Ryan Serhant discusses reality television, staying fit and a sales tip

Ryan Serhant on Bravo TV
Ryan Serhant on Bravo TV
Million Dollar Listing New York co-star Ryan Serhant returns to the series

Ryan Serhant has become a cornerstone of the Bravo TV universe. He returns for another season of Million Dollar Listing New York on Bravo,. Check listings. Serhant now has a wife, an expanding portfolio and even his own spin off (Sell It Like Servant). I caught up with Ryan as the new season kicked off to talk about what he has learned in five years on reality television, what it’s like welcoming new blood to #MDLNY and the ultimate sales tip he has to offer.

Michael Cook: You’re back for another season of Million Dollar Listing New York as one of the founding cast members of this show. How does it feel to be back again? 

Ryan Serhant: There is definitely a lot different this year. For me, the show started following me in 2011 and I was 25, or 26 years old. Now, I was just ranked the number one broker in all of New York and the show has really followed that trajectory, which is a lot of fun. That being said, being at the top is not always easy. And is actually a lot harder. You are consistently trying to do better and better, and it’s a tough market. You will see a lot of that this season.

"Million Dollar Listing: New York" on Bravo TV
“Million Dollar Listing: New York” on Bravo TV

By far, this is the craziest roller coaster season that we have done. I know based on what we have filmed, we are getting fired all over the place. Deals are falling apart, people are unrealistic and making demands that are just as unrealistic. The market has been insane; one day it’s a buyers market and the next day it’s a sellers market. It’s gonna be fun and super stressful to watch.

There are pluses and minuses each year

Last year you guys added Steve Gold to the mix, but that also meant you lost Luis Ortiz as a cast member. Luis was notoriously a cast member who got into the mix with you guys and had big personality, so what it is like having someone like Steve who is a little more laid back and subdued? Does it make you miss Luis a little bit? 

RS: You know, there are going to be both plusses and minuses right? I think Steve is great and awesome on the show. He is a cool broker and brings a totally different vibe and mix to the show. At the same time, we can only have him because Luis left. Luis has his own crazy personality, is a lot of fun and people really loved him. He had a really interesting story that was very different from both mine and Fredrik’s. We all stay in touch though. I think he is in Bali right now; I think he is the genius right now. He travels the world with Jack Dorsey right now, the kid’s got it made. Life could be a lot worse!

You also did something very interesting, where you took your experiences on the show and spun it off into your own spin-off, Sell It Like Serhant where you worked with business owners to enhance their own business skills. It’s similar to how Tabatha Coffey did with Tabatha Takes Over. As with Tabatha’s show, Sell It Like Serhant definitely had a great deal of heart, wouldn’t you say?

"Million Dollar Listing: New York" on Bravo TV
“Million Dollar Listing: New York” on Bravo TV

RS: I totally agree, everyone has said that to me. We went into it with the intention of making a business show. There are a lot of business shows out there now. There is Shark Tank, The Prophet and Bar Rescue but they are focused on the company, and then the people involved. What makes those companies tick at the end of the day are the salespeople. No company exists without a sales force. Even the CEO’s of the company have to be salespeople for the business as a whole. Knowing how to sell is a talent. It’s not something you are born with. We thought it would be fun to help people that are terrible at it learn how to sell whatever their product is. We never expected the personal stories to come out the way that they did. I was literally floored every single episode.

Was there one piece of advice that you kept seeing yourself give people consistently over and over? 

RS: Yes. A watched pot never boils. Meaning that the best sales people are usually the best people people. The biggest issue that people have is they walk into the store and put on their “salesperson hat.” And then try to sell to every single person that comes in. We saw that the most successful salespeople are that the ones that focus on the person first and the sale after.

Between juggling both your professional and personal responsibilities, how you do manage to find time to keep yourselves in such great physical shape? 

Ryan Serhant
Ryan Serhant

RS: It’s New York. The energy between all the concrete, the energy in the city, the competition, it really does fuel you. It changes you. And it makes you a product of a very competitive environment. Working out very early in the morning is what works for me. I am in the gym at five thirty am next to Hugh Jackman, Ryan Seacrest, and the CEO of the stock exchange, along with a bunch of other people. It is an awesome atmosphere to be a part of that we all are working towards this common goal. And we all are also working towards something different. It wakes me up. The gym in the morning is my coffee and gets me rolling for the day.

You and your co-stars have slowly become must see television for the LGBT community, specifically the boys. Have you started to see your fan base change? 

RS: You know, I have heard that. There are many people on the street that I have met that are definitely excited. It’s a lot of women, it’s a lot of gay men, and it’s also a lot of guys who come up to me and are excited and ask for a photo for their mother or their girlfriend. Their hand slowly makes its way down the small of my back (laughs). Hey it’s all good I just want them to watch the show and enjoy it.

Speaking of, it’s Pride month! What makes you the most proud daily? 

RS: Honestly, I have a very large team. I am watching my team grow and watching the individual agents in my team. Some I met when they did not have any money, or come from totally different experiences. Seeing them now closing huge deals and buying their own apartments, living the life that they wanted to live by working their ass off, me having a role in that is really cool. If you had asked me that question two years ago, I would not have known that that answer would have existed for me; I would have probably answered with something about myself. Watching myself grow, become successful and learn from me in this crazy business, that is what I am most proud of.