More than a few of us have considered starting a new life as a realtor after watching too many episodes of Selling Sunset.
The reality show filmed in sun-kissed Los Angeles might look somewhat different against a more humid and gray Irish backdrop, however.
To give us a sense of the life we’re missing – with a small dose of realism – we spoke to an estate agent based in an area with one of Ireland’s highest concentrations of ‘property millionaires’.
Here, Dalkey estate agent Bevan Rooke tells us about a typical day in his life as a senior negotiator at Lisney, from visiting mansions along the Dublin coast to meeting Dermot Bannon.
So how accurate is Selling Sunset?
“A lot of my friends have asked me how similar it was, but I think they all expect me to be rocking around in a nice car and living in Beverly Hills from day to day. ‘other. Sadly, that’s not quite the case,” laughs Rooke.
“It’s very glamorous,” he says. “But it’s true in some elements, in that we’re in a lot of different houses.
“Especially in Dalkey, you could be in a three-bedroom semi-detached house for €500,000, or you could be in a beautiful modern seaside mansion for €5 or €10m even. There’s a lot of diversity there, while I think Selling Sunset is the most glamorous of houses.
“It’s pretty accurate in some ways, in that you’re on the road all the time. I think the way the girls from Selling Sunset work together and constantly talk to each other across the office – that’s really what it’s in our office.
“It’s a lot of fun, there’s never a quiet moment, but you know, we certainly don’t all drive Lamborghinis or Porsches or anything else in Selling Sunset.”
So what does a typical day look like for an estate agent in Ireland?
“Every day is different for us,” says Rooke. “I usually get up at 7:00 or 7:15 a.m. Having breakfast, all that, getting ready for work.
“We would wear a lot of suits and ties and stuff, so we all dress up. And the girls would also be well dressed in the office.
“I live very close to the office, so I walk or drive down some mornings. If the weather is nice and I don’t have an appointment or don’t need a car, I would drive down to walk and leave the house around 8.15 a.m.
“When we come in, some mornings we had meetings internally, sort of at 8:30 or 8:45 where we go over our properties, our candidates who are buyers or our sellers who are sellers, to stay in communication at this topic.
“From 9 a.m., the phones start ringing or people come in and out of the office. The first hour of the day that I usually used to try to call candidates. I would also be catching up on emails or preparing messages to be posted on Instagram – many agents, including myself, have our own Instagram pages.
“If I take yesterday as an example, from around 11 a.m. I would have been on the road. I would have done an inspection at a house in Glenageary first.
“Then I would have come down and shown a property that we have off the market that we’re asking 5.5 million euros for with a sea view…sort of like something that would be on Selling Sunset, so it’s was pretty cool to stay.
“Then I will probably show another house later today, which could be a more traditional semi-detached family home in the area, or perhaps a period property in Dún Laoghaire or Dalkey village.
“We would be back in the office all the time, walking in, picking up keys, talking to co-workers, swapping stories, swapping information about buyers and sellers, you know, maintaining that communication throughout the day.
“We find our car is almost like a second office to us because…we spend so much time in the car between appointments.”
Is work typical from 9am to 5pm?
“Our office hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., that would be pretty standard, but we’re kind of always on call,” says Rooke.
“You come home and have dinner after work, it’s 6:30 or whatever. But you look at your phone at 7:00 p.m. and there are emails coming in…Obviously some of these questions can wait until the morning, but very often we’ll be answering questions that evening to try to stay on point. running things… You are always on, I guess.
“Also, because I work in Dalkey and live in Dalkey, I would go down to dinner in a restaurant or whatever quite often, quite often meeting customers or people you know who are selling or planning to sell, so it is pretty good.”
What about your most memorable moments on the job?
“Like I said, every day is so different and we meet so many different interesting people…there are a few standout moments where you meet someone maybe famous or maybe you admire.
“I met Dermot Bannon in a house once – not for himself, he was advising clients – and that was very exciting for me. I’m a big fan of Room to Improve.
“I think there are sales where you get along with your customers so well that you will always remember them. And you will always look back fondly on the sale because you got along so well with them.
“It’s great fun because you’re constantly meeting people and talking to people, getting to know people…we see inside people’s homes and their most private spaces. personal, so it’s great to have this privilege.
“We’re very lucky to be able to do this, but it’s part of the job and that’s what makes it interesting is being able to go out and talk to so many people.”
How did you get into real estate?
“I started working with Lisney when I was 16 – when I was in school, I came in and did a week-long work experience during transition year. I then moved on and started working kind of part-time, helping them around the office and doing a few screenings.
“I then left and did a business degree at UCD for three years, then a masters in real estate…now I’m full time and a senior negotiator here in the Dalkey office, and there are six of us in the office so it’s a great team.
“[The work experience] was actually this month, 10 years ago. So, still there, and I love it.
“I think it’s a job that you have to have a passion for and you have to be interested in people, and you have to be interested in property…you have to have that desire to help people and meet people succeed, I think.