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HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Celebrity real estate agent Josh Flagg, whose “coming out” episode of “Million Dollar Listing” in March 2011 proved to be a ratings hit for BravoTV, has a new venture: star maps.
Flagg called San Diego Gay & Lesbian News on Thursday to announce that he has created a mobile app that he hopes will replace those flimsy paper maps sold roadside in the Hollywood area.
The app, called STAR MAPS, is due out soon and will cost 99 cents to download for iPhone and Android smartphones.
“Ever since I have been a kid, I have been obsessed with Hollywood, where I lived,” said Flagg, who grew up in a prominent Jewish family in the Beverly Hills area. Like his grandmother, Edith Flagg, who appears on “Million Dollar Listing” in scenes with her grandson, Josh Flagg shares a love of the history of the area.
Flagg denigrates the paper star maps, noting that most of them contain inaccurate or even false information about celebrity homes.
“This is a multimillion-dollar industry,” Flagg describes the star tours by vans and double-decker buses. “I don’t want to say the word ‘scam,’ but you are not getting what you are paying for.
“People pay $30 for a tour … and most of it is untrue,” Flagg said.
As a highly successful real estate agent serving the Hollywood area, Flagg knows the neighborhoods like the back of his hand. He said he has assembled a staff to scour 100 years of public records to find out where celebrities own properties. He said countless man hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent to create the STAR MAPS app.
“The platform is constantly updated with new information,” Flagg said. “We have a few thousand celebrities homes already listed.”
The app uses GPS, Google Earth and Google Maps to show locations, pictures, and facts about the homeowners and the property. “It will tell you square footage, how much they paid for the house,” he said.
App users can customize their view to focus in on a particular street or neighborhood. “If you are on Maple Drive, the app will show you who lives on Maple Drive and nearby,” Flagg said.
Celebrities are noted for their desire for privacy, and Flagg said that he “strongly respects privacy,” and that the app will only list homes found in the public records. He said that if celebrities mask the ownership of their property through trusts or second-party designations, the app will not list that property.
“If you want to see the house where Michael Jackson died, the app will show that,” Flagg said.
Meanwhile, the ever-busy Flagg was ever so coy about the Season 5 premiere of “Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles,” set for Wednesday, June 6, on Bravo TV.
“Can’t really talk about it yet,” Flagg said. “But I will say it is a very juicy season … the best yet, and I’m not just saying that.”
FYI, the SDGLN exclusive story with Josh Flagg, revealing that he was coming out on the show, is the second-most read article in SDGLN history. Read that story HERE.