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‘Million Dollar Listing: San Francisco’ star Roh Habibi: Why You Should Set Your DVR Now

‘Million Dollar Listing: San Francisco’ star Roh Habibi: Why You Should Set Your DVR Now

Agent Roh Habibi of Coldwell Banker Nor Cal

Agent Roh Habibi of Coldwell Banker Nor Cal

San Francisco, get ready for your reality TV close-up: Ratings darling “Million Dollar Listing” is setting up an outpost in the city to complement its ultrapopular New York and Los Angeles franchises. Bravo TV’s newest branch of the “Million Dollar Listing” family tree is set to premiere on July 8.

Up to now, the city hasn’t been a hotbed for high-profile reality shows: We’ve seen no sign of wine-tossing real housewives, and the less said about the snooze-inducing “Start-Ups: Silicon Valley,” the better.

However, San Francisco’s rep as a reality TV backwater may be ready to change. Because when it comes to high-end real estate, the city by the Bay is jampacked with major drama.

This Northern California metropolis has hit an eye-popping average home price of over a million dollars, and the area is home to companies such as Twitter, Uber, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The tech boom has shone a global spotlight on the city—and Bravo has taken notice.

Cue the “MDL” agents. The San Francisco edition will star brokers Justin Fichelson, Andrew Greenwell, and Rohullah Habibi, who goes by Roh. We recommend checking out a sneak peek of what the season has in store.

We spoke with Habibi, a broker for three years. He’s had his hands full lately: A top seller in the city, he’s been followed around by cameras since October. As we spoke on the phone, he literally had his hands full feeding his 6-month-old daughter.

The luxury home specialist started out in finance with JPMorgan, where he focused on wealth management. “I enjoyed working there, but it was very unfulfilling,” Habibi said.

Hooked on “MDL,” the top producing agent knew he wanted to play a starring role if the show ever made its way to the city. He unleashed some canny social skills and used the hashtag #MDLSF in social media posts, which apparently brought him to the producers’ attention. Two and a half years later, he was in.

“I was dying to be on the show. It was like something that was meant to be,” Habibi said.

It wasn’t the most expected route. The married 31-year-old moved to the Bay Area in 1985 from Kabul, Afghanistan. His large, extended family lives close by in the East Bay.

Before he accepted the role, Habibi got the all-clear from his relatives—and his wife. “After reaching out to the family members, the pros are way more than the cons, and all the support is there,” he said.

One of the big pros? Letting viewers into his world.

“You get to see a young, Afghan-American guy and Muslim as well. I’m really happy to be representative of Afghanistan and Afghan culture,” he said. “It’s something so different from what you see in the media.”

Speaking of stereotypes, San Francisco was birthplace to some serious hippies, but this show is no patchouli-scented love fest. It’s a cutthroat competition among brokers trying to outsell one another.

“You’re going to see some good stuff. You’ll see the clash of personality types. We definitely butt heads,” Habibi said. “When you’re negotiating for our clients, the gloves come off.” Oh, we can only hope.

“Roh is going to be terrific,” said Joel Goodrich, Habibi’s colleague at Coldwell Banker Previews International, who will make cameos on the show. “He is already in the top tier of agents here in the city.”

So why should we watch? “San Francisco is the type of place where people come to my open house in Birkenstocks and sweaters and have $ 4 million cash to buy the place,” Habibi said. “It’s so unassuming. You have no idea who’s gonna walk through the door. That’s the type of town it is. It’s secretive. It’s not flashy.” He added, “Here in the Bay Area, we have the highest per capita volume of billionaires.”

Then there are the actual properties for billionaires to buy. “It’s such an eclectic array of real estate,” he said. “This season, you’re going to see things from the 1800s up to brand new.”

When we asked how the San Francisco edition would avoid the fate of the Miami edition, which lasted only one season, Habibi had his theories. “With the agents that they chose, they didn’t open up,” he said. “You have to put all your cards on the table and trust it’s going to go well.”

Sounds like must-watch TV to us.

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