There’s a major shakeup coming to the high-end Los Angeles real estate market. Dirt has learned that Branden and Rayni Williams, the married co-founders of the Williams and Williams Estates Group — one of L.A.’s top-producing realtor teams — will soon depart their longtime Hilton & Hyland brokerage home for a new firm they are founding, according to industry sources.
Public records show an entity called the Beverly Hills Estates Inc. filed as a California corporation in late July, with Branden Williams named as CEO and Director. Rayni Romito Williams is listed as CFO. Internet data also shows the Williams and Williams team has registered an accompanying online domain, thebeverlyhillsestates.com. The listed broker of record is Greg LaPlant.
The Beverly Hills Estates lists an address in Pasadena on corporation records. Sources also told Dirt that the Williams and Williams team has already secured office space in prime West Hollywood, on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and San Vicente near the western end of L.A.’s highly-trafficked Sunset Strip, for a principal office.
“Williams and Williams have nothing to announce at this moment. They have always loved being a part of the Hilton & Hyland family, and just celebrated their ten year anniversary,” a group spokesman said, in a statement provided to Dirt.
It’s unclear if all or some of the team’s listings would follow them to a new home. The Williams and Williams Estates Group has more than $1 billion in current listings with Hilton & Hyland, according to their website.
Over the past few years, the team has been involved in a number of L.A.’s all-time priciest real estate transactions, including a record-breaking $110 million Malibu deal, a $94 million sale in Bel Air, a $75 million sale in Bel Air, and a $74.5 million compound transfer in the Bird Streets. They also held the listing on the Ennis House, the iconic Los Feliz mansion that sold for $18 million last year — far and away the most ever paid for a Frank Lloyd Wright structure.
Williams and Williams are also regularly included on Variety’s annual list of Showbiz Real Estate Elite. Last year, the team reportedly racked up more than $700 million in total sales volume.
Hilton & Hyland, founded in 1993 by Rick Hilton and Jeff Hyland, has been one of the top boutique brokerages in Los Angeles since its inception, and currently bills itself as the top brokerage in Los Angeles. The privately-held firm has gained a reputation for representing an A-list Hollywood clientele and many of the city’s trophy estates. Over the years, it has also launched the careers of multiple prominent agents, including Mauricio Umansky, who left the firm in 2011 to found The Agency.