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Agents go the extra mile to ensure privacy for not-so-famous rich clients

Agents are protecting their clients privacy (Credit: iStock)

Agents are protecting their clients privacy (Credit: iStock)

Sleep masks. Fake names. Art dealer personas.

Those are just some of the gimmicks being used in the world of high-end real estate as more wealthy home buyers seek greater privacy while they search for their next property.

While it’s commonplace to see celebrities buying homes under LLCs or through business managers, agents are increasingly having to take extreme precautions for not-so-famous folks who want to disguise their identity for other reasons, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In one case, a client asked Miami Beach agent Florian Jouin to call them a different name during showings. Another agent offered a story of a well-known actress refusing to leave the house during open house events, choosing instead to monitor the agent and passersby from a monitor in a hidden room off the master closet.

And in one extreme case, a wealthy client demanded Compass agent Cindy Scholz fly out to Hong Kong before he would agree to work with her. Once she arrived, the client requested that she pretend to be an art adviser to his entourage. The New York-based agent also recalls a time when a rich client asked to keep the transactions quiet because he didn’t want his family knowing what his assets were.

Social media and the rise of online listing platforms have contributed to the growing paranoia, agents say. With hardly anything kept private anymore, deep-pocketed home buyers and sellers feel they need to take extreme measures to ensure privacy. [WSJ] — Natalie Hoberman

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