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Meet One of the Stars of Million Dollar Listing San Francisco

With the whole city buzzing about Million Dollar Listing San Francisco, we caught up with one of its three stars, Roh Habibi, who tells us why he gave up a cushy finance gig for the commission-based rat race of real estate.

Before deciding to join, Roh called show vets for advice, but the only one to answer the phone was Josh Flagg in LA, who said doing it was a no-brainer and anyone who says anything negative about it is jealous or wants to do it. But Roh is relatively new to the real estate game, having gotten his brokers license in 2010, after leaving a secure finance career with paid vacation. He stockpiled a year's worth of savings for car, rent and food, and took the plunge. Now he's ranked No. 154 by the S.F. Association of Realtors, up 100 notches from a year earlier, and he hopes to break into the top 100 by year end. The show should give Roh some serious street cred, as it brings in millions of viewers every week.

Here's one of his active listings in Potrero Hill, a four-bedroom at 398 Pennsylvania being offered at $4.2M, or $1,171/SF. Since the show started filming last fall prices have only gone up, he says; the median price has breached the $1M mark in the past few months. Despite closing big-dollar deals in the city, he feels for what is going on when it comes to price pressures.

He watches the show at home in Hayward, where his parents live up the street. Before the first one aired this month, he admits he got butterflies and felt like he was going to throw up over a family dinner. That angst is worth it, however, because the show is helping him build his brand big time. (The international exposure is huge—it airs in dozens of countries.) When he's in the city his favorite place to meet clients is Tacolicious' outdoor patio in the Mission because tacos take the edge off.

Tune in to Bravo on Wednesdays 10/9c to catch Roh on Million Dollar Listing San Francisco.