Gina G, Realtor to the Stars," read the For Sale sign on Liberty Road.
With anecdotes of Johnny Depp, William Shatner and Robin Givens dancing through my head, I went looking for Gina G.
I had just read an article in The New Yorker titled "How to be a Broker to the Stars" in which psychotherapist June Azouoly, an expert in the family dynamics of the super-rich, advised brokers in the delicate art of selling homes to celebrities.
As Azouoly led a seminar at Barbara Corcoran's Manhattan real estate firm, she detailed what the celebrity needs from his/her realtor. "They do not need another fan; they do not need a friend; they do not need a gossip pipeline; they do not need another person to control their lives." According to the article, the firm has worked with such luminaries of the entertainment world as Janet Jackson, Pamela Anderson, Britney Spears and the woman Rosie O'Donnell calls the biggest celebrity of them all, Madonna.
"The Broker to the Stars" was on my mind when Gina G's sign caught my eye. I couldn't wait to find out what made her "Realtor to the Stars." In Lexington, it could mean that she had sold a house to Goose Givens or Marvin Bartlett. They are, after all, celebrities in our small pond.
The real story is less interesting but much sweeter.
Gina G (formerly known as Regina Shepherd) talks fast with an accent that belies her Hazard heritage. In the time it would have taken the average person to give me her full name and address, she had described to me the career changing moment when she went from being an average realtor who "never applied herself like I should," to Gina G, Realtor to the Stars.
Amazingly, there are no celebrities in this story. Only one man, sitting at a table outside Mia's one Sunday night. As Regina walked by this acquaintance whom she hadn't seen in months, he grabbed her and screamed what was to become her stage name, "It's Gina G, Realtor to the Stars."
In January, Regina decided to make this, her tenth year as a realtor, her best. She planned to throw herself into her career and she knew that she wanted a catchy title or as she put it, a "tag line something that sounds real corny." The minute she heard that man say Gina G, she knew she had found it. It didn't matter what it meant; she just liked the way it sounded. She changed all her signs three weeks ago and says she can't believe how many calls she has gotten from former customers and friends.
I asked if she had sold a house to any one who resembles a star. "Well," she said in that high speed, high energy mountain accent, "You know (and here I have to admit she did look down because I have a feeling even she knows how hokey this sounds), I'm just going to tell people that all my customers are stars to me."
Her words and the way she said them so sweetly and sincerely made me feel shallow for even being interested in celebrities. Manhattan realtors with their Hamptons tans and Armani suits sound ridiculous. It becomes difficult to believe that a psychotherapist expert in the family dynamics of the super-rich even exists or that anyone would want to become a realtor to someone who shows up in an armored vehicle with her boyfriend, two brothers and a huge dog (Janet Jackson).
In our crazy media-based world, celebrities seem more important than they should. Most of the world works nine-to-five, comes home to some sort of family, eats a little dinner, goes to bed, then gets up and does it again the next day.
I, for one, am glad that Gina G is out there working to find homes for those stars. And I don't care how corny that sounds.
To see Gina G's newest listing check out 622 Warrington Drive. A well-maintained three bedroom ranch with hardwood floors and skylights, this compact house provides a tremendous amount of style and a carefree lifestyle for anyone who doesn't have the extra ching for a full time housekeeper.
622 Warrington Drive
3 bedroom; one bath
Contact Gina G 294-2599
If you have a unique or interesting house for sale contact Lissa Sims at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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