There’s no denying the three stars of “Million Dollar Listing New York” have movie-star good looks — and big screen personalities to boot. Is it any wonder the plotlines that often seem to play out are reminiscent of those in popular blockbusters.
In Episode 9 of “MDLNY,” watch as our three leading men dance, high kick and fight their way into our hearts.
1. Win-Win! Luis is still in Puerto Rico with the Joneses who have finally decided not to take the summer oceanfront home that is either too big or too small, instead opting for the one that at $2.5 million is just right. They make a suitable all-cash $2.4 million offer to the St. Regis broker only to be told, “We don’t lower our prices; in fact, we are raising them.” Luis is confident this is not a bluff and convinces his buyers — even though they feel this is a “used car salesman technique” — to up their offer to asking. To sweeten the deal the St. Regis throws in a free six-seater golf cart and a $10k club membership. The Joneses agree saying, “You win” to Luis, who, in turn says, “No, you win.” Ladies and gentlemen this is what we in the biz now called a “win-win situation,” and to celebrate Luis does the only thing he knows how: DANCE!
When the Joneses gone, Luis returns to his family’s home and demands they all drink and dance saying, “It all comes down to family.”
He shows us his best moves, happily hip-shaking the night away.
2. “Brooklyn is expensive” Fredrik meets with Jeanne, an investor who has recently done a Park Slope townhome restoration project and now wants to sell at a huge profit. The 3,400 square foot, 6-bedroom, 4-floor home built in the 1800s boasts four fireplaces and original details combined with modern twists, because, really, who wants to bathe in an old bathroom?
Patron Saint of Stating the Obvious, Fredrik alerts us that “Brooklyn is expensive.” We are in very familiar territory as the same scenario that has played out in so many other MDL episodes repeats itself: seller wants more than even a record-breaking asking price ($4.5 million or $1,200 per square foot; broker balks saying his max would be $4.3 million), a semi-compromise is met (at $4.450 million) and the viewing audience is left to want to shower (in a renovated shower, of course) to rid themselves of the gnawing feeling of déjà vu.
3. “Let’s fire up this bad boy” Ryan tells us it is “game on now” when he is told that his 200 Eleventh Avenue penthouse priced at $23 million finally has its sky vault ready and he can quickly begin filming his video. He had been holding off on advertising this James Bond-esque gem because it was hard for visitors to visualize the space while its glass, retractable floor, and staircase were still under construction. “Now it’s time to fire up this bad boy,” Ryan says as he eagerly gets to try out what he has waited so long to see in action.
While everything else is still under construction, the developer tells him he has to start marketing the unit right away, which means his production company has to plan the video in three days instead of the month they usually need. Thankfully, Ryan’s original idea of making a mini-movie showing foreign buyers converging from all ends of the earth to bid on the penthouse has been replaced by an even worse one: a wealthy couple humblebrags into your hearts by one-upping each other with anniversary gifts, culminating in the wife giving her husband the gift that keeps on giving. No, not a mistress, a see-through retractable staircase that leads to a sky vault where he can keep his mistresses.
4. “I feel there’s an elephant in the room” Fredrik and Derek have still not revisited Fredrik’s desire to start a family, which finally leads Fredrik to confront his husband about their differing views on their future. Derek explains that he is concerned about who will sit at home raising the child. While Fredrik says they will split the duties, Derek disagrees, saying “You do not compromise and you never will.” Derek wants to enjoy his painting to try to set himself up and be independent. “I don’t want to become someone who becomes a housewife.” Fredrik is still baffled and explains to Derek he doesn’t need to do that because he will make all the money. Derek continues and says he wants to work, support himself and not be a stay at home dad.
5. “When I really want something, I usually get it” Derek’s firm stance doesn’t stop Fredrik from taking his assistant Jordan to Babesta to baby shop for his imaginary daughter, Mila. Obviously having recently read “The Secret,” Fredrik is of the mind that “When I really want something, I usually get it” and forges ahead by buying $324 worth of baby clothes. It is here that he gives birth to a plan that will ensure he is cleaning spit-up within the year: He will enlist Derek’s help at his upcoming open house for his Brooklyn townhome. Because it is ideal for big families, he is sure clients will bring their children, and Fredrik will request that Derek watch them and do an art project with them while the parents tour the home. It’s Freddy’s hope that Derek will get caught up in painting with cute kids and begin to visualize how they can be dads. “To set a record I need the empty house to have warmth—children, parents, grandparents.”
6. “Maybe you are ovulating?” At the aforementioned townhouse open house, things are going according to Fredrik’s evil plan — Derek is patiently doing an art project with random neighborhood kids while Fredrik explains that this is a restoration project, not a renovation project. He is hoping “something will click” in “Uncle Derek” and that he can “look into the future and see him with our kids.” Fredrik drones on about how he wants Derek to realize that having a family is something they both want in the near future. While Derek does concede at the day’s finish that “kids give you a different perspective on life,” Fredrik is in tears, feeling overly emotional. “What is up with all this estrogen?” he asks. The response? “Maybe you are ovulating.” Fredrik says he wishes he were because it’d make the whole child-birthing process so much easier.
7. “Today is the biggest day of my life … ever,” Ryan squeals. He goes on to explain, “This (video) is costing me a small fortune, but if it works, I will attract buyers from all over the world.” He lists the ingredients: a 25-person crew, a Ferrari, a helicopter, hired actors, the closure of 11th Avenue and police escorts. He also lists things he has learned in his role as producer: “Things take forever” and “I’m the one spending all the money.”
“No broker in the world makes a listing video with a helicopter and actors and spends tens of thousands…except for me.”
There’s nothing more meta than the making of a film about the making of a film. Somehow we are left feeling like we just photocopied a mirror — one that Ryan had just been blowing kisses into.
Opening night, clad in a leather blazer, Ryan is excited to debut his video to brokers, developers and press, which will play on Squawk Box — every screen on every trading floor.
8. Mini Me After his crowded open house, Fredrik is feeling the need to be servicey and decides he would like to meet with Luis to offer him some guidance and unsolicited advice after taking it upon himself to look over Luis’ recent sales. He wants to create — to get “himself in there and mold him and make him a mini Fredrik.” Luis remains wary, finding it hard to really talk to Fredrik because he tends to be condescending. Fredrik, though, sees that as him trying to be inspiring. Fredrik implores Luis to take him on as a mentor. Luis finally concedes, explaining he would like to learn more about new developments.
9. “You are not trying to help me; you are trying to control me” Fredrik takes Luis with him to meet with Jeanne, his Brooklyn townhome seller because she has multiple projects in the cooker of various size and price. Luis’ insecurities come out fairly quickly when Fredrik describes him to Jeanne as an “up and coming broker” and that he wants to make him a “mini Fredrik.” Luis makes it clear he is not a new agent, nor is he just an assistant; that he has done many sales, including those the same, if not bigger, magnitude as her Brooklyn townhome. He quickly tells Jeanne he is not really interested because he thought she was a developer with new projects — and not just a townhome flipper.
Horribly embarrassed by Luis’ behavior, Fredrik tries to smooth things over and explain that there are other projects coming and warns Luis not to focus on size. Fredrik wisely counsels Luis that the key to getting big new development projects is learning how to build a relationship with a developer and that Jeanne has done and will do much bigger projects. Still, Luis thinks Fredrik has merely brought him on the meeting to mock him.
“If I’m ‘gonna put up with Fredrik’s s**t it better be for a massive new development deal, not a $4 million townhouse in Brooklyn,” spews Luis. He tells Fredrik, “It’s not what you do, it is how you do it,” alluding to the fact that he thinks Fredrik’s manner is condescending.
The episode ends with Luis screaming while out of control, “You are not trying to help me; you are trying to control me.” It would appear here that Luis is not fighting with the future version of himself (Fredrik) but with the current version of himself (Luis).