From HGTV's "Selling L.A." and "Selling New York" to Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing,' TV networks have figured out that the business of selling homes, well, sells.
Add in some eye candy in the form of mega mansions and the agents that list them, as well as a healthy dose of drama, and you have the makings of a successful reality show.
To get some insight regarding the intersection between television and real estate, we asked agent Heather Bilyeu, who is frequently featured on "Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles," to fill us in.
Zillow: What's it like being on a reality television show?
Heather: It's not a typical reality show that gets shot in 30 to 60 days. We film from 8 months to a year, sometimes 4 to 8 hours a day and several days a week. It's a big time commitment, but to me it's worth it because I'm launching my business [and] there's no better way to get my name out there.
Zillow: How do your clients feel about the show?
Heather: I present the opportunity to my clients and whatever they decide, I support their decision. I don't pressure anyone and everyone has been pretty receptive. But being on a reality show is something that is becoming part of society; perhaps in 10 years everyone will have been on a reality show.
Zillow: How do you choose the homes to be on the show?
Heather: The bigger the better! But also we want great clients that are full of character, unique homes and anything that is going to get the audience's attention. But I haven't ever represented a home that hasn't been worth the process.
Zillow: How "real" is the show?
Heather: Our show is very real. The drama you see is very real, the clients and everything is real. They have 8 months of footage and they have to edit down to 8 or 9 hours per season, but they try to show as much as possible. We're not actors.
To read a little bit more about Heather's experience on "Million Dollar Listing," check out her blog on The Agency.
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Erika Riggs writes on a wide variety of real estate topics, from the all-popular celebrity real estate, to mortgages and home improvement, for the Zillow Blog and other Zillow partners.