Holiday Home Shopping Tips
from the stars of “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles”By Calvin Xu
Selling luxury homes to millionaire clients is a glamorous job, as Bravo reality TV show “Million Dollar Listing” proves. In this holiday issue, Asian Fusion Magazine is very excited to interview two stars from the show “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles”, David Parnes and James Harris. Both are originally from London, they brought English charms to the City of Angels and they have been working with The Agency, a full-service, luxury real estate brokerage representing clients in residential, leasing, luxury vacation rentals and property management, since February of 2014. Parnes was named one of “Hollywood’s Top 25 Real Estate Agents” by The Hollywood Reporter. They have sold over $165 million in real estate since 2014, and their sales volume is growing at a formidable pace year after year. On a video conference call with Asian Fusion, we asked the stars to share their tips and insights on holiday home shopping with us.
Here’s how it went:
AF: Can you tell us how you got involved with “Million Dollar Listing LA”? Many reality shows on television are scripted. How did you create a storyline for each of your shows?
David and James: We were actually approached by a casting company. We did a Skype interview, and then they sent out a camera crew in a day to really film what James and I actually do, and we went through the process and luckily got the position. I think as far as the story line goes, that’s our lives, that’s our job, that’s what happens. What you see is what is really happening.
AF: What did you guys do before you did Million Dollar Listing LA? Do you feel that what you did may have helped to contribute to the success of the show?
James: Definitely. I think the reason that we got the phone call in the first place is that, you know, we were these new kids on the block. We were working hard, closing deals, and we were doing very well. So it kind of made sense that we got that call. We did think it was the right call at the right time. But I guess the success we had in a short period of time led us to having the opportunity to be on the show.
AF: The holiday season has just begun. Are you beginning to see any trends developing that you might say are unique to this time of year?
David: For sure. I mean, look, a lot of people count out Christmas, really the whole month of December, whereas in reality, it represents a very unique opportunity to not just sellers but also buyers to make a deal happen, and really get a great deal, because you can get the most motivated buyers and the most motivated sellers showing or looking at houses at that time of the year.
AF: What are some helpful resources you can recommend to our readers who are looking to find the perfect home?
James: There are a bunch of different resources that are available on Trulia’s website, which is obviously trulia.com. David’s favorite, my favorite, is being able to actually research your local information – your school ratings, your commute time.
David: I think besides a school rating for any family, and commute time, as James mentioned, it’s the crime rate. I think it really makes a lot of sense to put in the address of a property you are considering buying. Hopefully you haven’t bought it when you do the research. And it comes up with colors, whether it’s red or green, really indicating how much crime there is in that area. That is a very powerful tool to really put your mind to rest before you buy your property. The way that Trulia lays everything out is aesthetically pleasing; it’s so easy to navigate. It’s not just a bunch of words, numbers, and statistics. The way Trulia lays out that data is beautiful pictures and map, very easy to use and very easy to navigate. Really just makes a lot of sense.
AF: For you, how would you describe the home of your dreams? Where would it be? What would the interior look like?
James: My dream home would be located in Holmby Hills, California, which is right next to Bel Air. And I think for me my dream home would be a gated compound, and an estate full of property, a modern transitional with an East coast touch, but also very homey and cozy…not too big. I am not looking for a 20,000 square foot house. I think 7,000 or 8,000 square foot, 4 or 5 bedrooms, beautiful swimming pool, and just a very cozy feeling, and lots of fireplaces!
David: I like original detail. I like traditional, whether it’s Spanish or slightly, just slightly more modern. I definitely like a house that feels like a home. I don’t want big, huge, boxy modern ceilings and stuff like that. I did like that, but I think I’ve kind of moved past that now, so I just want some character and charm, that feeling of home.
AF: Asian Fusion Magazine targets a primarily Asian-American demographic. Do you have many Asian clients? What are they mostly looking for? In what kind of ways might they be different than your other clients?
David: I think the main thing with Asian clients is that we have to respect that a lot of them are looking at Feng Shui, and that encompasses a lot of details we would typically overlook. It could be from how a house is positioned, how the layout is, the floor plan, where the light comes from, or where mirrors are positioned. These are very important to a lot of our Asian buyers, and not only do we respect that, but we have started to take that into account when we are actually showing houses or working with clients that are building their houses.
James: I think Asian buyers are flooding into the California market. A lot of them are looking for investment properties, good returns on their money. But typically when we work with an Asian buyer, it’s often a lot to do with trust – they want to be able to know they can trust you, they want to know the facts, they want to know what a home might rent for, and they want to know that you are truly there for them, not just when they are buying the property, but right through when they might decide to rent their property, or when it comes to the time to sell the property as well.
AF: Do you have specific plans this year to celebrate the holidays? What’s been your most memorable winter holiday, and why?
David: Really excited. Flying off to London, on Christmas Day. It’s the only day I can fly! I’m flying with my fiancée to see my family. And you know, just being with my family and being in London, where we originally came from, it’s really a great time of the year to be there. I like it when it’s cold at Christmas; if it snows, that’s a bonus. But I think just being around family and friends where I grew up. For me, that’s the most important.
James: My plan is to turn off my cell phone, and spend quality time with my wife and my two daughters. And we are heading to Bolivia, where it is actually summer time, so it’s gonna be around 100 degrees. And I plan to relax and hopefully do nothing, very exciting.
AF: Thank you so much for spending some time with us today.
David & James: Thank you!