Selling Sunset, the Netflix reality show about a luxury brokerage in Los Angeles, has been causing quite the stir in the real estate community. Some love it while others believe it portrays the agent life in an unrealistic light.
Jason Oppenheim, the founder and broker behind Oppenheim Real Estate, told Inman that the show plays up the drama as a way of making the real estate world exciting for a general audience — some of the most dramatic moments include flirting between clients and agents, a pregnancy, past relationship drama, and fights over who had the client first.
“The show gets a lot of the more personal and social parts of life,” Oppenheim told Inman in an exclusive interview last week. “Most shows are going to inevitably avoid some of the more mundane aspects of being a real estate agent.”
Since the show premiered, the five agents featured on the show have been receiving a lot of attention to their work as well as their personal lives. Find out more about each of the agents here.
The new girl! The entire first season spins around Chrishell Hartley finding her place among the other agents. Hartley went into real estate after playing secondary roles in shows such as All My Children, Days of Our Lives, and The Young and The Restless. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Kentucky’s Murray State University and is married to Justin Hartley, an actor from shows like Passion and Smallville. She has, in her role as a Realtor, focused primarily on upscale celebrity homes.
On the show, Hartley plays the role of the newcomer among the other agents. She tries to fit in as some of the other agents question her experience in real estate.
Originally from Israel, Maya is a Realtor-Associate with the Oppenheim Group while also working as an agent at Douglas Elliman. She travels between Miami and L.A. for work several times a month. Having grew up in a family of real estate investors and home-flippers, Vander focuses on both luxury and mid-range properties in L.A. and Florida.
“Purchasing a home is the most important investment most people ever make,” Vander says in her Douglas Elliman bio. “So my job is to put their needs first, be as responsive as possible, make myself available whenever they need me, and provide valued-added guidance throughout what can be a complex and stressful time for them.”
Throughout the show, the other agents often turn to Vander for advice and a listening ear. Her pregnancy, which viewers discover in the second episode of the show, is one of the running subplots of Selling Sunset.
Mary Fitzgerald is one of the longest-serving agents in the Oppenheim Group, working on both sales as well as property management and business development. Before that, she worked for luxury property developers Christian and Nick Candy in England.
“Representing both buyers and sellers in LA’s luxury real estate market, Mary sets herself apart with unrivaled work ethic, integrity, and honesty,” reads her Oppenheim Group agent bio.
Fitzgerald has one of the most interesting personal lives on the show — at 37, she has a 21-year-old son and a 25-year-old French boyfriend who is also regularly featured on the show. Fitzgerald has also dated her boss Jason Oppenhiem four years before the show began — a fact that causes lots of tense moments on the show.
Hailing from Dallas, Christine Quinn came to real estate from the fashion industry. While she works with all types of properties, her focus at the agency is on first-time homebuyers in L.A.
“During her travels, she discovered her love of architecture and interior design, which ultimately led her back to Los Angeles to pursue a career in real estate,” reads Quinn’s agent bio.
On the show, Christine is often portrayed as catty and dramatic. In one of the early episodes, she tells Heather Quinn that they are not friends because Quinn ‘stole’ her client. She also used to be roommates with Fitzgerald.
Heather Young is the only agent in the group who was both born and raised in Southern California. A former model and Playboy Playmate, Young has over 400,000 Instagram followers. At the Oppenheim Group, she works as a Realtor-Associate and focuses on high-end celebrity homes.
“A Southern California native, Heather Young began her career as a professional model at the age of 18,” reads her agent bio. “This ultimately built the foundation of her impressive achievements as a well-respected Realtor.
With over a decade in real estate, Davina Potratz is a Realtor and director of new development at the Oppenheim Group. Before that, she worked in marketing and property development for luxury developments.
According to the Oppenheim Group, Potratz’s experience includes working with The Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live (AEG), The Residences at W Hollywood, The Carlyle on Wilshire, 432 N Oakhurst, 460 Palm and Azzurra in Marina del Rey.
Potratz grew up in Germany and is of both German and Native American descent. She runs an Instagram account on which she posts photos of the properties she sells.
Jason Oppenheim is the founder and ringleader of the Oppenheim Group. He oversees the female agents and leads the brokerage in securing high-end sales. Prior to real estate, Oppenheim received a degree from UC Berkeley and worked as a lawyer before joining Coldwell Banker as an agent. Since then, he founded the Oppenheim Group and has been approached by Netflix for the show.
“After only three years in the business, Jason founded The Oppenheim Group brokerage at the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Sunset Plaza Dr., where he and his team currently sell more than 100 properties a year, including many record-breaking transactions,” reads Oppenheim’s agent bio.
Since the show began, Jason has fielded numerous questions from viewers and reporters — ranging from why he employs a female-only team of agents to his past relationship with Mary.
Brett Oppenheim is Jason’s twin brother and senior vice president of the Oppenheim Group. Like his twin, Brett graduated from UC Berkeley and worked as a litigation lawyer before going into real estate.
“Brett lives in the Hollywood Hills where he renovates and develops properties for his personal real estate portfolio, recently selling his personal residence to Nicole Nightly,” reads his Oppenheim Group bio. “He also manages client developments, including a Beverly Hills estate that he recently renovated and sold for over $17 million.”
Both brothers are the fifth generation of family members to practice real estate in Los Angeles — their great-great grandfather started a real estate company in 1889. While Brett makes regular appearances on Selling Sunset, he is not featured as prominently as his brother.