Buying London: Daniel Daggers On Why It’s London’s Time To Shine

By Martha Davies

1 month ago

Mr Super Prime tells all


Step into the world of luxury real estate and it might just be Daniel Daggers who opens the door. After more than a decade at Knight Frank, Daggers struck out on his own to found a new estate agency: DDRE Global (Daniel Daggers Real Estate, naturally). Daggers took inspiration from the American brokerage model, putting himself and his agents at the centre of his business and utilising social media to showcase DDRE’s glitzy, million-pound homes.

Now, however, Daggers has moved beyond the bounds of his Instagram feed (where he’s known as Mr Super Prime) and landed on the big screen to take up the starring role in Buying London, a Selling Sunset-style extravaganza delving into some of the capital’s most incredible properties and all the drama that comes with marketing them. Ahead of the show’s release, Martha Davies caught up with Daggers to chat about real estate, social media, and why he hasn’t quite given up on his dream of being a footballer…

Meet Daniel Daggers, The Star Of Netflix’s Buying London

Daniel Daggers wearing a cream linen suit and white shirt

Image courtesy of Netflix

Hi Daniel! Before we dive into your life as Mr Super Prime, how did you get started in real estate?

I was studying surveying whilst trying to become a professional footballer –which I wasn’t going to be, but it was a dream I was pursuing! My parents made sure that that I focused on other things, too, but I wasn’t very good in school, and while I was studying, I broke my collarbone, and I realised that I didn’t want to continue with education and that I wanted to get some independence. So, during a business studies course, I did a bit of work experience at a small independent estate agency in Maida Vale, and the stars were aligned and they asked me to come back. So as a spotty 17 year-old, I went to work there, and it’s how I cut my teeth and learned my skills. And that’s how I started. I’ve got the same story as every other real estate agent, really, which I love. Even though we’re doing a Netflix show, I’d like to think that my journey is quite relatable.

A lot of Buying London is, of course, about the real estate industry, but it also shows how DDRE is doing things differently. What was your vision for DDRE when you founded it?

It’s a relationship-first, technology media marketing business. People would probably wrap it up in a bow and call it an estate agency, but it’s the combination of an estate agency and a brokerage, which is what we see in the rest of the world, where it’s all about building and maintaining relationships – so you are held accountable by your customer and your client. I felt that our industry was too KPI-orientated; it was focused on the transactions and not about the relationships. In my life, the best results have come from great relationships, so that’s why we’ve created DDRE – essentially to deliver the ultimate real estate experience.

Is that what sets DDRE apart?

I think there are many things that sets us apart. I mean, we’ve got a lot of personality. The nice thing about our business is that we’ve got loads of different kinds of people: it’s a melting pot of different kinds of talent, and people can choose who they want to do business with. Plus, if the client wants contemporary marketing and the best experts when it comes to digital marketing, we are the number one place on the planet, really, to do that. And we do it exceptionally well. But I don’t want to give all our secrets away!

Social media plays a very big role in your business. What does it mean to you?

It’s massive, and it’s really helped my career. I’ve met some of the most successful people on the planet through social; it’s generated a huge amount of income and interest in what we do. But, then again, we don’t have to do it. I think that’s one of the most valuable things: we want to give our clients and our customers the widest opportunities, and we will strategize with them when looking to buy or sell a property, and if that includes digital marketing and creating awareness that way, then we have that string to our bow – but if they just want us to do the same as other people, we can do that exceptionally well, too.

Could you give us an elevator pitch for Buying London?

It’s an intimate insight into some of the most glorious homes on the planet – right here in our capital city. It shines a light on personality and how wonderful London is. And it’s going to be fun and entertaining. It’s not a documentary. (If you want documentary, you can follow me on Instagram; I semi-document my days there). But if you want some entertainment and to see beautiful homes and great personalities, then that’s the place to be.

I really think it’s about time for London. I feel like you don’t get to see much of London on TV, and I love it when I do see it – I feel part of it, because it’s part of me. So it’s wonderful that we have an opportunity to show the world how beautiful our homes are and how beautiful our city is. We’ve seen so many other shows around the world, but no one’s ever looked into this beautiful jewellery box that we’ve got here. But we can now, because of social media and platforms like Netflix. We’re now part of a global community. And so, whilst we’re watching everyone else, we should be shining bright here too.

What did you enjoy most about filming?

It’s hard because, if anyone’s done any filming before, they’ll know that it can get a little bit awkward when there’s a camera in your face! So to say that I love the filming aspect of the show wouldn’t be a fair reflection of how it works. But I love the opportunity, and I’ve got a lot of gratitude for the opportunity, because it’s a wonderful way to grow a business and support clients and find new clients and all of that. This is probably the greatest opportunity on the planet to do any of those things. So there was a lot of excitement and apprehension about filming, and there still is. But you have to expect those emotions, I suppose.

In the show, a lot of emphasis is placed on the team and how important the talent is at DDRE. How was it working with your colleagues on screen?

Well, you always want to create a culture in a business where people love what they do and they’re championing it, and people in this industry really feel that we’re creating the future, we’re the pioneers, and people will look back in 20 years and think, ‘wow, they did it’. But if you have that high-pressure environment, there are going to be times when you disagree with someone, or you’re upset with someone, or you’re angry – or when you adore and love somebody. That happens in everyone’s working lives. So when you’re going through that and it’s on the big screen, it can be a little daunting. But that’s life, right?

Cast of Buying London with Daniel Daggers in the centre

Image courtesy of Netflix

Can you talk us through some of the most impressive homes we see on the show?

John Caudwell’s Mayfair house was pretty special. As far as other properties go, it’s hard to remember! I mean, I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and I’ve been into some of the most expensive and glamorous and incredible homes on the planet – from the Middle East to the West Coast of America and Central Europe, even Australia. So I don’t really get excited by numbers anymore, but walking into the Caudwell home was pretty spectacular. 

Does it take a lot to really ‘wow’ you when it comes to property?

Yes. It’s probably a little bit like fashion: I might see someone wearing a beautiful dress, but I really won’t understand the dress. And when I walk through beautiful homes, I see things that other people don’t see, which makes me appreciate that home either much more or much less than other people. And that is a unique skill, and it’s why people speak to me, because it takes decades of dedication and understanding – everything from materials and design to lighting, artwork, location. There are so many things that come into play. 

What do you hope people will take away from Buying London?

I think we lack ways to be inspired when it comes to real estate, and I hope that estate agents can become much prouder. We should feel that it’s OK to be very proud of what we do. That’s the way I’ve always looked at it. I take immense pride when someone gives me their home, no matter the size of the house, or the price. When they give me what is likely the most expensive asset that they will ever choose to sell or buy, and they rely on me and my interpretation and knowledge and personality to do that for them… I have a huge amount of pride in doing that. I feel that a lot of that pride has been obscured by business and corporate attitudes to meeting KPIs and things like that, when, really, human beings aren’t built that way. So that’s what it’s about for me.

Do you think your life is going to change in the wake of the show?

I have absolutely no idea. But one thing for sure is that I have an amazing group of friends, and people who will tell me things that I want to hear and tell me things that I don’t want to hear, and I would like to think that my life will not change. But I have to be prepared for change. That being said, I already get recognised; people recognise me because I’ve been a consistent person in London. And I get recognised wherever I travel, really: I’ve been recognised in New York; I’ve been recognised in Miami; I’ve been recognised in Dubai loads of times. But I absolutely love people, so I don’t see that as a hindrance. When it does happen, I can recognise people’s faces and say, I remember you, I sold you an apartment! And then I’ll guess roughly how much it was – I’ve got a little book with all my deals from decades ago (I call it the Bible, and I show it to young talent when we’re talking about the commitment you need in this business). 

And what’s next for DDRE? What’s the vision?

We have immense desire to create a new future for our industry. And we’ve already initiated that: DDRE Global is now the sixth most influential real estate business across the UK when it comes to marketing and selling homes over £5 million. We have influence across the globe. Right now, we’re growing our business rapidly because we know that customers and clients want to do business the way we’re choosing to do business, which is great. Some people want to sell their properties quietly, and that’s fine – that really is about personalities and relationships, which is something that we love, and it’s why people come to me: 60 percent of our transactions are off market. But if someone is really proud of their home and wants to meet a buyer faster, then we can do that, too – our estate agents are marketeers. We just do what we do exceptionally well and we want to keep doing that. And if that takes us to a hundred people or a thousand people, it’s because clients and customers want to choose to buy into our story and create a new future.

Quick Fire

What is your personal interior design style?

I would call it subtle, contemporary and soft. It’s all about materials, light, comfort, that kind of thing. Plus a strong emphasis on art, which will continue.

When you’re not selling properties, what are you doing?

I’m chilling out. I’m watching my beloved Arsenal, or watching movies. I can be a bit of a gamer, too. When you have an intense role like I do, having the ability to let your mind run free is a real luxury, and I love that.

I also love to travel; I like to explore the world when I can, because I didn’t really get an opportunity when I was younger. Plus, I love meeting fascinating people. That’s the real kicker for me. As a kid who didn’t enjoy learning at school, my learning appetite now is insatiable, which is really interesting because I don’t think my school teachers would have expected that!

Oh, and I like eating. But that’s supposed to be a secret. 

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I really did want to be a professional footballer, just like lots of children do. You never know, I might still make it! Though I will be 45 years old this year. I think my days are numbered, unless they bring in veteran professional footballers…

If you could give advice to your teenage self, what would it be?

I would say remain consistent. Consistency compounds. My success was built by being consistent through great times in the market and poor times in the market. Through ups and downs in my personal life, whatever it may be, I remained consistent. I also think that people around you appreciate consistency, especially as they get older. I would also say that, if you’re prepared to do things differently, be prepared to be misunderstood.

WATCH

All episodes of Buying London are streaming now on Netflix. netflix.com