Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing Miami” premieres June 25. Throughout the first season, The Real Deal will chat with the brokers featured on the show and post weekly episode recaps on our website. The first cast member to speak with TRD is Chad Carroll, an executive vice president at Douglas Elliman. Carroll, 29, joined the brokerage in 2009.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
TRD: You were raised by a family of doctors in Ohio, so how did you end up in South Florida’s residential real estate sector?
I decided early on that the medical field was not the path I wanted to take. I was very business savvy and great with people. I grew up playing competitive golf throughout high school and went to college at Florida Southern to play golf for two years. That also wasn’t the career path I wanted, so I transferred to Hofstra [in Long Island, N.Y.]. I still played golf there, but I also got a business degree and realized real estate was a passion of mine. The weather got me to come down to South Florida.
I briefly worked for Equity One doing commercial real estate, but I had a passion for residential real estate. The market was crap at the time (end of 2008), but I was coming out of school eager to learn and get into that market. Being in that commercial environment and having a finance background, I became very good with numbers. I felt if I worked hard enough I could get into the luxury high-end market. I learned the market while everything was going downhill, so when the market came up, I was an expert that knew every building, every project, every developer inside and out.
TRD: How did the opportunity to be a cast member on the show come together, and what was the auditioning process like?
There were multiple interviews. The whole process took over a year from the beginning until we actually started filming. They interviewed almost everybody in Miami. There was a ton of competition, as the Miami real estate market is super competitive, especially in luxury high-end real estate. Everybody is looking for a niche to set themselves apart from the rest. This is an opportunity for me to publicly display my business with national exposure and get sellers the exposure they deserve and need to sell luxury properties.
TRD: What was your reality TV experience like?
It was an amazing experience overall. What shocked me the most was having cameras follow me around. That took some time to get used to. I was doing my normal job, selling real estate, with cameras following me. I actually did forget they were there after the first few weeks.
My goal is really just to show the world how hard I work. It may seem easy, that deals just happen overnight. But there is so much work and time that goes into it. I think of myself as an innovator with the creative things I do for clients. This is a 24/7 job that I love every minute of.
TRD: Your girlfriend, Miami-based television lifestyle host Jen Stone, has a lot of on-camera experience. What was her advice about being on a TV show?
She is a big part of my life and walked me through every step of the way. This is her background. Without her, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today. She told me when I started, ‘Listen, Chad. Forget everything around you. Block it out and do what you do. You’re amazing at what you do, and it will shine through.’
TRD: What will surprise viewers most about the Miami version of “Million Dollar Listing?”
I think this franchise is completely different than the other two. I’m not just selling properties here; I’m selling a lifestyle. There are three completely different agents with totally different personalities. You have the first female in franchise history. Everyone has a different selling approach. Miami draws a different crowd, with celebrities, athletes, prominent business owners. People dream about Miami; we’re going to show them everything about it.
TRD: What does the selection of Miami for this season say about the city’s growing prominence?
Miami is becoming one of the most sought after cities in the world. It has changed substantially over the years. It is no longer seasonal; it is a year-round destination that has become a little New York. That was one of the biggest factors in choosing Miami. It’s a hot, sexy place. We’re not just selling little apartments. We’re selling mansions, condos and everything that comes with it.