The battle for the O.C. begins TONIGHT!
It has finally, FINALLY arrived! Are YOU ready for tonight? Our newest Bravo show, Real Estate Wars, premieres today at 10/9c and, trust us, you want to be watching.
The rivals, Team McMonigle, led by John McMonigle and Team Relegance, lead by JoJo Romeo, come head to head on real estate listings in the beautiful land known as Orange County, California. With a history of bad blood between the heads of each team, some insane drama is about to go down on the first season.
In order to get to know the cast prior to the premiere episode TONIGHT, October 5th at 10/9c on Bravo, we spoke with Kylie McCollough!
Before you delve into our extensive interview with Kylie below, she is a world traveler, real estate entrepreneur, mother, wife, and, of course, a nationally ranked fitness competitor.
Prepare for tonight’s premiere by getting to know Kylie better through our interview below!
C: What are you most excited for viewers to see in the first season of Real Estate Wars?
Kylie McCollough: I think I’m most excited for them to see a different perspective. I think that viewers get to see get to see moms. Four of the members of our team are mothers and I think that adds a sort of different dimension to have children involved. I mean for me having children and being part of that – what we call it the ‘Mommy Mafia’ – I think that kind of makes your experience of working with families in real estate better!
It’s not a hinderance – which I think some people look at it that way. Because you know the best parks, you know the best schools, you know the family neighborhoods, you know the streets that have young children. So I think it’s exciting to be seeing a different perspective.
I also think the homes are magnificent. They translate better on screen than some of the stuff you’ll see in LA and NY. You know, everyone is used to seeing ‘okay, we’re doing a big development in this building- and there’s penthouse A and there’s penthouse B and there’s you know- floor AC and 512B.’
We have the freaking Pacific Ocean! We’re not looking at the Hudson, we’re looking at the full on ocean. These homes are on the sand. I think, you know, we’re seeing real estate that people all over the world can appreciate and look at as luxury. I think those two things I’m really excited to bring you know – female role models and female leads to luxury real estate and also showcase the Orange County area and luxury California Riviera.
C: Yes, most of the Real Estate shows are very male heavy–
K: Yes! I thought that was one the best moments of the Emmys was that women are stepping up in unscripted television. Are stepping up, excuse me, in scripted television and we have examples like that with Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon on Big Little Lies.
Now we see it in unscripted. We’re not, you know, 20 women vying for a guy. We can be amazing mothers, we can be business women, we can be bosses, we can negotiate deals harder than any of these guys and do it Louboutins. I think it’s so fun.
C: What was one of your favorite moments to film from season one?
K: We have such an amazing cast and we have five alpha [females]. Especially, because I spend a lot of time with our team, the Relegance Team. We took a lot of time to build that team and I think that, a couple of things that the viewers will enjoy are and my favorite to film, were the times that we were off our jobs. Those times are is so incredibly rewarding.
We thrive on the thrill of the deal, but that intense pressure to be responsible of your client’s largest financial asset is exhausting. So, to see some of the down moments, what the real estate brokers do in their down time or a moment when they’re exercising or working out and doing deals there too…
You know, to see the banter of very type A personalities of the Relevance group — we fight over who is going to sit in the front seat. We all want control and I think all those moments of our team and the juxtaposition of John’s team, who are controlled by John, is crazy to see. They live by whatever John wants, goes versus our dynamic which is, you know, we all think that we’re in charge. I think that sorta of a thing of the back and forth of – you know, office culture, company culture. I think that’s gonna be fun.
Of course, Kacey’s wedding was amazing. Of course, there are a lot of moments I don’t want to give away as well. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun and shows more behind the scenes of what happens in luxury real estate broker’s lives.
C: What do you want viewers to know about you before they watch the show?
K: About me? I think that it’s really fun that I am a mom. This is only the second time in the franchise history, you know. We are a bit of a branch off of the Million Dollar Listings show, but now we are bringing women into it. We are bringing families into it.
I think the real estate is more beautiful, it’s more captivating and I think that is really exciting to see. I mentioned the Mommy Mafia earlier, but I am super obsessed with my listings, I am meticulous in how I show them, and how I want the houses to look. So I think that’s really fun but you’ll also see that I had a huge struggle.
I took 10 years to build my career ‘cause I was raising children. About half way through the season you see me really struggle with career, family, and commitments to my family. I live 3,000 miles aways from my parents and you see me make some very tough decisions.
Plus, with me, you have a female who is, you know, equal to her husband in terms of earning. So if a husband has a job or career change it’s usually a no brainer of, ‘okay, we are moving,’ but when there’s a female who also has an equal career in terms of, you know, income, it really is challenging.
When the husband and wife make equal money – and both have true careers it’s a lot of challenges. My husband’s career is on the east coast, I’m on the west coast. How do you rectify that and reconcile? So I think it’s a fun struggle to see because we’re unique and we’ve got a unique challenge to show viewers.
C: I really don’t think that that has ever been explored in reality TV before!
K: I think it’s becoming more common. The past generation, most moms stayed home and that was the model that was given. My mom worked but she stayed home a lot. And now I think that this new generation of millennials, but we’re really not, we’re the xx-ennials. I’m just learning how to do instagram so I can’t claim to be a millennial. Snapchat is way above me.
But we’re these xx-ennials, these 30 somethings, who, want careers. We want to be the best moms, we want to be soccer moms but we also want to be the top of our game and career. So- how do you do that and have your husband succeed at his career too and raise a family while far away from this family unit.
So, I think it’s some really interesting things that we explore that go way beyond you know, the ‘million dollar listing.’ I’m so thrilled, because it’s been three years in the making and I am so excited for everyone to see this show. It’s a story that needs to be told. It’s been a very one sided story and now how we’re telling it, it’s more of a behind the scenes of when things don’t go right, this is what happens.
C: Describe your fantasy home, what would it look it? Where would it be? I mean obviously you’re in luxury real estate and you see amazing homes all the time, so have you seen your fantasy home yet?
K: I have! We are in the process of looking for land to build. So we asked my kids – my children are 7 & 4 and they told me, ‘we’d like a pool, an ocean view and we want to have room for a boat on the water.’ East coast, west coast, it has to have a water view. That’s in the books.
Land is at a premium so we have crazy young kids, we have a golden retriever, gotta have at least a half an acre, and I’m definitely in the pool camp. We have to have a pool. In terms of architectural style, I was born on the east coast up in Maine, I spent my summers up in Cape Cod so, I know it’s becoming en-vogue and in fashion but definitely east coast style.
Shingles. White shiplap. The blue textures, wallpapers. That’s my bag. I love east coast architecture. It’s just really inviting. Take your shoes off, run around, you know, the kids can be in the pool. Lots of grass, not a lot of hard-scape. A livable home but also have a really coastal feel. I can’t be more than a mile away from water. My husband races yachts for a living and I grew up on the water so it’s definitely in our blood.
C: What are three things everyone should ask when they are looking to buy a home?
K: Close your eyes and describe your lifestyle to me cause that’s going to ultimately dictate where I want them to be. That’s the most fun part of my job other than negotiating. I like to envision, ‘Tell me about your life.’
Location is going to be key. What do you like to do? Do you like to walk to dinner, do you like to take your kids to the park? Do you need parking? Is that an issue for you. You know, city life. Do you want country life? Do you want a walkable lifestyle? Metropolitan. Do you prefer more urban?
I think lifestyle is ultimate the factor; what their day-to-day is. Are they wanting to run from their home or is that not really a factor? Will they stay in the home or is it walk in and leave like something in New York? Do they just need a condo where they can put their toothbrush in their handbag and be able to walk to dinner or are they envisioning themselves spending more time there.
Telling me about their lifestyle – then it kind of unfolds from there. Gated? Non-gated? In Orange County, I think we’re unique that we have predominately, most of our properties are in gated communities. There are some neighborhoods that are not but gated communities vs. non-gated is one of my first questions. Pool vs. non-pool because it’s usually a 50/50 kind of deal breaker.
Then it’s location. The proximity to water. The closer to water the higher the prices are going to be. You’re going to have to compromise on space, on style, square inch, on amenities like a walk in closet. Maybe you’re a mile from the beach but you may have a shoe rack and a laundry hamper; you’re not going to have your walk in closet. So you’re moving to the 909. You’re on the verge of the Orange County border, you’re driving to visitor parking for the beach experience.
I would say those three things: gated/non gated, proximity to water, and location. We do have a lot of townhomes. So do you want to be in single family home or do you want to be in a condo?
We do have a bit of a second home population. People do buy second homes here and we are seeing that more with aging populations and the O.C. is a great place to retire. With all of the climate change happening in Florida and in the Keys, they’re shifting towards California and I think that we are going to see that trend continue.
C: Finally, in one sentence, why should viewers watch Real Estate Wars.
K: In one sentence, why should viewers watch… um, drama, drama, drama. I mean the houses are bigger, the cast members are more eccentric and the drama is way more real than any other show in Bravo’s history.
So set your DVRs and make sure you watch it within 3 days of air because I think it’s going to shake things up.
There is a formulmatic sort of script for real estate shows. There’s a listing they meet with the seller, the seller wants a high price, the broker wants a lower price, they banter for a minute. They choose a price, there is some sort of drama but the deal ultimately closes… This is not that show. This show has a lot more intricate take on what’s happening behind the scenes.
They sometimes don’t sell, this is not going to be the “oh you can predict the ending.” There’s a lot more twists and turns and drama and surprises. I mean stuff that surprised me that I didn’t know was going to happen during filming. We had a lot television gold happen during our filming. There’s babies, there’s weddings, there’s divorce, there’s drama. Oh my goodness, there’s car crashes. There’s everything…. and real estate.