When the curtains pull back to reveal season eight of Million Dollar Listing New York, broker Ryan Serhant is seen looking sullen.
The show tracks the heyday of real estate in the luxury Manhattan market. Through the years, the brokers on the show have racked up significant wealth thanks to a fruitful multi-million dollar real estate market. But the brokers face a massive market downturn. “Today is gonna suck,” Serhant sighs as he watches a financial channel on television.
The brokers are shown looking stressed about the market as they lose one sale after another. And this is just during the opening sequence of the show.
The days of fast sales are over
Million Dollar Listing brokers were scoring one sale after the other in record time. But now, broker Fredrik Eklund obsessively checks his phone as broker Steve Gold and Serhant talk about lost sales.
“I’ve been sitting in this chair for about eight years,” Eklund says in a confessional interview. “And the markets been going up, up, up, up. And all of us real estate agents have been spoiled globally. Now, everything is so hard.”
Serhant adds, “This is no joke,” he says in a confessional interview. “Homes over $4 million have an average days on market of 450 days. It has never been that way.”
He finds a unique opportunity
Serhant ventures out to Brooklyn Heights to check out a new listing. The listing has been on and off the market for three years, he says. Upon arriving at the home, the first thing Serhant observes is the overwhelming amount of noise emitting from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway otherwise known as the BQE.
The 6200 square foot five-floor townhouse is immaculately decorated by professional interior designers who are also the developers. It boasts 41 windows and doors, a private parking spot, plus a view. But also the noise.
Serhant comments that the BQE is literally right outside the townhouse and the noise will never stop. “I’m not going to lie, you can hear it on every floor,” he tells the sellers. In 2016, the owners listed the home for $14 million. The sellers have invested $9 million, so they agree to list for $10 million, considering they are now in a down market.
Serhant uses his creative bone to generate buyers
How can you sell a multi-million dollar home overlooking the BQE? After hearing too many buyers complain about the noise, one way is to drop the price. Serhant’s sellers reluctantly agree to list for $9 million, but no lower.
Serhant brainstorms with his team to come up with a solution to the noise issue. The team says to add more noise to cover the BQE noise. One agent suggests bringing in a garage band to play during the broker’s open. But then someone says to add a marching band “Serhant’s marching band.” He says, “Sometimes to mask a negative is to just crowd it with more negatives. I’m going to fix the noise with more noise.”
So when brokers arrive at the property they are greeted by a full-scale marketing band and drumline. “I could have done an opener with cupcakes like in season two,” he says. “But [no] this is season eight, bitch.” So does the strategy work? Serhant asks one agent what he thinks of the noise. “What noise,” the agent replies.
Find out of Serhant sells the home on Million Dollar Listing New York, every Thursday at 8/9c on Bravo.
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