The owner of an estate agency that has become the centre piece of a surprise Netflix TV hit show has said he was misled about what the reality show Selling Sunset would really be about.
The show, which features Los Angeles agent The Oppenheimer Group and follows its agents’ attempts to sell multi-million homes in the city, recently began its third series after its second series became a word-of-mouth lock-down favourite in the UK.
While TV shows about our estate agents tend to focus on their inadequacies, Selling Sunset focuses more on the personal lives of the glamorous men and women who work for Oppenheimer, and their jaw dropping commissions.
Agents in the US take up to 6% of a property’s asking price and in one episode one of the company’s brokers closes on a €40 million mansion, earning £2.4 million in fees.
This is then distributed among the buying and listing agents and their brokers – so a selling broker might expect to keep 25% of that, or £600,000.
The boss of the Oppenheimer Group, Jason Oppenheimer, has told Hello magazine that: “I wanted it to be all about the nuances of real estate, but I now realise the show I envisaged wouldn’t be that popular.
“I’ve come to accept the idea that I’m on more of a reality show than a real-estate show.”
But the show also reveals the rampantly competitive and insecure working conditions agents in the US experience on a daily basis, often working on a commission-only basis for weeks and months on house sales that can fall through without warning or payment.