Real estate and ‘Real Talk’

Real estate brokers and entertainers have a lot in common. Both rely heavily on charismatic personalities to keep their careers in motion, and both need to be able to read their audiences when working their respective venues.

Mark Pires is unique because he is an entertainer who became a real estate broker and then managed tot find the balance between his twin pursuits. Through his work in the New Canaan office of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, Pires is a prominent broker in Fairfield County’s percolating luxury housing market. And as the host of the daily music-comedy “Mark Pires Real Talk” show on YouTube, he is one of the most unpredictable talents in the online video sphere. And if that’s not enough, he’s also an inventor and entrepreneur with his own patented instrument.

This unlikely odyssey began during Pires’ teen years as a student at Southwest Connecticut State University when he was cast as the doomed scion of the Montague clan in a school production of “Romeo and Juliet.”

“We did it in the round at Southern Connecticut, and then we did it at Long Wharf and finished up at the Palace in Stamford,” he recalls. “It was a more of a modern take. We started off the show where the first time you see Romeo, I’m sitting at a café playing guitar. In the third act when Romeo gets banished, he has an opening monologue. I turned that into a song. I was on stage with my guitar for every performance, singing that first monologue as a song.”

Pires had considered exploring a career as a singer/songwriter. He was a 2004 VH1 Song of the Year Finalist and some of his music was heard on MTV. In 2012, he was offered a record contract that was predicated on his relocation to Los Angeles. However, he had doubts about the fine print of the contract while happy personal circumstances detoured him away from Tinseltown.

“In 2012, my wife and I we’re engaged,” he said. “My wife would never move to L.A. and my whole family is in Fairfield. I was left with a choice: Do I move to L.A. and follow my dream of 10 years to become a singer/songwriter, or do I marry this amazing woman and see where that road goes? I chose the best thing ever: I married her and we had three kids.”

Pires focused on a real estate career, but show business didn’t entirely flush out of his system. He found himself in the spotlight in 2013 by tapping into the then-new drone technology to achieve aerial shots of luxury properties that were previously filmed from helicopters — with the catch that Pires offered the drone videography of properties as a free feature of his work.

“I just sold a house in New Canaan and my client happened to be in PR,” he says. “And he asks if I mind that he sends a note to the New Canaan paper about this. I was like, ‘No, not at all.’ Before you know it. I’m in the paper, on Channel 12, Fox. Everybody wanted me on, and I became the drone expert because I was the first guy to think of it.”

Pires would tap into online video for his real estate work, doing both serious walk-throughs of his properties and comic spins where he did celebrity impressions as part of his sales pitch. A walkthrough doing a killer imitation of Christopher Walken’s distinctive vocal patterns became a favorite with clients. 

On New Year’s Eve 2018, Pires recorded and posted a video for YouTube designed to remind potential homebuyers to call him for their residential pursuits. He did a follow-up video the next day and then the day after that. These turned into a loose series of vlogs running between five and 20 minutes, later evolving into a daily show called “Mark Pires Real Talk” that can run up to 90 minutes per live episode.   

Pires occasionally has guests on his program, but it is mostly an unscripted one-man tour-de-force in which he does celebrity and political impersonations along with music performances. Viewers have been watching from as far away as Australia and China, and his audience can chat with him in real time for song requests. Pires notes that one gregarious regular audience member inexplicably keeps asking him to perform the kooky tune “Crabs for Christmas.”

To date, Pires has yet to allow a day to pass when he is not on camera.

“I don’t take a break from ‘Real Talk,’” he says. “I take seven days to nine days off for my real estate business to go away with my family — but while I’m with my family, they go to sleep and my wife says, ‘Go into your show.’”

Many of Pires’ “Real Talk” performances find him upon the BeatSeat, an instrument that he invented. Billed as the first drum for guitarists, the BeatSeat looks like a solid, upright stool that users can play with their hands and feet. And besides offering a unique percussion sound for his music, Pires unexpectedly found the BeatSeat served a second purpose.

“At my daughter’s birthday party two years ago, she invited a friend who happens to have autism,” he says. “And it’s not a mild case. He’s very nervous. They’re all playing on the BeatSeats and he sits down on one. And my wife comes over and taps me on the shoulder to say, ‘You know, you have a sensory therapy drum?’ I had no idea what a sensory therapy drum was. And now, we’re learning it could be one of the most powerful things out there for someone with special needs.”

Pires currently manufactures his BeatSeat in Connecticut — he notes that the Fairfield public schools recently ordered instruments for the entire district — while continuing to appear on his daily show and helping homebuyers find their dream houses. And while his schedule might seem more than a tad exhausting, Pires is invigorated with his life.

“I really am enjoying everything that’s going on right now,” he exclaims. “While I’m alive with the world. I think what I want to be remembered for is being someone who just gave it all.” 

For more, visit markpiresrealtalk.com.

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