In the business for more than 37 years, Mills continuously ranks as one of the top-producing agents in the country, representing clients ranging from Jennifer Aniston to Charlie Sheen.
But Mills won’t tell you that. Her business depends on protecting the personal lives of the A-listers she’s working with, all while getting the properties as much exposure as she can. It’s a delicate balance, she explains.
But when a client is home shopping, she tries to keep everything discreet so the star can view a home without being hounded.
Her tactics range from picking up clients at a place other than their home, driving in their spouse’s car — which often boast very dark tinted windows — and never telling the sellers or other agents ahead of time who may be coming to view a house.
“[The stars'] lives are sort of planned by getting in and out without getting tortured by the paparazzi,” Mills said. “We’ll do anything to get them out.”
However, if one person knows, it’s as if everyone knows, says Mills. And, they will show up to try and get a tabloid photo.
“I was with someone and we were showing houses at dusk and we came out of the house and there was paparazzi everywhere,” Mills said. “We were locked in this cul-de-sac and she was holding one of her children, the flashbulbs were going off and we couldn’t see to get to the car.”
It’s moments like this when Mills understands the desirability of a gated, highly secure home — or even a gated neighborhood like the one where Kim Kardashian chose to buy.
“I used to drive up the street [the Kardashians lived on] and it would be just crazy with paparazzi,” she said. “I would guess privacy is very important to her.”
However, just because celebs choose to live behind guarded communities and gates doesn’t mean they want to skimp on other features — especially views.
“Homes with big views are the most desirable,” explained Mills. “The Bird Streets are very popular because there are views. Trousdale is too — something will come up on the market and it will sell with multiple offers, especially if it has a view. And, Trousdale has a lot of views.”
Despite the sprawl of Los Angeles, contemporary homes are still being built and are popular too, says Mills — especially with the younger star set, or even the international celebs.
And with low interest rates, Mills repeats the mantra of so many agents: “It’s a good time to buy.”