For celebrity home buyers, privacy is priceless
Agents who work with high-profile clients like pro athletes and entertainers say privacy, discretion and security are top priorities.
- Celebrity buyers often purchase pocket listings and other properties that never go on the public market.
- Miami Beach, New York City and Los Angeles are favorite locations for this group of clients.
- A team of managers and support specialists are typically consulted before a professional athlete or entertainer makes a home purchase.
Celebrities work and often live a large part of their lives in the public eye, which may be why most emphasize confidentiality and security when shopping for homes.
At Aston Rose — a real estate company that focuses on serving pro athletes and entertainers — the company offers "exclusives," which are showings of homes for sale but not on the market.
"The benefit of using this service is discretion. Here at Aston Rose, privacy is a preference for many of our clients. A/R Exclusives allow for that discretion to be kept," said Nesa Rose, an agent with Aston Rose.
The company prides itself on understanding the needs of athletes and entertainers because they've been there.
"Aston Rose is filled with professional agent advisors who are also athletes, entertainers, and managers, making us well-versed in this niche industry," Rose said.
Many clients are shopping for several properties, whether buying for themselves or for relatives, or are looking for second (or third) homes in locations where they work seasonally or perform.
Important to this highly selective group of clients are relationships of trust, Rose noted. "We cater and nurture our relationships with actors, entertainers, pro athletes, wives, assistants to athletes and entertainers, former agents and managers who have firsthand experience with the lifestyle," Rose said.
Atlanta agent Katie McGuirk agrees that fostering trust through discretion is essential. "Privacy and security have long been at the top of the wish list among professional entertainers and athletes. The entertainer buyer is more interested in location and amenities allowing for a peaceful space to be created," said McGuirk, an agent with Ansley Real Estate, an affiliate of Christie's International Real Estate. McGuirk recently listed Atlanta Braves Hall of Famer Chipper Jones' home in Canton, GA.
While privacy is the biggest priority, high-profile buyers also may prefer homes with a lot of space. This allows them to take advantage of activities and services in the privacy of their own living space instead of having to worry of being mobbed by fans in public.
"Post-Covid, we've seen an influx of buyers looking for more land and square footage for in-home personal services such as personal trainers, hair and makeup teams, personal chefs, etc.," McGuirk said.
Real estate agents assisting celebrity buyers and sellers may not deal with the client directly or may have limited access. Instead they interact with a team of support specialists, who help inform decisions.
"Clients in this segment typically have a team of people they rely on when searching for or selling a property, such as managers or wealth managers," she said. "It is important to clearly communicate with the client's entire team, as directed, as these teams often have a weighted influence on the primary client's final decision to purchase or sell a property."
Certain locations are more popular with this niche of buyers. Athletes and celebrities often opt for Miami Beach for the oceanfront homes and "significant tax advantages," McGuirk said. Los Angeles is popular with entertainers, and New York draws actors and artists as the epicenter of theater and fashion.
Former NBA player Juwan Howard — now coach of the Michigan Wolverines — turned to Aston Rose when he and his wife, Jenine, were shopping for a house in South Florida.
"Aston Rose handled a delicate real estate venture with such care and compassion," Jenine Howard told Real Estate News. "They held our hand through the entire process. [We're] truly grateful for their level of care and expertise."