"Million Dollar Listing New York" will look a whole lot different this season.
For one, Ryan Serhant and wife Emilia will welcome their first child, daughter Zena, during this season, which will prove to also be one of the most challenging year's career-wise for the group of high-powered real estate agents.
"It’s going to be awful," Serhant told AOL's Gibson Johns exclusively during a sit-down interview at SoFi's recent "Goal Getters" event. "We started filming in August last year. The market is bad in New York, but it was really bad in August, and it tanked in December. Everyone thought the end of the world was coming, and it was really stressful. Deals were falling apart left and right, buyers were pulling out and developers were trying to come after us."
Not only that, but the cast will feature two additional personalities this season: Newcomer Tyler Whitman and former cast member Luis Ortiz will be joining Serhant, Fredrik Eklund and Steve Gold in the cutthroat world of New York City real estate.
"It’s a totally different Luis now: Far more chill," Serhant teased of Ortiz's return. "You’ll remember that on the show he was in perfect suits, very slick and running around. Now he’s wearing t-shirts, yellow nail polish and an earring or two. He’s got a new soul."
Check out more from our interview with Ryan Serhant about season 8 of "Million Dollar Listing New York" below:
The eighth season of "Million Dollar Listing New York" is about to premiere. How much of your success do you attribute to the show? What has it given you as far as your career is concerned?
Listen, there’s no shame about it for me: I was renting apartments in Koreatown when I got cast in this show. I got into real estate at the end of 2008, and I got cast in 2010. At that time, I was thinking about going back to school or going to NYU and learning about real estate development or moving home, because New York was really hard, and then I got cast on the show. The show didn’t give me business and no one cared at the beginning -- everyone thought it was the stupidest thing in the world -- but what it did is, through the threat of public humiliation, it forced me psychologically to do more work and make sh-t happen. I was terrified that I was going to go on this reality show about real estate and fail and suck as a real estate agent. Who would ever hire me? I didn’t want to be the guy who was just okay, and I didn’t want to do anything stupid, either. The cameras were going to follow me for nine months, and I have no control over the edit. I had to be really, really smart about what I was doing, and the show was a metaphorical shotgun to the head that said, "You need to figure out how to do this or we are going to publicly humiliate you." That was it for me. It didn’t help overnight -- it helped me get initial listings because of the exposure I could offer -- but it got better season by season.
This is your first season as a dad, as you and your wife, Emilia, welcomed your daughter in February. Are you excited to have people see this side of you?
It was a conversation that Emilia and I had to have about letting cameras come into our house while she’s pregnant and super tired, but it was good. It will be exciting for people to see. This season is totally crazy, not even just us with the baby -- Luis is back! Tyler is a new cast member shaking things up and driving us all crazy, Steve is doing his thing and he just had a baby. Like, what the f-ck? We didn’t even know! He shows up and was like, "Hey! I want you to meet my girlfriend and our future baby," and I literally thought he was joking.
Your team operates out of a number of cities around the country now. Does your job involve more traveling these days?
I used to, but now I get to do so much more through FaceTime. With the baby now, I really try to be here [in New York City] as much as I possibly can.
What are we going to see this season from you, career-wise?
It’s going to be awful. We started filming in August last year. The market is bad in New York, but it was really bad in August and it tanked in December. Everyone thought the end of the world was coming, and it was really stressful. Deals were falling apart left and right, buyers were pulling out, developers were trying to come after us…I don’t know if it’s going to be in the show, but there was one moment in the show were I broke down crying in front of Emilia who’s pregnant just because I couldn't… from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. in December I was getting yelled at every day! I can take it -- I have pretty thick skin -- and I can kind of move past it, but it got to a point where the market was so, so hard. For the first time ever on "Million Dollar Listing," you’re going to see it: We’re going to lose listings, we’re going to do $10 million price cuts, we’re going to have real difficult conversations with sellers… it’s tough.
Luis is back this season! What can you tell me about his return to the show after taking a few seasons off while traveling the world?
He surprised us. He showed up at Fredrik’s apartment randomly, and I think we all kind of knew that he had to do something else and get something out of his system. He had a bug, and he never would’ve been happy if he had just stayed in real estate doing the show. He loves it, but at the same time it was killing him. He had to go to Paris and meet new people and travel all over the world. He went to places that I’ll never get to go to and I kind of envy a little bit of that, because at a good point in his career -- making money, good clients, on a TV show -- he had the balls to say, “Eh, I’m going to take two years.” And he came back, not knowing that Bravo would let him back on the show, and said, “You know what? I feel good now. I just had a good two-year weekend and I’m coming back to the business.” It’s a totally different Luis now: Far more chill. You’ll remember that on the show he was in perfect suits, very slick and running around. Now he’s wearing t-shirts, yellow nail polish and an earring or two. He’s got a new soul.
This is the second part of a two-part interview. Read part one here. "Million Dollar Listing New York" season 8 premieres on Bravo on August 1 at 9 p.m. EST.