‘Proudly owning Big apple’: Ryan Serhant on transferring from Bravo to Netflix

Ryan Serhant doesn’t know promoting genuine property with no tv display.

Next a short-lived profession as an actor, and simply months into his foray in genuine property, he used to be solid in Bravo’s truth sequence “Million Dollar Listing New York,” a derivative of its L.A.-based predecessor. The sequence gave audience excursions within multimillion-dollar luxurious homes age appearing the drama amongst boastful and wily brokers who steadily competed for listings or gross sales. It premiered in 2012 and ran for 9 seasons — and it helped identify a profitable structure of top-end genuine property voyeurism mashed up with truth TV drama.

From the beginning, Serhant desire to be on one?s feet out with an over-the-top, hot-shot salesman taste — dressing like Aslan, the lion from “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and leaping right into a swimming pond all the way through an available space had been amongst his exploits. Ever the dealmaker, he brokered quite a few specials and spinoffs for Bravo, maximum not too long ago “Ryan’s Renovation” (2021), which chronicled the rework of the Brooklyn townhouse he stocks along with his spouse and daughter.

In 2020, he began his personal genuine property brokerage — Serhant. — and as soon as once more invited cameras alongside, however this age for Netflix, which has doubled ill on real-estate truth programming with such displays as “Selling Sunset” and “Buying Beverly Hills.” With “Owning Manhattan,” now streaming, cameras practice Serhant and his crew of brokers as they compete — infrequently with every alternative — for a few of Unutilized York’s maximum sought-after listings.

In a contemporary video name from Unutilized York — as a back-seat passenger readying for his after appointment — Serhant mentioned making the leap to Netflix from Bravo, navigating truth TV drama as a md and why money-strapped audience can’t get plenty luxurious genuine property porn. This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.

Harlan Berger, left, is a developer who seems in “Owning Manhattan” with stars Ryan Serhant, Nile Lundgren and Chloe Tucker Caine.


You could have an extended historical past with Bravo. You approached them with the speculation of a display whilst you began your corporate. What used to be the comments and what brought on the leap to Netflix?

Once I knew that I used to be origination my very own corporate, I had a dialog with Bravo and my brokers, they usually had been mainly like, “You know how ‘Million Dollar Listing’ is a format? It follows a couple real estate agents as they sell real estate. Imagine ‘Law & Order’ — that’s a format. Imagine, if you turned on an episode of ‘Law & Order’ and then all of a sudden one of the detectives was like, ‘J.K., now I have my own detective agency and that’s what the show is.’” It might be bizarre for the structure. And so we introduced the display to an finish nearest they tracked my origination of Serhant., and I instantly make a presentation of what my after bankruptcy would seem like … and offered that to the entire networks. Were given deals for many of them. However I do know Jenn [Levy] in reality neatly at Netflix. [Levy, who had been director of unscripted originals at Bravo, left her post at Netflix earlier this year.]

We went ahead with Netflix, and it’s truthfully been the sort of cool revel in. It scratches the itch of, “OK, you want to see $250-million New York City penthouses? Here you go, Episode 1. You want to see what it’s like inside the workplace drama of a young startup real estate firm, à la ‘Vanderpump Rules’? OK, here you go. You want to have your own orchestra composing your music that gives you slightly a ‘Succession’ vibe. Yeah, we could do that too. Plus we’re gonna drop drones through the canyons of this city and showcase Manhattan in a way it’s never been shown before. Yeah, we can do that because we’re Netflix. What else do you want to do?” I used to be like, “I’ve never seen a reality TV show that has a first-person narrator with a voice-over, can I do that?” And so they had been like, “Yeah.”

You could have a background in appearing, and also you’ve been within the truth dimension for a age, so you already know drama makes just right TV. However you are taking your function as a certified origination an organization critically. How is it to navigate the drama now as a md?

So irritating. It used to be a tricky one. “Million Dollar Listing” used to be irritating on the age, however it used to be in reality all me. It used to be on my shoulders, my purchasers, my trade. This age round, I guess my day on origination this trade in 2020, and so the publicity is a double-edged sword. With Netflix, a part of the trade in used to be, “Here’s the amount of time you’re gonna film for, and we’re gonna film everything, for better and for worse, and we’ll see what happens.” That eliminates some trade in power. On “Million Dollar Listing,” it used to be formatted. So that you’re gonna record it, and you can have the ones 12 listings up on a board for a occasion, and in the event that they promote, they promote; they don’t promote, you get fired on TV. As a result of the taking pictures window, you couldn’t let fall issues open-ended. That is other. This season ends at the cliffhanger. Each episode is a cliffhanger. We had an agent, midway during the season, simply up and abandon on digital camera. I needed to fireplace population who’re pushing alternative population to abandon. That’s what you get to observe on height of the offers now. The display begins with me and 12 brokers, and it ends with 10. I get started with salt-and-pepper hair, I finish with white hair.

To amplify on that, Jonathan Normolle temporarily emerged because the so-called villain of the season. From a display standpoint, the drama and stress that somebody like him brings is interesting. However you, as a md, determined to fireplace him. Inform me in regards to the push and remove of preserving the display funny and fascinated by your corporate.

There’s truth, and it’s what we do all future — the paintings, the population, the control, the payroll, the trade, the hole of untouched markets each and every future— and after there’s belief, which sits on height of truth. What I did with “Million Dollar Listing” used to be I mentioned, “OK, I have reality of my business. ‘Million Dollar Listing’ is going to be the perception, and it’s going to sit, not on top of reality, but above it. And that’s going to push me to consistently bring reality up to the perception.” As a result of we might remove a occasion to movie “Million Dollar Listing” and it will pop out the after occasion. Whoever I function as, then again I communicate, the homes I display, that’s who the sector is gonna see after occasion. That’s the place a dozen of the strain purpose lay. Clearly, I wish to do the TV display as a result of I’ve best ever carried out TV displays. I don’t know promoting genuine property with no tv display. I mentioned [to my executive team], “If we’re gonna do this as a company, we have to go all in.” I don’t need any person observing the display and announcing to themselves, “What didn’t they show?” That used to be the frenzy and remove: Do you in reality wish to display the warts of your corporation to 270 million population? Or do I have a look at it now not as warts however as I’m younger, development my very own trade and be prone with the sector, and also you’re going to come back in this proceed with me.

“Owning Manhattan” stars Savannah Gowarty, Jessica Markowski and Jonathan Frank Normolle, who used to be shed.


Have you ever had any runins with Jonathan since?

I give Jonathan a dozen of credit score. I noticed one thing in him that I additionally noticed in me. I’m now not tattooed on my my head, however a slight little bit of a fish out of aqua. I had a dream in my head: “Dude, here’s what you should do — people are gonna look at you and they’re gonna judge a book by its cover. You have seconds to change people’s minds. You sell something big, you show them you’re a great, great person who’s also fun and awesome and cool and the face of the next generation, you are gonna have the biggest career ever. Or you could blow it all up.” And so it used to be most certainly my greatest unhappiness. However I give him credit score for being his original self.

There are some headline-making offers on “Owning Manhattan.” Inform me about those listings and the aim of having high-profile purchasers to be on digital camera or now not. Evil Bunny finally ends up renting the Jardim constituent featured at the display for a file $150,000 according to day. The season ends with you nabbing a list for a condominium that used to be old in “Succession” as Roman Roy’s house.

How random used to be that finishing? Props to our manufacturing crew for taking the most eldritch thought I believe I’ve had. I’m like, “You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to end the show in a way where people are gonna be like, ‘What the f— just happened?’” All I take into accounts is: How do I am getting somebody to seem up from their rattling telephone? Anyway, I assumption I’ve been old to it now for an extended age. However that’s why you spot consumers’ representatives, society participants or attorneys more or less stepping in for purchasers right here and there. In our display, we see a dozen of the true population, a dozen of the true builders. The penthouse at Central Ground Tower — that’s a long-lead list. There’s best such a lot of population on this planet who can have enough money it and, so [we say], “We’re gonna put it on a Netflix show. First person who buys it, gets it. Just trust me.”

Harlan [Berger], the vendor of the Jardim, the place we hired it to Evil Bunny — we bought it, by means of the way in which. It simply traded nearest we had been carried out filming for, I believe, $15 million. That’s a vintage instance. The vendor yes [to be on camera], however the tenant [Bad Bunny] didn’t comply with travel on digital camera. We didn’t point out any person’s names. It were given put into the click, so now it’s a part of the population area; however the press, as a result of that’s a abundance condominium quantity, after helped carry within the purchaser. You don’t purchase an Hermès bag as a result of it may be your handbag. The emblem sends a message. Actual property is similar method.

The internal of a Big apple house from Season 1 of “Owning Manhattan.”


It’s an advanced age to show a few of Unutilized York’s maximum unique genuine property on an international level. The price of dwelling, particularly in obese towns, is unstable. What have you gleaned about why audience experience getting this within glance into the higher echelons?

As a result of we’re all voyeurs. Everybody needs what they may be able to’t have. Everybody fantasizes. It’s what assists in keeping us going. It’s like mind liquidity, it’s dream liquidity. I keep watch “Drive to Survive.” I’ll by no means be in the back of a wheel in a kind of vehicles, however it’s a laugh to observe their lives spread at the racetrack and be like, “Man, they’re taking this seriously.”

How are you feeling in regards to the housing marketplace presently? How a lot of the gross sales you’re doing nowadays are with consumers in another country?

Probably the most attention-grabbing stat for me is that pre-COVID, I used to be doing 35% of all our transactions in money. As of late, it’s like 75%. The marketplace presently is trained — it’s now not overjoyed, and it’s now not devastated, it’s trained. Global clients, we’re doing a dozen with. I simply bought a space — we bought it to a Croatian over FaceTime. Prior to that, I bought a space for $57 million over FaceTime to somebody in South Africa.

[International sales are] a obese a part of our trade and a obese a part of me additionally signing up with Netflix. I known as 5 of my purchasers who’re in another country, and I used to be like, “OK: Netflix, Amazon, Peacock, Hulu. Which one do you have?” And the ordinary denominator throughout they all used to be Netflix. I used to be like, “OK, for business, this is a mutually beneficial relationship, so we’ll pick the biggest network.”

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