Million Dollar Listing Miami's Samantha DeBianchi on Boyfriends, Bobbleheads, and Her Co-Stars' "Brotherly" Love
You might think the world of reality TV is a ladies' game. But you'd be wrong. Housewives be damned; many reality shows reflect the unfortunate reality of the glass ceiling for professional women. Take the Million Dollar Listing franchise, for example. Bravo's Los Angeles original and New York spin-offs both follow a collection of realtors as they close luxury real estate deals in their respective cities. And they're all men.
Bravo Media/Alex Martinez
But leave it to Miami to break the mold. When Million Dollar Listing Miami debuts this Wednesday, it'll introduce the first female realtor to the franchise: Sam DeBianchi, president and founder of DeBianchi Real Estate and adjunct professor at FIU. In addition to her high-end property dealings, DeBianchi earned major street cred for managing nightclubs -- so much so that she created an entirely new course at FIU called Nightclub Management.
So how's DeBianchi keeping up with the boys? With persistence, determination, and a nerdy obsession with eBay, she says.
New Times: At 28 you have your own company, DeBianchi Real Estate. It's a ballsy move for someone who's only been in the real estate game for a few years. What other ballsy moves can we expect from you this season?
Samantha DeBianchi: I think there's a few different things. I've had my company for three years and I've established myself on my own, without the help of a larger company like the boys [on Million Dollar Listing Miami] or actually any of the boys in all of the franchises. I kind of dance and do business to the beat of a different drum.
Nightclubs, real estate -- you seem to get into a lot of industries that are male dominated. How do you survive playing with the boys?
I can really point my success to the fact that I am extremely persistent. I am the most persistent person you will ever meet. When somebody actually says no to me, I don't look at that as I failed, I look at that as I need to go back, figure out how I communicated my message and recommunicate it differently... Ever since I was little, my parents gave me goals. I mean, I grew up nicely, but I always had goals. I was always competitive. I played tennis until I was four so I always had that competitive nature... Everyone's like, why are you the way you are? Even my parents ask me this and I'm like, I don't know.
When I watched the first episode, Chad mentions that he sees you as his little sister. Do you ever feel as if Chad and Chris don't take you seriously enough?
I think it's a mix of both. I've known Chad for a while. He's a very good friend of mine, Chris is as well. We're all good friends but at the same time we're competitors, especially all being on the show together. And so while I appreciate their advice -- they've been in it longer and I'm always open to more advice -- I'm still going to make the decisions on what I feel is the right thing to do, because that's how I've always done things. If I was afraid that I wasn't going to be big enough, I would join a different company. I mean, hands down I could probably get other listings and more sales in if I worked for Douglas Elliman, but I created my entire brand based on how I see real estate. How I feel it should be done.