By Robyn A. Friedman | November 29, 2017 | Home & Real Estate
The Jills have been selling billions of dollars' worth of real estate for decades. But now more than ever they are on top of the game, listing some of the most prestigious properties in all of Florida.
There are few people in Miami real estate—or perhaps even in the world— who haven’t heard of “The Jills.” A powerhouse real estate team that markets some of the most exclusive properties in South Florida, The Jills is comprised of Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg—and now their families. They have sold an impressive number of multimillion-dollar homes, set more than a few records and have been recognized as the top team worldwide out of 85,000 Coldwell Banker agents for five years in a row.
How did you get into real estate?
Jill Eber: I majored in theater at the University of Miami. Then I went on the road with a band, but I got nodes on my vocal cords so I couldn’t talk for four months. My girlfriend said, ‘Let’s go to real estate school.’ I couldn’t speak, so I thought, Why not? I guess everything happens for a reason. Except for the first sale I ever had, I started selling luxury properties immediately.
Jill Hertzberg: When I first got out of school, I worked at Burdines. I had my first child and then I quit. I was a mommy, but I needed something to do when [my kids] went to preschool. I was on Stuart Miller’s boat—he’s the CEO of Lennar—and was saying what could I do that would be flexible, and he said, ‘Why don’t you get a real estate license?’ I literally went to the closest real estate office, and I got started.
The main house boasts a spacious backyard.
How did you both meet and team up?
JE: Jill came into real estate a few years after I did. We both worked in the same office in Miami Beach. She turned to me one day and asked if I could handle a couple of listings for her when she went away, so I said sure. When she came back, we decided we would share an assistant. As soon as we did that, we started doing business together, and it evolved into a partnership. We’re still together since 1993.
JH: We realized that we worked so well together that we became partners on a handshake.
How many properties have you sold in your career?
JE: I have no idea, but I do know that since 2005, we have sold over $3.4 billion.
Why have you been so successful when so many real estate agents don’t succeed?
JE: Jill and I were both doing very well when we got together. But when we [became partners], our business really started to grow and explode. We always say it’s incredible that we found each other because we’re very different but yet so similar with our passion, our ethics, our persistence and focus. We also always want to be better than what we are—we are never satisfied with status quo.
JH: It is hard work, but no man is an island. I have an amazing family. My husband has been the greatest cheerleader I could have. I also have this amazing partner, Jill, who is someone I respect and admire. We can really count on each other.
1 Star Island Drive’s main house pool.
Are there any trends you’re noticing in the market right now?
JE: We’ve been seeing the modern trend for quite a while. That’s why so many homes have been torn down and modern houses put up. But there are still people who love Mediterranean.
JH: When I first started, people were more architecturally conscious—more wanting true Art Deco or Spanish Mediterranean. They would restore [houses] and call them gems. Now, people seem to want new, modern, sheets of glass.
What about next year? How do you think 2018 will be for real estate?
JE: The real estate market here should do well. 2017 has been a stronger market than 2016. The market has been very pricesensitive, and many sellers are adjusting prices. When they adjust and prices come more to reality, those properties sell. We are seeing that with homes and condos.
JH: It’s going to be a healthy year. There’s been an adjustment in the market this past year. The market went up in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2015, it started to shake a little bit. In 2016, there was a disconnect between what sellers wanted and what buyers would pay. In 2017, with price adjustments, the market has been much better, and I think next year will be the same. There are a lot more Americans buying and selling than previously. The South American and Russian markets have been challenged, so a lot of the big buyers are American.
Main house piano room.
You currently have the $37 million listing for 1 Star Island Drive in Miami Beach, a 58,332-square-foot property owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan that features a four-bedroom Florida villa as well as a separate three-bedroom guest house. What makes that property so special?
JE: The property is incredible. To have 240 feet of waterfront on Star Island is exceptional, especially when you can look directly at downtown Miami. The Estefans have another residence on Star Island and used this home as a beautiful guest house, with many celebrities staying there through the years. This one-of-a- kind bayfront estate is truly the star among stars.
For more information, visit thejills.com.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUIS TRAVIESO (1 STAR ISLAND);; MARY BETH KOETH (THE JILLS)