We at Really Rather admit to having both a personal and professional proclivity for super realtor Jason Oppenheim and his juicy, sexy, luxury real estate reality show Selling Sunset, which currently ranks as the most successful unscripted series on Netflix.
Having worked and chatted with Jason more than once, we can tell you he’s the real deal, and not just some exaggerated persona cooked up for the benefit of a salacious realty show. (You know who we’re talking about).
What we didn’t know about Jason, until we watched the TEDx Talk he gave at Berkley, his alma mater, is that he and his identical twin brother, Brett, started out as angry punk kids who were were thrown out of several high schools and into a few jail cells.
“My brother and I were incorrigible kids,” Jason confessed. “We lacked respect for authority, fought incessantly. … We were just frustrated, constantly getting into trouble at home, at school, with our teachers, and even the police.”
See Jason Oppenheim’s riveting TEDx talk below, shot in his famous office on (where else?) Sunset Boulevard:
After watching, we felt compelled to call him up and chat with him about his past, present and future. After all, Selling Sunset is in production on Season 4 even as we write, and will likely premiere later this year, but we could all use a little Selling Sunset fix right now, right?
We’re sure you’ll be as surprised as we were when you read these:
5 Things You Didn’t Know about Jason Oppenheim and His Hit Show ‘Selling Sunset’
1. Brett and Jason Oppenheim were super successful lawyers before they got into real estate
They may have been kicked out of several high schools and been forced into jail and a grueling survivalist reformation camp, but it wasn’t until they moved in with their Vietnam vet dad, who began raising them with military precision, that the Oppenheim boys began to change.
Jason and Brett spent three years working and studying in junior college, then got into Berkeley to finish their undergrad work. At last they began to hit their stride, both graduating at the top of their class and going on to law school, graduating with honors, and embarking on promising careers practicing law. Jason worked on cases that went all the way up to the Supreme Court.
But alas, they became disillusioned with the legal system, and after three years of international travel Jason ended up in real estate, starting at the bottom and working his way up to the top. Brett soon joined him, and the remarkably successful Oppenheim Group was formed.
2. The Oppenheim brothers rejected the idea of a reality show when it was first presented to them
“My brother and I really didn’t want to do the show at first,” Jason told Really Rather. “While there were certainly some benefits from a good show, there was a lot of risk for us, so we erred on the side of caution and rejected several overtures from production companies and agents.”
“Even when Adam DiVello—the creator of The Hills—called up, we still weren’t sold on the idea” he continued. “But he convinced us to take a meeting at the office.” When they realized how good it could be for their agents—how it could help them reach their full potential, they agreed.
3. Jason loves his his crew like family
“There’s probably no cast on reality TV that’s closer off-camera than we are. I consider many of the people in this cast to truly be my best friends, says Jason “They are like my family, and we hang out together off set all the time. We truly love and support each other.”
4. Christine and Davina are really nice people
Any one who watches the show quickly sees that Christine Quinn and Davina Potratz, are, shall we say, strong women with their own opinions. It troubles Jason that people may make certain negative assumptions about them. “I know they’re loving and caring and great agents. They’re dynamic and controversial on camera, but they’re very good people.”
But it’s very easy for people to just judge based on a few hours of television. It’s easy for people to be mean on social media, because they’re not doing it to [your] face. I wish people would humanize people who they associate with on social media,” he says.
When we reminded Jason that despite the barbs thrown at them, social media has also been very good to them, especially Christina, who has 1.7 million followers and can charge thousands per post, he acknowledged, “There are positive and negatives to it. Absolutely.”
5. How the Oppeheim Group’s Heather Rae Young, who’s engaged to Flip or Flop’s Tarek El Moussa, pull off working on competing shows and agencies.
You’d think there would some serious competition between the affianced, now the Oppenheim group has recently opened up a large office in Newport Beach, where El Moussa also runs a thriving real estate business.
“There will definitely be some confluence between the two (Oppenheim) offices, and that will be appealing to Heather” (who has been commuting between LA and Orange County to see El Moussa). “Now Heather will be able to work out of both offices,” Jason notes.
We couldn’t help but wonder if any professional conflict might arise.
“No, they really work together,” says Jason. “It seems like when I’m on the phone with Heather, almost every day, I’m usually speaking to the two of them. They really work as partners—they’re kind of a team.”
But are they so much of a team that El Moussa, the star of two HGTV shows, might appear on Selling Sunset, a well established Netflix show, in season four?
“That’s a distinct possibility,” said Jason wryly, not wanting to spill any inappropriate beans.
Find out more about Jason Oppenheim, his real estate brokerage and his hit TV show Selling Sunset on Realtor.com.
If you thought you knew Jason Oppenheim and the comely cast of ‘Selling Sunset,’ get a load of this!