It seems like just yesterday that Selling Sunset fans welcomed Emma Hernan and Vanessa Villela to the cast ahead of season 4 last summer. (Mostly because pandemic time is a blur, but, also, it's only been a year!) Now, with season 5 of Selling Sunset dropping on Netflix on Friday, April 22, we have another new member of the Oppenheim Group to meet: British-Nigerian realtor Chelsea Lazkani, who arrives to the Selling universe in full glam (as seen in the trailer, below).
Lazkani comes to Selling Sunset with five years of luxury real estate experience, and she's ready to shake things up, making fast friends with Christine Quinn. The mother of two and former corporate worker is also not afraid to speak her mind to the other ladies of the Oppenheim Group. So, what else do we know about her?
Chelsea is a former corporate worker in the oil and gas industry.
The British-Nigerian realtor grew up in London and studied economics at the University of Birmingham in England for undergrad. According to her Oppenheim Group profile, her mother works as a corporate executive, inspiring Lazkani in "what could be possible for her own life." Her father is an architect and developer, so she grew up learning about real estate.
Before getting into real estate, Lazkani worked as a business strategist and solar analyst with companies in the oil and gas industry. She even has a master's degree in International Oil and Gas Management from the University of Dundee in Scotland.
She's worked in real estate since 2017.
The 29-year-old got her start in real estate in 2017, receiving her license that year and joining Rodeo Realty Inc. in LA. The luxury agency has another other celeb realtor alum, as Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles’ cast member Josh Flagg used to work there.
According to her LinkedIn, Lazkani worked at Rodeo Realty from 2017 to 2020, and joined Oppenheim in July 2021. Per her Zillow page, Lazkani works with all types of clients, from first-time buyers to developers. As for her relationships with her new co-workers, the realtor told People that she didn't have any prior connections to the cast, adding that she's become friends with Christine and Emma since joining the show.
Chelsea is a mother of two.
Lazkani has been married to her husband Jeff Lazkani since 2017, and the couple shares two toddlers, Maddox and Melia. Jeff is a managing partner at Icon Media Direct, a marketing and advertising company, and he actually introduced Chelsea to Jason Oppenheim when she was getting started in real estate. Chelsea took some time off from the industry to have her kids, and jumped back into the real estate game last year.
Her Instagram is full of luxury vacation pics.
A scroll through Lazkani's feed introduces us to a jet-setting wife and mom, with pics taken from several tropical locales and the occasional ski trip. She also loves taking pics of her adorable kids, whether at home or on vacation. While there aren't any posts with friends, her new castmates may make an appearance now that she's promoting the show.
She wants to open doors for Black women interested in luxury real estate.
In an interview with People, Lazkani shared that she saw the show as an opportunity to open doors for the predominately-white luxury real estate industry. "I feel like with great opportunities comes great responsibility," she said. "This was kind of my time to give back and to educate and really mentor and push forward Black women in this luxury sector in real estate. So just knowing that I've got a greater purpose kind of prepared me for this."
She elaborated in a Tudum interview that she hopes to be the type of role model in the real estate industry that she was looking for when she started out. "My main goal in all of this is to inspire other women, give access to other women, support and help other Black women — who were me — get into living their best life. It’s not just in real estate, it’s in anything they choose to do," she said.
She continued, "Representation is so important. When I decided to get my license, I was looking for somebody that was killing it in real estate. I found so many role models, but none of them were Black girls. I was like, 'Damn, that sucks.' When you don’t have your role model, you become your role model — and that’s what I’m trying to do."
She says fashion is her creative outlet.
In a Tudum interview, Lazkani opened up about her colorful fashion style. "Fashion’s always been my creative outlet, but more than anything it’s been really important for me to redefine what it means to be a boss lady and not have to wear tailored black pants and a shirt," she said.
"You can be intelligent, you can be smart, you can be quirky, and you can wear colorful and even slightly revealing clothing. It doesn’t take away from your professionalism or how great you are at what you do. I just really want to go out there with my fashion to show people that you can wear whatever you like," she added.
She's heard the jokes about her accent.
Lazkani has been active on Twitter throughout season 5's premiere weekend, responding to fan chatter through both replies and her own Tweets. She posted a light-hearted response to all the buzz about her accent, which fans said doesn't sound traditionally British. Some even accused it of being fake, comparing it to the depiction of Anna Delvey's accent in another Netflix hit. Lazkani rolled with the jokes, though she admitted she won't look at Inventing Anna the same way again.
If you think you’re irritated with my accent, Imagine me? I almost fainted listening to myself back. You mean to tell me this is how I sound? WooooooooOOooW 😅April 23, 2022
After all the Anna Delvey accent comparisons, I can’t get through Inventing Anna anymore, it just doesn’t bang the same. Thanks GUYS 😭April 25, 2022
In a TODAY interview, the realtor explained that her transatlantic upbringing may explain the accent. "I’m really worldly. I’ve lived in London, Switzerland, New York, New Jersey—now I live in Los Angeles,” she said.
Lazkani also admitted that she sometimes forgets that she has an accent, and is reminded in her interactions with people. "I'm very opinionated. So sometimes, I'll just ramble on, and then people are like, 'Oh my god! You're British," she said. "Sometimes I think that I lost my accent. It's only when people remind me that it's there that I'm almost taken aback, a little bit."
Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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