By RON FANFAIR
Most of her contact with her employers has to do with real estate. That’s why sales representative, Katriena Dean, was stunned a few months ago when she received a call from her broker informing her that a casting agency was looking for two fabulous agents from the company for a new reality TV show and that her employers felt she was a suitable candidate.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be on a TV show,” said the Bahamian-born Dean who is one of eight real estate agents appearing in The Agents which will premiere on Monday, April 27 at 10 p.m. on the W Network. “I have always been camera shy and it was a bit intimidating at first, but I had the time of my life during the filming as the camera crew followed me to my listings. I led and they followed and I found that to be very fascinating.”
The new 13-episode, half-hour series follows the action-packed lives of real estate agents, including rookies struggling to make it to the top and veterans fighting to remain there. The series takes an unprecedented look at this lucrative but cut-throat business as the hard-working cast of realtors juggle high-end and low-end deals while coping with crashing markets, anxious clients and stressed-out buyers and trying to spend quality time with their families and maintain relationships.
The single mother of two children – a 16-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter – admits it has been challenging raising her kids and trying to be the best in her profession.
Having a love for shopping and anything that’s associated with property and decorating, Dean has combined her passion with shrewd negotiating skills and an obsession for crunching numbers to become one of her company’s star agents since she joined the firm as an administrative assistant in 1996.
“I have worked my way up from the bottom, so I know everything there is to know about the business,” said the 35-year-old entrepreneur who is the daughter of the late Bahamian drummer, Charles Dean, who was a member of Ronnie (Butler) and the Ramblers, and the only one of six siblings residing in Canada.
Dean, who appears in six of the episodes, acknowledges the difficulties trying to sell homes in an ailing economy.
“These are challenging times, especially when banks are unwilling to lend money,” she said. “But I try to stay positive and my belief is that you have to adapt and find a way to get through what I refer to as a different economy.”
The airing of the first episode coincides with the eighth anniversary of Dean’s separation from her husband, and she plans to celebrate the occasion.
“I view my separation as an emancipation and it happens that this year it falls on the same day that the show begins,” said Dean, whose Dutch-born and Toronto-based mother went to the Bahamas for a vacation in the 1970s and ended up spending 14 years in Nassau before returning to Canada. “I am going to throw a party at my home on that night and celebrate with family, friends and some of my work colleagues.”