If celebrity endorsements didn’t matter, you wouldn’t see stars (many of them on the wane) shilling insurance, pills or perfume.
So it is hardly surprising that building developers like nothing more than to rub shoulders with notables of the silver and pixellated screens. Real estate brokers are just the same.
It is, indeed, true that proximity to stars sells real estate, as the news media regularly remind us — for example, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times not so long ago. But why?
While it is scarcely an original question to ask what actual value a celebrity brings to his or her neighbors, I cannot help wondering about their attraction.
Do folks who can memorize and mouth lines, realize characterizations and fill theaters with their presence know something that humble consumers don’t about a particular building or neighborhood? Are their needs the same as ours?
Do those celebrities have insights that others lack about the quality of an apartment or house?
Or is it simply that their wealth inures them to mistakes, deficiencies and annoyances?
They are hardly ever home and think nothing of trading spaces seemingly on a whim. They are not the ones in most instances who personally wrap the dinnerware in old newspapers, schlep cardboard cartons, hand-carry rare objéts d’art or otherwise inconvenience themselves in order to move.
Most stars have minions to call the cable company, have the electric service moved and oversee installations and renovations.
In other words, the stars whose endorsements are worth having also are the celebrities whose millions of invested dollars mean that they are the poorest gauge of a building’s worth or a neighborhood’s desirability.
Moreover, the ability to chat with one of those luminaries in a building lobby or — better! — in an elevator has charms that happen to elude me, at least after the second or third time. Each to his own.
Choosing the right new home could not be a more personal decision. Allowing a celebrity’s selection to influence that decision is pure folly.
Tomorrow: Weekly Roundup
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Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022