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!
Jimmy is a Nest Seekers lead who has been in the industry for more than 10 years. Jimmy has his hand in all the super luxe properties and acts as a mentor to the team, but when J.B. asks if he’s ready to take on his own listings, Jimmy tells him he needs to keep learning, making J.B. question whether Nest Seekers is the right place for him to excel.
As the broker on the show with the most time at Nest Seekers, how did you find yourself guiding and teaching the others?
I focused on J.B. The other ones I helped when I could. They all have their own egos, of course, but I tried and helped them the best I could. You really need to build your rolodex. It’s not one of those things where you just start making money right away. You need to learn the neighborhoods, all that kind of stuff, before you get your feet up and running. These people, when they make a lot of money and are buying expensive homes, they didn’t make their money being stupid. They’re very educated, very smart, intelligent clients. You have to be on top of your game. I try to instill in them, learn the information Everybody can regurgitate this stuff, it’s not rocket science, but you have to put the time and effort into it so that when you do have the opportunity, you can close the deal. So, I always try to teach them to do all the prep work and learn the market. If you don’t have that background you can’t succeed.
What was it like doing major business while filming?
It was hectic, to say the least. The other guys had a little more time than I did. The producers were getting a little upset because I wasn’t involved as much as they wanted to. J.B. worked for me but I also have seven other people who do, so I’m trying to juggle my team, my business, my clients, and my wife was pregnant as well. So I had my hands full, to say the least.
How did your relationships with the other brokers affect your time on the show, both positively and negatively?
I think the positive was that I enjoyed helping J.B. and the others. While you’re helping them, you’re reteaching yourself the market, you’re really on top of your game because you’re helping them with the inventory. But the negative is, it takes a lot of time out of your day to help people. Sometimes it ties you up, especially filming. I could have been making money but I was filming a scene for eight hours.
What was it like dealing with clients who may not have been used to being filmed?
I didn’t have too many clients on the show, but the ones that did were very nervous. Some of the builders….were saying things out of the ordinary because they were nervous! So trying to juggle them and obviously when other agents were bringing clients to my houses, some of them were saying things and being a little over the top because the camera was on them so you have to manage their egos. This one gentleman was on a roll, trying to get every second of face-time he could.
Talk about the show’s balance of business and personal drama.
Business is business. When you walk into the office, even if you have a problem with somebody, you just put your head to the grindstone and get the job done. I try to keep my hands clean of the gossip, but you can see some of the drama that played out with some of the younger brokers going after each other. It’s a waste of time, it doesn’t get you anywhere. But that’s definitely a part of the Hamptons real estate world.
What are some behind-the-scenes aspects of creating the show that viewers at home would never expect were going on?
You definitely have to get used to the filming schedule, it’s very demanding. When you sign up for this you know, but a five-minute scene could take hours. I wasn’t expecting that much. I didn’t know I’d have to give that much time, to be honest.
What are the challenges associated with selling luxury properties in the Hamptons?
Obviously, it’s the wild wild west when you have so much money on the line. You have so much competition. There’s like 2,500 agents selling, and maybe 250 or less make real money. It’s very competitive and you have to set yourself apart, which I’ve been successful at. Last year, I was definitely in the top 20, maybe the top 10. This year, I’m having a record-breaking year, as well. It’s hard to climb that ladder. The Tim Davises, they’ve been doing this for 40 years. When business comes to you instead of constantly chasing, my business would be two or three times larger. It gets bigger and bigger every year. You always have to look at the next step and what’s in your future.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned as a Hamptons real estate broker?
Humility, I guess, and to be humble. I wanted to prove to the world I was worthy, but to be honest, it doesn’t happen as quickly as you want it to. And even though I’ve been successful, if you look around at other agents under 35, there’s nobody else doing what I’m doing. But for years I struggled. For my first two years, I struggled and worked 70 hours a week and made less than what I could have made at McDonald’s if I got paid hourly. The third year, I broke through and doubled and tripled my business every year since.
What aspects of this market do you think viewers from elsewhere will find particularly surprising?
Some of the high-end stuff. For some people, it’s hard to wrap your head around spending $40 million. In most of America you can buy a mansion for $1 million. It’s an obscene amount of money! And if somebody is going to buy that, their net worth has to be hundreds of millions. That’s what viewers are going to have the hardest time wrapping their heads around.
How do you build trust with buyers and sellers?
The best way to build trust is to prove you know what you’re talking about. When you prove your knowledge and bring something besides opening the door. I always say, there’s real estate agents and guys at the top. I know a lot about construction. You have to be well-rounded and be more than “oh, this is six bedrooms,” and you see a lot of that. There’s agents that don’t know where they are half time and somehow they’re still making money.
As a broker in such an exclusive market, what do you think makes the Hamptons so special?
What makes the Hamptons so special is all the little villages and the ocean beaches. Every village is different. Every little area has its own little touch to it. The Hamptons has a lot to offer to everybody. There’s something for everyone. Who doesn’t love the ocean and bay beaches? I’m a big boater. The waterways in Sag Harbor and Long Island Sound are some of the best. There is no other summer place like the Hamptons.
Discuss what impact you think being on this show will have on your business and the way potential clients will perceive you.
I think it’ll be like gasoline on the fire, hopefully. You watch guys like Ryan Serhant, who was younger than I was when he started, but he started doing rentals and small sales. I already did the No. 1 and three biggest trades in the Hamptons last year. So I would think it would be gasoline on the fire. For the young brokers, it should get their careers started faster. I think it will help me grow a lot quicker.
What are you most looking forward to viewers seeing on Million Dollar Beach House?
The thing I hope people understand is that in the Hamptons, you get to enjoy the homes but it’s a great financial play. We’ve outperformed the stock market. I hope they realize the investment aspect. Hopefully for Season Two I’ll bring more to the table with my investment group. It’s not only just buying a house, it’s investments, it’s everything. The resale, when people sell in ten years, they sometimes get 100% on their investment.
Check out the trailer here!