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

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

New York /
Jun.June 26, 2014 02:50 PM

From the South Florida site: 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) Doppelgängers 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?

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-offsthey 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

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!

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