Ryan Serhant, Founder & CEO at SERHANT, Million Dollar Listing New York Star & Author
In just a little over a decade, Ryan Serhant has become a household name and a global brand in our industry. He is one of the most charming and affable people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. His candor and humor were so refreshing to experience from someone who has reached his level of success.
He moved eight times by the time he reached fourth grade, so he was always making "new friends''. He found great refuge in the theatre department and quickly found out he had a talent for acting. He tried his luck and moved to New York to pursue a career in 2006. Ryan says he would rather regret the things he did rather than the things he never tried. His choices proved successful, and he landed the role of Dr. Evan Walsh IV in the soap opera "As The World Turns". When his character was killed off and he became an unemployed actor, he got his real estate license to do rentals in between acting and modeling jobs.
His first day in the industry was the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. He learned early on that he wouldn't go after the big whales, but rather would focus on what was closeable. He did the work no one else wanted to do and started to build a steady stream of income. The work ethic he demonstrated came from his father who taught him at an early age that work produced results. He still recalls his father forcing him to write a 10-page essay at 10 years of age on the importance of not being lazy. "I became addicted to working", he admits. Soon his rental clients became buyers, and he built a book of business.
Ryan can name each deal that he has ever been involved with, because he says every deal in New York City is so traumatizing it feels like "you are being beaten by bamboo whips". However, the more inventory you have, the more of the market you control.
"I like to set the goalposts far away", he says: "but we also have to be our own tiger moms because no one else cares.". Success Begets Success.
Be A champion of your own success.
Richard Rubinstein of Rubenstein PR offered him the best piece of advice when he first got Million Dollar Listing in New York. He told him "Go big, go hard and film the person you want to be when the show comes out". It was such a powerful piece of advice when he realized he needed to do business now that would be representative of his future self which would in essence create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Twelve years to the date of him entering the business, he opened his own real estate brokerage company, Serhant. Many people would look at his timing of creating a global brand in a city like New York where most people have left due to the pandemic, but he knew there was no better time. His vision will prove to be correct.
He quotes the film, Whiplash as one of his favorite movies when he says, "sometimes you have to beat the greatness you have inside of you for it to come out".
Ryan is not OK with just being OK.
This man is a true global visionary, and it was an honor to sit down with him for this discussion.