He consistently ranks as one of the city’s top brokers and, in less than five years, had sold nearly $1 billion in real estate.
As Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Nest Seekers International, he manages a large team of real estate professionals located in New York and Los Angeles.
And then, of course, there’s Million Dollar Listing New York on Bravo. Serhant has starred in the Emmy-nominated show since its premier in 2012 and the show is currently in its fourth season.
BuzzBuzzHome had the chance to chat with Serhant about the big new development clients he’s working with, his craziest encounter with a fan and what it takes for rookie brokers to reach his level in real estate.
BuzzBuzzHome: What inspired you to become a broker? Could you imagine yourself with any other career?
Ryan Serhant: One of my good friends in college was a real estate broker and told me I should get into it, so I did. Before real estate, I was pursuing an acting career. I love both, but real estate is now in my blood and I will do this forever.
BBH: What are the major differences between working with a developer as a client versus an individual owner?
RS: You’re dealing between the differences of someone who may have a $2 million apartment on the line or someone who may have a $500 million development on the line. You’re not just dealing with someone’s home, you’re dealing with someone’s entire business.
BBH: Can you tell us more about the new developments you represent right now? Who are you most excited to be working with?
RS: A lot of different people. We’re about to launch The New York Bow Building at 242 Fifth Avenue, which is a project we have been working on for awhile and are very excited about. We are wrapping up sales on The Justin at 225 East 81st Street as well as SevenEastVillage at 277 East 7th Street. All three of these are massive successes and all three I took over from other brokerages. We also have another large upcoming development in Greenpoint that I will be releasing information on shortly.
BBH: What was the hardest sell you ever had to make? What’s the most important thing you learned from it?
RS: I would say when we recently closed a townhouse for $14M. It was a very difficult deal and we signed contracts as I sat with the Seller in the apartment after 4 glasses of red wine at 2am and I learned: 1. Persistence is key. 2. Your Seller is your boss.
BBH: Okay, okay. We tried not to, but obviously we have to ask something about Million Dollar Listing New York. What is your relationship really like with Fredrik? It can’t be as bad as it looks.
RS: The show is a true depiction of real life. The drama is enhanced because the timeline is shortened, so an episode that is 44 minutes on TV could take us eight months to film.
BBH: MDLNY is such a huge success and you must have a ton of fans watching the show. What’s been your craziest encounter with a fan in real life?
RS: I recently did a guest star spot on Mysteries of Laura and I’m always surprised to hear people watch our show, but when Debra Messing came up to me and said “Oh My God! I love you on Million Dollar Listing New York.” that was the craziest.
BBH: What advice do you have for rookie brokers? How can they get to your level?
RS: Don’t take a single day off for three years.
BBH: Your days must always be packed. Do you ever have any downtime? How do you kick back and relax?
RS: I have BPM on satellite radio and, in between calls, I’ll tell Yuriy, my driver, to turn it up and I take a mini vacation.
BBH: We’re nearly halfway through the year, what is the most exciting thing, real estate or otherwise that you’re looking forward to in the second half of 2015?
RS: We’ve had a record breaking first two quarters and I’m looking forward to making those old news!
Catch Ryan on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York Wednesdays at 10/9c.