Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles is back for its ninth season, described as its most emotionally-charged yet. We caught up with star of the show James Harris to find out a little more about what to expect…
How different would you say the UK and US are when it comes to working in the property business?
I actually started off doing real estate in London between the ages of 18-21 in both residential and commercial and the businesses are completely different. Firstly, the price perspective in the markets are so different. Secondly, the market in the US still has a lot of opportunity, whereas in the UK it is a lot more saturated. In the US, it's also really different to set up. You begin setting up as your own company working individually. I think we are one of the only ones in the US in which we work as a team like in the UK market. The commissions are also very different here. It's 5%, whereas in the UK you're lucky if it's 1%.
How difficult an industry is this one to break into?
We work in a highly competitive industry. As long as you are creative and think outside the box, work smart, you're going to do well. It's a very cut throat industry. Over here about 5% of the agents do 90% of the business. You have to be true to yourself and work endlessly and just don't take no for an answer.
Who have been some of your favourite stars and big names to work with to-date?
We've been able to work with some great names. For examples; Kylie Jenner, Tyga and John Mayer. I recently did a skit with James Corden on his show, he's also a big client. We did a skit on his Take A Break segment which was a big hit and went viral. It was very funny and he's an absolute legend. We've worked Larry Flynt on a big deal which was really exciting and I remember him coming through the conference room in his 24 carat wheelchair. We've been able to work with loads of people behind and in front of the camera.
What tips would you have for aspiring brokers hoping to make it big like yourself?
My advice would be to always think outside the box, be creative and work against your competition. When I first started it was all about figuring out what your competition is doing and do everything completely differently. It's also important to study and know your market because the most important thing is information. Information is power.
You're partnered with David Parnes - what's it like working with David?
Dave and I grew up together and our Mums are best friends. Before anything he's my best friend. I call him my brother from another mother. We've got a great deal of trust between us and trust is really the most important thing when it comes to working with someone.
Should viewers expect drama from the new season of Million Dollar Listing: LA?
Yes - a lot of drama. There wouldn't be anything unless there was drama in front of the camera! Business is so cut throat so there is bound to be some sort of tension. We filmed for 11-12 months straight so I really think they managed to capture everything in our lives.
Which of your fellow cast members would you say is the most difficult to work with?
I wouldn't say any of them! Josh Flagg's been one of my favourite to work with though!
Do you have any definitive aims or goals for your career moving forward?
My aim is to always continue working hard. I always said that when I got here, I wanted to make my way to the very top. Healthy competition is very important. My ultimate goal is to start developing properties. We make a lot of deals and meet a lot of clients but there are also some big clients that want to partner with us so we do want to build a portfolio.
Finally, what's next for you?
For me it's always important to focus on the now, but I'm remaining to focus on breaking records and grow our brand. In this industry your brand is everything. We're also looking to become international. We've got some big projects coming up in Geneva, London and New York.
Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles Season 9 is available now with new episodes on Fridays, only on hayu, reality on demand.