I don’t have millions to spend on real estate. However I like to think that one day someone is going to swoop into my life and say “Hey Baby, let me buy you a mansion.” And heaven forbid if I am not up to date on the comps in all the major cities when that happens! So when I heard Bravo TV was expanding their “Million Dollar Listing” (MDL) franchise (of NY and LA) to add San Francisco, I said “Hey Baby, sign me up!” And I was NOT disappointed.
In typical MDL fashion, we have three intense brokers: Andrew, Justin and Roh. I will admit that every time real estate agent Roh Habibi came on-screen, I screamed out “Ruh-Roh” like I was Scooby Doo with Tourette’s. Andrew Greenwell is like an even cockier, Floridian version of MDLNY’s Fredrik Eklund with a lot less high-kicking and a lot more snootiness. In the beginning of season 1, episode 1; Andrew says: “Daddy needs his juice” and then downed a glass of wine. I like him already. Justin Fichelson is a hyper ball of hair gel in stylish shoes. I am pretty sure the Producers loved to tease Justin into a frenzy, like giving a two-year old a pound of sugar. And then there’s the afore-mentioned (Ruh)-Roh. He is like a poster child for the Law of Attraction. Roh put on his Facebook page that he was a future cast member of Million Dollar Listing San Francisco BEFORE the TV show ever existed! And he decided a couple of years ago to try his hand at real estate and BAM! Success! Watching (Ruh)-Roh makes me feel incredibly lazy – as if I should turn off Bravo TV and actually start applying myself. But not now, because I have a MDLSF episode recap to write!
The real estate agents describe the San Francisco real estate market as “The New Gold Rush” where tech millionaires are driving up the prices on the next hot, luxury listing (34% increase in price points in the last year!) (Ruh)-Roh says the Bay Area has the highest percentage of billionaires. Last time I was in SF, this gal couldn’t even get a free drink much less a swanky new loft from a tech icon. Justin and Roh predict to sell $50 million this year. Andrew scoffed that they are amateurs and predicts he will do $100 million in sales. I predict I may eat 50 million calories while watching this season of MDLSF.
Again in typical MDL fashion, the real estate agents have no love for each other. Justin lives with an adorable couple and their kids. Evidently he is using his commission checks for other things rather than his own mortgage. Roh has a wife and young daughter. Andrew has a very attractive fiancé who he refers to as “#NorwegianHot” and yes, he is!
We start the real estate showdown with Justin convincing his seller to go with a lower sales price and start a bidding war to go above the asking price. I don’t know why but Justin’s jumpy energy makes me feel like he is making promises he can’t deliver.
Andrew built his own real estate team from the ground up. Roh is an Orthodox Muslim. He prays five times a day. Roh’s family escaped Afghanistan by paying smugglers to take them to Pakistan. He dedicates his pursuit of success in honor of the sacrifices that his parents made for him. I find it refreshing to hear these stories on Bravo – inspirational American dreams come true.
Andrew partners up with a fellow broker who looks a little squirrelly named Anton to try to sell a listing in Alamo, CA. Andrew gets a family of developers/designers to agree to list their latest showpiece for a price below than what they wanted to list it for – can you smell the “soon to percolate seller regret” in the air?
Justin sets up a private open house with glasses of champagne that still have the price tags on the bottom of the flutes. Watching Justin trying to pour champagne without overflowing each glass is a comedy of errors of monumental proportions. He shows the home to a hot guy named Zak who has a technology start-up. Please Bravo, can we have his telephone number? Justin says the new nouveau riche tech millionaires become super picky so you have to be quick with a good answer. Not sure if Justin has good answers, but he has nice teeth.
Roh has teamed up with a more experienced agent to try to catapult himself into greater success. His partner gives him a lead on a big 5 bedroom, 6 bath house in St. Francis Wood – a more suburban, old money area. His seller’s representative works for Dior and is wearing an awesome outfit. Maybe Roh has a dress code for his sellers! Roh looks nauseated that there is blood-red carpet in one of the bedrooms. Roh goes on a limb and fronts the money to stage the house on his own dime. Staged houses tend to be more appealing than empty houses. Roh and the seller’s rep go back and forth on the listing price (in true MDL fashion again!) Roh and the rep bicker back and forth and then settle on a $6.5 million listing price with a potential commission of $195,000 to Roh.
Justin said that as a kid he’d ditch class, go to a coffee shop, read the Real Estate Times and drink cappuccino. (OK real estate nerd!) Hot Zak Tech Start Up and another potential buyer both put in an offer on Justin’s listing and the bidding war begins!
Andrew throws an open house rocking party at the Alamo listing, but squirrelly looking co-listing broker Anton lets the sellers attend the party – instantly reinforcing their seller regret at pricing the home at what they feel is too low of a price. Andrew looks like he is suffering from a major case of constipation. He eventually talks the sellers off the ledge, but he is wary that they will not stick to their agreement to sell.
Roh’s infant daughter has her first laugh on TV. Get this girl an agent! Roh decides to drive interest in his old world, suburban listing by throwing a “Bootie Party.” As in everyone who attends wears booties as to not scuff up the floors. Not the kind of “booty party” that you may be thinking – get your mind out of the gutter, people!
Meanwhile Justin goes to a cigar lounge to update his seller on the results of his bidding war. Dressed in a velvet smoking jacket, Justin tries to get hot startup guy Zak to up his offer, but the hottie won’t budge. (I think he needs a spin-off show. Make it happen, Bravo TV!) But Justin saves the day by getting the other bidder to raise their price. The seller says “Justin, Just Done!” Evidently this seller is the Carrie Bradshaw of puns. $114,000 commission for Justin!
Squirrelly Anton informs Andrew that the seller’s cold feet from the Open House has increased. Now instead of wanting more money for the property, they want to take the house off the market and live in it themselves. Evidently the wild party Andrew threw on his own dime inspired the seller to keep the house for herself and her family. Anton and Andrew have a tense argument about whether it was Anton’s fault that the deal fell through. Anton tells Andrew not to contact his seller … this may be just episode one but I suspect Andrew doesn’t follow orders.
Roh’s Booty Party is an Instagram dance party success. Roh shows off his break-dancing skills. And I see several big spiral scuffs on the dark hardwood floors – I don’t think those booties are protecting the floor very well.
Andrew is partnering with a concierge service and throws a party which is a great excuse for the three agents to “meet” and scoff at each other. Andrew informs Justin and Roh that he bought the web domains for their names to block the agents from using the web names. The other agents drop their jaws in surprise. Andrew should have been stroking a cat when he informed them of his diabolical deeds!
Andrew says he wants Justin and Roh to know he is always two steps ahead of them. Justin wears suit jackets that look like they came from 1950’s living room couches. Roh says Andrew’s domain buying is creepy. And with that – season 1 of “Million Dollar Listing San Francisco” is off to a great start!
When SouthTampaLily grows up she wants to be a cult leader or Faye Dunaway in “Mommie Dearest.” Until she finds some maturity, she spends copious amounts of time watching reality television and training her cats for the circus. Follow her on