Chad Rogers Talks to Luxist
Truth is, in between posting Twitter and Facebook photos of his seemingly endless red carpet walks and attendance at movie premieres, Chad Rogers actually does sell homes -- about $65 million worth thus far this year. And he's quick to point out that the year isn't over yet. He's an associate in the prestigious boutique agency of Hilton & Hyland Real Estate in Beverly Hills.
"This has been my best year to date," said the baby-faced Rogers, who looks well younger than his 33 years. Rogers acknowledges that he carefully cultivated becoming a celebrity personality in the national real estate market. He works the social media circuit like a pro and has built up a following that he stays in touch with at least daily. And of course, his multiple seasons on Bravo's hit series, "Million Dollar Listing," brought him into the living rooms of more than a million viewers each episode. Without question, of the three featured agents, his role was the quirkiest.
Rogers had story lines about getting $600 haircuts and ordering $700 cakes bearing his likeness to serve at open houses. He also propelled his chihuahua, Starla, into stardom along with himself. He carries Starla with him everywhere and the dog has her own Twitter and Facebook fan pages. Rogers, as viewers learned, is an obsessive compulsive neat-freak, fluffing up couch pillows and finger-dusting the smallest crevice.
Rogers grew up in Malibu assuming that he would one day work in his father's business of owning and developing mobile home parks across the country. His dad had other ideas and set some tough bars for him to cross: Get a Realtor's license, get through college with nothing less than straight A's, and then maybe, the young Chad was told. With a Realtor's license under his belt and a perfect GPA, Chad was sent to work one college summer in his dad's mobile home park in Apopka Florida.
Gallery: The Fabulous Life Of Chad Rogers
He describes his first customers: A young couple who blanched at hearing the price of $19,000 for the entry-level single wide trailer in the community. Turns out the couple made an offer and then later couldn't qualify for a loan. It was a lesson Rogers took to heart. "I asked my father why we couldn't just buy them this home. I was as heartbroken as the couple was!"
He admits that selling to the high-end market is more his style. "If a client can't buy the $30 million house they want and has to settle for a $15 million one, I don't get as upset as I did when that young couple couldn't buy a single-wide," he says. It makes some sense since he grew up in the famed Malibu Colony where his mom Cathy is a gourmet cooking instructor and chef. Her book, "Malibu's Cooking Again" came out after the brush fires that devastated parts of the community; a portion of her sales went to help the displaced families.
It's from his parents that Chad gets his altruistic nature. He spends every Thanksgiving and Christmas day serving food to the homeless at the Los Angeles Mission. He supports the annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk to raise money to fight breast cancer and with Starla, he participated in the Celebrity Catwalk to benefit the National Animal Rescue. While his critics may dismiss it as part of his publicity machine, his volunteerism was recently singled out and honored by the Los Angeles City Council. "I try and be a role model for other people. Yeah, I make a lot of money, but what good is it if you can't give back?"
It was his mother's friend, uber-agent Valerie Fitzgerald, who years earlier had fixed his parents up on a blind date, who gave Chad his first real estate job. She told him that if he couldn't earn $150,000 the first year as her associate, he "must be doing something wrong." He earned it, and then some. He also fell in love with the idea of finding people homes.
His appeal to his client base seems to spread across the age gap. Young Hollywood hipsters relate to him because of his youthful looks, and older clients connect because he's been in the business for 12 years and has the experience that builds their trust. His youngest client is 18 and worth hundreds of millions; his oldest is a billionaire in his 80s. Paris Hilton is both client and friend, "Starla's new BFF," says Chad.
Rogers acknowledges that the real estate market has caused a lot of families pain of late. His advice is pretty simple: If you need to sell, price it competitively. The only properties that are selling are those priced based on actual recent sales in the neighborhood or those that are one-of-a-kind.
"Price your home based on price per square foot in the area with other homes that sold. It will sell; I promise," he said. "I'm optimistic that we've seen the worst of this. I'm seeing a lot of buyers coming out of the woodwork."
When Rogers isn't working or volunteering, he spends his time decorating his new Beverly Hills condo. Something of a technology nut, he can't wait to show off his new faucets. When the hot water faucet is in use, the water running out is red; blue water comes out of the cold water tap.
"Small things in life get me going, what can I say?" he asks. And he gets equally effusive about the Urth Caffe, where he sits outside with Starla. "They have the best green tea rice milk latte west of the Mississippi," he said, "possibly east of it too."