The Real Deal New York

Keller Williams says adios to “MDLNY” star Luis Ortiz

Young agent blindsided, despite rumors he was going to Elliman
By Guelda Voien | August 02, 2013 02:15PM

Luis Ortiz, a star of “Million Dollar Listing New York,” has been shown the door at Keller Williams NYC, shortly after the show’s second season finale aired — and it seems the news came as a surprise to the broker.

“They would never do that to me,” Ortiz told The Real Deal when reached for comment. He then hung up the phone.

Keller Williams NYC pegged the split to Ortiz’s appearance on the hit show.

“At no fault of Luis’, the sensationalism of reality TV is not in line with the Keller Williams’ NYC brand,” the firm said in a statement. “Keller Williams is the preeminent real estate brand in the country and we hold our industry and clients in the highest regard. … We wish Luis all the best in his future endeavors.”

It’s been rumored that Ortiz was jumping ship for Douglas Elliman, where his co-star Fredrik Eklund works, but representatives for Elliman were not immediately able to confirm the information, nor did Ortiz.

The departure comes on the heels of a Wall Street Journal article published yesterday where industry heavyweights such as Pamela Leibman, CEO of the Corcoran Group, criticized the effect reality television has had on New York City’s residential brokerages.

“My brokers are appalled by what happens” on shows such as “Million Dollar Listing New York,” Liebman told the Journal, calling them “exaggerated.”

Corcoran, as well as Town Residential and Brown Harris Stevens, reportedly prohibit or discourage agents from participating in television shows.

Despite running splashy ads that called Ortiz, “Million Dollar Luis,” Keller Williams NYC seems to be joining that camp.

“As stated in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article, Keller Williams’ position on real estate reality TV aligns with Brown Harris Stevens’ and Corcoran’s – ‘this brand of realty is a far cry from reality,'” the statement said.

To critics, the shows portray the real estate industry in a false light, misrepresenting how transactions actually work. They also say the shows are bad for the industry as a whole, pushing away clients who are ever more concerned about privacy.

Still, cast members say the star turns boost their business. Nest Seekers International’s Ryan Serhant, who appears on “Million Dollar Listing,” and the Kleier family, who are featured on “Selling New York,” both say the shows have increased their visibility and boosted sales.

Reality television has not always left Ortiz looking professional. The 26-year-old agent was filmed Photoshopping hardwood floors, marble counter-tops and stainless-steel appliances into listing shots last month, prompting the New York State Department of State to open an investigation, which is still pending. He has also been criticized for cursing on the show and for admitting that he honed the photo editing skills in question while faking government-issued identification for himself and his twin brother Daniel, both of whom came to New York from Puerto Rico.

Just last week, two Keller Williams agents departed for Elliman, where they work with Eklund and John Gomes on the team’s new rental division, as TRD reported.

  • flipoutNYC

    Bye bye shady Otiz

  • flipoutNYC

    we should say good bye to Fedrik too cuz he is shady also

  • Frank C

    Is Luis standing on a stool? He is about 2 heads below Frederik in real life. Serhant is the most legit broker on the show. Frederik just does what he’s told like a good little tool in the shed

    • suzi q

      I am so happy you agree….Bravo!

    • Realtorgirl

      Fredrik is the most important person on that show! Brokers are just jealous that he does so well and is so adorable doing it! That show brings business and now Keller Williams is no longer interesting. Too bad for them, they will lose business!

  • J. E

    He is the type of agent that gives all brokers a bad rap. One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.

  • vinny2620

    the show is a bit ridiculous…..I like Ryan, but there is no way you can get away with what they portray on the show. I mean jumping in a pool during a brokers open?….really? and the dumping of a drink on another agent…’d be fired so fast. They make it seem that they are making fast money, but those deals take months to broker.

    • Jesse B.

      Well, reality TV has never been known to portray reality. It is loosely based on reality and then exaggerated to make for interesting TV. That has always been the formula. I hope the average television viewer is smart enough to separate reality from fiction. If not, I hope that the buyers of properties featured on the shows are.

  • vinny2620

    luis should stop living la vida loca

  • P L

    I am so happy about this! I almost wrote to the Brokers! I watched that show and it was truly embarrassing to our industry!

    • Mke

      As if your pathetic opinion matters. I laugh whenever I come across sanctimonious cretins like you.

  • C Berger

    Who would give a listing to this guy, with that mouth? Who talks like this when doing business deals??

  • bebop

    Funny that Keller Williams would take out a full-page announcement ad about Luis on the show, and then “fire” him for being on it. If that ain’t the pot calling the kettle black…

    • Kellerguy

      Who paid for the ad? How do you know Keller Williams paid forit?

      • bebop

        The article:
        “Despite running splashy ads that called Ortiz, “Million Dollar Luis,” Keller Williams NYC seems to be joining that camp.”

        • porchgirl

          For the record, Keller Williams does not pay for ads for agents, if those ads were run then most likely Ortiz was putting them out. Kudos to KW for getting rid of him

          • Eric

            For the record, Keller William does pay for the ads. Before the ad that showcased Luis the last 8 ads on the back cover of TRD showcased Keller Williams so they were paying for that back cover.

    • Guelda Voilda the Rookie

      Exactly my point! Why would they run ads promoting him only to “fire” him later. This journalist need to read between the lines and do a little bit more digging in their stories and not just print rampant speculation

  • I’m with Keller Williams, have million dollar listings and work in the most exciting borough NYC has to offer: BROOKLYN. If you don’t know what you’re doing here…I’ll throw you under the bus.

    • Realtorgirl

      Congrats, keep up the good work! Brooklyn is great too! NYC Rocks!

    • jon

      and those KW agents in Brooklyn have no class and are totally unprofessional.
      Why KW?
      Does not belong in NYC.

  • p.p

    What an idiot. Seriously

  • Yossi12

    Funny Ilan bracha a crook of crooks calls Ortiz bad. Stealing with a rabbi like bracha however is good.

  • JustSayHi

    Keller is just another century 21. Doesn’t belong here. Try Staten Island

    • Realtorgirl

      I totally agree! Another Century 21

      • KRMRumson

        Why – be specific – do you use a comparison to Century 21 as a snide dig at Keller Williams?

    • hmmmmm

      I guess you don’t know much about Keller Williams NY branch. Their founder has closed $2 Billion in deals alone.

  • suzi q

    Ryan Serhant is the the most professional and honest one amongst the three.
    Luis is a puppy now following Fredrick who has no scruples whatsoever, and I am sure this has to do with his leaving Keller for Douglas. However ,anyone who follows Fredrick will adapt to his unethical ways!
    All else is speculation as Keller Williams allowed the cameras in in the first place.
    Good Luck to Ryan.

    • Muzik

      Fredrik is very upset that he was called unethical by Ryan. Fredrik said he didn’t do anything that wasn’t standard, other options he gave Ryan were edited out of the show and that he didn’t do anything without approval of the seller.

      • Ann

        Sorry, to say I do not believe Frederick is anywhere near honest. they play a rotten game at Elliman. try making a deal with them!!

    • Leila

      Ryan is the most unscrupulous of them all. He has dished out sh*t to people since college at least and then cries when he gets it back. He has even admitted how underhanded he is himself and has the nerve to get upset when people do it back to him. Anyone who sides with Ryan is an ignorant xenophobe who only likes him because Fredrik is Swedish and doesn’t realize that Puerto Rico (where Luis is from) is a U.S territory.

  • jon

    Luis real estate ain’t your thang Papi.
    Time to find a new career with your bro.
    Btw, what was KW looking to get out of this anyway?
    KW does not belong in NYC just another crappy firm not able to compete with the major firms babye soon for ya,
    Selling NYC is a far superior show to this crap of a reality show,

    • Ann

      So you think being dishonest and unethical is playing with th big boys? they are going to jail soon!! more law suits and hopefully DOS will get on board with more fines. Brokers at Elliman “forget” to renew their license? How an you forget to renew your license? that is like saying I forgot to go to work?

  • Teran2020

    Great now if they would just cancel the show.

    • Realtorgirl

      That show is too good to cancel! You don’t like it cuz you are a guy. Us ladies like the eye candy. Finally seeing some guys that give a crap about their health and the way they dress.

      • jon

        eye candy?
        GO to a strip club and get turned on girl.
        Or find a dude!

      • Lois V Harrison

        Indeed. Love a man in a suit, a sober hard working man in a suit!

  • shelly1989

    He’s so debonair, charming, suave, and urbane with European sophistication. He is in essence is the New York man and why he is so successful.

    • Realtorgirl

      Yes he is! So cute and funny too!

      • Bojo

        He is a Nauseating Toxic Queen. Give me a break!

    • jon

      and unethical, a fake , user, phoney, two faced, blablabla
      All perfect for reality TV right Shelly and regirl?
      sensitive soul? debonair
      He’s utterly a money whore now and would do anything for it!

    • girlonadolphin

      Frederik was a porn star for a while. So sophisticated, really??

      • jason

        And? He made a mistake and made a lousy movie, and acknowledges it. And guess what? he is a successful businessman. How about all the sickos that watch porn day and night?
        Learn from him instead of pointing out his mistakes. Plus he employs lots of people.

  • Michael Raphael

    They are all ridiculous, especially Ryan.

    • bhbroker13

      i couldn’t agree more. Ryan is shallow and self-obsessed, as are all the other individuals on the show. it was right of Michael to leave with his integrity intact. They do not follow DOS rules, and many of these big firms have agents and brokers getting slapped with fines left and right. Also, if you do a search on streeteasy many of the listings Ryan closes are not even $1MM listings and are often partnered up with another broker.

  • Realtorgirl

    So what if he is gay! He is adorable and provides great entertainment after a hard day’s work. He is really a sensitive soul seeking approval and you should wish him well. It is a show after all and it needs to be fun to watch!


    NYC Relator for almost 20 years:
    The show is exagerrated.Most honest Realtors do not do what they do on the show which is done for ratings and drama. Ive seen 20 minutes of it and though it was boring and phony. That is why these “brands” are placing their distance.

  • Amaryllis

    That is so funny. They are featured on the HGTV shows “Selling New York” and “Selling LA”. It’s not reality TV, it’s the drama of this particular show.

  • trucant

    People in the industry are much like democratic and republican; which is basically good cop and bad cop…the whole industry is made of actors…at-least he has a good contract with BRavo TV

  • Ann

    thats a shame he was one of the more honest brokers!! just goes to show that being honest and hardworking is not paying off the way it should. but if you a snake behind closed doors you are up with the crowd

  • Ann

    So?! There are many people pretending to be straight but they are not. At least Frederick did not hide.

  • Bill


  • Lois V Harrison

    It’s not about real estate. It’s entertainment! Reality TV on top of its game. Theatre of the Absurd. Naughty, provocative, irreverent, inappropriate at times, eye popping fun! The exposure provided to participating brokers and clients – the chosen – transcends what a realtor’s marketing budget could buy. May leave the not-chosen feeling left out, a little grumpy, maybe? Virile young “Turks” – a rush of fresh vitality, vim & vigor. New York my fav. No place like it!

  • Lois V Harrison

    About these discussions: In civilized society, people welcome discussion, debate, respectfully agree to disagree. Personal insults and attacks – are not opinions. The behavior says more about the speaker than their intended targets.

  • Lily

    Faked government issued ids for what??? Puerto Ricans are US citizens and the writer should know that if that is what he was referring to.

  • Marc Johnson

    I would agree with the firing if the company was opposed to Luis participating in the show from the beginning. But to all of a sudden shift gears like this didn’t give Luis a chance to work out something with KW. Million Dollar Listing puts all those real estate companies in a bad light, which no company wants. Selling New York is a classy show by far but not as interesting. Don’t know if KW gave him an ultimatum or not. Very unfortunate.

  • Normandy Gray

    When is the show coming back on New York is so much more interesting then LA

  • jason

    They are sleazeballs, who are screwing the whole industry. They are portraying this industry as liars, backstabbers who con even their own mother to make a buck. Stay away from those characters!

  • marsha123

    He’s a fraud and shouldn’t be allowed to be sell real estate in New York. I wouldn’t buy a banana peel from him.

  • Starrealtor16

    Why would Luis & his brother need fake government ID. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth Island of the U.S. Everyone born in Puerto Rico doesn’t need to naturalized or go thought immigration system. They iD in P.R. Are easily converted to US Government ID’s.

  • Therealdan McKelvey

    Keller Williams is a piece of shit company without any backbone….Why would top producers in NYC do anything except work with Re/Max? Make your money…don’t pay schelps…..Core and Elliman are not worth the cost to the broker who sells the units……Keep your money….