As in the "Selling the OC" series: Secret sex rooms, parrots fighting and 24 Ferraris: A luxury broker talks about his everyday life

Benjamin Dau, 35, is a luxury broker.

As in the "Selling the OC" series: Secret sex rooms, parrots fighting and 24 Ferraris: A luxury broker talks about his everyday life

Benjamin Dau, 35, is a luxury broker. He works on the German market and on Mallorca and has already sold his properties to well-known sports and music stars. In an interview with stern, he reveals details from his everyday work - and whether it's just as exciting as in the successful Netflix series "Selling Sunset" and "Selling the OC".

Mr. Dau, could a TV show be made about you and your work? Benjamin Dau: Yes, definitely. You can always do that when it comes to real estate. For others it is very interesting to look into someone else's property and see: How do people live there? Do you feel comfortable there? How do these people tick? I like to call it the "Instagram Syndrome". We market highly exclusive properties, most recently a villa in Bremen for over five million euros. Looking in there is something special.

Do you want to be on TV too? Yes, after all, we live from marketing. We'd like to show people great properties, but also the real real estate market, but it would be less drama than Selling the OC. More like "rent.buy.live". It's a pity, by the way, that the format was discontinued in 2016. "Selling the OC" shows how exciting it is for people. It just can't be too specific. The actual work is much more boring. Not so much drama. Still, location, location, location is most important. For the average customer, however, it is currently also about much more "boring" topics such as the building fabric, rising energy costs and sound insulation. That doesn't exist in the US series.

But it's also warmer in California than here, there are almost no sub-zero temperatures there. What other differences are there to the USA? Of course that's true. I've also been to America and in some parts of Florida there are demarcated areas, so-called gated communities. Gatekeepers work there and only selected people live in these residential complexes and not everyone can get there.

Did you learn something for your work from the American series? I find the series exciting from a marketing perspective. Just how tours are staged there. The presentation of real estate is lived in a completely different way. I like to watch a few episodes, but fast forward when there's too much drama in the team.Two years ago I started a home staging division at the company. (Note: home staging is the professional decorating and furnishing of a property for sale.) We have a warehouse full of cardboard furniture that looks deceptively real and can make a property more beautiful with a simple effort. There are also many decorative flowers or a box spring bed made of cardboard. It looks so real that we always have to write a note: Please don't put it on it. It's about evoking emotions. We can still learn a lot from the American market.

Which exclusive properties have you already brokered? In this area, the following actually applies: You can imagine everything that you know from television. And there's nothing you can't imagine. Everything is possible. I have just brokered a property in the Bremen area, where you could slide down a spiral staircase from the upper floor into the pool. Like in the amusement park. It was an indoor pool in the basement area.

That sounds fancy. What special objects and stories do you remember? I have to say they really exist: the dark rooms from "50 Shades of Grey". With them I think to myself: I can't take any photos here. Or: That will be difficult to market. But there is always the right lid for it. A customer has also found a home for himself and his 15 parrots. Every parrot practically has its own room. And some parrots didn't get along, so they needed separate and clearly defined rooms. 700 square meters of living space for the. And next to the main house there is also a staff house for the parrot keepers, also another 400 square meters. His favorite parrot was called Charlie and was always close to him. Charlie was also present at the viewings and sat on his shoulder. He often said: "Today the weather is good".

And have you seen something that would be a dream for you too?One thing that I thought was pretty cool was in a football pro's house: there were two rooms, each 80 square meters and each with a four-seater sofa. In addition, there is a Playstation and a music system that you shouldn't even find in normal discos. The two play the Fifa games on a completely different level.

Have you had any wishes that you could not fulfil? A customer from the sports sector has moved to London. His biggest problem was taking his 24 cars with him. They were mostly Ferraris and he couldn't decide which to leave behind. We couldn't find something that big in central London from here. Speaking of cars: What I would almost describe as a trend is that expensive cars also like to be in the living room and are only separated from the living space by a pane of glass.

What are these super-rich customers like privately? Have you ever had reservations? In the beginning it was always something very special. But then I had a key experience. Someone came up to me and said, hey, I'm normal. Treat me like you would any other customer or I'm gone. My customers are actors, politicians, musicians or even business people from the oil industry. They have a tight schedule and so the visits have to be organized. As with "Selling the OC" they will also be picked up by us and we also plan lunch. It is super important to these super rich that their freedom is preserved and that it does not come out who bought the house. Paparazzi shouldn't be at the door every day. And of course burglary is a big risk in these categories.

In which unusual places have you already sold real estate? We meet in hotels, bars, go out for a meal. It's about how much trust they place in us. For example, you shouldn't post on Instagram that we're having lunch together. Because customers keep coming back. They usually buy several houses or apartments. A customer of mine buys around 20 apartments a year. It is a group of buyers who particularly choose the broker. It's about a more personal connection. Once I went shopping with a rich lady. After what felt like 300 shops and 5 hours of shopping, we sat on two round stools in the boutique at Dior. I showed her pictures of an apartment in Berlin on the tablet and she said: Benni, I trust you and I will buy. Without ever having entered the apartment beforehand. And the contract was actually signed. You are in the scene on a first-name basis. I'm always Benni, my Benni. An elderly lady and an elderly gentleman, very wealthy, always pinch my cheek when we see each other and they want to invest again.

Which small talk topic always works?Children. When it comes to their own children, everyone likes to talk a lot: whether super rich or super poor: children are the greatest thing for everyone, in my experience. Although of course it's different for everyone. For example, the lady from the Dior shop has nannies.

Do you also live exclusively? I live very well for myself and have a large gate at the entrance. The goal was very important for me. If it falls I have the exclusivity of the locked area. I would say that I live exclusively for my region. But for the people I sell real estate to, it's a dog kennel at best.

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