Meet Yawar Charlie, celebrity realtor and grandson to the film legend, Noor Mohammed Charlie—one of the pioneers to the Bollywood film industry. Yawar, the first openly gay, Pakistani man to appear on the CNBC network is helping expand the network’s audience with the upcoming TV show, “Listing Impossible.”
From the Silver Screen to CNBC
No stranger to entertainment on the silver screen, Yawar’s presence in Hollywood has landed him in dozens of roles including series recurring on General Hospital and guest starring on Heroes, JAG, and NCIS, to name a few.
Last year, Yawar was the co-host of “Marriage or Mortgage,” a pilot shot for Discovery Channel, where he convinced newly-engaged couples on the benefits of spending money on a new home instead of a big wedding
Now, he’s making it to the CNBC network.
During his time in Los Angeles, Yawar fell in love with real estate, turning his focus to becoming one of the most sought after realtors in L.A. For those who know him, he is responsible for hundreds of the top, luxury listings at firms including Sotheby’s International Realty, Engel & Volkers, and currently Aaron Kirman Partners (seen in the upcoming CNBC debut).
The combination of real estate expertise and on-camera charisma, has made Yawar the perfect cast member for the upcoming CNBC show, revolving around the team at Aaron Kirman Partners, managing extravagant multi-million dollar homes (and their owners) that have been extremely tough to sell.
Grit Daily spoke with Yawar ahead of the CNBC debut.
Grit Daily: You’ve had an interesting career in Hollywood both as an actor and as a real estate agent who’s now back on screen in CNBC’s “Listing Impossible” out this July. Tell us how you got your start in Los Angeles.
Yawar Charlie: I was an actor who moved to LA to work in TV and film. I realized you must push forward and do your best. I had just finished touring with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and had my Masters in Fine Arts but wanted to step away from doing live theater and do more TV and film. Acting is what brought me to LA and then I shifted careers from entertainment into real estate.
GD: What was the catalyst for shifting your career toward real estate and what skills set in acting where you able to also use when selling homes?
YC: The catalyst for my shifting career from entertainment into real estate was actually rather organic and accidental. After booking a few shows, I saved up the money I made acting and wanted to buy a house. I approached a casual acquaintance, who is a real estate agent, and asked if he would work with me. Unfortunately, he was not the best real estate agent in the world, and the deal that I got by my first home was not the best. I found that I ended up doing a lot of research on my own and seeing the mistakes that he had made.
From there, I ended up investing another property and really found a passion for real estate. I quickly realized that when the acting was not a profession that would suit me full-time and that the real estate was. When I made the shift a lot of my entertainment contacts were my first clients. In terms of using my acting skills, I always joke that my MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) degree did not go to waste! You’re acting all the time in real estate. You have to be on and it’s like playing a constant game of improv with someone. You never know what’s gonna come your way.
GD: Do you still remember the first listing you sold or big deal you closed? Can you share that experience?
YC: I would have to say the most memorable real estate transaction I’ve had was the one where I purchased my first home. I remember how hard it was as an actor to save up the money to buy a home and walking into a space that you can truly call your own was magical. I still remember what it was like getting my first set of keys. I will never forget that experience. In fact, it’s that experience I try to carry with me into every transaction. That excitement of giving someone keys is like nothing you can describe in words. Real estate is often times the biggest investment people make in their life, it’s where they’re going to sleep at night, it’s where they’re going to raise their kids. It’s a huge deal! There’s nothing more exciting than participating in that experience. It’s not all roses and sunshine, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it.
GD: Los Angeles is one of the most sought after and also most expensive markets. What tips do you have for buyers/sellers in L.A.?
YC: Since Los Angeles is one of the most expensive and sought-after real estate markets in the country, the biggest piece of advice that I can give to buyers is:
#1—When You Like It, Make An Offer (BUYERS)
When you see something that you feel connected to, make an offer. In fact, make offers like TicTacs. Making an offer doesn’t bind you to a property, it just starts a conversation, which a lot of people don’t understand. If you wait and sit on the fence, in today’s market, someone will buy that house right out from underneath you, and you won’t even have the opportunity to try and get that house. It’s important to make an offer because that way it opens the door for negotiation. You can always walk away, you can always say no, but because Los Angeles is one of the most expensive and sought-after real estate markets in the country.
#2—Be Realistic (SELLERS)
For sellers, the biggest piece of advice I could give them is to be realistic. The housing market is very turbulent, and it’s very neighborhood, size and style specific. Currently, the first-time homebuyer market which I would constitute as below 1.5 million is on fire, meanwhile, the medium size homes in Los Angeles which would be the four to six million-dollar properties are sitting in the market. There’s really no rhyme or reason, but it’s important to see what the market trends are like and pay attention to them.
We as realtors don’t set prices, the market does. If you list the home and it’s been on the market for three weeks with no activity or offers, you must have a conversation about price with your seller otherwise you’re doing them a disservice.
What to Watch for On CNBC’s “Listing Impossible”
GD: What can our readers expect to see on the CNBC debut?
YC: “Listing Impossible” is really exciting because it’s not like any other real estate show that’s currently on the market. It’s a business-oriented show. Our team is the top sales team volume wise in California and ranked number five in the country. We have proven results in the Los Angeles luxury market. The premise of the show is that we go into homes that have previously been listed and are sitting on the market or are problematic for one reason or the other sometimes, having to do with the seller. Our team comes in re-brands, remarkets, repackages, and re-launches the property in hopes that it gets sold hence, the name “Listing Impossible.”
The projects that are on the show are not the easiest in the world, and very true to life of what we experience on a day-to-day basis. The viewer will get to see the process of listing and selling homes in the Los Angeles market in a very realistic fashion.
GD: You’re the first openly gay, Pakistani man on the CNBC network. What does that mean to you and how do you hope to connect with audiences and represent?
YC: It’s actually very exciting to be the first LGBTQ South Asian on the network. It’s something that I don’t take lightly and appreciate the opportunity. I was fortunate enough to get married on the Grammy awards five years ago, and I wore traditional clothing from my ethnic background. The worldwide response that I got was just overwhelming. I’ve received hundreds of emails and messages from people in countries where homosexuality is illegal, and the idea of gay marriage is unthinkable. The messages I got were ones of appreciation and hope because people felt that if I could do it maybe they would have the chance as well. Being on a business network is such a huge platform to show how LGBTQ people of color and minorities, can thrive in an industry that is often dominated not by people who look like me. It’s an opportunity that I welcome and I’m very grateful for.
GD: Even though Pride Month in June has passed, what message do you hope to communicate with viewers and your audience with CNBC’s latest show?
YC: The biggest message I want to get out there while promoting the show is that of hope, and the idea that the most important thing in business, as in life, is to be your authentic self. That is something that I strive to do every day. In an industry where there are literally tens of thousands of people in California who do exactly what I do to set myself apart thing I have to do, is be the best version of me that I can be. And I would encourage everyone to try to be the best version of themselves and not try and be a watered-down version of someone else.
“One of the biggest things you can do in life is to find your tribe, your people, people who think like you and I have the same moral compass as you do. Once you find those people, do your best to stay in business with those types of people, because then you are guaranteed success.” – Yawar Charlie