Gay Millionaires Club Arrives In Midwest
Who Wants To Meet A Millionaire?
Many of us would like to BE a millionaire, but what about dating or marrying one?
Despite what one may think about folks with funds, often it really is lonely at the top, especially if the man with money is gay, according to Jill Hankoff, owner of Gay Millionaires Club, a three-year-old business that seeks to end the loneliness.
“Our niche is to work with high income, accomplished gay men, aka: millionaires. Essentially, they come to us and tell us what they are looking for, almost like a recruiting firm—their heart’s desire or whatever that may be and it’s our job to go out and find him. When we feel we have a good fit, we bring both parties together.”
“How do people find us? We are in magazines, there have been a few articles and we get a lot of word-of-mouth advertising. Some people think its funny and say ‘they have to be kidding’ and others say ‘wow that’s fabulous.’ We get hundreds of applications and we leave our computers on 24/7. You might not know us in Indiana, Ohio or Kentucky yet, but in the Ukraine they sure do… and The Times of London had a blurb. Straight people hear and tell gay friends, and they tell them ‘you want a boyfriend, then you better sign up there!’”
Hankoff told The Word that the concept has been on the coasts for some time, but recently signed their first Midwest millionaire—a Fort Wayne, Indiana, man she discretely declined to identify by name or by profession. “We are on both coasts, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Florida and Boston, actually. This is our first time in the Midwest. He found us, I believe, in Instinct Magazine.” But finding the Gay Millionaire Club isn’t the end of things. The application process for millionaires, as well as the guys who’d like to date one, is a long process.
“After he (the Midwest client) contacted us, we proceeded with our standard intake. We talk with everybody on the phone first; they undergo an application process, asking things like what is your history, aside from their financial aspects, etc. Once we get past that, we talk about their relationship history, what they are looking for or maybe not, because we are not for everybody. We sit down with them (and have a meeting), which means they have to hop on a plane and come see us in LA, which takes a commitment. It’s a fairly lengthy meeting. We tell them we are going to sit down and talk. If it feels good for you and us, then we will come up with a program, otherwise we will shake hands and say thank you for coming and have a nice flight back.”
Asked if any of the millionaires failed to make the cut, Hankoff said, “Yes, we have turned some down. If they were unreasonable, or if what they were looking for was inflexible and beyond the scope of what we can find. For the most part on the phone we can usually tell…we’ve had less than a handful of guys who actually got here who we weren’t interested in having as clients,” she added.
Asked about what it costs to be a husband-seeking millionaire, Hankoff was equally discreet but she did give a few hints, noting, “Since we are conducting either a local or nationwide search, the fee does vary greatly….what are they looking for, any advertising, do we have to travel? There’s no real way to say it’s going to be this or that. The most we work with at any given time is about two dozen clients. We interview a lot of people (potential dates) and most of our time is spent marketing, processing and meeting applicants (who want to meet our clients).”
That query obviously led to one about the richest of the gay men Hankoff has been asked to help. “The richest was a man who made $10 million a year. That was unfathomable for me to wrap my brain around. Our second client made about $2 million a year and I thought wow, can you imagine, that’s a lot. It’s all relative, though.”
So what does Gay Millionaires Club do to bring romance to their clients? “We ask them everything they have done, in other words, what’s your m.o.? We ask everybody because it helps us in our marketing. It’s not so much that they really have failed—it’s about marketing and exposure. Anybody, millionaires or not, can meet people. The difference is I’m going to help my client separate the wheat from the chaff so he won’t have to go to a bar, browse the internet, etc. It’s a time-saving process. Nobody wants to waste their time doing this…it’s not fun.
“The same thing is true of the applicants who want to meet the clients—because a lot of them are not looking for a rich sugar daddy. They want an equal academically or financially. If you place yourself in the registry, you know the people who you are going to meet are going to be in an elevated status. “We don’t just throw them against the wall and see if it sticks…we like to present applicants who we think will be a fit. Clients pay us to help them, and be objective. You don’t have to have a home run on the first date. We take care of all the details; arrange everything, because we want everybody to make a good first impression.”
So does it work? “On several occasions it has on the first date. For the ones where it seems to work well, I really get excited and I call up the client and say ‘I’m not even sending you the profile, you are just going, honey.’ But you can’t look for that all the time. It’s a process. It’s not just looking at a picture, looking at a profile. When I introduce somebody, it’s because I’ve met them. This is the old-fashioned way, not by computers. We are trained to look for the things we know our clients are looking for,” Hankoff added.
Asked about the idea of placing rich men only, the owner laughs and tells us, “The question does come up—are we an escort service, but we are not. We are looking for relationship-minded men who want a life partner. Sex they can get a lot easier and cheaper. Also, not all the applicants coming to us are gold diggers. Our clients want the character… the discipline… be smart, have a personality. There are a lot of other qualities attached, which a lot of people do not think of.”
So that brought up our final question: does Gay Millionaires ever fail? “Yes, we have failed on occasion. For us, though, the client defines success or failure. For some clients it’s just getting out there, dating. They spend so much time with their portfolios, they never work on their social lives, so failure is subjective,” Hankoff concluded. If you want to try a date with a real millionaire, check out the firm’s website at www.gaymillionairesclub.com, but be warned—the screening process is brutal and the questions are, as they should be, pretty personal. No gold diggers need apply! By Ted Fleischaker
Reprinted by the courtesy of the Publisher of The Word: Indiana, Illinois, Ohio & Kentucky ©2004