By Susan Doran
It turns out that, “Hey! That person was on TV!” might not be the kind of client interest you necessarily want to attract.
Take real estate sales rep April Del Monte, who has been in the industry for a decade. Fans of the wildly popular The Bachelor reality television franchise will recognize her as the frontrunner on the second season of The Bachelor Canada, which premiered in the fall of 2014. Back then she was still April Brockman, a footloose young Realtor who’d initially gone on the show at the urging of her colleagues, intrigued by the lure of travel and the possibility, however remote, of falling in love.
Travel she got in spades – Cabo, the Bahamas, Tuscany, Tahiti.
But marriage as a result of her experience was not in the cards, to the disappointment of fans and real estate professionals across the country. There was, however, a brief engagement and drama aplenty, not to mention occasional soul-searching along the lines of, “What have I gotten myself into?”
Fast forward to the present. Del Monte is now with boutique-style brokerage Stomp Realty in Toronto and has recently self-published a book, her first, called How to Thrive as a Real Estate Agent.
A guide for both new and established agents, it quickly became an Amazon best seller in several categories. Del Monte explains that in it, she “gets real about the struggle that Realtors go through” and shares her secrets for generating leads, mastering the art of marketing, leveraging an online presence (she personally has over 10,200 Instagram followers) and building a six-figure career.
“The only thing I mention in my book about The Bachelor” she divulges, “is that what you think might be great exposure for business – which is not why I went on the show – might actually not be. Some of my greatest clients came from that experience. But some people are wasting your time… if my being on TV is the reason they wanted to work with me, as opposed to being serious clients.”
Thanks partly to her book and to her new virtual mentorship program, The Six Figure Realtor, Del Monte is now leveraging her reputation as a top producer.
“I know how hard it is to establish yourself,” she says. “Everybody gets in and feels alone. It’s a dog-eat-dog industry. I figured it out over time and trial and error. I wrote the book because I want to be the light for others, to help fast forward their learning curve…It really is about listening to your clients. It’s not just a sale.”
Her No. 1 tip for real estate professionals? “Find a good mentor. It is so important to have that foundation.”
Quite a few aspiring Realtors have reached out to her after reading her book, many of whom describe the COVID-19 shutdown as the catalyst that started them on the road to getting a real estate license.
“I have a program – The Six Figure Aspiring Realtor – that helps them establish themselves before they even get their real estate license,” says Del Monte. “There is nothing else like this out there.”
Del Monte remains friends with some of the women who were on The Bachelor Canada with her and counts a show producer among her clients. As for then-bachelor Tim Warmels (initially described somewhat alarmingly in network promos as being “as handy with a horse as with a hockey stick”), Del Monte has no idea what he is up to now.
During their season on the show though, the media was quick to note that there was no shortage of sparks between the two of them right from the get-go, when she stepped out of the limo (not a horse or hockey stick in sight) in a jaw-dropping, floor-length red gown.
“I bought that for the show,” she says. I have nowhere to wear it now.”
On the season finale, Warmels wound up presenting her with the “final rose,” which any self-respecting Bachelor Nation aficionado knows means that he proposed, choosing her out of 25 women competing for his attention.
During the invasive, round-the-clock weeks of filming, producers “don’t allow you a phone, or TV, or even a piece of paper and a pen,” says Del Monte. “They want you fully immersed and focused on that experience.”
And as she later discovered to her frustration, they can distort reality by “editing the show any way they want.”
She found watching the show challenging when the time came. “You do not know you are totally consumed with something until you are removed from it.”
When asked how long she and Warmels lasted as a couple after the show aired, she pauses, laughs and replies, “about three weeks.” (That translates to maybe six months in total – The Bachelor norm – factoring in the time the pair spent hiding their relationship from the public before the show hit the airwaves.)
Warmels apparently told her in private at some point that he had had his eyes on her from the beginning. “The heart knows what the heart knows,” says Del Monte.
Well… for three weeks anyway. Bottom line, whatever was going on with his eyes, she went in with hers open.
She says: “Realistically, you cannot develop a solid relationship in the time given on the show. So the dynamic of the relationship comes after that, in the real world. He’s a great guy, just not the match…I don’t think there are any ill feelings. We just never talked to each other again after all that.”
She was subsequently in the running to return to television in a big way as The Bachelor Canada’s first-ever Bachelorette and came close.
A couple of years ago she married Michael Del Monte, a documentary film director. They now have a toddler named Adrian.
She says that her business and personal philosophies are entwined: “Build authentic relationships with clients,” and with your entire network, friends, family and community, she says.
And so life goes on, after The Bachelor.