Ryan Serhant: Become a Real Estate Rockstar | E59
#59: Become a Real Estate Rockstar with Ryan Serhant
services to take your marketing to the next level check out /cart.videohusky.com/youngandprofiting and get 30% off your first month! Are you ready to become the ultimate sales machine and sell it like Serhant? This week on YAP, Hala chats with Ryan Serhant. Ryan started off his career as an actor, and when he couldn’t make ends meet he looked to real estate to pay his bills. As fate with have it, very early in his career Ryan auditioned for Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing and was selected amongst thousands to participate in the reality tv show, which went on to be super popular and propelled Ryan into stardom. Ryan took the opportunity to fully step into the role he played on the show and forced himself become the incredible real estate and sales guru he is today— selling over 1 billion dollars in real estate each year to date! Tune in to learn how learn Ryan’s key sales principles like the “balls up” approach and his “3Fs” approach: follow up, follow through and follow back.
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#59: Become a Real Estate Rockstar with Ryan Serhant
[00:00:00] Ryan Serhant: I'm a big believer in positive energy. That's why I said big money, energy. I think that the, there are two types of people in the world. There are the people who get into a car. And look out the window and see rain and clouds. And there are people that get into the car and look out a window and see sunshine.
[00:00:15] And even if it's raining, you get excited about the rain because it makes things grow. And I've always been one of those people, like life is just too short to be negative and to be upset, like you can have bad days. I definitely have bad days. I get stressed out. I get angry all the time. At the end of the day, those are fleeting, emotional moments that I have that are in response to certain things that are happening to me.
[00:00:35] But I am super pumped that I'm alive today. I don't have coronavirus. Everything's going to be okay.
[00:00:42] Hala Taha: You're listening to YAP, Young And Profiting Podcast, a place where you can listen, learn, and profit. Welcome to the show. I'm your host, Hala Taha and on Young And Profiting Podcast, we investigate a new topic each week and interview some of the brightest minds in the world.
[00:00:59] My [00:01:00] goal is to turn their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your everyday life. No matter your age, profession, or industry, there's no fluff on this podcast, and that's on purpose. I'm here to uncover value for my guests, people who are much smarter than me on their given topic, by doing the proper research and asking the right questions. Today, we're talking to Ryan Serhant.
[00:01:21] Ryan started off his career as an actor, and when he couldn't make ends meet, he looked to real estate to pay his bills as fate would have it. Very early in his career, Ryan auditioned for million dollar listing. And he was selected amongst thousands to participate in the reality TV show, which went on to be super popular and propelled Ryan
[00:01:40] and to start them. Ryan took the opportunity to fully step into the role he played on the show and forced himself to become the incredible real estate and sales guru he is today, selling over $1 billion in real estate each year to date. Hey, Ryan, welcome to Young And Profiting Podcast.
[00:01:58] Ryan Serhant: Thank you for having me.
[00:01:58] Hala Taha: I'm so happy you're [00:02:00] here. It's not often that I get to interview a fellow New Yorker. Yeah. So tell me, how did you decide to start living in New York and starting your family here in New York?
[00:02:11] Ryan Serhant: Oh man.
[00:02:12] Why New York city? I graduated college in Upstate New York. And I came here in 2006 with a little money saved up because I wanted to do theater and I had never been to the west coast really.
[00:02:23] So I didn't want to go to LA and New York seemed like the best place to do. And you got to an apartment with two of my roommates and we made a one bedroom into a three-bedroom on 66th and first and now I'm just still here..
[00:02:38] Hala Taha: Oh, so
[00:02:38] it's just by chance that you're here.
[00:02:39] Ryan Serhant: Yeah, no, listen, New York is, and I say this all the time.
[00:02:42] Like I owe my life to New York city. Yeah. I all my life to my mom. But second to my mom, I owe my life to New York city because without New York, I wouldn't have had all of the different opportunities that I had because I went from being like in the same city on the same exact block. I was passing out [00:03:00] flyers, hand modeling
[00:03:02] pants, doing a free piece of theater, and renting apartments at the same exact time and meeting really interesting intellectually curious people across the street. And you can do it all in New York City because it's a melting pot. Everybody is here and there's unlimited opportunity in this city.
[00:03:18] So I think New York, everyone.
[00:03:20] Hala Taha: Yeah, New York is amazing land of opportunity. I totally agree. You started off your career in New York City, like you mentioned, you were a real estate agent only because your acting didn't really work out right away. I knew that you got killed off of soap serious. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:03:38] And you started off as an actor and then you went into real estate in your twenties and essentially. You got this casting call for million dollar listing, or you found out about it and you ended up auditioning for them and you got the part amongst thousands of other people who tried out.
[00:03:53] So tell me about that point in your life. What was it like leading up to that point where you got that information about that [00:04:00] audition and how did you just take the plunge to go do it, even though you were just starting out, you really weren't an established real estate agent at that point, from my understand.
[00:04:09] Ryan Serhant: Oh,
[00:04:09] yeah, no way. It's funny, like right after you graduate you don't feel like you're an adult yet. It's like this extended summer job that just keeps going. And because I didn't go to grad school or go get a real job, I was just living off of savings, which for the past four years in college anyway, and I was making ends meet by doing odd jobs and doing the soap opera for 500 bucks, an episode type thing.
[00:04:32] And it never really felt oh wow, I'm grown up. I'm an adult. And now I'm in New York City and I have to pay bills and taxes and have my life like it all just slowly happens. But I put acting to the side because I just wasn't happy anymore. I try it the business of being an actor in New York City is brutal.
[00:04:48] On your mental wellbeing, it's just hard like in you. And I would see actors who are twice my age, in their forties and fifties and sixties who were still trying for their [00:05:00] big break. And they were still waiting tables or bartending the same way they did when they were 19 or 20. And it just, life goes on, and you get comfortable with that monthly budget you got and you get comfortable with that job.
[00:05:13] And then before, 20 or 30 years flashes by. And it was so terrified that was going to happen, that I said, you know what? I gotta make something happen. So I'm going to, they're going to go to law school, which I tried and totally bombed the L said, or I'll, a friend told me, get your real estate license.
[00:05:27] It's basically acting, you just have to turn it on with everybody. And you memorize information about buildings and apartments, and then just walk into apartments, talk about how awesome they are. And that's basically it. I was like, that sounds stupid. And so I got my real estate license. I was just doing rentals.
[00:05:44] And so I put acting to the side, even though I trained to do it my whole life. So it was kinda like, oh man failure. Now I'm a rental real estate agent in Korea town in New York City. Is this why I went to college? And then there was a casting call for millionaire listing that said they were looking for the best real estate agents [00:06:00] under the age of 35, come to an open call, basically the Hudson.
[00:06:04] The Hudson Hotel in Times Square. And I went with 3000 people and until I went to that audition, I basically was treating real estate, almost like my make ends meet business, like I want to be able to figure out how to pay rent and not be stressed about money all the time and make my own hours.
[00:06:21] And I was still, I was like in a limbo period, I guess I could say up until I got cast on the show. Yeah.
[00:06:26] Hala Taha: Set the stage in terms of how successful you are today. Let's talk in terms of numbers.
[00:06:32] Ryan Serhant: I don't know I worked 16 hours a day, seven days a week. I dunno if that's really successful or if that's terrible, because there's a big price to pay right with success.
[00:06:43] I would say that I sell about 2.7 to $2.8 million worth of homes every day.
[00:06:50] Hala Taha: Wow.
[00:06:50] Ryan Serhant: We do just about a billion dollars a year. And that's between residential homes and commercial sales. I lead a team of about 64 people. We [00:07:00] sell majority of our real estate in New York city, but we do a lot in the Hamptons, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Houston, and Los Angeles.
[00:07:08] And we do some stuff internationally, but it's super complicated. So I try to keep things based here.
[00:07:12] Hala Taha: That's amazing. Congratulations. So let's take it back to you. Your time, you just started on million dollar listing. You were an inexperienced real estate agent. How did you use acting to boost yourself confidence to make sure that you had the right skills as a real estate agent?
[00:07:29] How did you use your previous experiences to then become a professional real estate agent or sales person, as you like to say.
[00:07:36] Ryan Serhant: Big money, energy like that, but that's what I call it. I didn't have the experience, but I knew I had to be confident in a row. Even if I didn't feel confident, and that, that all comes down to the energy that you have. So like, when I went into that audition, I told them what they needed to hear and I wasn't uncomfortable. I wasn't nervous. I wasn't like, oh man, they're seeing right through me. I walked in there as if I was somebody who [00:08:00] was in audition.
[00:08:01] When you go and go to offer an audition. You're 22, but you're going to go audition to pay a millionaire real estate broker, or a an investment banker. You put on a nice tie and suit and you go in there and you read the lines and you're a confident investment banker. So I did the same thing.
[00:08:15] I wore my best suit and walked in there and said, I'm the greatest real estate agent that's ever lived. I am 25 years old. I don't know why you're still looking. They're like, wow, this guy's maybe too confidence. And it just went from there and then. Bravo and NBC universal.
[00:08:30] Basically it was like a metaphorical shotgun to the head where they said, you've got to sell real estate. Otherwise we are going to shame you to the entire world. Okay. At listings and everything, then we're going to put you on TV as a failure. And so that was, like fear is a real thing.
[00:08:49] So like the last thing I wanted to do. Be a loser real estate agent who couldn't sell anything. So I worked my ass off to sell all that stuff. That first season I lost 10 pounds from stress running [00:09:00] around the city cold calling and all that changed was the fear of shame. But w I sold a lot. And from then I've used that as like my wall, my fear of public failure is really what drives me.
[00:09:11] I guess
[00:09:12] Hala Taha: So something that's stuck to me when you were talking, is that essentially you had an affirmation, like I'm the best real estate sales person, so how important is the law of attraction to you in terms of your success and ensuring that you hit your goals.
[00:09:25] Ryan Serhant: I'm a big believer in positive energy. That's why I said big money, energy.
[00:09:29] I think that there are two types of people in the world. There are the people who get into a car and look out the window and see rain and clouds. And there are people that get into the car and look out a window and see sunshine. And even if it's raining, you get excited about the rain because it makes things.
[00:09:44] And I've always been one of those people, like life is just too short to be negative and to be upset, like you can have bad days. I definitely have bad days. I get stressed out. I get angry all the time, but at the end of the day, those are feelings, eating, emotional moments that I have that are in response to certain things that are [00:10:00] happening to me.
[00:10:00] But I am super pumped that I'm alive today. I don't have Corona virus. Everything's going to be okay. Like life is gonna go on. And we, I live in New York city. I sell $20 million homes for a living. Like what? Like I don't, I'm not a roofer. I'm not working on the ranch now.
[00:10:16] I'm not in a, I'm not in a country where my rights get taken away from me. Life is great life. I put out that positive energy as much as possible and selling is the transfer of enthusiasm, right? Like I don't sell homes ever. I don't think I've ever actually sold a home. I think the homes that I sell are the skeleton around the excitement that I transferred to people.
[00:10:38] So my enthusiasm for a home is really what I'm selling, because you're going to buy a house anyway, like you're looking for a house. And so I'm going to show you homes. If you're on the buyer side with me, that I think are great. And this one that you liked. I like it too. This is awesome.
[00:10:52] Let's imagine you living here and your kids, baby footsteps are going to be here and your dinner parties and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And let's talk about the deal and you're gonna get a great [00:11:00] deal. That's excitement and you get excited about that. And that's when people open up their wallet. It is very hard for me to negotiate with someone's wallet, but I can negotiate with people's feelings.
[00:11:10] Hala Taha: No, I love that. So selling your enthusiasm.
[00:11:13] Ryan Serhant: Sales is the transfer of enthusiasm. That is all.
[00:11:15] Hala Taha: It is very cool. So let's talk about your work ethic. Previously, you said you worked 16 hour days. I think you wake up at 4:50 AM you go to sleep at 11:00 PM? Something like that, or you keep working until 11:00 PM. If I remember correctly, where did you get your work ethic from?
[00:11:31] Because I read that you didn't really grow up poor or anything like that. You were upper middle class. And oftentimes I was the same thing. Like people think that you don't have a strong work ethic if you didn't grow up poor. So tell me, where did you get your work ethic from?
[00:11:46] Ryan Serhant: For sure. He made me do me and my little brother.
[00:11:49] We had to do manual labor jobs since the day. I can remember if we wanted anything we had to pay for it ourselves. There was no allowance. My first video camera I had to save for on my own and [00:12:00] literally. What he would say is you can make money doing anything, just figure it out.
[00:12:04] And so I would do like the smallest things, like he paid me to pick up sticks, break, we outside Boston. There's a lot of trees. And, instead of getting, hiring a yard guy to come and rake up the yard and rake up all the sticks and branches, I would do that and pick it all up and he pay me per stick.
[00:12:20] And I just knew, I was like, wow. Endless stick like I can pick up all these sticks and my dad will pay me and I can't remember what it was. It was like, I dunno, 10 cents a stick or something, but it added up, you pick up enough sticks. You can make a, you can make some real money. And that's the same idea that I have now.
[00:12:35] I look at people like sticks. Like when I go out into New York city and I see millions of people on the street man, if I just picked up 10 of those, my dad will pay me except now it's not my dad. And he was always. I don't do. I don't like he made me write an essay on the power of not being lazy when I was 10 years old.
[00:12:53] Like he really drilled into me the power of hard work because he, my dad had his first baby when he was 18 years old, his mom died [00:13:00] when he was 13. His dad died. Sorry. His his brother died when he was 21. He raised his family basically on his own, put himself through college. Figured out finance got himself, a job, put himself through everything.
[00:13:12] And if he could do that, like I, anything is possible. I totally have it easy. Yeah.
[00:13:18] Hala Taha: Yeah. Hard work is literally a talent. I think so kudos to you.
[00:13:22] So there's a very popular saying that reminds me of you. That showing up is half the battle. Can you talk to us about the lessons you've learned in terms of showing up and how that's helped you become so success?
[00:13:34] Ryan Serhant: Yeah, you can't do anything if you're not there. I tell that to my team members all the time, my agents who come to me and they're like I need more business. I'm like, I haven't seen you in two days. What have you been doing? All I've been busy, what have you been busy with? And I like will really drill into it.
[00:13:47] Then people get embarrassed and nervous because they haven't actually been busy. Showing up is showing up as seventy-five percent of the battle. The other 20% is lock. And the other 5% is. [00:14:00] You've gotta be there. You gotta be in the room. You gotta be part of the conversation. Yeah. Put yourself out there.
[00:14:05] People have to see your face, hear your voice, shake your hand. That's what the world is all about. The deals that I do today are based on relationships that I started by being in the room 10 years ago. And the room that I'm in today will hopefully open up doors for me 10 years from. When I'm 45, I'll look back to 2020 and say thank God.
[00:14:27] I actually went to work that day. I went to a meeting yesterday as an example, and I didn't really want to go to it. So I was like, why am I going to this meeting? It's like for some tech thing platform. And they asked me to come. And so a couple people on my media team were like, Hey, let's go. And I was like, God, I got so much other stuff to do.
[00:14:43] I just want to like clean email. And I got to make all these calls, but I went at the end of the meeting. I was like, Holy shit. Take back. Not wanting to go because I met three other people there. I got connected to two other people that are looking to buy apartments. The CEO is actually somebody that I definitely should know.
[00:14:59] I just didn't [00:15:00] pay attention to it, and I feel like people pass those opportunities by all the time. Cause they're like either why should I go and waste my time? Or I don't know. It's not for me or, oh, it's not gonna work out. So I put myself in as many things. Positions to have opportunities as possible because you've never, ever know.
[00:15:15] You never know.
[00:15:16] Hala Taha: That reminds me of something that you talk about often, and it's some of your sales advice to have as many balls in the air as possible, but you actually have a lot of rules when it comes to these balls and the ball throwing. So could you just share this analogy with our listeners.
[00:15:30] Ryan Serhant: You did the book sell it like Sarah Hunt was initially called Balls Up.
[00:15:33] I sold it as a, to the publisher as Balls Up. And then once they bought it and we were writing it, they came to me and were like, listen, we need to talk. I don't think these are the times when we're going to put a book on the shelves that says balls up. But the idea is it's like my game theory for sales, instead of spending all of your time on trying to do one deal. Sales is all about having a pipeline. It's a volume business. I'm selling things right now. And I'm sitting here at this table with you because I figured out how to leverage myself and how to continue to sell [00:16:00] things. And I sell lots of different things now, but you want to have as many balls in the air as you possibly can, and then figure out a system and an actual system, right?
[00:16:07] A system for follow-up assisted stem for discipline, a system for your daily routine that enables you to catch as many of those balls as possible. That way. when balls fall, which is like a deal dying or you don't get that job or that interview doesn't happen. It's okay. Because you have 16 others in the works.
[00:16:25] And if you do that, then you're always driven by people, positive momentum, and then you're living in the river, right? I grew up outside Boston, there were running rivers that are great. And then there are these stagnant ponds that are gross and smelly and have like dead things in them. That's what you are.
[00:16:41] If you don't have things in the fire. And if you're not in constant motion and yeah, so that's how it works and there's a whole system.
[00:16:48] Hala Taha: How do you ensure that you always have a stream of opportunities? What do you do?
[00:16:53] Ryan Serhant: Five new people. Every single day, at least minimum. That is my job. I am not a real estate broker.
[00:16:58] I don't sell homes. [00:17:00] My main job, when I think about it, what's my job today is to meet five new people, get their contact information, put it into my phone. Yeah. Those five people will then get my newsletters. I will follow them on social or they'll follow me. We will follow up with each other. We'll see how we can make different opportunities together for each other because the world is short and small and we'll see what happens.
[00:17:21] You never know. And five times 365 times the last 12 years, there's a lot of people and I'm not going anywhere. And so those people and oftentimes it's more people, but if I haven't hit five, because I've been stuck in the office all day or something, I will literally like go to the Deli and just meet two new people or go to Starbucks.
[00:17:40] And I will literally tell people, Hey, I'm a real estate broker. I have a personal quota that I got to meet five new people every day. I've only met four. Can you be my number five and people, when you say, when you're dead honest with people. Sure. I guess weird. Why do you do that? Opens up a conversation.
[00:17:56] And now you're talking to somebody about your work ethic and this, and you're like, oh, actually my son is doing a [00:18:00] blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:18:00] Hala Taha: Do people recognize you now when you go up to them?
[00:18:03] Ryan Serhant: Now it's lightly easier, but no, not all the time. Sometimes halfway through a conversation, people will be like, you look familiar and I'm like, yeah, maybe people don't, they've seen million dollar listing maybe on like a jet blue flight five years ago.
[00:18:15] They're like, you look. That guy from that real estate show, but you also look a little bit like Tom Brady, but not really. I don't know. Did we date, but no, we definitely did not date, dude.
[00:18:26] Hala Taha: That's funny. At least you still are like approachable enough and you can still approach people randomly on the street.
[00:18:32] So from what I remember, you actually were a very shy child, right? With a little awkwardness social anxiety, a little overweight. I have some younger listeners who listened to the podcast. What's your advice in terms of getting out of your shell and becoming the confident person that you are today?
[00:18:49] Like you're super confident now. How did you change that?
[00:18:52] Ryan Serhant: Yeah. Big money, energy. I'm a big believer, like I said, in the power of positive energy and like a vision board. So [00:19:00] who do you want be. What does that image of even, maybe it's somebody, maybe it's that cool kid in school, or maybe it's an actor or someone on YouTube, like print out that person's face and put it a buyer bed or in your journal or in your locker, or in your car.
[00:19:15] And just imagine you can be that person or it can be even better than that person. Position yourself out there just that way and know that no one cares about the way you feel and if you are uncomfortable. And so for me, like I was overweight. I had really bad skin. I had premature gray hair from when I was 16 years old and I was super pale to combat the gray hair because I was really embarrassed about it.
[00:19:38] I would diet and then dark brown hair dye from the pharmacy is actually black. So I'd be like super white with really jet black hair, riddled with acne. And, with my little belly running around. What I realized later on is all the things that I was nervous about. No one was else was paying attention to because all they were caring about was I paying [00:20:00] attention to their crooked teeth.
[00:20:01] I'm nervous that they were paying attention to my skin, but they're concerned that I'm paying attention to their really bad haircut that they got yesterday. And to me, I just met you, your hair looks great. I don't understand it. It's remembering that no one cares and what's the worst that can happen.
[00:20:14] Something. My dad told me that really. Opened me up when I was growing up, because I was too nervous to ask out girls or anything. He's are you afraid that any of these girls are going to punch you in the nose? I was like, I don't think so. He's okay. That's probably the worst thing that can happen is someone punches you in the face cause that'll physically hurt or try to harm you.
[00:20:34] Are you afraid any of these girls carry knives? No. It's like north shore Boston. None of these girls carry knives. He's okay. What's your problem. Just ask and what are they going to say now, at least, and then move on. There's lots of other people and that's what the sales businesses for me today.
[00:20:47] Like I ask everybody, can I sell you a home? No. Okay, great. I'll keep you posted. Next, like it's what's the, what is like there's the worst thing someone can do is punch you in the face. Or send you [00:21:00] to jail, right? Those or kill you. Like those are the three terrible things that could happen to you.
[00:21:05] Everything else doesn't matter. No one cares. Like you carry yourself with the confidence of the person, you can be it's inside you, you have it already. Pull it out there and people are going to be excited about it. Put a smile on your face, sell enthusiasm for who you are and people will be attracted to it.
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[00:22:05] That's cart.videohusky.com/youngandprofiting. I'll stick the link in our show notes. Okay, so let's move on to your sales methodologies. You wrote a whole book on sales. You mentioned before sell it likes or haunt, and you currently run one of the top sales teams in New York and in the nation Nest Seekers, tell us how do you effectively run that sales teams?
[00:22:27] Like what are your general principles to be so successful?
[00:22:31] Ryan Serhant: No man, just cry all day long. Managing people is really hard. What I would say is I don't even know exact system. My best system is I talked to every single person who works for me every day. That's the simplest piece of advice that I could give.
[00:22:46] And it's not on the phone. Some of them it's on the phone. Some of it's by text. Some of it's just by social, like an agent of mine posts to listening, a double type at comment, they need to hear from me as a leader. Everyday where leaders make mistakes [00:23:00] is they don't touch base. Like you have to think about everyone who works with you in some way, shape or form, or any regular relationship.
[00:23:06] Imagine if I went home and saw my wife every day, but didn't talk to her because I was just too busy. It didn't say anything. But deep down, I love her, but she would know something's up. Something's weird. How come he's not talking to me? Same thing goes for your employees. It's a little bit different, but it is actually the same.
[00:23:23] And it's easy, even just sending an email like that says you in the subject line and in the body of the email says are awesome. Hope you have a great. Yeah, people appreciate that. It's and then you're you're good for the week with that person. And they can touch base the next day, little things, little comments, like it goes a long way.
[00:23:40] And then on top of that I have great people who work for me that manage that helped me manage problems and issues, at the end of the day, like your issues as a leader and as a manager are never. Dealing with good things. No one ever comes to me with good problems, right? If someone comes to me, it's because they couldn't figure it out on their own and it's typically something bad.
[00:23:57] So most of my day is managing. [00:24:00] 60 plus agents and all of their bad issues. And figuring out how to deal with it and keeping them calm and staying calm yourself and trying to manage, and then trying to quarterback as much as I possibly can.
[00:24:10] Hala Taha: That's great advice. I think being a manager, like you said, is all about showing your appreciation and enthusiasm towards them and ensuring that they're feeling great to do their job and feeling appreciated.
[00:24:21] Ryan Serhant: And knowing too, and not to cut you off.
[00:24:23] Sorry, but knowing too that it is like you're all in it. Listen, if you're the boss, or you're a manager, even if you have just one person underneath you, they know that you're there. Like you don't have to remind them, like they get it right. They know they work for you. They understand what the pecking order is.
[00:24:38] It's up to you to remind them that they work with you. Not for you, no one who's ever worked for me has done a great job because who wants to work for anybody. Especially in sales. Yeah. They want to be part of the team. They want to be part of the process that, you know, everything that everyone underneath you does.
[00:24:54] For you, you make them feel like they're doing it with you and it's together. It will work ten [00:25:00] times completely.
[00:25:01] Hala Taha: I know you have a lot of stories. You have a story that really showcases the value of saying yes with Mr. X, essentially, you. Followed this mystery man to Paris to land one of your first and biggest deals.
[00:25:19] Would you share that story with our listeners?
[00:25:21] Ryan Serhant: How much time do we have? I'll try to make it as, as succinct as possible. Like one of my first listings I ever got was really overpriced. There was a listing on the upper west side 45 west 67th street. No. Agent would take it because it was overpriced.
[00:25:36] So that's probably why I got it. I always worked like $6 million and I listed it for eight and a half. So nice and high. But that's how a lot of agents get business in New York city. You're the one who talks to a seller and you're like, yeah, all those other agents are stupid eight and a half for sure.
[00:25:49] Let's do it. And if you have no listings, like I did at the time, that's what I did. And then you put the listing online, you put it on the internet, you put it out there to the world. And our company has always been really good at marketing [00:26:00] internationally. So people could see listings all over the world.
[00:26:02] And I got an email from somebody that said they wanted to buy that apart. And where could they send the money? I was like, oh, this seems weird and scammy, but I had no other business at the time. I didn't know what to do. So I wrote back a well, that's not really how we do it here, but happy to talk to you, if you want to make an offer and he called me
[00:26:20] I talked to him on the phone. So we had a real voice. Who's sounded real. He said he wanted to make an offer and he can't remember, but he made an offer of like $8 million. And I had no idea who he was or where he was from. He definitely was not from the United States. He said he was gonna send me a proof of funds, which showed up the next day as a DHL piece of paper with a photo of his accountant on it.
[00:26:41] That just said, Mr. I call him Mr. X, cause I can't give out his name, but Mr. X does not commit to things that Mr. X will not commit to. And I was like, eh, all right, good enough for me. Sure. I have an $8 million offer and I presented it to the seller. And, as a real estate agent, you have a fiduciary responsibility to vet all your clients and make [00:27:00] sure you're presenting real offers and.
[00:27:02] Kind of went out on a little bit of a limb and did the seller was like is this a real buyer? I'm like, yup. Yup. How do you know? They sent me a proof of funds, all checks out all is good. $8 million we should counter. So we countered, we got the deal done at 8.3 and I connected him to an Attorney at the whole while being like, this is the weirdest thing ever, some random dude on the internet.
[00:27:19] This other country just contacted me because he wanted access to my bank account to send me a million dollars. And now maybe he's going to buy an apartment. This is what New York is all about. And he signed a contract and then disappeared. And I had no idea what happened until. Everyone got really upset and really angry.
[00:27:37] And what happened to this guy? Where's the money. There's no deposit. And people kept telling me, listen, this is what people do. They take contracts out for properties in New York city, they signed contracts and then they go and they scam people out of money. So they go to people in different countries, all around the world and they say, listen, I got a $10 million apartment in New York city.
[00:27:53] I have a contract for 8.3 million, give me $10,000. Come in on it with me. We're going to make tons of money. And they do that to like a [00:28:00] hundred people. Oh, wow. And they make a lot of money that way and fast forward I don't know, four or five months or so I'm on the west side highway and his attorney that I introduced him to calls me and says, you're not going to believe this, but I just got a wire for $830,000.
[00:28:14] You are officially in contract on 45 west 67th street. I was like, holy moly. We're in contract. And the biggest deal of my entire life is insane. I called the seller. They couldn't believe it. They thought this guy had totally just disappeared and then he disappeared again. So we had no idea what was going on, sign a contract and then sent money and then disappeared.
[00:28:35] And so then we couldn't close. We didn't know what to do. And in New York city, you have to sign applications. You have to do board packages, to fill out applications, to get approved by the condo board and all that. But you literally wouldn't respond and months go by and I'm trying to figure out how to stay on top of them, how to follow up.
[00:28:49] And I tend them a BBM back in the day when we all had blackberries, it said something like, Hey, I know you mentioned you have a home in Paris. I'm actually going to be there tomorrow. If you want [00:29:00] to meet and go through the application and schedule a closing date, not thinking you to reply, but just like just trying to find ways, anything just dude, please respond.
[00:29:08] I'm like, you're my biggest deal ever. I need this closing. Why please don't. Con artists who's stealing money from everybody. And he wrote back right away. He's okay, that sounds good. Tomorrow 8:00 PM. And gave me an address. I was like, oh shit, I'm not in Paris. I'm in New York city. I have no plans to go to Paris whatsoever and I have no money to get there.
[00:29:25] So I scraped together. Savings and figured out how to get to Paris. Literally in 18 hours notice by flying, what was it like Aer Lingus to Dublin and then Ryanair. I think it was from Dublin to Paris and I went to the location and he told me to go to, which was a bar. And then he didn't show up. For hours and hours, and like crying into my bag yet.
[00:29:49] And I didn't know what to do cause I was leaving in the morning. And then he walked in the door with an entourage of people that was just totally crazy. And he didn't want to talk about the apartments, but so that at least I knew he was real, but he was a bit [00:30:00] scary and all of his friends were very scary people and he didn't want to talk about the department.
[00:30:03] He was like yeah. He just wanted to see me drink. Shot after shot of tequila. And I'm like texting my mom on the side. I'm like, I'm sorry. I didn't tell you. I went to Paris to meet a mystery, man. I met on the internet. He's now going to be drunk. I'm going to be sold into slavery or I'm going to be killed.
[00:30:20] On. And eventually I got them to like, look at the application and you like scribbled some stuff down. And then he left. Somehow I got to the airport that whole evening it's a total blur, came back, submitted the application, the board didn't want to accept it because it was like half done but they had no choice because in a condo you have to, you just have the first right of refusal.
[00:30:39] So the condo board then either had to buy the apartment from the sellers or accept it. But then he disappeared again and we couldn't find them until one day. And this is the end of the story. One day early in the morning, he calls me and says like a year after that first email and call and says to me, I'm in New York.
[00:30:55] I want to close. That's not how it happens here, but okay, sure. No problem. Call [00:31:00] all the Attorneys got everyone together and said, he see her, I'm sorry, this is do this. And this was 2000. I want to say 2011. I want to say so the market was, or 2010 was awful. We were in the middle of the recession. So it's not like anyone else was buying this apartment today.
[00:31:15] It would be a little bit different. He said he's at the Mandarin Oriental on Central Park. I ran up there waiting. Never came down, waited for hours. Again, all the Attorneys there. Totally think that this whole thing is still a scam. I'm like, no, you don't understand. I met him. I met him. I met him.
[00:31:30] Finally he comes down with a whole entourage of people, a fleet of black, like Bulletproof tinted Escalades, like flies, like literally out of a Michael Bay movie out in front of the Mandarin Oriental. He said, sorry, I'm late. Let's get in. We get it. 67th street department we're buying is right over here.
[00:31:47] Do you want to go check on it in the United States? We do. Walk-throughs maybe a punch list. Let's get to closing. He's no. We go to JFK. So I started texting my mom again and I'm like, I'm an idiot again. Now I'm with that same mystery man in [00:32:00] one of his cars heading to JFK. We go to the back of JFK where I've never even been before.
[00:32:05] And there's this massive airplane. I don't know what it was like a 7 37 or something. He gets out science papers buys. It gets back in the car, says, now we go close, goes to the closing, pays in cash, gets a photo of me and him for his BBM. And turns out that he makes like a billion dollars a month.
[00:32:24] And he can he's in the energy business. I'll leave it at that. And he was drunk one night. Somewhere in the world and thought it would be fun to buy an apartment in New York city. Cause one of his friends had and found the pretty photos and saw my picture and sent me an email and then called me.
[00:32:41] And then he wasn't really taking it seriously until I followed up with him over and over. And he felt bad for me. And so he bought it since then. He has, we've done like 300 million together. Every deal is painful, it's all awful, but he's very real and it's worth it every time. But that deal taught me the power of [00:33:00] follow up, the car follow up and the power of valuable persistence, because I'd never harassed him.
[00:33:04] Like it wasn't an unknown, I wasn't annoying. I was always just checking in, sending him information. Hey, this thing closed over here, you're getting a great deal. Hey, this is what's happening. This is what happening. And he also said later on and he's and I knew, yeah, You didn't have plans to come to Paris, but you actually, I cannot believe you actually did that.
[00:33:21] I was so surprised when you said you were there myths. That's why I bought that apart.
[00:33:24] Hala Taha: That's amazing. And so many other people would have initially just ignored the email.
[00:33:28] Ryan Serhant: Today. I would probably ignore it. Yeah.
[00:33:32] Hala Taha: Yeah. You had nothing to lose and you just, he just decided to say yes and that's super important.
[00:33:37] So let's stick on, follow up. I know that there's three different kinds of follow up, follow back, follow through and follow up. Could you explain that to our listeners?
[00:33:45] Ryan Serhant: Yeah, it is basically like my secret sauce, because when I came to New York city, I didn't know anybody. I'm not from here. I grew up outside Boston, so I knew some people there, but like my parents aren't helping me.
[00:33:56] I didn't go to school here and have all my school friends. I knew like [00:34:00] Midtown, I knew where all the hand modeling castings were. That was it. So I had to meet new people every day. Like I told you. And then I had to follow up with them to one day, get their business. And that's what the system is.
[00:34:12] So it's called up, follow through, follow back. It's my three F's and I do it every single day. And it's in my calendar in the morning. First thing I follow up with everybody from either yesterday or the week or everybody that I need to follow up with. Hey, you said you were going to do this. Hey, this is happening.
[00:34:26] Hey, just wanted to touch base. Hey, here's this listing, whatever it might be follow through is doing what you say. You're good. If I tell someone I'm going to send them something by noon, you actually do it. Something, my dad taught me really well. Like you only as good as your word. And if you say you're going to do something and you don't do it, you are forever banned in people's minds.
[00:34:43] If you say you're gonna be there on time, be there on time. If you say you're going to be late, then. Just be honest, be upfront and follow through with what you say you're gonna do. And then follow back, which is really important is every day I follow back with past clients, I sold things to 10 years ago.
[00:34:56] People I met last week, who aren't even interested, just touching base saying, Hey, what's [00:35:00] up following back with deals that died. Maybe I could put it back together. And that it is the lifeblood of my career and the way that my, my team does our deals right. Nonstop. Important valuable follow-up.
[00:35:13] Hala Taha: Do you think the time investment that you put into follow up is worth it?
[00:35:17] Ryan Serhant: Oh my God. Yes. Follow up is free. That's the thing we're in a service business, everybody's in a service industry, so it's all free. It's just, I'm going to have a phone, email and a calendar anyway. So it's just putting things in my calendar and then actually doing it and sending an email sending, and especially in 2020, like sending an email attacks, a quick phone call or a DM is all free.
[00:35:37] You're going to do it anyway. It's absolutely worth it. Like the amount of money that I have made, the amount of things that I've sold. I'm going to put some in the book too, like just from follow-up that deals that never ever would have happened. Otherwise, whether it's the Mr. X story or people that I followed up with for this, there's a deal I'm doing today.
[00:35:55] I was just telling you about before we started the podcast, because the closing costs are so high all together. [00:36:00] It's like a million dollars in taxes. The deal is for $12 million. I have followed back with them ever since I rented their daughter and apartment in 2010, 10 years ago for $2,200 a month, just with parents, just not just touch base, fallen off happy holidays and don't have to, I didn't really deal with them before, but I knew that one day maybe they'd want to buy a place.
[00:36:21] And they'd mentioned it to me. So they dropped the seed 10 years later. Future Ryan is super excited. I'm happy to sell them an apartment for $12 million.
[00:36:31] Hala Taha: It's amazing. Just that little time investment can go so far if you do it right.
[00:36:35] Ryan Serhant: So little bits of time, like I, you have a thousand minutes everyday.
[00:36:39] We have 1,440 minutes every day, actually, but like 440 of those you're eating, sleeping, go to the bathroom. And so you have a thousand minutes every day in your bank at time. Like you were the CEO of your own bank at time. What are you going to do with those thousand minutes? How are you going to use them?
[00:36:53] How are you going to milk them? How are you going to get the most out of them that you possibly can and how you can make sure that you spend them wisely as an [00:37:00] investment into tomorrow's thousand minutes? That's what I think about every day.
[00:37:03] Hala Taha: So let's talk about salespeople.
[00:37:05] Salespeople often get a bad rep. They're known to be like very pushy before you were saying that you sell enthusiasm. So you obviously don't take that approach. What's your advice to salespeople who are just too pushy.
[00:37:18] Ryan Serhant: Don't sell you. Don't focus on this. Bad salespeople or people who watch a pot boil water.
[00:37:24] You know how they say a watched pot? Never boils. If you heard that, if you sit there and you're waiting for the water to boil, it's like it takes forever, right? Don't focus on the cell. Okay. I think that when you are selling, no one likes to be. Everybody loves to go shopping with friends. So I, people like internet shopping, cause they don't want to be sold.
[00:37:42] They don't want to go into that store and have someone forced them to try on shoes. But if they go into a store and someone comes up and says, yo, that jackets that jacket's awesome. Let me know if you need anything also the huge sale right over there. Those shoes are insane. Crazy. There were 200 bucks yesterday.
[00:37:56] I did 1 25. You'd look sick in them. All of a sudden you're [00:38:00] like you're not, you're just selling me, but now I feel good about my jacket choice today. So that was nice of you and wait do you have a deal. Yeah, I guess I could try those. And then all of a sudden you're in conversation and then you're finding things in common.
[00:38:11] Yeah. With people. If you can literally can be, you both hate the cold or damn, you don't have Corona virus meany there, dude. Let's elbow, like literally it's just conversation. That's the power of it. That's what I tell everyone to take Improv classes. If you are going to live life talking to other human beings, go take an improv class.
[00:38:30] It'll help you open up. That's the biggest advice I have for, that other question you asked in terms of like how you go from being a shy, overweight kid with really bad skin who didn't want to talk to anybody, you take an Improv class and you learn how to be a dog on fire. Giving birth to your grandmother on Mars in front of 20 other people.
[00:38:50] If you can do that, you can talk to a stranger on the street about the weather and that opens you up, right? Because no other situation is ever more ridiculous than [00:39:00] that.
[00:39:01] Hala Taha: Okay. So I want to spend the next couple of minutes just talking about the market in general, how do you typically price a home? What are the factors that you look into?
[00:39:10] Ryan Serhant: Pull a number out of a hat really? You listened, you look at, there's a lot of things. First thing you look at comparable sales, what else? This home has sold recently? So that's the first thing we look at. So if your house is similar to the house across the street and that house sold for $500,000 your house, okay.
[00:39:29] Just based on comparable sales, probably worth plus minus $500,000. Not because. It's worth that, but because no buyer wants to ever overpay. And so your buyer is going to look at that house and say that house sold for 500. I'm not spending more or only spend a little bit more because you did these value adds to it.
[00:39:48] The next thing you look at is what is actively on the market. So what else is my buyer? That is like my house. Yeah. So if the house across the street, so for 500, that's great for them. But if now the market's a little bit different. Now there's eight other [00:40:00] houses on the same block that are all on the market at 400.
[00:40:03] You're not going to get 500,000. You should have sold a year ago. And then we look. Is this house moving ready? Can someone come in today? That's valuable to people, how much paint and costs and all that stuff, are you selling it fully furnished? Like how much would that cost somebody to fully furnish your house?
[00:40:19] Maybe that's a great value add. Do you have a bigger lot? Do you have a pool? What are all the different amenities that you get to offer that other houses? Don't and then it's lastly. Based on how people search for real estate these days. And it's all starts on the phone now, right? Or at least on the computer.
[00:40:34] It's all about the search bracket price in the bracket. You have to, if you price outside the bracket. So if your home is worth. I don't know it to be simple. If your home is you think really worth $550,000, right? You don't price it at six 50 to negotiate anymore. That's the way the world used to work, right?
[00:40:54] With the hope of maybe getting somebody to make an offer because that buyer who can afford that house is [00:41:00] not looking up to six 50 because. Keeps them up to 600.
[00:41:04] Hala Taha: So you're saying like in the app itself,
[00:41:06] Ryan Serhant: I always, you've got to price within search brackets. And so within the MLS, within the app, within Zillow, Realtor.org, truly all that stuff, price within your bracket, you want to be a heavyweight fighter in a lightweight fight, right?
[00:41:19] Not the other way around if you overprice. And if you're at 650,000, now you're dealing with somebody who senior listing. Who's forced to look at homes up to 700,000, because that's the way the search brackets work. And if your home can't compete with an $800,000 home, that then reduced to 700,000. Then you don't want to be in that fight.
[00:41:39] You're going to lose every time and yeah, you might get people to come by and come and see it, but they're going to pass on you because they're just using new to shop, agents and buyers are going to say, yeah, that home at six 50 is nice, probably worth less. But this house over here that I'm forced to see.
[00:41:53] It's much, much better. So
[00:41:54] Hala Taha: That's a really good perspective. How about location? Does location matter so much anymore?
[00:41:59] Ryan Serhant: Part [00:42:00] of it with the comparable sales, right? What just sold and what is currently on the market? Take New York city, for example, if you are in battery park city, as much as you think your home is amazing.
[00:42:10] Comp it to Tribeca. It's just a different neighborhood it's close. And if there's no other apartments on the market for some weird reason then sure. But there's probably other homes on the market and other things that have sold and you have to comp within your own neighborhood. And if you're in a condo building, you have to comp in your neighborhood, and then you have to comp within your own vertical neighborhood, which is your building, just because. Building across the street, got a great deal for their 20th floor apartment. And you're on the 20th floor of your building. Your building might not be worth as much for the brand of that building.
[00:42:41] So you have to keep all that stuff in mind, but yeah. Location.
[00:42:44] Hala Taha: So another question that I have in terms of financials and buying a home for first time, home buyers, a big question people have is like, how much should I put for my down payment? A lot of people say 20%, but then there's some people who say 10% or even.
[00:42:59] 3%. [00:43:00] So w what's your advice on that? So somebody who's buying a home, like less than a million dollars. I know that's not your ballgame anymore.
[00:43:07] Ryan Serhant: Listen, we are doing a deal right now for $299,000 a broker. We do everything I'm balls up, right? I we're to do as many deals as I possibly can. You want to put down at least 20%?
[00:43:17] Okay. And if you can, you want to put down 30? Oh wow. 30% is healthy. It's not about what you put down. It's not about the purchase price. It's about your monthly payments. You live in your monthly payment, that is your budget, that your bills, it affects your Netflix budget, affects your dinners. You live in the monthly payment, you don't live in a million dollar house.
[00:43:37] You live in a house that costs you $4,500 a month, or a house that cost you $2,000 a month. Whatever way you can skin the cat to get your payments, the lowest possible. That's what you want to do. And you put, you want to be smart about it, right? You don't want to over leverage yourself because the payments are small, but then you don't know what to do when you can't sell it.
[00:43:56] And then you're stuck because you lose your job and what have you, that's what happened in 2008, [00:44:00] but just, you always remember you live in your monthly payments and you always want to put down at least 30%.
[00:44:05] Hala Taha: Yeah. So something that we ask all our guests is what is your secret to profiting?
[00:44:12] Ryan Serhant: My secret to profiting and it.
[00:44:14] Hala Taha: Doesn't have to be financial.
[00:44:15] Ryan Serhant: Yeah. It's the five new people every day. That's my. That's my whipped cream. That's my profit every day, the deals that I do every day, the time I spend with my family, the workouts I have in the morning, my, my connection to my own wellbeing. That's all I'm going to do it anyway.
[00:44:33] That's all part of my win. Like I know when I. What I'm doing that day. Yeah. I'm doing all that. But going out and meeting those new people, that's what the world's all about without people is nothing, right? Like it's, there's no cities, there's no roads. There's no cars. There's no movies. There's no nothing.
[00:44:50] Like people make the world go round. They can also hurt it, but you want to meet as many of those people as possible. And it is so possible today to do that. And that [00:45:00] rule is.
[00:45:01] Hala Taha: That's amazing. Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and everything that you do.
[00:45:06] Ryan Serhant: Everywhere? Ryan Serhant is my name, Instagram.
[00:45:10] ryanserhant.com, YouTube is our weekly vlog, a youtube.com/RyanSerhant, Twitter, Tik TOK. Facebook. Yeah. All that stuff.
[00:45:19] Hala Taha: Yeah, he's totally out there easily searchable. Thank you so much, Ryan. It was such a pleasure. What a great conversation.
[00:45:25] Ryan Serhant: Thanks for having me.
[00:45:25] Hala Taha: Thanks for listening to Young And Profiting Podcast.
[00:45:28] Follow YAP on Instagram @youngandprofiting and check us out at youngandprofiting.com. If you enjoyed the show, don't forget to write us a review or comment on your favorite platform. Reviews are the number one way to. Especially if you write a review on Apple Podcasts and be sure to share this podcast with your friends and family on social media, you can find me on Instagram @yapwithhala or LinkedIn, just search for my name.
[00:45:52] Hala Taha thanks again, to video Husky, the sponsors of our show. If you're looking for affordable video editing for a flat monthly [00:46:00] fee, head over to cart.videohusky.com/youngandprofiting for 30% off your first month. Big thanks to the YAP team as always. This is Hala signing off.
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