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Raiders to Real Estate: Success Beyond the Game

By Julie Nelson for Ascending Athletes | Read the original article here

“You are your adjectives, not your nouns. We are not defined by the nouns. We are not defined by being a football player. We are not defined by being a dad, a lawyer, an attorney, real estate agent…we are not defined by that. What we are defined by are the adjectives that we bring to those nouns.”

That ‘Kofi-ism’ has been a leading factor for former NFL wide receiver, Kofi Nartey, in maintaining his drive and level of success throughout his professional career.

After suffering a career-ending injury during a stint with the Oakland Raiders in 1998, the Los Angeles native found himself asking the same question many professional athletes are left with at the end of their careers, ‘what am I going to do next?’

“I did not have an immediate ‘Plan B’, said Nartey. “I was kind of left on my own to figure things out. Unfortunately, I also didn’t have mentors or access to some of the programs that are available now.”

For the University of California, Berkeley graduate, it was a time of several different jobs and an exploratory process. He ventured into everything from wealth management to Enterprises’ management training program, and ultimately, made the move to back home to Los Angeles to pursue another passion, acting.

“My first acting job was The Young and the Restless where I played a police officer,” said the former Hollywood actor. “Fast forward, I did a bunch of TV shows and movies which was great. Ultimately, I was starting to look at what was going to be the next career for me. I knew that some of the travel related to the acting was going to be a challenge once I started having children, so I started looking at real estate.”

In 2003, Nartey earned his real estate license and in 2006, added Broker to his portfolio. He began to wind down the acting engagements and was able to focus on real estate where he harnessed a lot of the skills he had already established and built up even as he was pursuing different careers. He would go on to achieve his MBA from Pepperdine in 2012.

He worked for a few different firms and polished his leadership skills managing teams, but still lacked having mentors to help guide him throughout the process. Nartey embraced this challenge and began reading different articles and books just trying to catch up on the knowledge and jargon he needed to know.

“I call those days the ‘failing forward’ days, where I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned a lot.”

However, he welcomed the adversity and found himself doing what he did to prepare for game days, and ultimately, figured out how to be successful. He has been establishing his brand for over six years now and decided he wanted to start focusing on clientele in the sports and entertainment industry. He prides himself on being sought out by those looking for high levels of access and expertise.

His understanding of the sports and entertainment niche has enabled him to effectively service hundreds of professional athletes, entertainers, and affluent clientele.

“I had a lot of contacts in sports,” said Nartey. “I had a lot of contacts in entertainment. Understanding their lifestyles and how things were different, it was something that I knew. I started thinking about ways to protect them better and really started building a brand.”

When it comes to paying it forward, the leading authority in luxury real estate has taken it upon himself to provide mentorship helping other professional athletes wanting to make a transition into the real estate world by upholding transparency and making sure they understand all aspects of the business and necessary action items.

He is wired to inspire. He is driven daily to not only push himself to realize his full potential but also help others realize their potential. Nartey also believes that at a certain point, you are going to be redefining yourself and there should be a ‘slash’ incorporated into everyday life. However you describe yourself, those are all transferable attributes to another career.

“When I’ve talked to the guys at events, I’ve talked about this concept of ‘slash,’ where even in your nouns it should be slash something else,” said the former wide receiver. “Yes, you are a football player/ businessperson/ father/; whatever those nouns are, but there should be a slash. Then you are going to utilize your adjectives to apply those to a new career choice. The league may take away the title football player, but they don’t take away the man behind the title.”

He emphasizes the importance of hard work, teamwork, and resilience – the things that really play into most careers that one pursues.

“I think that we all have our individual goals and responsibilities and I know that for me, I’ve had a lot of feedback that what I’m doing and the level I’m doing it at is inspiring to others,” said Nartey. “I know that I have a responsibility to lean into that and push for success and even visibility around that success so people can continue to feel inspired and know that the possibilities are out there. Even in this career that I’m in now, there’s more I want to do. I have a lot more to accomplish and that drives me daily. I also want to create those opportunities for my own family.”

Earlier this year, Nartey launched SOCIETY Real Estate + Development to add broker-owner of his own luxury brokerage firm to his list of accomplishments. He previously served as the director of the Sports and Entertainment Division for the boutique firm The Agency and was a top producer for Keller Williams. He also founded and managed the National Sports and Entertainment division for Compass.

SOCIETY Real Estate + Development is a private real estate firm that offers distinctive services for discerning clients. SOCIETY brings a refined, yet holistic approach to the industry. With over 100 years of combined experience and over $6B in transactional experience, they assist clients in acquiring and selling prestigious properties, while providing unique opportunities to build out real estate portfolios. They understand the luxury lifestyle and deliver it — quickly, efficiently, and elegantly.

Along with his numerous accolades including publishing his book, Sellebrity: How to Build a Successful Sports & Entertainment Based Business, he has made appearances on national television and in media outlets and has been featured as an agent on HGTV’s “Selling LA” and Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing.”



The Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas makes sense now and forever.

By Kofi Nartey

I recently took a “work trip” to the Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas. It is hard to call a luxurious stay, fine dining, and touring luxury properties “work.” I also made the wise choice to turn this into a “bring your wife to work” trip. A choice that should keep me married for years to come. (And, yes the word “work” will have to be in quotes whenever referenced regarding a stay at this resort). Full disclosure, I have been working as a brand ambassador for the Costa Palmas real estate development for almost a year, but it wasn’t until I took this trip to the resort that I truly appreciated how amazing the offering is. Bias aside, let me break down our stay into its key components.


The idea of traveling during Covid-19 can create anxiety and fear. We were definitely nervous and cautious about navigating the airport, airplane and the resort itself. We were pleasantly surprised with the overall process. The airport was not nearly as crowded as usual, and had several safety measures in place. Masks and social distancing were in full effect, and we opted to fly first class, where the seats are already more spread out. Don’t get me wrong, we still implemented our own supplementary measures. We constantly used hand sanitizer, and my wife did the whole “Naomi Campbell wipe down” of the airplane seats.

The hotel also had its own safety protocols, designed in part through their partnership with Johns Hopkins Hospital and accurately titled “Lead With Care.” Everyone wore masks, all dining experiences were socially distanced, and the overall resort was running at a limited capacity.


Upon arrival at the resort we were warmly greeted by my colleagues and the hotel staff. Check in was smooth and easy, and a golf cart took us to our room. In case you didn’t know, The Four Seasons has something called “The Four Seasons University,” where people are trained on the nuances of high-level customer service…and it shows.

Our suite was an Ocean-View Room with Plunge Pool and it was perfect for the two of us. There was a king size bed with pillows from heaven, a seating area with a couch and dining table, a modern open concept shower and separate soaking tub, and dressing area with full length mirrors and perfect vanity lighting. All of this opened up to our private patio with a plunge pool and views to the ocean.

The resort was extremely walkable, with the beach always within reach. We enjoyed everything from the numerous swimming pools, to the well-appointed gym, an afternoon on the beach with food and beverage service, and even the golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II. My golf game is sub-par (figuratively, not literally), but I enjoyed the beauty and forgiving fairways of the course.

During one of my meetings, I arranged for my wife to have a spa day that included a massage she would later describe as one of the best she’d ever had.


The food was exquisite. For ease, we pre-planned our dinners and made reservations for each night. We left the morning and midday meals open for flexibility and variety. The summer heat draws you to the pools and ocean during the day, but make outdoor evening dining the perfect option. Our first night, we experienced the wood fire-grilled flavors of Limón. The flavors were smoky, authentic and fresh.

Day two, we experienced delicious street tacos, handmade guacamole, and margaritas at a hidden, locally-vibed restaurant called “Jimmy’s Big Shot”, built into the back-nine of the golf course. Those margaritas helped wash away the pains of my bogey filled afternoon. For dinner that night, we had a special experience (see “DINING - NEXT LEVEL” below).

On our third night, we experienced Milos, the Greek inspired seafood affair overlooking the beach. The seafood is so fresh that some of it is still moving on the ice you select it from. We doubled back to Milos for breakfast on our last day to try their legendary French toast. It lived up to every bite.

These were just a few of the onsite dining options and we look forward to trying others upon our return. Don’t forget to try Costa Palmas’ own tequila, CP73 (in moderation of course).


If you are looking for an exceptional, unforgettable, magical, and beyond impressive dining/lifestyle experience, they also offer a “Romantic Dinner on the Beach.” I planned this in advance to be a surprise for my wife. The experience over-delivered! I may have even set the bar too high for future experiences (guess that means we just have to go back there again). At least I will always be able to say, “Remember that romantic dinner on the beach?”

I won’t spoil it for future connoisseurs, but the food, service, sunset, and starry night were more than I could have asked for. It was worth every penny and more, but don’t ask me how much extra I had to pay for the shooting star that flew over during dessert.


You can “repeat” the experience with frequent visits to the hotel, or you can own it with the numerous Costa Palmas real estate options. In addition to the amazing Four Seasons hotel and resort, the opportunities for home ownership are exclusive, yet abundant. I will be writing a separate piece on the real estate (as it deserves its own spotlight), but will give you a quick overview to set the stage.

The options include everything from condominiums, with roof decks, to custom beach front estates, with several choices in between. You can opt for a move-in ready property, or buy a lot and work with the architects to customize your ultimate home.

All owners enjoy the amenities of the owner’s only private beach club, unlimited golf, and all of the services of the Four Seasons hotel (housekeeping, room service, etc.). This is in addition to living on or steps from the sandy beaches of the Sea of Cortez.

In the near future, the marina will be expanded to include private docking for personal yachts and water crafts. Several of the estates will include private boat slips. Lastly, an Amanvari hotel will be added to the property, along with a small selection of private luxury residences around it. All of this makes it the perfect time to get in early on this spectacular development.


Please contact SOCIETY for more information on the residential options or for assistance with booking your next stay at the Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas. info@societybrokers.com.


How Kofi Nartey Transistioned from Hollywood Actor to Real Estate Mogul

By MARIAN MCPHERSON for Inman | Read the original article here

Veteran real estate agent Kofi Nartey shares his 17-year journey from acting to becoming the broker-owner of his own luxury brokerage.


13 Ways The Average Person Can Build A Real Estate Fortune

By Expert Panel, Forbes Real Estate Council for Forbes | Read the original article here

Most of us never encounter the ever-evolving real estate market aside from buying or selling our first house. Non-specialists therefore don’t have an understanding of the kind of money an average person can make from the real estate market with smart investments and wise transactions.

Turning real estate into a fortune isn't impossible. However, the average person needs to know a bit more about the skills required to make as much as possible from the market. To help out budding entrepreneurs who think the real estate market may be their golden goose, 13 professionals from Forbes Real Estate Council examine how an average person could potentially make a fortune in real estate and what they need to know to get started.

1. Buy Your Home

Oftentimes, being a homeowner can be one of the best ways to build wealth for the average person starting out. FHA loans provide first-time homebuyers with fantastic opportunities for low interest rates, low down payments, in addition to all the tax benefits, such as writing off interest and a slew of other things that come along with that. Do your research and work with a realtor to understand your market. - Ari Rastegar, Rastegar Property Company

2. Consider Passive Investing

Real estate investing can feel complex and out of reach. One way the average person can start making money in real estate is through passive investing. For as little as $500, you can get started by investing in a real estate investment trust (REIT). The REIT raises funds from a group of people to purchase properties, which gives you diversified exposure. - Zachary Maurais, Sunroom

3. Build On What You Have

Live in your primary residence for two years, then sell the property and move to the next property. Use the proceeds as a down payment on an investment property, and you can still qualify to buy another primary residence. After another two years, sell the primary residence again and use those proceeds to buy another investment property. Rinse and repeat! - Nancy Wallace- Laabs, KBN Homes, LLC

4. Learn To Recognize Opportunities

Long-term investments can yield amazing results when the property acquired is carefully selected. In expanding cities, purchasing land in the peripheries of the city often yields excellent results and is more accessible in price. As the city's population begins to grow, the cost of the property will naturally go up. Evaluate which areas of the cities are expanding and consider investing there. - Rodolfo Delgado, Replay Listings

5. Invest With Experienced Investors

Look for opportunities to invest with others. After realizing that many of our clients would also like to invest with us, we created a syndication model that allows first-time investors and experienced investors to invest together. This allows inexperienced investors to get their feet wet and invest a smaller amount as part of a syndicate. We take on flips to large-scale development projects. - Kofi Nartey, The Kofi Nartey Group - Compass

6. Look For Good Probate Property Deals

As the baby boomer population continues to increase, more and more houses will be inherited by people who often do not want to keep those properties. Investors will be able to find good deals by working probate leads, especially as the number of leads continues to increase. - Kristine Gentry, US Probate Leads

7. Buy Land On Busy Streets

The land on busy streets is usually always among the first properties to get redeveloped. When they do, you can see massive returns. I have seen properties return 10 times the initial price in under five years. Remember to think long term with real estate. Also, you do not have to own where you live if you can invest in an area that can give you a better return as a rental or holding property. - Chris Ryan, Beyond Properties Group (eXp Realty)

8. Invest Time In Communicating

It’s important to stay in tune with market trends. Real estate is one of the best investments a person can make, and it’s crucial to communicate with your client about what, when and where to invest. Our client-centric model relies on transparency, which helps us build long-standing relationships and ensure we’re involved when our clients buy, whether it be a first, second or third home. - Cody Vichinsky, Bespoke Real Estate

9. Buy Half-Baked Properties

It's not ready yet! Take a look at future development plans in your county or city. Purchase in an area where there are plans for future economic development. Once that area becomes developed, real estate trends historically show larger equity over time with higher net proceeds, especially in major cities with gentrification. - Cheryl Abrams, Re/Max United Real Estate

10. Make It A System

Real estate is a formula. Once you start to understand it more, most people can leverage a system that has the opportunity to yield high rewards. Each market has a niche and each person has their tolerance. Find out what those are and execute a clear game plan. It doesn't have to be sexy or revolutionary; it just needs to produce the right returns. A good product and a consistent approach will do. - Alex Vasquez, Rhino Realty Property Management

11. Buy At The Right Time

You hear stories all the time about people buying a property 20 years ago for a fraction of the price it's worth today. Buy a property that is in a good area for the right price and hang onto it. Appreciation isn't guaranteed, but it's beautiful knowing how much equity you have in a property years down the road and how the value has gone up over time. - Mike Hambright, FlipNerd.com

12. Pool Your Resources

Most assume real estate is an individual sport, but it’s just the opposite. As a team, you can pool people and their cash to form a legal entity, such as an LLC. You can also pool expertise and delegate responsibility while building a portfolio that is positioned to generate passive income and appreciate. As an added bonus, holding property as a legal entity better protects against unforeseen lawsuits. - Jennifer Anderson, Anderson Coastal Group

13. Be Patient

Real estate investing is not a quick game. If properties are bought with the right mindset in smart areas, it's entirely reasonable that an investor can buy properties, rent them out and see substantial profits in the long term. The key is to find opportunities that work in the long term and commit to your decisions by staying the course and letting others pay for your investment. - Blake Plumley, BluWater Capital LLC


In Awe of Audemars

By Luxury Playbook for Luxury Playbook | Read the original article here

In our new vlog series, Luxury Playbook, Kofi covers the luxury products, places, and properties that appeal to the celebrities, athletes, and entertainers we work with. This episode covers the Audemars Piguet Offshore Polaris, courtesy of Rostovsky Watches.


Kofi speaks at Leaders in Luxury, for the 3rd year in a row

Kofi was invited for the third consecutive year to take the stage at the 15th annual Leaders in Luxury Conference. This year, it was held at the Four Seasons resort in West Palm Beach, Florida. Topics included trends in the luxury market, international buying patterns, B2B strategies, and amazing networking amongst some of the countries top luxury real estate agents.

Leaders in Luxury is an exclusive retreat for members of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing who have proven production in the high end, residential real estate market. This bespoke event is specifically crafted to encourage sharing strategies, growth, and referrals with other like-minded professionals from any brokerage or market.


NFL + Kofi = Win Win. Kofi speaks at the NFL Bridge to Success

In October, Kofi was invited for the second year in a row to speak to recently retired NFL players and their significant others about opportunities and careers in real estate. In front of a packed room, he covered everything from working as an agent to investing in real estate. In true Kofi fashion, he also covered transferable life and business skills that would help the former players with their transitions.

The Bridge to Success is an annual four day conference for recently retired NFL players. The comprehensive event has numerous speakers, panels, and corporations there to conduct job interviews. Kofi is the only real estate agent in the country with this affiliation with the NFL. He is in his second year of participating in this program.


Scenic Big Sur retreat asks $4.9M

By Liz Stinson for Curbed Los Angeles | Read the original article here

Is it a spa or is it a house?

Designed by famed NorCal architect Mickey Muennig in 1998, this scenic modern paradise sit on 21 acres of prime Big Sur land.

The two-bedroom, three-bathroom house unfolds over its 2,652 square feet in tiers that follow the sloped plot of land. The entryway opens onto two sets of stairs: one that leads to a sunken living room anchored by a circular concrete fireplace, and another that leads to an open-plan kitchen and dining area. Yet another set of stairs from the living room is connected to an indoor garden/spa that features an indoor-outdoor hot tub.

While the house is laid out as open-plan, the bedrooms offer a sense of privacy. The expansive private quarters come with their own decks, and the master features a waterfall shower that’s overflowing with flora.

Muennig embraced natural shapes and materials that echo the raw beauty of the Big Sur landscape. Redwood beams span the ceiling; circular windows look out onto the mountains and ocean; and burnished concrete floors give the space a warm, organic feel.

Located at 46902 Pfeiffer Ridge Road, this striking home can be yours for $4,895,000.


Playing the real estate game: College athlete bill could mint young millionaires and homebuyers

By Natalie Hoberman and Dennis Lynch for The Real Deal | Read the original article here

In the not too distant future, college athletes playing at top-tier schools may be hitting the open houses as hard as they hit the gym.

Earlier this month, the State Legislature unanimously passed a bill — over the NCAA’s objection — to allow college athletes to earn money from their names, likenesses and images. If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the “Fair Pay to Play Act” — which would take effect in 2023 — California would become the first state in the nation to allow college athletes to get paid.

And its impact could be enormous, with California’s college athletes for the first time being offered lucrative endorsement deals and sponsorships.

It could mean that some would have enough money to do the first thing many players do when they sign their first professional contract: Buy a home.

For real estate agents, the bill could also create a pipeline of newly-minted millionaire clients. Los Angeles alone is home to two of the top college athletic programs in the nation, the University of Southern California and UCLA.

Kofi Nartey, Compass’ sports and entertainment division director — and former college football player — supports the bill but admits it will present a new set of challenges.

“I think it’s good for college athletes to be able to make money from their likeness and the brand they are building in the same way that the universities have for years,” he said.

Buying a first home is an exciting prospect for college athletes — and their agents — but it comes with considerations those students and their schools haven’t previously had to tackle.
Nartey, who was a wide receiver at the University of California at Berkeley, admits the stakes are higher when working with younger athletes.

“We have a built-in responsibility because we are dealing with the largest financial decision of most people’s lives,” he said. “There’s an increased responsibility when you are dealing with someone who’s come into a lot of money very quickly.”

Gregory Piechota, a Compass agent who’s represented pro athletes in L.A., including Serena Williams, said it’s important to make sure everyone on a client’s team is on board with a purchase. That could be a financial manager, a sports agent, and family members.

“There are agents who will say that whatever the client wants they’ll make it happen, but from deals I’ve done, what helped me keep clients is making sure everyone’s on the same page,” he said.

Hilton & Hyland agent Justin Hunchel offers a little preview for prospective buyers. Because athletes move frequently, he advises they “buy something that’s going to be easier to get rid of versus something that is very specific” to their taste. Sometimes that’s easier said than done.

“For someone who comes into a lot of money like that, there can be a tendency to go through it rather quickly,” Hunchel said. “So you try to advise them as best you can, but there’s only so much you can do in those situations.”

Nartey added that he’s had to “tell clients not to spend as much as they wanted to spend. When you haven’t renewed a contract, there’s no reason to spend that much.” Nartey’s client list has included Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, former Lakers player and current L.A. Sparks head coach Derek Fisher, among others.

Nartey said that universities, which have been staunchly opposed to the bill, should “build out the infrastructure to support these younger athletes.” That could mean a mandatory training on wealth management, similar to the “Rookie Transition Program” available for incoming N.F.L. players.

SB 206 does not require schools to provide that counseling or training. It’s mostly focused on barring schools and the NCAA from disqualifying student athletes who receive compensation in some way for their likeness, image, and names.

The issue of allowing college athletes has been debated within the NCAA since at least the 1980s, but the country’s dominant collegiate sports association has fiercely fought the idea and continues to do so.

In a letter sent to Newsom earlier this month, the NCAA argued that the bill was unconstitutional and would give California schools an “unfair recruiting advantage” over schools in states without such a law.

“This bill would remove that essential element of fairness and equal treatment that forms the bedrock of college sport,” the letter said, according to the L.A. Times.

Piechota said he’s noticed that top-tier players themselves are better preparing for the pressures of life as a professional athlete. He said they’re “smarter” with their money than athletes typically were in the past.

More young athletes are interested in investment properties and quiet neighborhoods away from the high-profile areas like the Hollywood Hills and West Hollywood, where there are more distractions, he said.

Compass agent Elana Fullmer, whose husband, Brad, spent a couple of seasons with Angels during his 10-year baseball career, called L.A. a great place for a young player to buy.

“What’s a safer or better way to build wealth than to buy property in L.A.?” she said.

Still, being able to spot a good investment deal requires expertise and some finesse.

When asked if he had any advice for young athletes looking to buy homes either for personal or investment purposes, Nartey was concise: “Call me.”


This Top Real Estate Agent Says ‘Wellness’ Homes Will Help People Live Longer

By Forbes Council Contributor for Forbes | Read the original article here

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the international wellness market is worth $4.2 trillion (more than half of the world’s total health spending), having grown 12.8% between 2015 and 2017 alone. Among the ten most lucrative industry segments – including fitness, personal care and nutrition – wellness real estate is a large and growing market. Valued at $134 billion, the wellness real estate market comprises 1.5% of the world’s construction industry and about half of its green construction industry.

Wellness real estate developers are building homes and offices that are designed and constructed to optimize their occupants’ physical and mental health. By utilizing low toxicity materials, installing IoT appliances that facilitate healthy choices (smart refrigerators), and conceptualizing floor plans and rooms specifically designed for healthy activities (exercise, meal preparation, meditation), these spaces may drive measurable increases in both the quality and duration of people’s lives.

Forbes Real Estate Council member Kofi Nartey is the national director of the sports and entertainment division of Compass, a real estate technology company operating in 17 regions across the United States, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Miami, Seattle and Philadelphia. Overseeing a national team of luxury real estate agents serving distinguished clientele, Nartey is at the epicenter of the celebrity housing market. He says builders and developers who embrace wellness real estate will have an advantage in saturated markets.

A large part of Nartey’s success stems from constant immersion in new technology and trends. “I have to stay on top of what's next so I’m able to provide guidance to builders on everything from wellness rooms to circadian lighting. Even simple things, like secure food and product delivery areas on porches (with controlled access from smartphones), can bring more value to clients and greater profits to my developers,” he says.

Every wellness update counts. Recently, Nartey says, the installation of a smart refrigerator became the main selling point for a client’s new construction home. “The purchasers cited the refrigerator as a deciding factor, because they could order groceries and receive updates on items they needed from the refrigerator’s touch screen. More importantly, their kids could watch videos on that same screen while dinner was being prepped. That bit of calm for a parent is a game-changer,” he says.

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