One of the most glamorous parts of living in Los Angeles is…actually living in Los Angeles. From the modern apartments in Downtown Los Angeles and the Spanish homes in Silverlake to the beach-front properties in Malibu and mansions in the Hollywood Hills. Depending on the area in which you live, your Los Angeles experience can be much different from someone living only a few miles away from you.
With so many gorgeous and expensive properties to sell, being a real estate broker has always been a sought-after job in the LA area, so much that it caught the attention of Bravo producers who created “Million Dollar Listing”. Luckily, we talked to two of the stars of the show, business partners James Harris and David Parnes of Bond Street Partners.
Find out more about how they started, their sense of style, and how their life has changed since the show premiered.
Q&A with James Harris and David Parnes
How and when did you first get into real estate in London?
James Harris: I started real estate at the age of 17. Because I didn’t have a resume at that time, I found the real estate directory and wrote a nice letter and attached a picture of me standing in a telephone box. I was going to deliver this letter to the top 10 places I most wanted to work for, but upon arriving at the very first I bumped right into the CEO and had a meeting then and there. I left with full-time employment and my first title as real estate agent.
David Parnes: I got into real estate when I left a hedge fund. I started to buy commercial properties for a private investor in Germany and Poland. That was around 2006.
What kind of properties do you connect with? Are they constructed in certain decades? Do they have famous previous owners? Are they in a certain area of Los Angeles?
James: I really connect with charming, estate-like properties that bring me back to my British days. Locations with history and charm. But I also love modern, clean-lined properties, as well. My favorite areas of Los Angeles are the Platinum Triangle (Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby Hills).
David: I connect with traditional properties, Mediterranean properties. But I build houses myself, and I’m good at building modern houses. In London, I prefer a Georgian style of home, but in LA, Mediterranean/Spanish originals.
What was the hardest property you’ve had to sell and why? Location? Strange layout?
James: We once had a buyer from New York that we had to sell a property to and we had to buy it for him in under seven days, sight unseen. That was tricky!
David: The hardest property was probably a raw piece of land with a derelict house in Brentwood that I had to sell. It was priced at $5 million and had sold the year before for $2.5 million .¨ and I managed to do it!