But how do you market these properties? Do you actually say in the marketing material that this was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment, or do you just not mention it and if people catch on, you acknowledge it and move on? Some feel we should publicize information like this because if it’s an estate sale, they usually go faster and for a little bit cheaper, under value even, because they just want to settle the estate. If you don’t market it that way, you’re not selling it as quickly. Personally, I would mention it. If people know all the details ahead of time and they don’t care, we’re better off. That way, we won’t be wasting anyone’s time.
Barlavi offers these additional tips for handling the transactions of superstars:
1. Anonymity and confidentiality are of the utmost importance. Don’t tell anyone, especially the press, what celebrities you’re currently representing and where they are actively seeking a residence. Loose lips will sink ships, while silence will build your reputation as someone who can be trusted.
2. Don’t presume because you’ve seen the celebrity on TV that you know who they are and what they want. The key to learning this information is to talk to their personal assistants, agents and managers—people who know them very well and can provide you with some insight.
3. When actively seeking a residence for a celebrity, don’t be star struck. Don’t ask for autographs, don’t take selfies with them, and don’t ask for gossip about their personal lives. Doing this will make them very uncomfortable and will ensure a very brief working relationship.
4. Be nice and feed their ego, but don’t overfeed it. A celebrity is looking to you for guidance and expertise. If the celebrity is looking for constant praise, they’ll read their fan mail.
5. Be relaxed and be yourself. Don’t oversell yourself to them and don’t brag about all your accomplishments. If they came to you in the first place, they’re already aware that you’re very good at what you do. The more relaxed around them you are, the more relaxed they’ll be, making it more likely that you can develop a long-term relationship with them.