Monika Tu: “I’m the best agent”
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Monika Tu: “I’m the best agent”

A true force in real estate – the Black Diamondz founder talks Luxe Listings, prime markets and why penthouses are set to scale new heights.

By Terry Christodoulou
Tue, May 3, 2022 6:00amGrey Clock 3 min

Kanebridge News: What Drives Monika Tu to wake up in the morning and work in property?

Monika Tu: I just want to do the best I can, get a couple more deals done — I just want to do another deal, take the commission, move to the next one. I just don’t want to waste time. I also have a lot of commitments to charities which drive me too.


KN: But why property, over another industry?

MT: The number one thing is the longer you’re in the industry, the better you get. With other businesses, you must buy and sell. For real estate, you don’t have to buy and sell, you just take this property, you put the strategy behind it, you work hard, you find the right buyer, you sell it, you get commission.


KN: The prime property market — in which you operate — has had little stock the last few years, how do you navigate that?

MT: When the stock is short you really must find your niche — ask yourself why do they [clients] want to work with you?  I just have that unique selling point, that will just stand out amongst everybody else. We sell to local, maybe about 60% of our buyers are local buyers but that other 40% of international buyers — I corner that market.


KN: But right now there’s a shortage of stock in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, do you tell buyers to look beyond that? How do you manage a motivated buyer?

MT: I’ll give you an example. If somebody wants waterfront, the first question is how much you have? They go, ‘Oh, I’ve got 15 to 20 million dollars,’ or, ‘I want to buy for 30.’ Darling, to be honest, for that kind of budget, you want the eastern suburbs then you’re only buying a dream.  Sometimes you just have to be flexible for change, and I’ll try and suggest waterfront in Northbridge or Mosman. Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you can get what you want.


KN: You’re the break-out star of season two of Luxe Listings Sydney. How would you describe the experience?

MT: I’ve done a lot of TV appearances in the past. I mean, I’ve been on Unreal Estate with Channel Nine. I’ve got global properties with the ABC. I’ve done quite a few in the past, I’m kind of a semi-pro. But Luxe Listings is a different level — I think Amazon has a much bigger budget and everything is so professional.


KN: And what of your co-stars? In the real world, away from the show, do they motivate you? Does someone like Gavin push you to be better?

MT: Nobody pushes me better because I think I’m the best. I think it gives us an opportunity to get to know each other — we get to know the real person rather than just a competitive agent. I think we probably bring the best out of each other.


KN: Why would someone do business with you over another agent?

MT: If you are desperate to sell, I won’t have the buyer for you. My [buyers] take time to understand the property and I take time to find the buyer who will pay the premium price. In the end, the buyer is happy and the vendor is happy. My brand is, ‘can I be your trusted advisor?’.  With my clients, I think I’ve become more like their friend than their real estate agent.


KN: What do you think is the next big trend in the luxury real estate space?

MT: I think what is coming is the penthouse with the view. You see all the very wealthy Australians are older, 70-, 80-, 85-years old, so where are they going to go? That’s the ultimate retirement plan and for some of my Chinese friends — it’s quite easy to maintain.


KN: And what’s next for you?

MT: Well, I want to become a queen of the penthouse. Seriously, you watch me for two years, I tell you, I will get all the big penthouses in Australia. Also, season three of Luxe Listings and continuing to work with my charities.


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Jim Carrey Lists L.A. Home of Nearly 30 Years for $28.9 Million

The actor says the ranch-style Brentwood property has been a ‘place of enchantment and inspiration’

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Actor Jim Carrey is putting his Los Angeles home of nearly 30 years on the market for $28.9 million.

Mr. Carrey, who was born in Canada, bought the ranch-style Brentwood home in 1994, around the time of the release of his first major movie hit, “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” It wasn’t clear how much he paid.

In a statement, Mr. Carrey said the property had been “a place of enchantment and inspiration” to him over “30 very creative and prosperous years.”

“Every night the owls sang me lullabies and every morning I sipped my cup of joe with the hawks and hummingbirds, under a giant grandfather pine,” he said.

The roughly 12,700-square-foot estate includes a five-bedroom main house with a traditional brick facade and contemporary interiors, according to listing agent Janelle Friedman of Sotheby’s International Realty. Spanning about 2 acres, the property has a gym, a tennis court, a waterfall pool and spa, and a pool house with a sauna and steam room. There is also a dedicated outdoor yoga and meditation platform, she said.

The home is infused with elements of Mr. Carrey’s personality. A custom Art Deco-style home theatre, complete with mohair-covered sofas, burl wood columns and a snack area, features costumes from Mr. Carrey’s films in glass cases on the walls. They include a set of blue overalls from “The Cable Guy” and the Santa Claus costume from “The Grinch.” In an adjacent bar area, his Riddler costume from “Batman Forever” is on display, as well as some of his trophies from the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

The home’s neutral, understated aesthetic is punctuated by dramatic pops of colour, some of which are provided by Mr. Carrey’s own artwork: the actor is also a prolific painter who has gained recognition for his bold, graphic and colour-saturated pieces. On the lawn is “Ayla,” a sculpture by Mr. Carrey that depicts a nude woman peering through a picture frame. The art and mementos aren’t for sale with the house.

In the main house, the primary living space has pitched, beamed ceilings with skylights, while the living, dining and family rooms all have their own fireplaces. French doors throughout the home open to a large courtyard patio. The primary bedroom suite has its own sitting area, fireplace, and a covered balcony overlooking the property.

In a statement, Mr. Carrey said he is selling the property because he no longer spends as much time there. “I want someone else to enjoy it like I have,” he said, referencing a famous song by David Bowie: “Ch-ch-ch-changes!”

Mr. Carrey is best known for films like “The Mask,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “Liar Liar.” More recently, he has starred in the “Sonic the Hedgehog” film franchise.

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