Savvy watchers of the show realize that real estate (like love) is a numbers game. And in Episode 8 of “Million Dollar Listing NY,” we see such complex equations at work in both love and property sales that we realize math is indeed very hard. But in the end, the solution set equals high kicks + happy faces.
Here’s why your mom told you to do your math homework:
1. Vamos a Puerto Rico! (queue Latin music) We are in scenic Puerto Rico — the land of sun, sand, surf and gentle breezes—with Luis who has clients in town looking for a vacation home. He tells us that, while he loves his homeland, he moved at age 16 after telling his mom he was
going out for cigarettes going to the beach. He never came back. Instead, Luis jetted off to Fort Lauderdale, where he was a stock room clerk by day and janitor by night. And even though he doesn’t have his license in PR, and will get no money for the transaction, he is in town to help the Joneses, a plastic surgeon and his wife, who originally were thinking of buying in Miami — until a zealous Luis convinced them that Puerto Rico is way better.
Math takeaway: Puerto Rico > Miami
2. I LOVE NYI When we last left off, Fredrik had just been told by Ari, the developer of the Apthorp unit he was trying to sell for $9.9 million — but couldn’t because of its horrific bathroom and kitchens — that he was pulling it off the market and renting it.
But now Freddy has a new prize to sell: a 4,300-square-foot penthouse at 20 Greene Street he sold to Steve, the owner, a mere 10 months ago. Steve, who renovated the apartment, wants to flip it for a mega-profit.
This place has everything, although some of the amenities sound silly. Features include an infinite fireplace, Siberian oak floors, voyeuristic trees overlooking the bathroom tub and four terraces totaling 2,500 square feet. If that’s not enough numbers for you, we’ve got more. Even with no amenities like a pool, parking or doorman, Steve wants a more than $5 million profit because of his $3 million in renovations.
Math takeaway: $9.7 million is to 10 months as X is to now. X=$15 million
3. A tale of two dads Emilia has finally agreed to meet with Ryan, who had exasperated her in past episodes by his unwillingness to open up and communicate. Ryan tells us he knows he has to apologize but doesn’t know how. “You look very pretty,” is his trite starter, which has Emilia sourly giving him the stink eye.
Instead of apologizing, Ryan places blame on New York, saying, he wasn’t always this mean and is “a product of my environment.” Emilia responds, “NY?” “Exactly,” nods Ryan.
“I haven’t always been like this. I used to be a pretty nice guy but over the years I had to get a little tougher because living in NYC can be brutal…”
The audience, trapped in a cheap, imitation Woody Allen film is forced to listen to further torturous dialogue. When Emilia demands the “real” Ryan, he responds that he has no idea “who the real Ryan is.”
“It makes me uncomfortable to talk about myself…” says the guy on the reality TV show who does nothing but talk about himself. He then proceeds to tell us about how he was raised by a stepdad he called Dad Dad — and at age 10 met his real father. He calls him Bob Dad.
Math takeaway: Dad Dad + Bob Dad = 2 Dads
4. Off-[Super]market DealsI Fredrik decides to do private showings of the Greene Street property and treat it like an off-market deal to increase the feeling of exclusivity. His assistant Jordan dons white gloves and acts the butler to a group of brokers with high net-worth clients, passing out goodies from a liquor store and specialty shop.
Math takeaway: Caviar + Champagne + Escargot = Exclusivity
5. Time (release) capsuleI (queue PAC MAN music) Ryan gets the exclusive on a townhouse on 71st Street in Lennox Hill. Sydney is managing the account for the seller and has enlisted Ryan to sell this property because he was impressed that Ryan had sold one down the street in six hours. But this is no ordinary townhome. It was built in 1983 and no one has lived there since. With 6,000 square feet and five floors, the property has five bodacious bedrooms, “state-of-the-art” security systems (a.k.a. video intercom), a 1982 boxy TV set, Jacuzzi tub, miles of green tiles and – yes – a built-in record player! It also comes with a tenant who has a lease until 2050, but who is paying a modern-day price of $15,000.
There are a whole lot of numbers going on, so much so that this whole segment of the show may very well be turned into a math word problem on the SATs. But this does not deter Ryan a bit, “This is NYC. The weirdest s**t happens every day.”
Ryan tells Sydney that he would normally price the perfectly preserved unit at $12 million, but because the property is trapped in 1985 – and there is a tenant renting until Ryan turns 65 – the comp will be $7 million. Also, Ryan states that if he gets full ask he wants the ceramic life-sized panther in the living room.
Math takeaway: If Ryan will be 65 in 2050 as he says, how old is he now?
6. Keeping up with the Joneses is hard to do Luis is with the Joneses showing them ocean-side villas at the St. Regis. Their budget is $1 million. But we soon learn that, although the husband and wife have a beer budget, they have champagne tastes [where is Fredrik’s butler when you need him?]. The first unit shown is a 2,300-square-foot three bedroom in their requested budget. Mrs. Jones balks, however, saying it is too small. The second unit is a 3,380- square-foot three bedroom for $2.5 million. Again, Mrs Jones complains that it is too small. The last unit shown is a 7,400-square-foot McMansion with four bedrooms and six baths. Mrs. Jones says this one is just right. Luis implores them to discuss it and later takes them salsa dancing, which soon turns into a fight on the dance floor with Mrs. Jones walking out on her plastic surgeon husband. She wants the $4 million property and he says it is just too much house. Luis is caught in the middle and tries to defuse the situation by telling them to think about it more. No matter, we can clearly see who is the boss and suspect Mrs. Jones will be sunning herself on her humongous patio come winter.
Math takeaway: Mrs. Jones > Mr. Jones
7. On-air cameos Fredrik is at his dry cleaners — aptly called Cameo Cleaners — when Scott, the broker with a potential buyer for 20 Greene Street, calls with an offer for a mere $13 million. Fredrik tells him that won’t work while the dry cleaner cheers him on in the background. As is typical, Fredrik tells Scott to go back and bring a higher offer. But the real winner here is the dry cleaners who tells Fredrik his cleaning bill this week is $690. Fredrik is relieved it is cheaper than it was the previous week.
Math takeaway: $690 for dry cleaning this week < price of dry cleaning last week
8. “1, 2, 3, Reagan!” Ryan’s assistant Olivia is on the street sucking on a lollipop (thanks BRAVO producers) waiting for her boss to roll up in a DeLorean. “7.21 gigawatts, bitch,” says Ryan upon exiting wearing a black, white and red technicolor dream suit.
Ryan is throwing an 1980s-themed party to “get everyone stupid drunk” and hands out headbands and wristbands. “I would redesign the s**t out of this place,” remarks someone who could not afford to redesign the s**t out of that place. Still a good time is had by all.
The blast-from-the-past soiree culminates with a toast to Ronald Reagan (and then we all felt like getting stupid drunk.)
The party ultimately garners Ryan a full-ask offer to which Sydney hesitates. Why? Since the offer came so quickly, he figures he’ll be able to garner more for his seller. Ryan quotes Gordon Gekko, sort of, saying, “Greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works…..except in this case,” and convinces him to accept the offer and hand over the panther. As he tells Sydney, “Time kills all deals.”
Math takeaway: If X is $7.5 million and Y is today, then X=0 if Y=tomorrow
9. “Do you even know where the hole is?” Meanwhile, back at the
ranch beach Luis confesses he has only ever had one girlfriend, a bleached blonde he met when he was 22 named Fiorella. He meets up with her in the hopes of getting some closure because things didn’t end very well. He takes her on a lake in a canoe and divulges that he has not dated since her because “it took me 100 years to get back…” and that he was afraid of drowning again. She, however, has a new beau and watches him cry and say, “The reason I’m not with anyone else is there is no one as beautiful as you.”
BRAVO, ever the King of perfect segues, then jumps to Luis taking the Joneses golfing. After just hearing that weighty conversation about love and relationships, we then hear Mrs. Jones tell Luis,” If you get a hole in one we’ll buy any property here today.” And after a beat, “Do you even know where the hole is?” Pure gold!
Math takeaway: Me – You = 100 years of solitude
10. The $14.5 million pocket square The show closes out with another Freddy victory. Afraid of Scott’s lowball offer he stages another viewing with other brokers, sure to have Scott happen upon them and hear of their interest. This strategy works like a charm and soon Scott offers — on his client’s behalf — a cool $14.5 million written on a little note card, which Fredrik uses as a pocket square. He calls his seller into the open house and tells him to read it.
At first, the seller wants to stick at his desired $15 million, but Fredrik points out that less than 10 months ago, he was buying the property for $9.7 million and is now making $14.5 million off of it. We all know when things are priced correctly they sell quickly and the market defines the price.
Gleefully, it ends on a high note, and by high note we mean high kick.