Julie Lane is ready to make her television debut. On Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m., HGTV will air an episode of My First Place featuring the Janet McAfee agent as she guides a young St. Louis couple on their search for a home. Lane took a few minutes to tell Ladue News about her experience on the show.
LN: How did you get involved in My First Place?
JL: A young couple, Kyle and Rachel Dodwell, called the office one day and asked if I could show them a listing. When I met them at the house, we had such good rapport, they asked me to be their agent. They also told me that they had sent in a tape to HGTV for the show. I wanted to help them as much as possible, so I was OK with the fact that they might be on the show and it might involve me, as well.
LN: What was filming like?
JL: It was fun, although the hours were long—there were times when we’d be filming at 11 p.m. because Kyle and Rachel worked during the day. It also involved many takes of the same things over and over again. You’d find yourself having to deliver the same good or bad news several different times, which was not the most fun thing to do. Because they wanted the show to be authentic, there were many things I couldn’t tell them until we were actually in front of the camera, filming.
LN: How many different houses did you look at?
JL: The first house where we met was ultimately the house they tried to buy, but we looked at 20 or more homes because they were first-time buyers. Also, for the show, there were only so many houses HGTV would want to film or could get the rights to film. It was love at first sight for them with the first house, however, which made it harder when the deal fell apart on appraisal.
LN: Although the end result wasn’t great, did you enjoy participating in the show?
JL: It was amazing to me to see the number of people involved and where they come from. They had producers fly in from Colorado and the East Coast, working with local camera people. It was interesting to see how everything works—there’s a lot that goes into it.
LN: What do you think you bring to the table as an agent for firsttime homebuyers that helped Kyle and Rachel in their experience?
JL: I really enjoy working with firsttime buyers because they’re so enthusiastic. They’re putting all of their trust into your hands and I like helping them. It’s rewarding anytime you find a buyer their perfect house, and even more so with first-timers because it’s such a new experience for them.
LN: Did you take away anything from this experience that has helped you become a better agent?
JL: With every deal, you take a step back and look at what you could have done better. It was just unfortunate circumstances in this situation—appraisals are hurting a lot of deals right now. But I try to give my buyers and sellers every opportunity and investigate every option so they can make the best decision.
LN: Have you seen the final version of the episode?
JL: Yes, I have. It’s hard to watch yourself on TV, but I think it’s a good story even though it didn’t work out. It wasn’t just a 30-minute version of buying a house, all wrapped up with a bow. It really showed some of the obstacles in the market. It’s not easy and sometimes you have to develop a thick skin to navigate through all this.
LN: Any future plans to become a TV star?
JL (laughing): No, I think I’m good.