Reality television giant VH1 hopes to revamp the perceptions behind Black real estate. Home buying shows rarely showcase diverse buyers. A new docuseries heading to VH1 wants that reality to change.
On Monday, July 29, VH1 will premiere a real estate docuseries called “Love & Listings.” The series will follow the lives of Southern California’s ambitious real estate agents along with their celebrity clientele.
Buyers include Jermaine Dupri, Jordin Sparks, Brandy Norwood along with many other of Hollywood’s entertainers, all purchasing homes.
The diverse cast will open up their lives to the realty of being a Black real estate agent in Southern California.
The cast members includes Suge Knight’s son Jacob Knight, L.A. Broker and television producer, Tai Savet and television personality, Taylor Schwartz, along with more of L.A.’s popular real estate agents.
The Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper spoke with Savet and Schwartz over the phone about their role in the show. In addition, we discussed the importance of Black representation in home buying television.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL (LAS): Thanks for speaking with us. We’ve seen real estate shows that only show rich people’s houses. What makes ‘Love & Listings’ standout from the crowd?
TAYLOR SCHWARTZ: It’s definitely more than showing rich people’s homes. It’s an urban show that paints the urban community in a better light than other reality shows. It’s about successful minority characters that are successful in business. The show has much more of an influential space. You don’t have any shows that are predominately minority casts that are doing high listing real estate.
TAI SAVET: When I originally created the show, and thought of the idea, I thought that the show needed to be diverse. For example, shows like ‘Million Dollar Listings’ were not realistic, especially in L.A. For the clientele that I help out, they are different races and not just White. Obviously, the show has some drama, but its good drama. The drama involves ‘who’s helping whom’ listings, and building relationships.
LAS: Taylor, being a woman of color, how do you navigate your career compared to your white counterparts?
SCHWARTZ: Overall, I’m able to use how I grew up and my culture to relate to my clients. When you know them and know their style, it’s easier to help. Some would say me being younger and being a minority is a disadvantage. But to me, that’s an advantage. It works for me and not against me. I believe my clients appreciate that. We’re laughing and having a fun experience.
LAS: There are many stereotypes about being a real estate agent. What’s something most people don’t understand about being an agent?
SAVET: We are a concierge service for life in general. I say that with confidence. The clientele wants to know everything. That includes questions about backyards for their kids, safety, security cameras, or anything.
SCHWARTZ: It’s definitely is a concierge service. We go above and beyond for our clients. It’s not just about showing the houses. We pick them up and show them the city. We are basically like their tour guides for the area. We honestly know everything. It’s L.A. in general.
LAS: What do you want the audience to experience once they finish the show?
SCHWARTZ: The show is the real life of what it is to be an agent of color. It shows opportunities and inspiration. Hopefully, it can inspire people to make real estate a career choice.