A look at the life of luxury
In new local series Listing Jozi, high-end realty brokers list and sell multimillion-rand houses while traversing the complicated yet enticing landscape of real estate. Watch it now on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174).
When it comes to lifestyles of the rich and famous, going big means dropping millions on a home that has everything from an indoor pool and wardrobes the size of townhouses, to lifts and marble tiling in the garage. And who better to introduce you to homes fit for A-list Hollywood celebs than the estate agents from new BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) reality series Listing Jozi – part of BBC’s new Wednesday night local delights.
Nothing is out of the question when it comes to fulfilling a client’s needs, says cast member Lara Nathan: “Every episode and client is different. I visit a home in an exclusive estate in Morningside that is an exceptional masterpiece. Then there’s a new development still in building stage. There are penthouses in Sandton, clusters, living on a golf estate – and everything is breath-taking!”
Don’t have a bar or 5 sitting in the bank for a new crib? Sit back and dream with the rest of us as Listing Jozi takes us on a dream home hunt…
More than just selling
Listing Jozi shows 5 agents (including team leader Ryan Kwan and estate agents Grahame Diedericks and Edgar Nche) in their daily routine: Booking viewings, meeting both buyers and sellers, doing property valuations and the dreaded paperwork. “The nature of our business, to be on the go all the time, meant that it was the camera team trying to keep up with me,” says estate agent Jabu Mazibuko with a cheeky grin. “The show depicts our normal day-to-day lives, so they (the camera team and producers) were following me as I went on my appointments, which would run a little longer due to filming, which the clients were okay with, and everything else in the life of an estate agent. I did have to make a little extra time available in my day for the diary sessions, but it was fun!”
Jabu admits that she was shy at first about being on TV but those nerves settled quickly. “Television is fast-paced and can be very intimidating, so you have to be confident in your craft because you get 1 shot to showcase it, which is very much similar in the real estate world – you often only get 1 shot to sell that house to that buyer, 1 opportunity to make a lasting impression.”
A lot of work goes into marketing a house – it’s not just putting up a “For Sale” sign-board on a Sunday afternoon and hoping you get lucky.
“Property is part of my life, I love what I do,” says Jabu’s co-star and co-worker Lara. “There are no set hours in my days, so I can be meeting clients early in the morning, on the phone in-between, and I can end late in the evening – though that seems it can be 24/7, it’s also more flexible. I’m able to fetch kids from school between appointments, I can sneak in a quick lunch with them some days – so I manage my time between work and family and have a great team to assist as well. It’s about diary and time management.”
Look but don’t touch
You know that saying about if you break it, it’s yours? It’s a little different when you’re checking out a mansion valued at R45 million and want to touch and feel all the surfaces in the house to get a better feeling for the quality. But thanks to COVID-19 and health & safety protocols, there’s no touching and feeling in Listing Jozi, explains Lara. “We’ve implemented strict protocols for screening buyers and sellers. Clients (buyers or sellers) were required to fill in the necessary COVID-19 risk exposure questionnaire, sanitise hands repeatedly and, in some cases, sellers required that clients be asked to remove shoes prior to going into their homes.”
“Safety regulations also precluded us from touching surfaces or opening doors, so we prepared owners by asking them to open as many windows and doors as possible prior to potential purchasers entering the home,” says Lara, adding that “we worked with a small camera crew and the production team who had their protocols and permits in place as well, and between clients and ourselves, we maintained distance and ensured all COVID-19 protocols were adhered to.”
The rich & famous
While the agents are keeping their private clients’ identities under wraps, there are a few who’ll pop up on Listing Jozi and you’ll be surprised by some of the famous faces you’ll see and what they’re looking for, according to Lara, who recently sold a mansion for R55 million. “Politicians, sports personalities, A-list celebrities who’re both buying and selling. I have luxury buyers and sellers whose properties are simply exquisite.”
And while Lara, Jabu and the other agents each have their own style and flair for marketing properties, they can’t help but take note of what other agents are doing – especially internationally. “I love watching reality show House Hunters. The show gives great insight as to how people buy properties overseas or holiday homes and how they narrow it down to a choice of 3 options, which makes buying easier,” says Lara.
Jabu adds, “I watch reality shows like Million Dollar Listing and Selling Sunset. I’m still waiting for my celeb clients to come knocking on my door, but I know that it’s written in the stars. This show has been an amazing experience, and it’s opened my eyes to so many other opportunities and experiences.”
Watch Listing Jozi S1, Wednesdays from 16 June on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) is available on DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact. To get DStv or to upgrade your package, click here.