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Meet the Smith & Berg Partners Team

Smith & Berg is the representative for Leverage in Brentwood and North Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA.

F. Ron Smith and David Berg spearhead Smith & Berg Partners at Compass, the top leading luxury real estate team in Los Angeles’s Westside, with sales exceeding $3.5 billion in their career. Meet Smith & Berg Partners team of real estate experts who love what they do and have enormous fun while doing it.

F. Ron Smith

Founding Partner | Dre# 00961954 | 310.569.4889 mobile

With a life-long entrepreneurial spirit, F. Ron Smith co-founded Partners Trust (now Pacific Union LA)
 in 2009 with the idea of creating a discerning and conscientious real estate brokerage. Through his leadership style and visionary marketing tactics, the company has since grossed more than $14 Billion in sales. Consistently a top producer since beginning his career in real estate thirty years ago, F. Ron has been involved in more than $1.8 Billion in personal residential real estate transactions. In 2014, to broaden the company’s reach worldwide, F. Ron co-founded Leverage Global Partners, an innovative and exclusive network of boutique independent real estate firms from around the world—5,713 agents operating in 16 countries and serving 163 markets, to be exact. F. Ron credits his long-term success as a local real estate expert with his strong community connections. He loves nothing more than introducing clients to a home that fits their needs and a neighborhood and community lifestyle that matches their interests. As a trusted advisor in all things real estate, from construction to home staging, color palettes and landscaping, Ron has an innate sense of how best to get a property ready for sale, maximizing the home’s ability to achieve the highest sales price possible.

F. Ron joined forces with fellow Pacific Union Associate David Berg to form Smith & Berg Partners. With a shared command over the local market and innate sense of humor, David and F. Ron, with their group of key team players, represent business leaders, celebrities and residential developers, as well as individual buyers and sellers throughout Los Angeles. Smith & Berg have brokered some of the most notable real estate deals on the Westside. Their properties are consistently featured in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Curbed and The Hollywood Reporter, among many others, and they are a sought-out resource for all media outlets.

F. Ron’s expertise in new construction aligns with his affinity for architecture and design, a passion that he recently applied to the construction of his own home in Brentwood. A long-time Westside resident, F. Ron lives with Tracy, his wife of almost 30 years, and is enormously proud of their two sons, Evan and Brandon. F. Ron is a world travel enthusiast, enjoys fitness, good wine, great coffee, and live music. He is an active and generous supporter of numerous charitable organizations, including Children’s Burn Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Jewish Federation and Concern Foundation for cancer research. When it’s not a client interaction or the closing of a deal, you can bet that adding fuel to F. Ron’s fire is either the discovery of vintage sipping tequila or a top-notch espresso drink. His dedicated “research” has concluded that the Mandorla, an almond milk Capp from Caffe Luxxe in Brentwood, is one of the choicest brews around.

David Berg

Founding Partner | DRE# 01481236 | 310.699.6151 mobile

David Berg is one California’s leading real estate professionals whose success over the past 14 years has earned him a position at the forefront of the Los Angeles real estate scene. Consistently a top producer in transactions and sales volume amongst all teams in the state, David (known to most as “Berg”) puts forth an ideal blend of industry knowledge, negotiation skills and authentic personality, resulting in a seamless and enjoyable transaction for all parties. As one of the original Associate Partners at Partners Trust (now Pacific Union), David has been instrumental in the company’s growth. He joined forces with Partners Trust Co-Founder F. Ron Smith to form Smith & Berg Partners, a team known as one of the most active on the Westside, especially in new construction, architectural homes, and as the go-to agents for Westside developers.

Acknowledging a shared command over the local market and innate sense of humor, David and F. Ron, with the addition of a handful of key team players, represent the interests of business leaders, celebrities and residential developers, as well as individual buyers and sellers throughout Los Angeles. With well over $3 billion in career sales, Smith & Berg have brokered some of the most notable transactions on the Westside. Their properties are consistently featured in such media outlets as the Los Angeles Times, Curbed and The Hollywood Reporter, among others.

With a lifetime of exposure to some of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Los Angeles, David brings invaluable intel, insight and relationships to the Smith & Berg team. Known for his arsenal of marketing tools, relaxed energy and proven strategies, David is a smart recruit to your end of the negotiation table. With the utmost confidence, he excels in orchestrating seamless transactions, while managing expectations and maintaining the highest level of integrity among clients and industry peers. David’s astute knowledge of the financial industry leads to continuous transactions for the likes of banking institutions, the Communication Workers of America Union, Los Angeles Leadership Academy and the Florence Crittenton Foundation. His experience includes transacting receivership estates, bankruptcy sales, trust sales, short sales, and bank-owned properties.

While not at the office, you may find David at one of L.A.’s many sports arenas. Having played ice hockey for most of his life, the Los Angeles Kings play a large role in Berg family fun. David lives with his wife and three sons in Westwood. He loves to paint and study new trends in architecture and design.

Nathan Stadler

Associate Partner | DRE# 01994107 | 310.413.5205 mobile

A lifetime Angeleno and accomplished film executive, Nathan Stadler worked alongside some of the world’s most notable artists and celebrities before segueing into selling the best of Los Angeles residential real estate. This professional pedigree has honed a keen ability to network, relate and negotiate — a combination that makes his clients' experience a positive one, no matter the scenario.

Being opposite a transaction with Founding Partner F. Ron Smith and Partner/Estate Director David Berg was all it took for Nathan to sign on with Smith & Berg Partners. A member of the top-producing Smith & Berg team since October 2016, Nathan has witnessed a high volume of sales on the Westside, specifically involving modern architecturals and new construction. He treasures the ability to work with clients from different backgrounds and motivations, from developers to savvy real estate investors to first-time homebuyers.

Few have had the all-encompassing view of Los Angeles that Nathan has. After growing up in the South Bay, where his family was active in real estate, he moved to Downtown Los Angeles to attend USC, graduating from the esteemed Marshall School of Business. He was able to juxtapose his city amongst new cultures throughout his career, with stints in Vancouver, Albuquerque and Tokyo, to name a few, ultimately landing in an L.A. Westside enclave, Mar Vista.

An all-around sports enthusiast, Nathan played collegiate tennis at USC and continues to enjoy a good tennis match or round of golf. He enjoys traveling with his wife and is currently striking a musical chord by learning to play both the piano and the ukulele.

Rick Torres

Associate Partner | DRE# 01946415 | 310.849.7998 mobile

Of the many lessons taught to Rick by his mother, the one that continues to guide his professional career today is a simple one: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Born in Los Angeles, and raised in Beverly Hills and the Westside, Rick has an intimate knowledge of the local landscape and enjoys showing clients the ins and outs of the area. Whether it's the best place to have french toast for breakfast, meet for power lunches, or simply to see the beautiful sunsets, Rick can show you.

After graduating from USC, Rick got his professional start in the mailrooms of CAA and William Morris Agency, where he learned the various aspects of the entertainment business. Rick started his real estate career when he joined his father in New York City to start building their family business in commercial real estate. He learned to operate and manage an office building on Park Avenue, along with the intricacies of negotiating leases. After conquering the fast-paced New York real estate market, Rick moved to South Florida where he owned and managed 12 commercial office buildings. Over the course of twenty years, he negotiated leases totaling hundreds of thousands of square feet and negotiated the purchase and sale of office buildings upwards of several hundred million dollars.

After sixteen years on the East Coast, Rick returned to his hometown of Los Angeles, successfully translating his commercial real estate experience into working with both buyers and sellers in the residential marketplace.

Rick’s love of helping people achieve their personal goals doesn’t stop at real estate. Fitness and exercise continue to play a big role in his life. As a certified Pilates instructor, Rick loves to lend fitness expertise to anyone who is interested, finding great moments of clarity while working out and learning a great deal of humility helping people transform their lives through fitness. It’s a valuable perspective that Rick brings to every real estate client.

Rick’s mother’s advice continues to guide his success today: do unto others as you would have them to unto you. While this sentiment is simple, it serves as the foundation on which he has built a business transforming the lives of the people who put their faith in him. Let Rick show you his Los Angeles.

Sewit Eshetu

Associate Partner | DRE# 01259497 | 310.500.3292 mobile

Success is an art form.

Sewit brings an uncommonly creative approach to finding optimal solutions to her clients’ real estate needs and challenges. For Sewit, in real estate, success is an art form. Framed by her experience, her canvas is her modus operandi; the medium, her tenacity and perseverance; and the brushstrokes, a beguiling nuance and subtlety. Together, they capture the vision inspired by her creativity and talent in finding solutions for her client’s needs.

Sewit delivers a bespoke real estate service, tailor made to the unique characteristics of each and every client, one that reflects the individualized boutique nature of her consummately professional style of representation. For her, each client is special and all receive top level service, respect, and discrete representation. Sewit is known to provide her high net worth and celebrity clientele with service recognized as the next level above what would be expected from other upper echelon realtors.

Beguiling nuance and subtlety.

Sewit’s solid foundation of 16 years of experience dealing with the complexities, strategic negotiations and financing options faced by her clients’ real estate transactions has enabled her to develop an unparalleled level of professionalism, one that is imbued with the talent to recognize, accommodate and embrace the beguiling subtleties and nuances of personalities and deals. Such elements escape many, but are profoundly understood and captured by Sewit.

Vincit perseverantia.

Inspired by Winston Churchill’s famous “Never give in” speech, Sewit learned that “She who perseveres, succeeds.” With a deft touch, she is gentle but firm; flexible but implacable; assertive but not aggressive; persuasive but not argumentative; and most importantly, always and unyieldingly a tenacious advocate for the relentless pursuit of her clients’ real estate objectives. These are the characteristics that have earned Sewit the respect and admiration of her clients, as well as her fellow top-level realtor peer group.

Creativity.

Sewit brings her prodigious talents and meticulous attention to detail to her career as a real estate professional. “One of the reasons I am so passionate about what I do is I understand the value I can bring to, and for, my clients. At 22, I came to California with dreams and hopes, starting with nothing. I worked hard and within 8 years I was able to buy my first home. With hard work, everyone can achieve their own American dream." This thought is a driving principle that still motivates her to strive to perform at the highest level of her profession. "I thrive in helping others make their dreams come true, too," she says. "Over the years, my experience has taught me how to work creatively with my clients to represent their real estate needs in the best possible way, and that for each specific client, curating and tailoring a highly specialized approach for their unique needs is the most effective and rewarding strategy for achieving the optimal outcome on their behalf."

Trevor Edmond

Associate Partner | DRE# 01945030 | 310.500.3915 mobile

Trevor Edmond is a man of character and purpose—a truth that shines through his actions, whether parenting his two young daughters or serving clients as part of the Smith & Berg Partners. In fact, his favorite transaction wasn’t based upon a dividend but rather a relationship, aiding a couple in relocating from New York to Los Angeles and closing escrow the week their first child was due. The hand Trevor has in guiding people to an environment that will serve as the bedrock of their lives is, to him, a remarkable treasure.

As a member of top-producing COMPASS team Smith & Berg Partners, representing record high volumes of new construction on the Westside, Trevor has developed a command of modern homes and transitional interior/exterior spaces, a product that satisfies his innate eye for style. Under the leadership of Founding Partner F. Ron Smith and Partner/Estates Director David Berg, Trevor sits at the forefront of the Westside real estate scene, from Pacific Palisades to Culver City and beyond.

Having played many roles as a film and TV actor since the age of 12, Trevor thrives on variety, evolving quickly and growing purposefully with each life experience. And while he had surmounting success as an actor in his 20s, he has prepared for and looked forward to his role in real estate since grade school. It wasn’t until he accompanied his wife to a Pacific Union interview in 2013 that he was inspired to take this calling on full time.

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."

Begin it now - Goethe

A Southern California lifer, there are few restaurants he hasn’t visited or experiences that he has not had, but on a weekend, you’re sure to find Trevor delighting in his Westside favorites and finding peace within nature alongside his girls—his wife, Melissa, and their beautiful children, Leighton and Makena.

Robert Morton

Associate Partner | DRE# 01975689

Passion, professionalism and perseverance are the three traits that led Morty to Pacific Union as an Associate Partner.

Those same three qualities put him at the top of the television industry, winning two Emmy Awards and ten nominations, most notably as Executive Producer of David Letterman’s shows on both NBC and CBS, for fourteen years. Morty cares about the quality of work and the people he works with…hence, success.

While producing, Morty was speculating in resort properties around the world and eventually segued into co-ops and condos and residential development. All of a sudden, homes and development replaced show business as his true passion.

With 35 years of deal making experience, talent relationships and development acumen (not to mention design, construction and sales expertise), Morty is now at your call to “Executive Produce” all your housing needs and desires.

Brandon Smith

Associate Partner | DRE# 02013050 | 310.433.6266

Born, raised, educated and passionate about Los Angeles, Brandon’s enthusiasm and interest in So Cal real estate can be traced to growing up with the real estate wisdom,  incredible business acumen and encouragement of his father, F. Ron Smith. A graduate of Crossroads School in Santa Monica and USC’s Marshall School of Business, Brandon’s  perspective and strong interest in Los Angeles’ creative, culinary and artistic sides give him a well-balanced, unique and youthful view of LA residential real estate. Since joining Smith and Berg Partners in 2017, Brandon has represented buyers and sellers in real estate markets from Hollywood to Santa Monica. Brandon has lived in Melbourne, Australia and New York City and has traveled to numerous countries, always returning to the beauty and brilliance of his hometown, LA. Constantly looking for personal challenges outside of his dedication to his career, Brandon recently trained for and ran the 2018 LA Marathon, renewing his love of the competitive sports he played before college.

Courtney Welsh

Director of Operations | DRE# 01764903 | 415.971.1223 mobile

Courtney Welsh possesses over 13 years of experience in luxury residential real estate managing the operations for top producing teams and agents in some of California's most sought-after markets, including Beverly Hills and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her experience working as a real estate agent early on, combined with the exposure to an inestimable number of real estate transactions, provides her with a unique skillset and perspective on the business. Outside of her work at Smith and Berg Partners, Courtney enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter exploring the arts, culture, and natural beauty that the greater L.A. area has to offer.

Krista Masella 

Office Manager | DRE# 01969303 | 951.707.7555 mobile

Krista Masella has six years' experience in the Los Angeles real estate industry, fueled by a love for architecture and home design. Her creative approach and systems oriented mindset provides a unique skillset in the office. She was licensed in 2015, but enjoys working behind the scenes to help run the ship. Outside of real estate you can find her out hiking beautiful trails in the California sunshine, anywhere where there's good tacos, or lounging with her dog Benny. 

Hannah Pilkington

DRE# 02066257 | 704.467.1793 mobile

Hannah grew up in a small town in North Carolina where early on she developed a passion for acting and film. Determined to leave home behind and find work in the entertainment industry, Hannah moved to New York City, the day after graduating at the top of her high school class, to enroll in NYU's BFA program. Although some would say that the odds were stacked against her, she understood the importance of hard work in order to achieve her goals, a quality she prides herself on to this day.

After living in New York for seven years, Hannah moved to Brentwood, continuing to act and work as a personal assistant, but found a new passion-the real estate industry, including interior design and architecture. Hannah's ability to connect with people and her desire to help others makes her a valuable asset to the Smith and Berg Partners team.

When she’s not in the office, you can always find Hannah with a smile on her face while walking her dog around the neighborhood, volunteering at the OPCC shelter in Santa Monica, wine tasting with her friends, or traveling.

Katy Yambao

DRE# 02095288 | 310.500.3931 mobile

Katy is the newest member of the Smith & Berg team. She is so excited to be embarking on her real estate career and is beyond thrilled to be a member of one of the best teams in the industry.

She grew up in Pittsburgh and then attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison where she studied Political Science and Mandarin. After college she moved to New York City where she spent the next several years supporting the CEO of a major telecom company. In this role she learned a lot and gained a tremendous amount of experience operating under high pressured environments while still always maintaining her composure. After several years in the corporate world she decided she was ready for a new challenge.

She was eager to make the switch to real estate which was always appealing to her because she was looking for a career that would allow her to connect with others and make a lasting, meaningful mark on people’s lives. She considers herself incredibly lucky to have found the Smith & Berg team, who has so skillfully mastered this. 

Outside of work Katy loves spending time with her family & friends, traveling, getting outdoors, comedy shows, live music, cooking with her husband, enjoying a great bottle of Italian red wine, and exploring LA and getting to know more of this amazing city.

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