By Sarah Trefethen
In the latest addition to the growing ranks of real estate reality television, HGTV’s Scoring the Deal, viewers get a taste of Detroit-based broker Jason Abrams’ fast-paced approach to finding homes for professional athletes.
Abrams and business partner Kristen Cook travel around the country on behalf of their clients.
Usually, Abrams said, the pair will fly into a city, investigate a dozen or so properties in the specified price range, and then show the client two or three the next day, transported from one showing to the next by limousine.
“We have clients that literally have to move in 24 hours,” he said.
In the first episode, which premiered at 11 p.m. last night, Abrams and Cook helped football star Clinton Portis chose a Miami condo. Other athletes featured this season include NFL pros Adewale Ogunleye, Vontae and Vernon Davis and NBA stars Greivis Vasquez and Jordan Farmar.
One episode was shot in New York, and documents retired linebacker Cato June’s search for NYC digs for the run of Stick Fly, a Broadway comedy he produced.
“We made a whirl-wind trip to Manhattan the day of the premier,” Abrams said. “It’s one of the best episodes of the season.“
Abrams said his biggest worry before starting the program was the comfort of his clients. What he didn’t quite realize, he said, was the poise that comes from having hundreds of thousands of people watching you work every day. “The only person in the room who was nervous when the cameras started rolling was me,” Abrams said.
Abrams found his specialty selling houses in Michigan, as “a regular broker.” He did a deal for a new member of the Detroit Lions, he said, and used a portion of his substantial payday to make his first business trip, calling in person on the footballer’s North Carolina-based fianancial advisor. Asked if he worked nationally, Abrams replied in the affirmative, and that relationship led to a referral – and a specialized career was born.
Today, the Abrams Team is the largest Keller Williams conglomerate in Michigan. In addition to the appeal of seeing sports stars and beautiful homes, Abrams predicts his fellow real estate professionals who watch Scoring the Deal will enjoy watching Cook and himself work within their 48-hour sales cycle, flying in one day, showing apartments to the client the next, and flying out that night.
“I think that real estate agents will really get a kick out of seeing that in practice,” he said.
He also encouraged brokers to consider taking a cue from the way he has specialized his practice.
“I think there are niches like this that are unexploited all over the landscape of the real estate industry,” Abrams said.