Meet the industry's latest reality TV host - with a twist

Another housing industry stalwart has followed in Bouris' footsteps by hosting a reality TV show



The CEO of Australia’s fifth largest non-bank broking group has followed in the unlikely footsteps of Mark Bouris, hosting a reality TV show aimed at housing investors. Only LJ Hooker’s Georg Chmiel has taken it one step further: He’s doing it in German.

Dream Home in Dream Cities premiers late this month or early next, with Chmiel showing a German couple around various Sydney homes, discussing the differences between the central European and Australian housing markets.

“The show is about finding for families a place to live and it was recorded in San Francisco, Singapore and Moscow,” Chmiel tells Australian Broker as he prepares to board a flight to Indonesia.  

“Sydney was chosen because it’s one of the exciting cities for European viewers. What it does is aim at people who are thinking about immigrating - or just for amusement. How is it like living in Sydney?”

#pb# Chmiel says he was chosen for the role as presenter after the producers contacted LJ Hooker asking for a German speaking Sydney real estate expert. Having immigrated with his family ten years ago from Bavaria, Chmiel was a natural choice and say his own personal experience with finding and fitting out a home provided ample fodder for the camera.

“I’ve been through the process of finding a place, getting used to the customs of a new country. [For example] in Europe, you have to install all the lamps and kitchen fixings when you rent a house. In Australia most of htose things are installed already. We were caught out ten years ago when we brought all our lamps out and all the fittings were different – and you’re not really supposed to fit them yourself.”

Chmiel says many of the questions asked by people immigrating from Europe surround supplying a down payment for a house, noting that in places like Germany, borrowers are often expected to produce a minimum of a third in equity before lenders will consider you.

“In Australia, it’s probably more like 20% on average.”

Dream Homes in Dream Cities will be aired in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and parts of North Africa, but Chmiel says LJ Hooker will be supplying a link on their website.

“It is in German and there won’t be subtitles,” he laughs, “so it might be of limited use - but for amusement purposes it will be very good.”

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