The alluring world of luxury real estate comes with its own set of drama, both corporate and personal, and Netflix is about to capitalize on it. Its new show, Million Dollar Beach House follows five Nest Seekers International brokers out for success in the Hamptons real estate market as they navigate high-stakes business while keeping up with their families and loved ones and dealing with interpersonal conflict with each other.
Million Dollar Beach House is streaming exclusively on Netflix. Get ready to meet the brokers!
Former model and office sweetheart, Michael has been with Nest Seekers for the past year and just brought on his best friend JB as a new realtor. Michael’s wife is pregnant and due any moment which adds to the stress of his already stressful realtor life.
What was it like filming the show while you and your wife were having a baby?
I mean, it was definitely interesting! Luckily with everything going on, a culmination of all things, it allowed me to go through the process a little quicker. So like, the last month, having the baby, it was very stressful, and it was coming to the point where we were close, and the show and everything business-wise was a great distraction. The three months of filming made the process go a little bit quicker. IT was like a baby just appeared! It was a few months of complete madness. This show was such a roller coaster and such a crazy experience.
What was it like doing major business while filming?
Of course, as real estate agents, doing business while being filmed and something being internationally shown you want to be careful. So when you talk to your client it could be a little unorthodox because everything you say could be held a little more than a private conversation. A lot of things were being conducted through text when I was filming but of course, negotiating deals were getting done. Literally, I closed a deal for $1.5 million while I was on the phone just while we’re filming in the office. It’s naturally what happens when you’re working. I’m very comfortable on camera. Those kinds of things didn’t really bother me too much. It was watching my mouth and being a good boy.
How did your relationships with the other brokers affect your time on the show, both positively and negatively?
Myself and Jamie are best friends since we’re 15 years old. We’re like brothers. I have his back, he has my back, we just trust each other. With the business we’re in, it’s important to have people you can trust. I would include Jimmy in that circle completely. It’s me, Jimmy and JB who are close buddies. We go out together, get haircuts, go out to dinner. It’s our little crew. Noel and Peggy are newer. Peggy was in New York City. She’s a hard worker. There are some touchy situations with Noel, who is very unorthodox and a very different kind of guy than I’m used to. My relationship with him is a little more distant. I surround myself with people that are willing to open up and be kind of human.
What was it like dealing with clients who may not have been used to being filmed?
That was a little bit of a struggle because of course, when you’re filming an international show, it’s going to be converted into many different languages. Every person you’re dealing with is sophisticated and wealthy and smart so they’re analytical. So they thought, “who knows how they’re going to perceive me on camera?” What we feature on the show is over $5 million. They’re very careful about their reputations. One of the questions was, is this show going to be a joke or really a serious show? Everything we did is authentic and real, from the drama to the transactions and that’s what I’m really proud of.
Talk about the show’s mix of business and drama.
So unfortunately in the Hamptons, because you’re not dealing with small transactions, you’re dealing with massive amounts of money, you get the worst out of people. In the high luxury market there’s always going to be a little bit of drama, in negotiation of a deal, not having a meeting of minds, not agreeing. What I can tell you is, when we first started filming, we were going a different route. It’s more focused on just real estate. As soon as we started filming season one all the personalities started coming out. It evolved into a show delving deeper into our personal lives. We are all completely different and that’s what makes us special. There’s an incredible, authentic dynamic.
What are the challenges associated with selling luxury properties in the Hamptons?
When you’re selling these properties, you have just a certain percentage of our country and in the world that can buy these properties. So the biggest hurdle is you’re down to 5-8% of America. You have a smaller customer base that you have to make sure you engage. What we’re noticing is a huge shift in buyers. We’re seeing a lot of Manhattan buyers that are a little bit younger. To appeal to that audience, everything is shifting from that brick-and-mortar and paper editorial to Instagram, social media, to push listings. Ultra-luxe clients are all over social media. Even the kids of the ultra-wealthy are looking at houses on Instagram. It’s all about robust marketing and how you get yourself out there.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned as a Hamptons real estate broker?
Don’t get excited about an offer and acceptance! That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned–don’t count your eggs before they’re hatched. It’s anticipating the worst until it goes well. It’s extremely high-stakes. What I learned is to not get excited until the check’s in your hands. That one commission could be someone’s yearly salary and more so when you think about that all the time, remember until it’s your hands it’s not real.
What aspects of this market do you think viewers from elsewhere will find particularly surprising?
The brashness. People are expecting a very soft, delicate real estate posh show. The show gets a little edgy. Everyone has a perception of the Hamptons not being tough. But we’re from Long Island. We’re tough. They’re going to be surprised. It’s not like Selling Sunset, where they’re dressed like they’re going to the prom. We had nobody telling us we had to wear an Armani suit every day. People are going to be surprised about how unstaged we are.
How do you build trust with buyers and sellers?
So, the biggest thing is transparency. I’m extremely honest with my clients. I’m closing in two months on a deal. We spent a year and three months looking at houses every weekend. I showed them over 300 homes. Spending that time with the buyer and also showing that I never gave up, was always interested and ready and never thought they weren’t going to buy, I was able to set myself apart, and they knew they could trust me because there were many times where they were ready to pull the trigger and I said this property’s not right for you.
As a broker in such an exclusive market, what do you think makes the Hamptons so special? And what makes you the perfect broker to work here?
I have a Netflix show! I’m a young, hungry, tech-savvy real estate agent that can be out here, work really hard and this is now a global platform. This is dropping in hundreds of countries. This’ll change a lot of things for me. When I say I’m going to do something I do it.
Discuss what impact you think being on this show will have on your business and the way potential clients will perceive you.
It’s going to be pretty crazy. To be honest, there’s going to be people excited to call me. But I also think people are going to watch the show and say, “that’s who I want to work with.” I hope it comes across as well as I think it does. It’s already been ridiculous. There’s an allure to having a show where you’re going to build a larger client base, which is fantastic.
What are you most looking forward to viewers seeing on Million Dollar Beach House?
To be honest, I think it’s the evolution of how I go from being nervous to being a dad to finally having the baby and being able to transition back into work. That was kind of the biggest thing.
Check out the trailer here!