While reality TV has always been a guilty pleasure for many, the pandemic resulted in even more people looking to the shows as an escape — and one that quickly became a cult favorite was Selling Sunset. Not familiar with the show? Here’s the premise: a group of real estate agents sell extravagant, multi-million-dollar homes in Los Angeles. Since the reality series premiered on Netflix in March 2019, Mary Fitzgerald, a real estate agent at The Oppenheim Group in Los Angeles, has been a central character in the show, with her proposal and wedding to Romain Bonnet even airing on screen.
There’s extreme wealth, stunning homes, and so much drama — what’s not to love? We recently caught up with Fitzgerald, one of seven real estate agents that Selling Sunset follows, and spoke to her about the upcoming fourth season of the show, her relationship with her husband, egg-freezing with Heather Rae Young, and how the drama with her co-star Christine Quinn has played off-screen since the cameras stopped rolling.
SheKnows: What have you been up to recently?
Mary Fitzgerald: Working, as usual, I’ve got some new clients, and so I’ve just been working with quite a few buyers and then also a really good listing appointment yesterday that I think will be really, really exciting for people to see on seasons four and five.
SK: Have you been keeping up with the latest from the show? I noticed that you actually had a girls’ day with Chrishell [Strausse] and Heather [Rae Young] recently. How was that?
MF: Oh my God. It was so much fun. Every time I see them, it’s just such a blast to hang out. I mean, we talk all the time. We text almost daily. And it’s so cool because Amanza [Smith] and I’ve been so close for 20 years, but I think my relationship with Chrishell and Heather has grown substantially. They’re such sweethearts. And then getting to be a part of helping Heather plan for the wedding is just really special.
SK: How has that been for her — planning a wedding in the midst of a pandemic?
MF: It’s pretty tough stuff! She had to fire her wedding coordinator and she’s trying to find another one. So it’s been kind of an ordeal and then she’s kind of nervous about if the pandemic is going to be over by the time the wedding occurs.
SK: On the show, your relationship with Christine was a bit up and down. Has your communication improved now that she has a little one on the way? Has she been coming to you with parenting advice or questions?
MF: No, she hasn’t. I did reach out to her when I found out that she was pregnant. I sent her a voice memo just wishing her, like, ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Let me know if there’s anything’ — I don’t know anything, she didn’t tell me, I found out from the media. But she hasn’t been in the office and COVID has kind of kept some of the people apart that don’t typically hang out together.
I don’t know what our relationship is like at the moment, because I’ve been told that she has been posting stuff on TikTok and different social media things just kind of saying negative things about Chrishell, Heather, and I for not liking her pregnancy post or something. Well, we don’t follow each other. Plus I don’t troll people’s Instagram; I typically work and I deal with my own and so unless it pops up on the feed, I don’t see it and I don’t go searching for things. So, I feel like I did what was respectful and I don’t know how she feels, but I’m OK with her and I’m happy for her.
SK: *laughs* Oh, social media. Don’t you love it when it gets you into problems?
MF: *laughs* I know! That’s why I’m like, we’re going to start filming soon. So I’m just going to— I’m going to leave it for the time being. And I’m sure once we start filming, there’ll be plenty of drama. So I don’t need to get that started any sooner than necessary.
SK: Speaking of parenting, you mentioned on the show that you were hoping to start a family with Romain in the future. Is that still the plan?
MF: Yeah. So where we stand on that is — I think it got twisted that I wanted to have kids right away and he didn’t. And the reality is that neither one of us want to right now, but he does want kids. And if it weren’t for him, if it were just me on my own, I wouldn’t freeze my eggs. I know it’s nothing that I desire to do again just for myself, but I love him and I would never want to take that experience away from him. So I am going to freeze my embryos.
I got tested on season three, I think. And actually Heather [Rae Young] and I both, she actually went ahead and she froze her eggs, but we both went in together and we did this whole thing where you guys could follow along. I didn’t freeze mine yet, I just got tested for it, but she actually froze hers. But then — none of it aired because we didn’t expect the whole divorce with Chrishell. So that ended up taking priority. So then there wasn’t enough time and episodes to add that in and then due to COVID, I haven’t been able to go in.
Romain and I need to prioritize this. I’ll be 41 in the summer and it’s something that I just you know, time is running out. My fertility is good, but still, the quality and the numbers go down as you get older. So we are going to be doing it this year, probably — I would assume season four — and we’ll go from there. I don’t know that we’re going to have kids in the next year or two, but at least that option is there. We’re too busy right now, it’d be unfair to bring a child into the world when we barely see each other. So we’re going to wait until things have slowed down a bit. We’re just enjoying our time with each other and being newlyweds.
SK: One of the issues a few of the women had throughout the series was your dating history with Jason. Some felt as though you were given more listings and accused Jason of playing favorites when it came to you. What are your thoughts on that?
MF: It’s the furthest thing from the truth. I mean, in our personal life, yeah, we’re very, very close, closer than anybody else. We share dogs together. He’s like one of my best friends, he’s like Romain’s brother. And so we hang out all the time. And I probably am his favorite, but that’s my personal life. As an agent, he doesn’t give away his listings. And the fact that the other girls are like, ‘Give me a listing’ it’s like, do your job. Their job is to go get clients, not to have things handed to them. He doesn’t hand me anything. Every listing and everything I did on the show was my own, it wasn’t given by him. Our job is to procure our own clients, not for him to give his away.
SK: What has changed with The Oppenheim Group during the last year and with COVID?
Fitzgerald: Well, less people have gone into the office. Jason and I still go in. Chrishell has been in. At first, she was very, very scared to get COVID because her mother was ill. So she was very cautious and being safe. And then Heather, I think she’s been working from home mostly, but she’ll come up and we’ve seen her quite a bit. Business has been booming. The market is on fire. We’ve just all been so, so busy. So I’m grateful for that.
SK: What can you tell us about season four and what can fans expect from you?
MF: Some celebrity listings. Some very, very big deals. And then freezing our eggs. Romain and I are going to be doing investments in properties. And then, what else? Hopefully taking a honeymoon! Because we still haven’t been able to do that; we got turned away at the airport because of COVID — we were supposed to go to Bali. We still haven’t been able to and then it looks like we’re going to start filming so we might not be able to again, maybe our what, 50-year anniversary we’ll be going?
SK: I have heard so many people say they want to launch their career in real estate after watching the show. Do you have any tips on how to get started and be successful?
MF: Yeah, I think the first step is, don’t quit a job unless you have quite a bit of money in your bank account, because it takes a while to get going and it takes a lot of money to get going. You have a lot of fees due, different subscriptions, buying your new cards, your signs, your marketing — everything like that before you have any income coming in. It’s solely commission-based so you’re basically paying money to work and then there are no guarantees.
It takes a while, typically six months to a year, before anyone ever gets their first deal because you’re going up against a bunch of seasoned agents. Even if you know people, right now it’s very difficult because there are no open houses, there are no broker’s opens where you actually meet people for yourself. So it is challenging for new agents right now. But if you do decide to do it, then go with a brokerage that has a good mentorship system or someone that will take you under their wing and teach you and guide you in the right direction.
SK: How do you celebrate your wins as a successful real estate agent?
Fitzgerald: Normally if it’s something important just like going to dinner together. But we haven’t been able to do that lately. And we haven’t been able to take a trip, after an escrow then sometimes we’ll do like a weekend getaway but that’s been pretty tough, too, with our schedules. I don’t really celebrate too many of them lately. They happen pretty frequently, but if there’s a really big one, then I don’t know Romain and I will normally get together with Jason and a couple of other people and just like do like a little house get-together or something. Sometimes I’ll buy myself a new purse or something.
I bought a Maserati — after I sold Doheny —I bought a Mazzotti. So that was my biggest purchase I’ve done. But I had been wanting to upgrade for a while from the Mercedes and then once I sold that, I was so proud of myself, I’m like, ‘Yes, I deserve this!’
SK: If you weren’t on Selling Sunset, what other reality TV show could you see yourself being a part of?
Fitzgerald: Something like one of Tarek’s [El Moussa], something like that. Like a flipping houses kind of show or like remodeling or something like Flip or Flop, something real estate based. *laughs* Maybe Romain and I could do a spin-off of him like me finding the homes and he does the remodel on it!
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.