really should be like that.”

Cohen has also amassed more than 500,000 followers on Instagram and is a member of the second annual Inman Influencer class.

The road to becoming one of LA’s top agents to athletes and celebrities was not easy — but Cohen’s determination and work ethic have brought him some well-deserved bragging rights, even as he remains incredibly grounded.

A challenged student

Cohen grew up in LA’s Northridge neighborhood alongside an older brother, Al, and an older sister, Felice, who went on to become an assistant cameraman and lawyer, respectively.

But Cohen himself struggled in school as a younger kid and throughout college. He battled severe attention deficit disorder and had a difficult time reading. In response, he learned how to turn his head just so in class to get the answers on tests from his peers. Ultimately, Cohen was able to sneak through college with a 2.05 GPA.

After graduation, Cohen initially thought his best bet on a career would be to sell insurance. But the thing that prevented him from doing so was a guy he always used to run into at his local gym — an insurance salesman — who constantly bombarded people who were trying to work out with his business cards and sales pitches.

“I didn’t really understand it,” said Cohen, who at the time was in his early 20s. “But I didn’t want to be that guy. So I didn’t go into insurance but, instead, went into real estate.”

Real estate became the next best option because, at the time, it only took about two weeks to get licensed, and Cohen realized that if you worked hard enough, anyone could become good at it.

Jordan Cohen with Sylvester Stallone | Courtesy of Jordan Cohen

Building a foundation

Cohen started his career at the very bottom of the food chain, selling entry-level housing that sold for an average of less than $200,000.

His first listing was in the San Fernando Valley’s Canoga Park neighborhood, and it was for the parents of Cohen’s then-girlfriend and now-wife of 31 years. After he secured that deal, his broker suggested Cohen make Canoga Park his farm area, and like an attentive new agent, he did.

“I did everything they told me to do,” Cohen said. “I started farming, and after seven years, I was killing it because I was hustling. I was cold calling expireds and going to open houses every Saturday and Sunday for seven years in hopes of getting buyers, but even more importantly, meet potential sellers.”

If Cohen came away from an open house with a listing appointment lined up in the future, then he had met his goal.

Jordan Cohen and former LA Rams player Aaron Donald | Courtesy of Jordan Cohen

That first big deal

Eventually, a mutual friend referred an NBA player to Cohen to buy his next home, and that twist of fate opened up a whole new world of opportunity.

The player had just signed a new contract with the Philadelphia 76ers and was interested in purchasing a property in Westlake Village on the outskirts of LA County.

“He said, ‘Let’s look in Westlake, I think there’s some guard-gated communities there,’ and I said, ‘Yes, there’s some great guard-gated communities there.’ But in reality, I didn’t even know where Westlake Village was,” Cohen admitted. “This was before the internet and before Realtor.com and all that stuff. I didn’t even know what a website really was, to be honest. I thought it was in Los Angeles — it ended up being nearly in Ventura County.”

When he ventured out to Westlake, Cohen realized the area was a hotbed for luxury homes. He also realized that if he wanted to, he could be selling those luxury homes on a regular basis.

“I realized at that moment that the other Realtors that were selling the multimillion-dollar homes, while they were very nice, that didn’t mean they were better than me,” Cohen said. “At the time I had a lot of confidence and I felt that I could compete with anybody, so I did that transaction, selling that one for around $1.55 million, and that was like winning the lottery to me because I never had a paycheck that big.”

Cohen packed up his home and his family, which by then included his wife and a toddler son, and they moved to Oak Park, a neighborhood adjacent to Westlake Village so that he could reinvent himself as a luxury agent and be in close proximity to all those gated communities.

Jordan Cohen with musician Bret Michaels | Courtesy of Jordan Cohen

Perfecting the listing presentation

In addition to his work ethic, Cohen credits one primary tool as the key to his success over the years: his rock-solid listing presentation.

After the home sale of Cohen’s now-in-laws, he eventually secured two listing appointments as a result of diligent door knocking, prospecting, sending out mailers and more. But in hindsight, Cohen realized he wasn’t ready — and did not yet have the confidence — to win those listing appointments, which is how he ended up losing them.

Missing out on a total of about $12,000 in commissions woke Cohen up and made him realize he had to “make a positive change.”

“I said, ‘I’m not going to fail anymore,’” Cohen told Inman. “So I studied, practiced and I created a language to enable me, and I practiced every day for six months.”

During those six months, Cohen didn’t watch TV at all; every day, his wife, Rebecca, helped him run through his routine. She played the seller while Cohen made strategic decisions about everything he would do and say during the listing presentation, down to where he would park his car and how he would knock on the front door.

After those six months of intense focus, Cohen came away with the foundation for what has become known as the gold standard for the industry’s listing presentation. Over the years he’s adapted it to be current with the times, including adding details pertaining to the use of social media, but the basics of the presentation have remained the same.

The LA luxury whiz admitted he doesn’t really use social media much personally, but has found it can actually make his clients’ lives much easier, especially via Instagram.

“At the end of the day, you’re able to reach people very quickly, right on their cell phone or tablet, without them needing to search for a home,” Cohen said, since most of his clients are “not searching Zillow 24/7.”

The top RE/MAX agent recently shared some of the secret sauce involved in his famous listing presentation — and other winning aspects of his business, including social — in a book he wrote, which came out in 2023, The Agent’s Edge: Secret Strategies to Win Listings and Make Your Fortune Selling Real Estate.

“I figured at my stage of life, it’s time to give back a little bit,” Cohen said. “So I wrote a really good book to hopefully make real estate agents become better real estate agents and get more listings and sell more homes.”

The person who wrote the foreword to Cohen’s book was none other than his friend, client and famous actor, Sylvester Stallone.

As a celebrity, “it takes a minor explosion, a seismic event, an atomic bomb of a personality to get my attention,” Stallone wrote. “Well, folks, one day that dynamo presented itself, and I can honestly say, I’ve never met, or will ever meet, such a one-in-a-billion individual as Jordan Cohen!”

Jordan Cohen with Tommy Thayer of Kiss | Courtesy of Jordan Cohen

Remaining grounded

Despite gaining dozens of celebrity clients and friends over the years, and somehow managing to handle this business largely on his own with the help of just two assistants, Cohen is as approachable as the Average Joe.

And he’ll tell anyone who asks that he doesn’t have any delusions about being special — he just knows how to work hard.

“I’m the guy that started at entry-level,” Cohen said. “I’m not the guy that became successful from reality TV or anything like that. I’m really that hard-working, blue-collar real estate agent who hustled my way to high levels and high production.”

With such an elite book of clients, some might wonder why Cohen has stayed with RE/MAX for so long. Surely, he could have his pick of luxury brokerage affiliations, if he wished (and he’s received plenty of offers).

“For me, it’s more about me and building my own name and my own brand,” Cohen explained. “I like RE/MAX, I like the higher-up leadership. I’m proud to say I’m the No. 1 RE/MAX agent, the sixth-time No. 1 RE/MAX agent in the world. That’s pretty cool.”

The bottom line is, Cohen has no reason to want to leave RE/MAX, and loyalty simply runs through his veins. Being considered somewhat of an underdog when it comes to luxury brands also motivates him, Cohen told Inman.

“I am a very loyal guy,” he said. “I’ve been married 31 years. And at the end of the day, I’m happy with my broker, Keith Myers. I’m happy with RE/MAX. I get a lot of support. I have my own parking space and my own office. I don’t need any more than that.”

Cohen is proud of the significant relationships he’s developed throughout his career, but he’s still just a guy who is keeping up the daily hustle, and whose typical work uniform includes a pair of jeans.

“I’m just trying to sell as much as I can before I hang it up,” Cohen said with a laugh. “I don’t have time to be anything that I’m not. I wear jeans and tennis shoes every day.”

Email Lillian Dickerson

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