My Newest Guilty Pleasure


5 minute read

March 8, 2010

I’ll admit it: I love this show.

Million Dollar Listing is on HGTV and I can’t get enough of it.

I don’t watch reality television, and in actual fact, I really only watch sports and news, unless a show is available on DVD.  But I’ll admit that after tearing this show apart on my blog last year, I’ve come to enjoy it.


I still can’t stand Chad’s freaking hair!

I have an overwhelming desire to give Josh a good shave!

And every time I see Madison, it makes me feel like I need a good mani/pedi.

But I can finally admit on this public forum that I watch Million Dollar Listing, and I really, really enjoy it.

I first discovered Million Dollar Listing in February of 2009 as I sat in a very quiet open house and watched it on the seller’s flat-screen TV.  I hated every aspect of the show from its characters to its portrayal of the real estate industry.  You can read that incredibly cynical post here.

I’ve since changed my tune.

But first, I had to accept this show for what it really is: entertainment.

This show strictly serves to entertain me, and nothing more.  It’s not a documentary on real estate, and it’s far from factual.  It is like any other reality television program – it is scripted, formulaic, and not entirely accurate.

But being a real estate agent myself, I love the eye into the Los Angeles market and these three pompous ego-maniacs who sell real estate in the second-largest city in the United States.

It’s a stark contrast to our Toronto market where every property seems to sell in multiple offers.  In Los Angeles and Malibu right now, there are some scorching hot deals.

My favorite character on the show is Josh Flagg, and it’s not for lack of better options.

I think Chad Rogers is an incredible businessman and I really respect his work ethic, but I hate his hair.

Josh is very shrewd, but still very young.  It’s frustrating for people who watch the show to know that this guy is only 23-years-old and he is making millions of dollars.

What I like about Josh is that he believes in what he does.  He isn’t just in the business for the money.

Here is a quote from an older episode:

Real estate is not about money for me.  I have money.  It’s about the art of making a deal.  I’m twenty-two years old and I’m negotiating a thirty-million dollar deal.”

In a more recent episode, Josh was negotiating the sale of a property listed at $6,500,000 as he and the other agent sat face-to-face in their parked cars on the top of what looked like either Mulholland Drive or the Sunset Strip.

The two agents go back and forth with their clients on the phone, and after being offered $5.2M and coming down to $6.2M, the seller asks Josh, “Do you think they’d accept $5.8M?”  But instead of taking the quick deal, Josh tells his client, “I know I can get $6M.  Let’s go after it; I know I can get this price.”

And you know what?  He did!  His client was willing to take $5.8M, but Josh went the extra mile and got his client an extra $200,000 when he could have mailed it in.  And I can tell you from experience in my business – a lot of agents mail it in!

That’s when I really started to respect Josh, but only for his business savvy.

What I don’t like about Josh is that he’s a spoiled rich kid who comes from money.  Josh graduated high school in 2004 and immediately started working in real estate.  He doesn’t even have a university degree, but he parlayed his family contacts into a life of selling multi-million-dollar homes.

Josh’s grandparents made a fortune in music and fashion, and thus his entire family represents a social network that opens doors that should never be opened to a 22-year-old kid.

Who in their right mind would ever trust a 22-year-old with a high school education to sell their $10,000,000 house?

If not for the fact that Josh’s family is filthy rich, he wouldn’t be enjoying the success that he has experienced.  Like so many members of society, Josh parlayed his family riches into that of his own.

I hate Chad’s hair, and I think he is incredibly annoying, but he knows how to market himself.

Unlike Josh, who relies on his rich family for clients, Chad goes out and gets business.

In a recent episode, Chad just up-and-decided that he wanted a condominium listing at a newly-constructed luxury tower in downtown Los Angeles.  He set up a meeting with the sales manager at the developer’s sales office, and he went to work.

All the sales were historically kept “in house” as the developer had his own sales team working on the project.  But Chad pitched his services and put forth a thorough listing presentation, which was actually interrupted several times as the sales manager was called away to deal with some walk-ins.

He sealed the deal by pulling one of those stupid two-pound dogs out of his leather-man-bag and the sales manager was putty in his hands.  She oooh’d and aaah’d at the site of that creepy little rat-like-dog and finally caved, giving Josh a penthouse listing for over $5,000,000.

His tactics were lame, but they worked.

His hair is awful, but it is his trademark, and people remember him by it.

He’s amazing at selling himself, and he’s even better at selling the properties once he sets up the deal.

Chad spends thousands of dollars on his agent-open-houses.  He turns the otherwise tedious task into an epic event for agents.  He showers them with champagne, pastries, and gourmet foods while caterers and would-be butlers wait on them hand-and-foot.  Whereas most agents pop in and out of open houses as they cross them off their “to-do” lists, agents stay at Chad’s open houses for hours.

Chad sees the value in working the buyers’ agents just as hard as he works the buyers themselves, as the agents are the ones that will promote and recommend Chad’s listings to their buyers!

And as for his personal life, I find his approach rather….interesting.

As he and his girlfriend sat on the beach during a weekend retreat, he actually had the nerve to head back into the city for an appointment and said, “You know business comes first, baby-cakes!”

What woman doesn’t like hearing that she’s second-fiddle to money and prestige?

So what do we make of the third character, Madison?

Nothing, really.

I’ve never seen anything remotely interesting happen around this guy.

If anything, he serves only to take some of the pressure off Chad and Josh as they carry the show.

Madison is the loveable loser, as he is a constant source of empathy and pity among viewers.

He always seems to have an issue with something, whether it’s business-related or not.

And he just doesn’t seem to do the volume of deals that Josh and Chad do, or achieve the same level of prosperity.

It always seems that as Josh and Chad are selling $3-5 Million homes, Madison is working on a lease for $25,000 per month.  And if Madison does have a listing, it always seems to be for a “paltry” couple-mill, while Josh and Chad are double-ending their $6M listings as they drink hot cocoa by the warm fire.

Madison bores me, and I can’t figure out why.

Maybe it’s because Josh and Chad are so annoying and yet so enthralling at the same time.

They give you so many reasons to dislike them and then follow up with even more reasons to love and respect them.

Madison just mopes around every episode as a rain-cloud follows over his head.

He needs an entire orchestra to follow him around so they can play the “Sad Trombone” with that familiar “Wa-wa-waaaaaaaaa.”

Don’t get me wrong – the guy has AWESOME cheek-bones and a well-structured jaw-line, but I wouldn’t trade places with him for anything in the world…

So there you have my newest guilty pleasure.  It took me quite a while to admit that I watch and enjoy this show, and I actually found myself keeping quiet amongst a room-full of people once as they discussed their likes and dislikes of the show.

Unfortunately, I can’t find DVD box-sets of this show anywhere, since that is usually the only way I can tolerate TV.  But if you happen to catch the show on Wednesday nights at midnight, you know I’m watching it with you…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

Find Out More About David Read More Posts

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  1. Destructicus

    at 11:27 am

    I watched an episode online to see what you were talking about.

    It was entertaining, though I especially understand why you’d be embarrassed to admit you watch these divas get their back hair lasered.

    I don’t know about judging somebody cause they came from money. That’s opening a door for everybody who’s parents made less than yours to have a reason for resenting you. David Bowie’s son is showing real talent as a film director. Does it matter his dad’s career afforded him that opportunity? I say “no”.

  2. Meh

    at 2:07 pm

    Ya I agree with pretty much everything you said here, even your opinion of the 3 agents.
    I also find myself strangely drawn back into it after finding the last season pretty boring.

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  4. JG

    at 4:53 pm

    I love the show!! too funny!!!

    Who the hell walks into a clients home, wanting to list their $6million home wearing sweat shirt, trackers, sweat band around his head and soaking wet pits to boot!!
    Josh does!! lol – he all but gets a foot to the ass out the door! the balls.

    But seriously – dont you think the homes they list would be considered inferior when you consider homes in that area can be in the 10’s, 20’s, and 30’s million dollar values?

    A listing for $1mil – $5mil would be scoffed at by other brokers!

  5. dogbiskit

    at 11:25 pm

    I love the show, too. My fave is Chad even though I can’t stand his hair either. Josh irritates me but I agree he is savvy. enter madison, queue fast forward button.

  6. Sherman

    at 6:37 am

    The show just show that americans will give their trusted homes and wealth to a bunch of idiots.

  7. dave

    at 3:25 pm

    Agree completely. I love it, and especially when the camera catches Chad arranging a stray hair in his ridiculous haircut.

    My favourite moment?

    After Chad gave a welcome card saying “Welcome to the Bu!”, to a lady he leased a summer property in Malibu
    …cut to woman…
    “The Bu?”, shrugs confused and tosses the card aside.
    …cut to Chad at his office being told of her confusion…
    “The Bu! You know!! MALIBU!!!!”, he sputters, completely aghast.

    LMAO. Love it.

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