It takes more than a little charisma to rise to the top of the high-powered, fiercely competitive world of New York real estate. “It also takes passion,” says John Gomes (MBA ’02), whose love for design and architecture, entrepreneurial spirit, and talent for trendspotting have landed him in the catbird seat of the luxury real estate market. His Eklund|Gomes Team—which he co-founded at Douglas Elliman with Bravo’s Million
Dollar Listing star Fredrik Eklund—boasts almost 100 agents covering four states and
13 offices, with projects ranging from Miami skyscrapers to Malibu retreats. In 2021
they hit the $4.5 billion mark for transactions.
Passion and drive also got the Boston-born Gomes to Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business. His application was initially rejected, but he immediately scheduled a meeting with the director of admissions and explained that his low standardized test scores could be attributed to learning disabilities. “I’m dyslexic, but I’m a creative person and a different kind of thinker,” he explains. He received an acceptance letter a week later.
Once at Baruch, Gomes found himself inspired by his real estate courses, became president of his class, and graduated cum laude. “I’m glad Baruch took a chance on me,” he says. Through television appearances on HGTV’s Selling New York and Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, and as a commentator for outlets like the Wall Street Journal and CNN, Gomes has become an expert voice on market trends. And during the height of the pandemic, when real estate was at a near-standstill and amid protests for social justice, Gomes—who is biracial and has had his own struggles with racism—used his voice to conduct forums about civil rights and diversity within the real estate industry. “At this point in my career, I have a platform,” he says, “and I realized I wasn’t doing enough.”
Gomes says part of doing more involves fostering inclusion in his field and on his team: “I feel I have a social responsibility to bring up talented agents who are diverse, to shine a light on them, and help them succeed.”