The Real Deal New York

“Million Dollar Listing New York”: Don’t quit your day job, and always bring a spare tutu

Recap for Season 5, Episode 11

July 01, 2016 01:25PM
By Kerry Barger

Luis Ortiz, Ryan Serhant and Fredrik Eklund

Luis Ortiz, Ryan Serhant and Fredrik Eklund

On this week’s episode of “Million Dollar Listing New York,” Luis questions his future in the real estate industry, while Fredrik uses the business to block out some very personal pain. Facing yet another demanding developer, Ryan gets creative at a Hell’s Kitchen condo, where he must sell 16 units in just 60 days.

With just one episode left before the finale, here’s where we leave our broker bros:

Luis

At first glance, Luis’ test drive with potential business partner and fellow Douglas Elliman broker Michael Graves appears to be going smoothly. The two have teamed up to sell a “mansion” unit at 36 Bleecker Street, and are now hard at work convincing prospective buyers the listing isn’t overpriced. During the open house, however, Luis has a small meltdown when a fellow broker reveals she’s been in the business for (gasp!) 25 years. This sends him on a downward spiral of existential angst, making him question whether or not he’d like wake up at (gasp!) age 53 and still be working in real estate. “I have never dreamed of being in this position — you know, I never even planned to have this job, I just sort of fell into it,” he says. “And if I don’t ask myself this question, this is what I may end up doing for the rest of my life.” You mean, selling top-dollar properties and starring on an Emmy-nominated reality show? Decisions, decisions…

Luis decides that he can’t move forward with Michael Graves until he figures out this very important, completely unnecessary question. He breaks the news to him over lunch, where Michael uses his last precious moments in front of a camera to diss Luis. “We’re just in different places in life, and I think if you’re going to partner with someone, they have to have an equal drive,” Michael says. “I realize that’s not your thing. It’s not important to you.” He then pivots into a tangent of needing to be a top broker and makes some seriously vague assumptions about Luis’ social life, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. Though Luis doesn’t have it all figured out, the light bulb above his perfectly-coiffed hair is showing some signs of electricity. “I don’t dream of being the No. 1 real estate broker — I actually don’t care,” Luis says. “I want to succeed in something much better, I want to succeed as a person.”

Sounds like a pretty good start, Luis.

Ryan

With two sales under his belt at 56 Walker Street, Ryan is off to another project that is struggling to sell out. He’s been commissioned to sell the final 16 units left at 432 West 52nd Street, a 55-unit condo building in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. The building’s developer, Victor Lee, has set the bar mighty high for Ryan, who must sell the remaining units in 60 days. To make them “less vanilla,” he re-stages some of the apartments to reflect a more post-Hell’s Kitchen Hell’s Kitchen. You can see how desperate (strikethrough) determined he is to sell the apartments when he prances around the open house in a pink tutu. “I didn’t necessarily want to dress up as a female ballerina — it turns out male ballerinas, their outfits, way more inappropriate,” Ryan says, though he probably just wanted an excuse to wear the tutu.

Ryan’s antics appear to have left a good impression, however. He brings Victor offers on seven of the units, which, despite being in a solid location, are small and expensive. All of them are under asking price, and rather than provide a much needed second wind for the project, Victor only accepts four offers. He then fires Ryan, and effectively ends his contract three weeks early.

Ryan can’t bear the thought of all that potential commission going the way of rentals, so he devises a plan to sell the units in bulk. That way, Victor can get a better deal on taxes for those units, while the buyer generates a profit. He hits the rolodex, and finds someone who’s willing to pay $11.5 million for 10 apartments there. Victor is unimpressed at first — the deal comes to a 15 percent discount — but warms up to the idea when they settle on $12.4 million. “Even when I was doing it and I was saying I was going to do this and this is how I’m going to sell it… at the same time the other side of my brain was like ‘no f—ing way that’s ever working,’ and it f—cking worked!” Ryan spasms. Makes total sense.

Fredrik

In order to win One Seaport, an 80-unit condo tower rising in Downtown Manhattan, Fredrik promises the developers he will not only bring foreign buyers to the project, but will travel overseas to find them. “We are going internationally,” Fredrik tells his team, who helps him decide if London is the international city that will be lucky enough to be graced with his high kicks. At first it’s Monaco this, Venezuela that, Italy here, Seoul there. Thankfully, the elusive John Gomes makes an ever-so-brief camera appearance to tell Fredrik that “of all the people who own private jets in London, the number one place that they travel to first, is New York.”

He taps into Elliman’s alliance with Knight Frank, “the biggest, most high-end brokerage in the world,” according to Fredrik. Initially, the Brit brokers want a discount on the pricing, but since they’re getting the first bite at Schedule A, Fredrik won’t budge. He walks away with four deals totaling $9.75 million, and celebrates by downing a full pint of Guinness in record time.

The visit turns out to be more than just a business trip, when we learn that Fredrik’s husband Derek has a seven-year-old son living in London. He was born after Derek donated his sperm to two women who wanted to have a baby. “He was born when I met Derek, he’s always been there,” Fredrik says. “However, you know, when I sort of snatched him away, we’re not in London to see Kai.” Still reeling from the second miscarriage, it’s tough for Fredrik to even be in the same room as Kai. “Part of why I’m resistant is because when we went through our second miscarriage just recently, I made a promise to myself to not think or be exposed to kids, babies” he says. “It’s just too damn painful.”

Derek is not amused by his distance, calling Fredrik “rude” and saying that he’s “embarrassed” by his actions. Not even $10 million in sales can help mask the pain Fredrik’s feeling.

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