For The Agency’s Kofi Natei Nartey, rooms in a house become the pathways for running football routes, televisions are for watching game footage and swimming pools are great for cross-training workouts. That’s the kind of sport-minded thinking that allows this former football star to relate to the people he works with, and find the houses they’ll call home. A wide receiver at the University of California, Berkeley, Kofi was drafted as a free-agent by the Oakland Raiders, but a knee injury in a game against the Dallas Cowboys cut his career short. Sidelined from the football field, Kofi began following a new playbook: luxury real estate. Kofi now is an all-star at The Agency where he heads up the Sports and Entertainment Division. We caught up with Kofi recently to learn more about his high-profile clients and their unique concerns and needs, and ask him about his own experience in the spotlight.

Considering your unique client base, what property characteristics come to mind that are usually overlooked?

Kofi: Mere dimensions have to be considered to accommodate my clients. For example, the height of doorways, countertops and showers are going to have to be higher for a 6’7” professional basketball player than the average Joe. For a singer/songwriter, soundproof rooms are going to be a major concern. By taking into account their profession (and physical size), I can cater my listings to meet their personal needs.

What common features do your high-profile clients look for in a home?

K: Nothing too out of the norm, but usually a lot of them want a personal ‘flex space’ in addition to bedrooms and bath. Call it a man cave, game room, or artist’s studio, just something that can be used as a creative space. I’d also add room for entertaining guests and privacy to the list.

Speaking of privacy, how do you help provide that in a town that publishes their own Map of the Stars?

K: Biggest things are trust and experience—they want us to look out for their best interests from start to finish. Everyone at The Agency takes our client’s wishes for privacy very seriously, and we have a strong reputation for delivering on that promise. On the flip-side, we also offer a unique marketing edge. Sometimes our athletes want to do something on the acting side for a unique way of gaining exposure to a different genre of viewers, new media, and we can help facilitate that crossover through the real estate media we have access to. At the same token, we can fly completely under the radar, providing complete anonymity for clients who prefer no exposure.

They must have demanding schedules. How do you keep things running smoothly?

K: One of our goals as agents is to cover everything in the transaction so that our clients can stay focused and continue to work on their craft. This means anticipating what the next step will be, helping them set up a trusts if they prefer, and working directly with their agent or manager. In football, for instance, some guys will play sixteen to twenty games and receive sixteen to twenty separate checks. Some will have endorsement deals while others will not.  Actors may have a show or film and then not work for several months. We have to explain that to the lender in order to get our clients financed for properties. We take care of the business side and leave the acting/dunking/performing to them.

Wait a second, haven’t we seen you on the other side of the camera?

K: {laughs} You’re certainly right. By Los Angeles standards, I have had a fairly successful acting career, appearing in national commercials, television shows, and a couple of hit films. Next up, I will be a featured agent in seasons 3 and 4 of HGTV’s “Selling LA.” I feel very comfortable working with people—especially coordinating and negotiating—and being on the show allows me to interact with a wide range of personalities and conditions. Just like in acting, where you learn something from playing each character.

We know you’ve got one more sport analogy that you’re just dying to share.

K: When negotiating with other agents—er, opponents—I have to size-up their weaknesses and strengths in order to “beat their coverage” (as they say in football). Sometimes I have to beat them with my speed while other times an unanticipated move is all it takes to seal the deal.

Check out Kofi’s past posts here on The Agency blog, and we hope you join us in watching him on season 3 of “Selling LA” this fall.