My 9-5: L.A. Insider Sean Greiner

My 9-5: L.A. Insider Sean Greiner

What it's like to work in the City of Angels

Last winter, Sean Greiner and his brother, Brad, started renting out their Hollywood pad (with a view to die for) to happy vacationers. They welcomed people from all corners of the globe, from Hong Kong to Switzerland, looking for the ‘true’ L.A. experience. Sean discovered his natural ability to make strangers feel completely at home. Recently, he’s been putting his talents to excellent use as a city host for all Luxury Retreats guests to the City of Angels.

“I moved to L.A. a couple of years ago after graduating college at Long Beach State in Orange County, where I grew up. I moved to the city to give a modeling and acting career a shot.

I’m very in tune with the Cali culture and way of life. I think that’s why I take to visitors easily: families, couples, groups of friends – I’ve experienced the city from all of these angles myself, so I can guide people toward whatever experience they’re looking for.

california-devlinplace-02When I first got here, I moved in with my brother in his awesome house – Devlin Place. After a while we thought, ‘Why not try this private rental game?’ The views are unreal, the interiors are a cool mix of modern and chateau-style, and the location is top-notch: up in the Hills, private, but within arm’s reach of all the city excitement. For people really trying to get a taste of L.A., it’s perfect.

Soon after we listed with Luxury Retreats, Larry Rener, the Los Angeles Market Manager, caught wind of my knack for hospitality from a few guests. He approached me with the idea to take my talents a little further. Now, I’m host for all Luxury Retreats homes; if you’re traveling to the city, it’s me you’ll be chatting with over e-mail right before your trip, and I’ll be the first face you see when you arrive. I’ll give you a tour, and show you all the home’s details, like how to work the hot tub and air conditioning. I’ll even fill the fridge with your favorite goodies. I’ll be answering your texts until the wee hours of the morning every day, and I’m there to see you off when the time has come to say goodbye.

“I’m very in tune with the Cali culture and way of life. I think that’s why I take to visitors so easily”

I’m not surprised that I ended up in a career that’s not in line with the ‘wake up, put on a suit, go to the office’ routine. I wake up around 7:30am, and the rest of the day is characterized by being nothing like the one before it! All of my guests are different, and so are all of my days. I usually respond to e-mails first thing, have a light breakfast, and take my two dogs, Nala, a beautiful Bernese, and Lupita, an incredible stray from Mexico that I rescued, down to Venice Beach, just a couple steps away from where I’m living now. I’ve been in Venice for six months or so now and it’s incredible. GQ magazine once rated Abbott Kinney street, right around the corner from me, as the coolest street in America. I’m lucky enough to walk down it everyday.

“I might spend a lot of time in the car, but when Gimme Shelter comes on the stereo and I’m cruising down Mulholland Drive, life feels pretty good”

I spend a lot of time in my car. It’s a Los Angeles cliché, but yes we’re all obsessed with traffic. We talk about it all the time. We argue the best routes from point A to point B. It’s engrained in our culture, and you learn to deal with it. While I’m on route to the villas in the afternoon (I usually have 2 to 3 check-ins per day), I have four go-to Pandora stations: James Blake, Drake, Bob Marley and The Rolling Stones. I might spend a lot of time in the car, but when Gimme Shelter comes on the stereo and I’m cruising down Mulholland Drive, life feels pretty good.

california-devlinplace-05Arriving at a home, I make sure everything is perfect for the guests’ arrival. The second aspect of my personality that makes me so good for job is my attention to detail… I’ll zip around fluffing pillows, or making sure the barbecue is in ideal condition for an evening grill session. When people arrive, they’re always excited to be on vacation. I’m lucky that way – I deal with people who are excited and looking forward to a new experience in a new city. And I realize that vacation time is precious – so I handle their precious time with care.

It’s surprising how big of an impact a smile or a few tidbits of knowledge has on a person’s overall experience of this city. The fact is, we’ve evolved as travelers. We want more than a stuffy hotel room, and we want to experience a city for what it really is. I strive for people to leave Los Angeles feeling like they got to know its personality. You can’t get that type of experience if you go in blind, or with just a few Yelp reviews.

During my day, I may have greeted a family of six in town for Thanksgiving holiday, or a friends reunion of ten people an at awesome place in the Hills. And then maybe I’m saying goodbye to a couple on honeymoon at Malibu Estate, my favorite property. Then I step in my car and take the Pacific Coast Highway back to Venice Beach, and watch the surfers and pods of dolphins while I’m stuck in traffic, listening to Bob Marley. Suddenly, the “traffic”– the worst thing about L.A. – seems like one of the best things. Can you tell I love this city?”

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Photograph: Ido Simyoni 
Colleen McNamara