Jason Oppenheim, president and founder of the famed Oppenheim Group, is now representing Kanye West in the sale of his Malibu beachfront estate, and there’s been some criticism Oppenheim should not represent an antisemite, but we’ve contacted some high-end realtors who feel it’s absurd to have a litmus test on which clients they will represent.
The L.A. realtors we’ve spoken with say there is no way in this divided social and political climate anyone can do business by excluding clients whose views they find offensive. The example that repeatedly comes up is the war in the Middle East. As one high-end realtor put it, “What are we supposed to do, ask a potential client if they side with Israel or Palestine?”
An extremely successful L.A. realtor begged to differ, saying, “Wait a minute. Kanye is one of the biggest antisemites in the world. I would never represent him, ever.”
But another realtor said, “Are we supposed to see if a client is a registered Republican and say screw you, I’m not representing you?”
It goes beyond religion and politics … one realtor said, “What if a client has an offensive post on Instagram? Or what if a client’s in the middle of nasty divorce and I side with their spouse?”
Several realtors said it’s ridiculous to think they would Google every prospective client to look for a reason not to represent that person.
And one realtor, who was at one time a practicing lawyer, said it’s absurd to think an attorney would judge a client before taking a case, adding, “It’s just not reality.”
And a realtor we spoke with said what if a client had a different view on gay marriage? He said, “At some point it just becomes impossible to do business.”
That same realtor asked, “What about the buyer who pays Kanye $53 million for the Malibu property?” before adding, “What if Kanye goes to a Mercedes dealership. Should they not sell him a car?”
We tried contacting Jason Oppenheim, but could not get a comment.
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