REALTORS IN FICTION: HOW CLOSE IS IT TO THE REAL DEAL
In both television and movies, those who work in real estate are often portrayed as a passing character, someone who helps show off a particular home or apartment, and then they’re never seen or heard from again. In more modern entertainment, there aren’t too many many memorable or recognizable fictional characters who are also realtors. However, there are a couple who stand out, and it’s interesting to see what their world is portrayed like. Does it mimic how it is in the real world? Not to a tee, but there are some very interesting similarities that any realtor can relate to.
PHIL DUNPHY – MODERN FAMILY
If there were ever an award for the most uncompromisingly positive and determined fictional realtor—or character, for that matter—Phil Dunphy would win, hands down. He’s the loveable goofball dad that always tries to do the right thing, even when that thing might get him in trouble with his family. While the majority of his hijinks aren’t directly related to his job, we do get quite a few glimpses of what it’s like being a realtor in the Los Angeles market. When he’s showing houses, he’s your stereotypical nice guy, and makes the buyers feel as comfortable as possible. However, we don’t really see more beyond this on a regular basis. There are of course other realtors that compete with him on certain listings and try to sell a house in his place. In terms of the day to day though, we don’t get much insight, which is very different from the next realtor.
PETER KLAVEN – I LOVE YOU, MAN
Paul Rudd plays Peter Klaven, an eager but small time realtor in Los Angeles. He works at a larger agency, and some of his co-workers include the stereotypical “LA” native, with bleached hair, a spray tan, and a slightly obnoxious attitude. Peter is your typical everyday realtor, and we see him get his first big opportunity selling Lou Ferrigno’s mansion. We get to see him through the staging process, some inter-office communications, and also what advertising as a realtor looks like. While the film is a comedy, you do get a sense of the angst and stress that comes with being an agent. Even with a beautiful home, finding a buyer isn’t easy, and often times your whole career could be defined by a missed sale. It’s certainly not a perfect depiction, but it does bring viewers pretty close.
WHAT THEY MISS OUT ON
With any fictional depiction, something you don’t really get a good grasp on is the continuous day to day grind that a realtor experiences. It’s not all house showings and signing deals. There is a lot of networking, a lot of research, and it’s not always as glamorous as you see in fiction or in the reality shows. The behind the scenes work, the boring stuff, that people grind for on a daily basis, it what truly distinguishes great realtors from their competition.