Listing Mario Lemieux’s Mont-Tremblant mansion
What do you do when a celebrity hires you to sell their house? You definitely don’t tell all your friends, you don’t brag about it and you don’t post photos of you and the celeb on social media. Discretion, privacy, trust and good communication are key to servicing this special high-end clientele, says Michel Naud of Engel & Völkers Tremblant.
For agents who want to crack the celebrity homes market, Naud says you need to have a good reputation and be someone well known in the luxury market. Having a good brand behind you can also make the difference when celebs are shopping around for the right real estate professional.
The ability to maintain privacy is a given. “It’s not an easy task to find the trust and relationship with a celebrity.” He says the challenge goes above marketing the high-end property. “You have to work at selling the property while preserving the privacy of the client. For example, you have to protect the client from impostors and groupies.”
Naud has potential buyers go through a qualifying process before they tour a celebrity’s home. And “no cell phones are allowed. Everyone goes through the property with me, in the same room at the same time. We say no to everything – TV shows, helicopter showings…. We keep it private. No one is accessing unless they’re prequalified,” says Naud, adding he does his research, and so does the owner of a Mont-Tremblant, Que. mansion he currently has listed for sale for $22-million. “I do research and so does Mario.”
Mario is NHL hockey great Mario Lemieux, who has given Naud the okay to disclose his name to market the house. Lemieux’s name garnered lot of media attention, Naud says. But “it’s important not to use the relationship to benefit me. Even if he has given me permission to use his name to market the property, I don’t do name dropping.”
The ability to offer white glove service is another given. It’s all about going the extra mile. If Lemieux is out of the country and the property manager is away and the alarm goes off, Naud says he will go out and check the property.
Treat celebrity clients like family, he says. It lends a feeling of ease and comfort. Keeping lines of communication open is also valued.
Naud has been in real estate for over 25 years. Naud and Lemieux are not strangers, having met when they played both hockey.
Naud says Mont-Tremblant properties range from $2 million to $5 million. “Five-million-dollar properties are rare. The number one record sale is $12 million and the second highest is $7 million, so $22 million is another level.”
Lemieux’s 16,794-square-foot stone mansion was built in 2012 and offers eight bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, 17 fireplaces, a gym, spa, home theatre and bar. Most rooms have 12-foot ceilings or cathedral ceilings.
Other goodies include upper and lower terraces, ski storage, a mud room, a walk-in fridge and a stair tower. Every bedroom has lake views. There are antique columns imported from an 1800 Indian castle, beams made from Quebec pine and exterior stone from Lake Champlain. It comes furnished for those who want to move in and enjoy.
There is a five-car garage and parking for an additional 25 vehicles on the driveway.
Naud says although the property was off the market for awhile during COVID-19, he continued working. It’s now under contract again and he’s working with buyers from Africa, Europe and Western Canada. “But it’s difficult to buy without seeing,” he says. They are awaiting the border reopening.
Relationship, trust, credibility and credibility with the brand are important when working with celebrity clients, and mum’s the word.