‘Million Dollar Listing’ Brokers Reveal What’s Staged – but Also What’s Very Real on the Show

Tracy Tutor from Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles broke the fourth wall when she was seen telling a cameraman to capture a shot of her stiletto heel as she exited her car. And for the first time, the series opened the door to offer a peek at which aspects of the series are a little staged.

But make no mistake, the show is not staged. In fact, brokers revealed the grueling process they endure to film the series and how the million-dollar deals are very real.

Some moments on the show are staged

Former cast member Madison Hildebrand told Showbiz Cheat Sheet in 2019 that sometimes producers will ask the cast to reshoot scenes like a meeting with another broker or, like Tutor, getting out of a car. “It can get redundant,” he laughed about scenes getting in or out of the car. “It’s me getting out of the car three times at different angles, [it] isn’t that much fun.”

What is real on Million Dollar Listing versus maybe a little staged?
What is real on Million Dollar Listing versus maybe a little staged? |Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

He also said some of the drama can be amped during certain scenes. Hildebrand recalled a scene when Heather Altman threw a glass of champagne in his face during an open house. He said that wouldn’t happen in real life. “Heather would have never thrown a glass of champagne at me at an open house if cameras weren’t filming,” he said. “You don’t do that to someone at an open house. I don’t think production told her to do it, but it makes good TV.”

Like many reality television shows filmed during the pandemic, producers didn’t try to cut out some of the safety precautions they took. “I was just surprised we could put a show together in the middle of a pandemic, but I guess the world has moved on,” Josh Flagg recently said in an interview with Decider. He added, “I was a little worried how we were going to do this in the beginning of the pandemic. I was like, ‘How the hell is everyone going to film a television show?’ but it worked out. There was nothing really good or bad that happened, to be honest with you. It was just business as normal.”

The ‘Million Dollar Listing’ deals are real – which is why filming takes so long

A typical real estate deal can drag on for months, so filming the show can go for almost a year when you throw in cameras and client consent.

“We usually film for about a year,” Hildebrand said of the time when he was on the series. “That means getting the client to agree to be on the show, conduct the transaction, and something has to happen. You have to sell or get fired, but something has to occur. So there’s a lot of pressure, but more than anything it’s the time it takes.”

“So you almost become somewhat of a producer of the show too,” he added. “I had to convince each client that doing the show was a good thing for them. But doing the show won’t help them sell their house. It was constantly getting releases signed and locations. You have to have a release for every place, even parks and restaurants.”

The ‘Million Dollar Listing’ drama is real –especially when it comes to Fredrik Eklund

Brokers also said the drama is real, especially this season with Fredrik Eklund. James Harris and David Parnes recently told Showbiz Cheat Sheet the anger they had when Eklund leaked a hush hush sale was very real. “The moment you take a step wrong,” Parnes reflected. “It creates friction and tension because the tension is already high from the get-go. Whether you’re friends or not, you can be friends, but business is business and then you have the personalities of clients involved in that added pressure. And things can just implode very, very quickly. And let’s be honest, that’s exactly what happened.”

Harris and Parnes moved on from the moment. But the rest of the cast has not. In fact, Flagg referred to Eklund as a “horrendous human being” during a Watch What Happens Live appearance. Eklund was invited to appear on the show with the cast but he declined. Josh Altman said, “Yeah, you know he can dish it but he can’t take it. And that’s the issue with it. If you wanna be in the game, in the sandbox, with the other kids, you gotta stay in there. You can’t be half in, half out. And then every time someone comes at you, you call the upper management.”

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