The Real Deal Miami

What I learned from the “Million Dollar Listing Miami” debut

Silver foxes, mom jeans and champagne skirts highlight Bravo series premiere

June 26, 2014 09:45AM
By Ann Imperatore

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Chad Carroll, Samantha DeBianchi and Chris Leavitt

Chad Carroll, Samantha DeBianchi and Chris Leavitt

Bravo debuted its first episode of “Million Dollar Listing Miami” last night, starring Chris Leavitt, Chad Carroll and Samantha DeBianchi — the “Three’s Company” of South Florida luxury real estate.

We watch these three as they navigate the turbulent waters of the surging South Florida real estate market, attempting to make names for themselves and trying to compete against each other and the sharks in the market … all while trying to look fabulous.

This show has everything: Aside from sun, sand and showers built for eight, we learned much about fashion last night. And nothing in Miami is more fashionable than pimped-out homes complete with dance floors and even more pimped-out agents who are fur-clad, Botoxed and sporting bedazzled jumpsuits.

Let the games begin!

Here is what we learned last night is crucial in SO-FLA RE:

1) Silver foxes: NYC transplant Chris Leavitt, having sold the most expensive apartment in Florida at $34M, explains that the commission equals “a lot of lip injections.” We’ve heard you are never fully dressed without a smile, but in Chris’ case that has to include a plumped-lip one. And while he is not a glutton for gluten and unabashedly eschews bacon and blue cheese, he fully embraces fur!

Chris tells us his favorite thing about Miami real estate is “the outrageous clientele,” and his first client doesn’t disappoint. We come upon Sandy, acting as a liaison for her boss, who Chris lovingly calls “Madam.” Madam has been a client of Chris’ for over seven years and he has sold her 15 apartments, but not the one in the St. Regis she is now hoping he can sell. He wants to stay in her good graces, but not as much as he wants to get in the “fun fur” that Sandy is clad in, while lying on the beach chatting with him.

Takeaway: Seinfeld’s fur coat

When Chris asks her what type of fur it is that she is wearing, she replies, Anderson Cooper “Silver fox is luscious and yummy.”

Takeaway: Silver fox look-a-likes

Yes, indeed.

2) Doppelgangers and Crazy Eyes: We next meet Samantha, who is a relative newbie to the biz with three years of experience and $25M in sales. She tells us she has mastered the $1-2M Fort Lauderdale market, but now wants to learn the ultra-lux Miami market. She explains that in the high stakes game of real estate, it is hard to maintain a relationship, but luckily she has maintained one for about a year with a cheap imitation Ricky Martin lookalike Jeff.

Takeaway: Separated at birth?

samricky

Samantha teams up with Rachel, another up-and-coming agent with mad connections but who has never sold a property, in order to pitch Gil Dezer, local royalty and a developer with a penthouse duplex to unload at the Trump Royale tower.

Samantha tells Rachel she thinks they’d make a good team with her marketing savvy and Rachel’s connections, but be forewarned: She can be quite intense. And crazy. And did we mention intense? All the while making crazy eyes at Rachel.

Takeaway: CrazyEyes

3) Dance floors: Lastly, we meet Chad Carroll, a real estate agent originally from the Midwest who has come to Miami to seek fame and fortune. His colleague Stacey is having a hard time selling her own mansion, so she has come to Chad to team up. The home is 4,357 square feet, with a dance floor in the living room. Which makes sense, because Stacey’s husband, Eric, is a nightclub owner, and you just never know when you want to break it down and do the Lambada. Eric wants to sell because the kids are growing up and they no longer want to do dance-offs they need more space.

Takeaway: Disco dancing

Chad does a walkthrough and while impressed, he finds some drawbacks — one can see and hear cars in the background. While inventory is low on Palm Island, he still feels the $3.995M Eric is asking for is not going to happen.

4) Cleanliness: Chris meets with Sandy via video chat to view Madam’s home and discuss pricing and timing. While Bal Harbour is a hotbed for international condo buyers, even with 2,100 square feet, a pool, a fitness center and three private terraces, Chad feels the $7M Madam wants is unrealistic. He points out the last unit sold for $4.8M, so Sandy ultimately agrees to pricing it at $5.99M on Madam’s behalf.

Back at the ranch bathroom, Chris tells us his bathtub is his “therapist, office and spa,” and that he takes about 16 baths a week.

5) Mom Jeans: Sam and Rachel finally meet with Gil to discuss his Sunny Isles duplex penthouse dream. At 6,421 square feet, this four-bedroom unit comes with hotel amenities — one can order food at 3 a.m.! However, we learn geography is hard when Sam, who apparently took geography class alongside Sarah Palin, comments that you can “see the whole world from here.”

Mom-jean-clad Gil may not know how to dress, but he does know how to avoid cyber stalkers. When Sam explains she has a Google alert set up for his name so she knows everything about him, he seems scared, but she finally gets him by agreeing to sell his apartment for an overpriced $9M in an unheard of 30 days.

Takeaway: Mom jeans

6) Cheeseballs with injections, and champagne skirts: Sam is meeting with a party planner about how to best show off Gil’s penthouse and it all comes down to cheeseballs with injections in them and a woman wearing a champagne skirt for about $25K. Sam agrees and finally, when the night comes, she arrives wearing a bedazzled short jumpsuit with matching bedazzled heels. Worlds collide when Chris and Chad come to the event.

Takeaway: Worlds collide

Chad calls the master unit “boxy” and hates the kitchen because it looks like it has IKEA cabinets. Sam explains to us that they have a brother/sister-type relationship, but Chris tries to play mom and assuage the situation. Things go from bad to worse when Chad introduces himself to Gil and tells him the property is way overpriced at $1,360 per foot. Still no word on how much that is per glass of bubbly.

Takeaway: Champagne skirts

champagnelady

7) Boobs: Chad has a sit-down with Stacey to discuss her travels and the upcoming open house, but eyes and cameras wander to other things. We can only explain it by telling you that according to Seinfeld, “They are real and they are spectacular!”

Takeaway: Real and spectacular

8) Bond villains: Chris has shown Madam’s apartment to a Russian who comes with her agent, Inga. They seem interested and return to discuss making an offer. However, Chris is surprised when instead of offering a purchase price, Inga offers a rental price of $22K per month. At first Chris balks, but Inga points out that her client wants to buy the unit but wants to try it out — sort of like the free samples they give you at Costco — and implores him to contact his client. At first Sandy says Madam won’t go for it (and we begin to think Madam doesn’t really even exist) but then Chris comes up with the brilliant idea of saying they will hold $1M in escrow to show seriousness. “Dealing with Inga is like dealing with a Bond villain,” Chris quips, but still the deal gets done!

9) Rain: The episode closes with Stacey canceling the Wednesday night event that Chad forked over $15K for without discussing it with him. Even though there is not a cloud in the sky, she foresees a storm a’brewing and is sure that it will spoil the event because when it rains, her property becomes a mess. We suspect it has less to do with the rain and more to do with the fact that Stacey doesn’t have a nanny on Wednesday for her children and there are no dancers to spare for the event, because Wednesdays are a big night at Eric’s club. We are left with the cliffhanger of wondering are they indeed real? And will Chad lose his cool or worse, his $15K?

Takeaway: I’m melting!

  • DeniZen Properties

    wow – best recap/review ever. “Mom jeans” is classic, and hilariously nailed what was probably one of the more significant memories i recollected today, but didn’t think of the brilliant analogy, (though i just saw the bit recently on SNL, as you obviously did)…Also loved the strikeouts. I’d say you summed it up perfectly, albeit i think we can all agree it was very entertaining, especially seeing our neighbors, neighborhood and colleagues produced so flashily. Bravo, Ann, /(ahem).

    • 1Ronald

      When you have Gil’s money you can wear anything you want. The world be damned.

    • Realtorcarmeng@gmail.com

      The real wealthy people don’t care about looks. Gil Dezer has so much money that he doesn’t need to impress anybody. What about Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.

  • South beach

    The girl agent sucks please get rid of her their is a difference between rookie and retard and I think she leans towards retard. Don’t mean to be mean but waste of a cast for miami chad is solid, Chris makes the show looks fake and set up and the girl is retarded

    • william r.livesay

      That Samantha is one homely girl which no amount of Botox or Miami plastic work will help.

  • Local realtor

    The girl just ruined her (cough cough ) career. The whole thing looked staged and fake…. an embarrassment to Miami and the homes looked tacky. A bunch of posers that no one in real estate in Miami has ever heard of. Gil Dezer looked like an ass looking for fame. Chris gives gay men a bad name… Chad has movie star looks and was the least fake. But the girl looked like a twit!

    • South beach Living

      Painful to watch.. Deff not a good look for Miami

    • william r.livesay

      The name Gil Dezer sounds like one of those made up porn names like Dirk Diggler.

    • Realtorcarmeng

      Local Realtor I agreed with your comment EXCEPT the Gil Dezer part. Gil doesn’t need to be in a show to be famous. He is a well known developer in Sunny Isles Beach with a high end projects. One of his latest projects: “Porsche Design Towers” and soon to come “Armani Residences” and no, I don’t work for Gil, but as a Realtor I tried to educate myself for what is yet to come in our Sunny Miami.

  • Developer1

    Dezer…Mom Jeans…lol

  • Moses Anderson

    Terrible compared to MDL NYC, I couldn’t even watch the full episode.

  • william r.livesay

    When they run out of Miami Vice style locations and the show dies a merciful death, I have an idea for a sure ratings buster. Let’s do $50,000 listing Okeechobee. You could use agents patterned on Honey Boo Boo’s mom, Hee Haw and Duck Dynasty, all driving clients around in old pick up trucks and swamp Buggies. However, it might be hard to find the obligatory,fashion plate gay there in Gucci coveralls.

  • 1Ronald

    Some common sense is lacking. You never tell anyone you’re hoping to do business with that you know everything about them. You had to see and hear this to believe it. No one, whoever they are, wants to hear this. She may have seen this as gaining control, but the bottom line is cutting a deal and hoping to win for yourself and your business partner and this is no way to do it. What was she thinking? She wasn’t.

  • art

    Do we really need more obnoxious agents from Elliman on this show again?
    Why would anyone buy or sell or associate with that bitchy gay dude Chris…what a jerk n ass.
    Aren’t there any other decent interesting agents for this show?
    This is the best out of Miami that BRAVO can get?
    What a shame and an embarrassment once again for Elliman having their agents represented on this show.
    I guess the upscale firms down in Miami that have class and cater to the luxury market don’t want to be involved with this crap of a show.
    They are the smart ones and don’t need the publicity for their firms like duhElliman.

  • ForRealzEstates

    Funny, I’ve shown in Trump Royale, 1000 Ocean and the house on Palm Island (a tear down my client passed on). Small r.e. world. S. Florida has exceptional agents. I wouldn’t use that adj. with two of these agents.

  • 007 Man

    I hope they recast Sam’s spot. A few good choices would be Susan Rindley, Lana Bell, Senada Adzem, Katrina Campins, or Ashley Cusack.

  • Ingrid IngridV

    The lady is not definitely a good match for this show, no charisma, no style nothing in her personality that caught my desire to watch the show . Yes the show is about real state market BUT if the characters do not have the “showman” appeal its is a big no no even if they are the best sate agents

  • Mac

    Join us on the Million Dollar Listing Review Show – Come chat, leave a comment, and tell us how you feel about Miami every Thursday! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDg926AoJyM

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