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Business Observer Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022 4 months ago

Streaming star: Lawyer-turned-realtor steps into the limelight

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Rena Frazier, a “Selling Tampa" cast member, discusses her decision to leave law for real estate and the hit Netflix reality show’s impact on her nascent career.
by: Brian Hartz Tampa Bay Editor

“Selling Tampa,” the reality TV show that chronicles the exploits of Realtors at Allure Realty, an all-female, all-Black real estate brokerage in Tampa, cracked Netflix’s top 10 in January. A spinoff of “Selling Sunset,” which was set in Los Angeles, it’s quite the showcase for Tampa and St. Petersburg, with plenty of sweeping aerial views of sun-drenched, waterside mansions.

The marketing and sale of such properties, however, is where the drama comes in. Interpersonal conflicts abound as the Realtors chafe under the rule of Allure Realty owner Sharelle Rosado, whose unilateral decisions draw pushback from Rena Frazier, who’s been with the firm since it was founded in 2019.

Frazier, 43, is one of the most accomplished “Selling Tampa” cast members. Prior to joining Allure, she was a successful attorney, serving as a partner at Quarles & Brady in Tampa, where she specialized in real estate litigation. She recently spoke with the Business Observer about her career and newfound fame. Edited excerpts:

Q: You left behind a great career in law to join Allure Realty. Why? Was it worth the risk?

A: I just wasn't as fulfilled as I thought I was going to be. You work hard to reach a certain goal and then when you get there, you think you're going to feel a certain way. There was something that seemed beautiful about being your own boss, directing your own success, defining what success is for you and not having a company define what is success for you. I'm starting at the entry level. It was very scary and a very difficult decision, but at the end of the day was well worth it.

Q: Now that you’ve been in your new career for a couple of years, what would you say is your biggest strength as a Realtor, and what is something you still need to improve?

‘There was something that seemed beautiful about being your own boss, directing your own success, defining what success is for you and not having a company define what is success for you.’ Rena Frazier, Allure Realty agent and co-star of “Selling Tampa” on Netflix

A: My background in real estate law, understanding the contracts, the inner workings of a deal, having gone through tons of mediations and negotiations … I think is the biggest strength that I bring, and my clients love working with me for that reason. What I'm working on is the part that I didn't have to do much as an attorney, which is understanding the sales aspect of keeping a pipeline of business. I’m using a client relationship management system that I hadn't used before for communication campaigns, because as a Realtor, it's so important to stay top of mind for your clients and for your referral sources.

Q: Considering the reputation and brand you and the other Allure agents are trying to develop as Realtors, would you say “Selling Tampa” has been good for your careers? It’s not something you would want to jump into without a lot of thought.

A: Absolutely … but that was something to weigh. You don't have creative control over the final product. But then there's this great opportunity to one, depict our roles [as Black women] in this industry, and two, to reach more people who may be interested in working with you. That outweighed any concern we had about not having control over the final product.

Q: Do you feel that “Selling Tampa” portrays you and your colleagues fairly?

A: I'll speak for myself. Obviously you film a lot more than what makes it into the show. I do think I was portrayed fairly and accurately. It was important to me, in doing a reality show, that I be able to stay who I am and stay true to myself because at the end of the day, I am a businesswoman … and I love being in real estate. I think they did a good and fair job of [showing] that.

Q: Can we expect to see a second season of “Selling Tampa?"

A: At the end of season, there are definitely some unanswered questions, some open threads that have not been resolved, so I'm hopeful that Netflix will pick up a season two. It's not every day that you see a company of minority women making their way in a space that traditionally we haven't been in. I love that we're able to depict that for the world to see.

Q: A subplot on the show focuses on the fact that you have your real estate broker’s license. Have you considered leaving Allure and opening your own brokerage?

A: I would love to explore that at some point in the future.

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