We Interview An Award-winning, Top-producing Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate Agent Christophe Choo
We Interview An Award-winning, Top-producing Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate Agent Christophe Choo
Christophe Choo is an award-winning, top-producing luxury real estate agent with over 30 years of experience serving Los Angeles’ most elite Westside neighborhoods. He is known for his charisma and cosmopolitan flair but is best known for breaking sales records in the most prominent Westside locations spanning the Platinum Triangle, including Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Bel Air, and all of the premiere Los Angeles neighborhoods.
“I have been successful over the last two decades because I love what I do,” he says. “Finding a person’s dream home is not a job to me. It’s my passion.”
Johnathan: Welcome back folks to the Mail-Right Show. This is episode 250. We’ve got a really great guest for the show. We’ve got Christophe Choo with us. He’s a well-known real estate agent in Los Angeles Hollywood luxury market is going to be a fantastic interview. So, Christophe can you quickly introduce yourself to our listeners and viewers.
Christophe: Sure. Nice to see you guys. And Robert and I go back a long way. I’ve been selling real estate now for 32 years. I’m at Coldwell Banker Global Luxury in downtown Beverly Hills. I covered most of the LA Wes side markets, which is basically downtown to Encino, to Malibu, to about the airport Marina Del Ray. I’m doing it for a long time. I’ve been through many evolutions in my career of 32 years, starting at 18 years old and now I’m almost 52. So, I’ve had a lot of history, a lot of experience, I love what I do and I was trying to innovate be ahead of the curve and try to do things differently than anyone else stand out from the crowd so that I can help more people.
So that’s kind of the long and short of it for me. And initially, I started doing a lot of lower-end properties now I’m much more in the high-end luxury market space. Although even though luxury is kind of my main game, we just closed an escrow this week for $420,000 and we treat every client like a King or queen as they deserve to be treated. I don’t care what the price range is everyone is a human being and everyone deserves care and love and people watching out for them, which is what…
Johnathan: I think you already impressed me actually by that statement. A lot of people don’t view their service in that way and I think you’ve just put it in a very fantastic way. And I’ve got my great co-host Robert. Robert, which you’d like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?
Robert: Well for today’s show I think the only thing that’s relevant, I’m a founder of a real estate tech company, but Christophe and I have known each other so long. I literally have known him for what would be like the halfway point or maybe 60% point in his career. And he’s known me since I was just getting started in real estate technology, which was a long time ago. And so, I’m an old acquaintance, an old business acquaintance of Christophe.
Johnathan: That’s great. And Robert is going to do the lead for the most of the interview. I’m just going to butt in when we get to the 15-minute mark.
Johnathan: So over to you, Robert.
Robert: All right. So actually, John, do us a favor really quick. Introduce yourself. You missed that part.
Johnathan: Yeah, I’ll do that. I’m the founder of Mail-Right. We use the power of Facebook to get you quotes to leads. We got a multifaceted marketing platform that’s fully integrated with text, email, and a lot of other technology to keep you in front of your possible clients and also your most urgent, most relevant leads.
Robert: Awesome. All right. So, I’m going to set the stage here for us Christophe so that everybody has kind of an understanding of how we met and then I’m going to bridge into the topic that I want to cover. So, for everybody listening today, Christophe has been voted many times, I think, but recently as well, the number one video influencer in the US by BombBomb video, I’m pretty sure that’s just one of many accolades that you have in the video section of your career. Is that right Christophe?
Christophe: Yes. Correct.
Robert: Okay. More importantly than that, to me personally, is that I follow Christophe. I share his stuff on Facebook, I share his stuff. He’s the only real estate guy that I do that with because he’s been completely committed to video for as long as I’ve known him, which is 10 years now. But when we first met all those years ago, Christophe was asking me questions about the direction that he should go. He was doing a lot of research with a lot of different people it wasn’t just me, but we were having conversations about where would you go? And he literally said, at that time, he’s like, I really like video. I really want to do video; can I leverage video? And this was so long ago, nobody was really doing it. Not YouTube, not any of that.
So, it’s now been 10 or 11 years. Neither one of us really technically remembers, but you’ve definitely committed to video. You’ve been like, it is a central part of your marketing strategy. So, today’s conversation everybody for all our listeners, we’re going to talk about that journey, how he does it, how committed he is to it, what has been some of the pros and cons, like things he likes things he doesn’t like about video. He’s everywhere on video, on YouTube, on Facebook, maybe on other platforms as well. So, having queued that up keyed that up. Let’s talk about the first question that I have for you. Christophe is 10 years ago, video, is it a decision that you regret?
Christophe: Oh, not at all. A video was a very instantaneous and immediate decision. I was at a conference, you know Gary Vaynerchuk, I’m sure you know who he was. Gary Vaynerchuk was there, my coach, Tom Ferry. And basically, Gary said, Christophe, you’re Mr. Beverly Hills, your lifestyle is the rich and famous. You need to be a DJ for content in your community. And that’s when to go back to that time, it was when Google just purchased YouTube. So, I think that was 2008, 2009. I think it was 2009. And basically, Tom and Gary said, you know, video is going be the future, you got to start doing videos. And I thought, well, look, I’m always willing to test and try things. So that afternoon, I mean, it was, Gary spoke after we were at lunch. Gary spoke after lunch, he mentioned to me about videos at the break.
I went to my room in the hotel, I purchased all of the lifestyles and rich and famous domains on GoDaddy, which were available much to my surprise and then at 05:30 when the day was over, I went to good guys or best buy and I bought a flip cam, my first video camera and I did my first video. And my system was there with me and we were, it was in Palm Desert, it was 118 degrees. I remember it very well; I had a white linen suit on. I stood on the balcony and I did my first video and it’s actually on my YouTube, my first video on my YouTube channel. I think it was 2009. And I said, look, I’m here at a conference. I said, I just did two or three days of learning, growing masterminding with the top brokers in the country and this is my first video and I’m starting videos.
So, that’s when I began it’s been an evolution, now today we have, I think almost 30,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel. I think we have over 10 million video views on our videos and it’s worked out quite well. We probably have 2,900 videos on the YouTube channel in total. It’s been very consistent over the last 10 years. So I try to do one a day, but obviously 10 years, 2,900 videos, so it’s about almost one a day, but it’s consistency, I do all kinds of videos from very, very expensive high production videos that take weeks to plan and organize and storyboard and they’re very expensive to a lot of my simple videos now with my iPhone, which I just record one take easy and I do it. And right now, I mean, I’ve had every video camera pretty much known to man in the last 10 years, but now all I use is my iPhone, iPhone 11 XL Pro whatever it’s called with the wide-angle lenses and my S you know microphones and all that’s basically all I need for my personal videos is my iPhone aside from the production ones.
And I do love the production videos cause they’re beautiful and they’re planned and they’re staged and they look nice. But the truth of the matter is the consumers want the real raw videos. I’ll do like I’ll take a listing and I’ll do a high production video and spend a lot of money, sometimes it takes four days to shoot a video for a house. I’ll do a one-take 15-minute walkthrough video, and I’ll get three to four to five times more views of that single take walkthrough showing, well I call it a virtual showing way, way before, now everyone’s doing virtual showings, but I was doing virtual showings 10 years ago before I even knew what it was. So, I do all kinds of videos. I think they all work depending on the end-user and what they’re looking for.
However, I do feel the more and look I’m in Beverly Hills, I like to dress up, I like people call me sometimes flashy, I like fancy jewelry and clothes. So, to me, I’ve got the perception of being in Beverly Hills, people think that bougie Beverly Hills luxury broker. So, to me to do a raw natural video, that’s unscripted, unedited, it’s real, it’s natural. I could be hot. I could be tired. I could make mistakes with my words, people like that. And what do people like to watch for the last 15 years? Reality TV? So, I basically do reality TV videos on my phone and post it, and that’s what people want. So, I do everything. I still do everything from driving tours to interviews with clients, to snippets of views. I mean, I just, I’m here to again be a DJ for content in my community, share whatever’s going on in our community.
In the old days at parties, I do parties, but now just whatever I instinctively feel, that’s exciting to me or fun to me or interesting or beautiful to me. I do a video and I post it. And if you like me, you’ll work with me, if you don’t, you won’t and that’s okay, you’re going to attract who you are with what you do. And so, I just do what I do love it or not and then I get trapped with those clients.
Robert: Okay. So, John, you look like you got a question.
Johnathan: Yeah. It was your initial statement that you made. I think it was before we recorded live about how it doesn’t really in your mind so it doesn’t really depend on what your client is spending with. You treat them all as human beings and it’s the same quality of care. It’s not dependent on the transaction amount. And I was so impressed with your statement there.
Christophe: Well, it’s very, very true. And you know, back, God I’ve been doing this now for 2o, no 32 years excuse me but back when I was, I think 23 or 24, my coach at the time said, you need to create in your mind and in writing, who is your perfect client? And I did that and it’s so ingrained in me. My perfect client is someone who loves me, trusts me, respects me, will follow my advice are rich and fun and I can be friends with. That’s my perfect client. So, I’ve always, well, fortunately, I would manifest those kinds of clients to be attracted to me now in terms of clients, yes, I handle every transaction. As I’d mentioned before we started live, I just sold an escrow this week for $420,00. Which is probably one of the lowest-priced escrows I’ve had in quite a number of years, but it’s a past client of 25 years, we’ve done many transactions over a million and she had a little small investment property in Tarzana area of the San Fernando Valley.
She’d been on the market a couple of times with different brokers thinking I didn’t want to handle it or couldn’t handle that sale for her so I just called her up. I said, hey, let me help you. And she let me it. And I sold it successfully and we closed. So, I do handle everything. And she’s been a client of 23, 25 years, I adore her and I’m really thrilled and excited to help her. So yeah, any client is a good client and I love the high-end deals because I’m really attuned to art and architecture and design and what goes into a very, very high-end home. I mean, when I go into a high-end home, I know the art, I know the furniture, I know the kind of wood floors, I know the architects, I know the landscape designers and that’s what people are paying you for. They’re paying for your expertise, your energy, your time, and your expertise, I guess is number one.
So, but again, no matter what the price range I do [inaudible 12:36]. Generally, I don’t work with buyers in the lower end, my buyers are typically over a couple million, but in terms of listings, I sell anything and everything anywhere. Even commercial property, I’ve sold a lot of shopping centers and retail storefront buildings. I’ve done it all but 32 years and hundreds and over 500 transactions, you kind of learned to do it all. [Cross-talk 13:00].
Johnathan: We are going to go for a break actually folks when we come back, we’re going have another session with Christophe. It’s been a great conversation. We’ll be back In a few moments.
We’re coming back. We’ve had a fantastic conversation with Christophe and his dedication to his clients and also video back over to you Robert.
Robert: Lovely. So, Christophe epitomizes something that I say to a lot of people on my phone conversations, which is casual conversational competence, which is how he comes off of on video, that’s why I follow his videos. And what I mean by that is that you, when you’re talking about something that you love, which Christophe is demonstrating inside this podcast, and you do it conversationally. In other words, he just very easily and smoothly put his expertise on display. Now I followed him long enough, I know how much he knows about furniture and architects. I like listening to him because he is legitimately passionate about those things. It’s not just an affectation or because he wants to sell a home. It’s because he loves these things. And so, talking about them, that’s why people pay you. That’s why people also watch you on video in my opinion, what do you think about that Christophe?
Christophe: I think you’re absolutely right on spot. I’ve done a lot of business directly from that were found initially on Google. People are searching communities in LA, whether it’s Beverly Hills or Bel-Air or the Sunset Strip, and they Google since they bought YouTube if you search the videos pop up on there and tons of videos and lots of rankings. So those videos do pop up. If you search Beverly Hills real estate and you click the videos on Google, more than 30 to 40 to 50% of the videos are all my videos on the first three pages. So, you get a lot of people that connect with me and just this, today’s Thursday, so, this week I spoke to three different buyers, one from Canada, one from Chicago and one from India that basically all said the same thing.
They started searching about areas, they particularly love my driving tours of neighborhoods. My driving tours have really funneled a lot of businesses my way because the consumer is thinking about buying in Bel Air or Beverly Hills and they go on Google and they search things and of course, there are websites that have all of the listings anywhere on Zillow got the listings.
Christophe: But it’s almost no one, and one of the buyers said this to me this week. He said, you know when I started searching, I said, no one does the driving tours and as a buyer from Canada, he wants to spend between five and 7 million for a house in the Hollywood Hills. He said I watched your tours. And he mentioned specifically, a couple of driving tours of Sunset Plaza and the Delana States and how I talked about all the houses and kind of who lives there and the proximity to the shopping and the restaurants. And what do you do living there, and what are the price ranges and what kind of house do you get, and so, it’s really interesting. And he said to me, which these three buyers all said essentially the same thing. They said you seem very down to earth and approachable.
Which is good because that’s really who I am at the core. I may have the bougie flashy, Beverly Hills exterior with all that stuff but down-home inside, and I was from parents that were regular people. My mom was a hairdresser, my stepdad was a regular working guy, they never made a lot of money, but I always had a dream and a vision and I wanted a luxury lifestyle so I created that for myself, but I was born and raised on farms with cows and animals and nature. And that’s what’s important to me and that’s why to me, every client is important. And I remember, I think it was actually my first sale ever back in 1989 or 1990. It was a $43,000 co-op in Koreatown.
Christophe: And my first year I didn’t make a single sale, but it was the second year. My first sale was 43,000, my check was $1,725 essentially. I wish I had a picture of that check. And that particular client long turned out that he was a very wealthy businessman in Singapore.
Christophe: And I didn’t even know that at the time, I just thought he was a seller, right? And so, when we went to Asia in 1993, he invited us to their beautiful penthouse in Singapore, we became friends. So, you never know who’s behind that property. So, I don’t worry about the price ranges, I just look to help those around me and give my service. And I believe in the law of the universe and reciprocation, if you do right for others, you may not get money from that deal. That deal may cancel, that deal may expire, but you’ll get other deals by magic from the universe just by virtue of doing the right thing and good things.
Robert: So, I want to…we’re closing in we’ve got about 10 more minutes before you have to go. So, I want to ask you a couple of questions that just to clarify because you’re seeing it, but I want to be sure that our audience really hears it.
Robert: You’re in the reasonably mid to ultra-luxury range. You’re up there, you’re about as high as you’re going to get in terms of residential real estate. So, you’re getting leads for those types of deals off video. Am I understanding you correctly?
Robert: Yes, you are.
Robert: Okay. Is video the main driver of your… like in terms of new prospective clients, is it the main driver for you?
Christophe: I wouldn’t say it’s the main driver you know, past clients [inaudible 18:53] now today, 32 years later is number one. However, I would say depending on the year, we will do anywhere from two to five transactions in a year directly from video marketing. And these are people that I never knew of before that just out of the blue call me. And I remember when I first monetize videos back 10, it was 10 years ago, actually nine, nine-ish, maybe eight to nine years ago. I’ve been doing videos for a couple of years consistently, I think at that point in time, I had maybe 800 videos on YouTube. And I would say, I don’t want to do anything unless I could monetize it.
Christophe: I mean, in terms of a business strategy. So, I’d like videos, I like doing videos, it was a natural platform for me, but of course, I’m doing it to educate clients, to be another source or funnel for incoming business, inbound business.
Christophe: And so, I remember it was, while into this a couple of years into the videos, Tom ferry was my coach. And I would say, Tom, I said, I’ve been doing videos for a couple of years now, nothing’s happening. I haven’t made a single dollar from videos. What’s the point of all this? He says, keep doing what you’re doing, it’s going to happen. Maybe within 30 days thereafter, I get a random phone call and I’m at the office, my assistant says, this lady wants to talk to you about buying a house. Transfers the call, we were on the call was a 45-minute initial call. And it’s long, I’ll short it down, she had been looking for a house for a year and a half with another broker and my company wasn’t happy, wanted to talk to me about interviewing me for buyer’s agent interviewing me, which was, I never been interviewed as a buyer’s agent, I’ve interviewed buyers, but never interviewed me.
But they wanted to buy something from 10 to 12 million. And I said, well, how did you find out about me? She said, well, it’s on your videos. I said, great, what videos? You’re driving tour of Stone Canyon Road. And I saw your helicopter tour of the most expensive homes. I said, well, what made you decide to call me those videos? She said, number one, you were very honest. I said, how so on the driving tours on Canyon, it’s a part of Bel-Air. It’s five minutes in Beverly Hills and I talk about it’s so close to downtown Beverly Hills, but it’s a country atmosphere. It’s a Canyon, it’s got lots of trees, it’s only one way in and out. I said, but it’s a Canyon, so if you’re a sun lover, I said, you’re going to get the sun three, four hours later in the morning because of the mountains and you’ll get the sunset three, four hours earlier in the afternoon.
And they were apparently an escrow on a house for 12 million on that street. And when they went there in the afternoon at 03:30, the pool was in the shade because of the mountain so they didn’t buy that house because they wanted a house with the sun. And number two, she said, if I would spend that much money to do a helicopter tour of the most expensive homes, she said you would spend money to market my home when I want to sell it.
Christophe: So I went to meet her and her husband at their home on Monday night at eight 30, he was a very, very important, he still is one of the top lawyers in the country, sat down with my three-piece suit and tie and a very lawyerly with my eight and a half by 11 yellow notepad like lawyers have, and I said, do you mind if I start asking you some questions? She said of course. So, I started asking questions, I was interviewing him, even though I was being interviewed. Halfway into it about half an hour in I said, I feel like you like me and I like you, so why don’t we just get started in helping you find a house? And the husband says, Christophe, my wife decided to hire you day one, the first time she spoke to on the phone, then what are we going through this interview process for? I said, I just wanted to meet you in person. So that was that. And within three weeks I found them a house.
They bought a house for 10 million, sold their house for 5 million. Their friends bought for 4.7 million, their secretary sold her $475,000 condo with me. She bought at one point $4 million home and now we’re currently today in negotiations on a $7 million vacation home for them. So that was the first time I monetized videos, but we did 26, I think it was 26 million in sales within about a four-month period after that initial call.
Christophe: So, like, you never know when that’s going to happen and sometimes, they go for nine months without a call like that. But when they come in, they’re good. We just did another sale a few months ago, over 6 million from a buyer from a foreign country in Europe. He saw my videos, we started emailing, we did a couple of zoom video chats like this to get to know each other, they came in town, they were in town for five days. We looked at houses one day, we looked at four houses, the next we had lunch. Next day, we made an offer, within three days, we got the offer accepted, be close escrow in the house in 30 days, it was over 6 million.
And so, there’s a lot of stories like that. So, you got to just keep doing it, but you got to give good content that the consumers want. You have to be likable and interesting and knowledgeable, if you’re all of those things, someone will call you. But if they call you from your videos, you kind of know they’re going to work with you because they already, they wouldn’t call you if they didn’t like you. I’m sure there’s a lot of people that watch my videos because I get comments and I respond to all my comments and people say, oh, you’re a bullshitter or whatever they want to say, which is fine, I don’t care what they say. But those that like you will call you and you’ll do business.
Robert: Those are some lovely stories. So, I want to put this into perspective for everybody because I really want you guys to hear it, all of our audience. So, Christophe worked on video for two years and I don’t remember what he said the number of videos was he recorded, but it might’ve been in the hundreds.
Christophe: Was about 800, yeah.
Robert: Okay. Also, again, I’m not going to put his business on the street, but I will tell all of you, he invested a very substantial amount of money into doing a few of those videos. One of those videos that he still on his homepage, he hired a helicopter and flew around Los Angeles. And all I’ll say is that’s not cheap. And then he filmed it from the air, he did this tour of Beverly Hills mansions it’s still, as far as I know, the most referenced video on YouTube in relationship to mentions in Beverly Hills. And that was 10 years ago.
Christophe: In those days, drones didn’t exist back 10 years ago. Drones weren’t even, at least maybe in the military, but not in the streets. So, we had to rent helicopters fancy cars and videos can cost you from zero from iPhone video to $50,000. I mean, you can spend 50,000 very easily on a high production video. I don’t recommend that unless you’ve got really the right product and I’ve spent a lot of money on some very expensive homes with those videos and they didn’t sell. So, all of a sudden, you’re a year later on a big listing and it doesn’t sell and you’re out 112 grand on out of your pocket expenses for marketing that property that didn’t sell.
Robert: Yeah. But my point with all of this is that number one, Christophe took a deep dive and he waited. And when he monetized and he did monetize, he monetized big and this is ultra-luxury. So, this, numbers for mid-market, like people who most of my, our audience will be mid-market a handful will be upper market.
Robert: And those mid-market people will probably have a chance to do like a higher volume, shorter amounts of time, maybe not two years. Upper market people, I think this is a great analogy for you. Make the dive, be ready, be prepared, be expectant, have all those things. If you want to be in the top 1%, it’s not enough to have an okay attitude, you have to have a great attitude and Christophe epitomizes that, that’s why I have literally pursued a relationship with him. He’s the only guy for the audience. He’s the only one for me, at least in terms of the upper market place here in LA. And I appreciate all these other people, they’re all professionals. They just it’s what Christophe just said, they haven’t resonated with me in quite that way because I have similar personal philosophies, not professional, but personal philosophies.
And that’s what I think we all gravitate to in terms of no matter what you believe, you want to do business with people that are like you. And that’s one of the things that video does is you should just be authentic, whatever that is, because I also get a lot of people that leave weird and shitty comments on my videos, but you know what, they don’t call me anyway. But the people that do call me are people that resonate with my message, like my pure up in your face, honesty. They’re like, I like that. All the people, I turn off, guess what they don’t call me and they don’t do that with you either.
Christophe: Exactly and like even now we’re interviewing for a new assistant and in my job, postings are very clear. We want your resume and I want a video about who you are, what you do, what your skills are, what you bring to the table, and why you want to work as an assistant. And it’s so interesting because as I get the videos within, usually within 10, 15 seconds, I can tell right away. Yes or no, I just get a feeling. So video is to me, a great way to communicate. That’s why I love doing zoom calls with clients or FaceTime chats. I like to see people look them in the eye and see their body language and how they’re interacting with me. So video is just a really great opportunity and like I said if someone does call you and I always ask, well, how’d you find out about me? That’s one of my first questions and they’ll tell me, and if it’s video, then I already know that I’ve got a good chance of getting to do business with them.
Robert: Lovely. Alright. So, John, I’m sorry, we haven’t included, there Hasn’t been a lot directly, we apologize for that.
Johnathan: No, we’re going to wrap up as well. Christophe’s been very generous with his time.
Robert: We got about four- or five more-minutes left. So, I’m good. So, if you have any…
Johnathan: Alright, I’ve got one quick question, it’s really related to what you’ve just said. You must have a lot of junior agents approach you to join your team.
Johnathan: So, what are some of the skills and things that you looking for from junior agents want to join you?
Christophe: That’s a really good question. Most of them, I don’t keep them long because they just don’t have the work ethic or the look, I have work ethic since I was 12 years old. When I was 12 years old, my mom was a hairdresser, I would go to a beauty shop and I would go to a customer’s apartments at 12 years old, I guess it wasn’t legal to work in those days, but I would clean apartments and I had allergies to cats. And I remember Karen Genova was one of her clients. I get up at five o’clock in the morning and go at 05:30 with my mom to the beauty salon, get the customer’s donuts and coffee. And I go with Karen at like nine o’clock after her hair was done to her apartment for three hours when I was 12 years old with their shack carpet in the [inaudible 29:15] and three Persian cats and I was allergic, but I would make $60 in cash at 12 years old, cleaning her apartment suffering like hell for three hours.
But my mom had work ethic. My mom worked five, six days a week on her feet, 12 hours a day. I know how to work. Every day I do this [inaudible 29:34] today, I was at the office, 06:45 in the morning. I come in early, I do what I got to do, I go on my schedule, I follow up with what I got to follow up with, so work ethic is number one. Look, everybody wants to come to Beverly Hills, everybody wants to be a luxury broker. It doesn’t work that way. Look, it took me a long time to become a luxury broker probably took me 16, 17 years. And when I physically moved from my old office to Beverly Hills, my average price was 280,000. I moved my office to Beverly Hills, the first year I didn’t do any business. Then I started building and now it’s at a much higher point in time, but it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of work ethic and integrity. Integrity is one of the most important things in business. And I’ve turned down…
Johnathan: You must… I’m sorry to butt in, but as you were saying that you must get infuriated with these realities real estate agent shows and the kind of image they project. It must be really in some ways looking for the right word, really, you must just shake your head really.
Christophe: Well, it’s so interesting. So, Million Dollar Listing L.A, as you know, is probably one of the number one real estate reality shows. He was the first real estate reality show back about eight, nine years ago because I was going to be one of the original cast members. This is back, you know, eight, nine years ago, I did several interviews, went to the studios, we were sitting at Villa Blanca, where Robert and I have had lunch in Beverly Hills. I was with my wife, the casting director, and the producer and we were about to sign the contract and it was very exciting to be on reality TV. It was the first show, I wanted to be famous and just kind of came to me and I just said, I’m curious about the city. It’s not clear to me what do you guys want out of the show? And I don’t know which one said it, he said, we’re Bravo. We want ratings, we want fights, we want drama between the agents and ratings.
And it took me not even a half a second. I didn’t even look at my wife. I just looked at him and said, you know what? That’s just not, oh and they said, we have to create drama to get ratings. I said that’s just not for me. So, I never was a cast member on that show. Then it’s been on the air now for eight or nine years, I’m glad I was not. And then when HGTV contacted me two or three years later for a show called Selling L.A similar process and I knew up front, I said, what do you guys want out of the show? And they said we want real clients, real deals that close. I said I’m into that. But the deal is when we start a track of filming with a buyer or seller, we don’t really know if that deal’s ever going to close. So, but anyway, I did that show, we were on for three seasons.
The difference was, Million Dollar Listing was getting one and a half million viewers per episode. We were getting six to 800,000 viewers an episode because we weren’t salacious, we weren’t dramatic, we weren’t throwing wine in each other’s faces, we weren’t slapping each other, it just wasn’t that kind of show. So, but yeah, I don’t watch those shows at all anymore. I don’t watch any of those because I know 80% of what’s on those shows is not real. I know it’s not because I do little appearances here and there and…
Johnathan: Yeah, but do you…just to wrap up, I’m just interested in this, but do you think that a lot of the people that approach you to become a junior of your team, do you think they’ve kind of bought into that kind of dream world?
Christophe: Absolutely no question. In particular, the last seven, eight years, a lot of younger agents are getting in the business, look I started at 18, which was very rare back in that late eighties, most when I started 18, I think the youngest agent in the office was like 34 aside from me. So yes, I think they bought into that. Look, you watch a half an hour show of one of those shows and they meet someone, without any problem, they sign a $40 million listing and 20 minutes later they’ve sold that $40 million home. And it says they’ve made one point $2 million in commission on the screen. So yeah, people buy into that and it’s just not true. I remember one of the seasons four or five seasons ago, one of my friends and clients, he was in the season opener as a buyer, looking at a $45 million home and I’m like, what is he doing on there? Why is he pretending to be a $45 million buyer on this episode? Well, he bought a house last year for five and a half million, but he didn’t buy for 45 million. So, it’s all made up and, but people do buy into that and that’s why if that’s what they’re looking for to be a flash in the pan, Beverly Hills, oh, I sell only high-end homes, it’s not going to work for me.
Johnathan: So, that answers the question. So, is it just basically, you’re looking for signs of work ethic?
Christophe: Work ethic is number one, integrity, work ethic, and integrity kind of go hand in hand. And you got to still do the hard work. I mean, you got to get on the phones two, three hours a day, people used to door knock. You can door knock right now because of COVID. So yeah, you got to have the work ethic, you got to be willing to think. And look, even today, still spend 12, 14 hours a day in my business. Back in the beginning, I was spending 16, 17 hours because you are brand new, you’re starting out, you got to learn about contracts and neighborhoods and areas and all that stuff. So yeah, it’s all of that and if they just come because they’re from a rich family or they want to sell in Beverly Hills and think it’s going to be easy, it isn’t easy, it isn’t easy. May look easy on TV, but that isn’t the truth.
Johnathan: Thank you so much. I think it’s been a great interview. Hopefully, you consider coming back in the new year.
Johnathan: Thank you for your insights. I think it’s been a great interview. So, Robert, how can people find out how to get ahold of you?
Robert: They can go to inboundrem.com. I’ve got a lot of content up there. They can also follow my Facebook page. This is the first show I’ve ever mentioned that because I happen to distribute a lot of Christophe stuff. So, if you enjoyed the show and you enjoyed Christophe, which by the way, I do very much because he talks a lot about integrity and ethics. He’s clear about how hard he works. I think that’s what it takes to be successful in any business and Christophe has just happened to be a luxury real estate broker. So anyway, you can follow me on my Facebook page and you’ll also be probably following Christophe by proxy. All right.
Johnathan: So, Christophe, what’s the best way to find out more about you, and what do you…
Christophe: For me, my name is on the screen. It’s very simple. There’s a lot of fake Christophe Choo, but I’m the only real one. So, but I would say so just follow my YouTube, follow my Facebook, follow my Instagram and I have an Instagram, I have a personal and a business account, but those are the three and then LinkedIn. But I’d say Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, follow those three, particularly for an agent. You’ll get a lot of good ideas Because I talk about positivity, I talk about what I do, the grind, the good stuff, the fancy properties out of market. So just Google my name, you’ll find me all over the place and follow me. I appreciate that.
Johnathan: That is fantastic.
Christophe: Thank you guys for having me on your podcast today.
Johnathan: Oh, it’s been a pleasure. We’ll be next week with another great guest like Christophe all with internal discussion between me and Robert. We’ll see you next week, folks.
Christophe: Bye guys.
Robert: Bye guys. See you later. Take care.