Whether ultra-luxe and pricy pads are something you’re actually shopping for, or you just like to admire over-the-top decor and architecture from afar (read: most of us), it's undeniable that luxury real estate is a market that appeals to almost everyone.
Perhaps that’s why Bravo’s hit show ‘Million Dollar Listing’ has proven to be as successful as it is -- it's part guilty pleasure, part fantasy and offers a truly unique look at the most sought-after properties across the biggest (and wealthiest) cities in the country.
At the forefront of ‘Million Dollar Listing New York’ is Ryan Serhant, one of the most successful real estate brokers in the world whose team at Nest Seekers International sold just under $1 billion in real estate in 2017.
Now, Serhant is taking his arsenal of expertise to local businesses with his new show, ‘Sell It Like Serhant’, where he'll travel the tristate area to help struggling businesses and sales representatives to reach their full potential.
The concept for the show is built around Serhant’s fundamental belief that the skillset needed to be successful in real estate is formulaically translatable across the entire sales industry, regardless of what you’re aiming to sell:
“If I can sell high stakes real estate in one of the most competitive markets in the world (like New York City), maybe I can teach other salespeople how to sell. And that’s what we did — we found real people who were on the brink of losing their jobs and I worked with each of them for a week and helped them learn to sell, up their numbers, taught them everything I knew and by the end of the episode they either kept their job or not.”
The show will document Serhant learning the ropes across all different industries, whether he’s immersed in selling cabinets, bathtubs, body-waxing memberships (yes, really) or even prom dresses:
“I helped a woman named Jill sell dresses to women and girls in New Jersey and that was definitley outside of my wheelhouse — the process of selling retail is different than selling Manhattan real estate, and then selling dresses to upcoming prom queens is also very much outside my wheelhouse! That was probably the trickiest one.”
Serhant admits that ‘everything was difficult’ to some degree when it came to adjusting to previously uncharted territory in new industries, but Serhant was able to call upon the tricks of the trade he’s mastered throughout his real estate career.
Serhant believes full well that ‘salespeople’s daily lives are tied to their jobs’ and perhaps that was one of his biggest challenges while filming the show — it wasn’t necessarily a matter of simply walking in to a store and telling salespeople what to do and how they should be doing it.
Rather, Serhant worked on getting to know the salespeople on a personal level, working through the challenges that they faced within themselves and within their lives outside of work to get to the fundamental core of what was holding each person and business back.
It’s this focus on interpersonal relationships and communication that lie at the core of what Serhant believes is the most important skill to acquire when it comes to sales: The ability to foster a meaningful connection and relationship with your customer:
“Be organized and disciplined — your day starts the night before, you can’t just show up at the store and expect to sell that day.
You need to be an expert with follow up … think about anything you’ve ever bought, ever — you might not buy it that day, but you might buy it eventually, and especially today when everyone is buying everything online how you connect with the customer is the most important.
You have to build a relationship first — relationship is first, whatever you’re selling is second. If you’re a salesperson and you believe in the product, you’re going to sell it by default. But [building] that relationship isn’t something that comes most naturally to people, especially salespeople.
People talk about the product first and then try to make a connection with somebody when you have to do it backwards — make a connection first and then talk about the product.”
But perhaps his secret recipe to success is founded in what seems to be one of the oldest pieces of advice in the book — plain and simple, you really just have to love what you do:
“Sell what you love as much as you possibly can, and what you can sell successfully. If you don’t like what you’re selling, then you’re not going to be excited about it, and you won’t be able to make that connection and you won’t be excited to take that initiative to follow up with everybody because it’s not going to be your thing … you need to be emotionally invested in what you’re selling.”
‘Sell It Like Serhant’ premieres Wednesday, April 11th at 10pm ET/PT on Bravo.