Beverly Hills · Malibu


Beverly Hills · Malibu

WEA in Details Magazine

So far of all the telegenic brokers to base their shows on, the producers’ favorite template for character development has been Richard Ehrlich, a 35-year-old former club doorman who has been in the house-hawking business for only five years. Ehrlich is well-known for his gift of glad-handling, on display almost daily at the fountain coffee shop in the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he likes to breakfast on turkey burgers. Last year, Ehrlich sold homes worth more than $50 million to buyers such as the Olsen twins, Sandra Bullock, Benny Medina, and reality-show producer Ben Silverman.

“I started off with just my friends as clients,” Ehrlich says. “They referred other people and the snowball kept growing.” indeed, having Ehrlich as your broker is the status symbol in Hollywood akin to having a CL 500 Mercedes, regular tables at il sole and Mr. Chow, and a fashion-designer girlfriend-all of which the broker himself has in hand.

In other cities, real-estate agents are seen as necessary evil-motor-mouthed hucksters who push you too close so they can cash their commission. But in Hollywood, they have made the unlikely leap to equal footing with the famous names they deserve.

Ehrlich’s best friend is Jason Bateman, who sees his buddy as nothing less than a modern Hollywood paragon. “Richard floats in the crowd that ends up setting the trends in this town,” says The Arrested Development star. “He organizes the parties that people want to go to, wears the clothes that everybody wants to wear, and lives in the houses that everybody wants to live in.” Jonah Wilson has black and white photos on his office wall taken by his close friend Stephen Dorff. Lawyer makes a cameo in a spoofy behind-the-cameras video Mel Gibson threw together. The layers of fame and reflected fame pile up so quickly you wonder if a mere television show could ever do them justice. What narrative conflict could possibly be concocted that would dramatize so ideal an existence?

“The tagline for our show,” says one of Westside’s producers, Steve Pearlman, “is, ‘can you sell the American Dream without selling your soul?'”

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