The Real Deal New York

Pam Liebman: Broker reality shows bad for NYC real estate

Meanwhile, Bravo's Million Dollar Listing New York picked up for third season
August 02, 2013 01:30PM

Despite the popularity of real estate reality shows like “Million Dollar Listing New York” and “Selling New York,” several of New York City’s biggest brokerages discourage — or outright ban — brokers from appearing on the programs. And Corcoran Group CEO Pam Liebman said she considers the personality-driven shows a negative for the industry, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“My brokers are appalled by what happens on these shows,” Liebman told the Journal . “It’s way exaggerated,” she said, adding that agents who go on such shows risk overshadowing a company’s brand.

Corcoran, along with Town Residential and Brown Harris Stevens, either prohibit or discourage brokers from participating.

Mary Rutherfurd, a broker with Brown Harris Stevens, similarly told the Journal that she would never appear on such a show because a reputation for discretion is such an important part of her reputation as a high-end broker.

Meanwhile, hot on the heels of Wednesday night’s season two finale, Bravo TV ordered a third season of “MDLNY”, the Hollywood Reporter noted.

The series, centered on the careers and lives of real estate agents Fredrick Eklund of Douglas Elliman, Luis D. Ortiz of Keller Williams NYC and Ryan Serhant of Nest Seekers International, averaged 1.1 million viewers last season, pulling 920,000 total viewers on the season finale episode alone.

A spokeswoman for Bravo told the Journal that brokers who appear on its shows have all seen an upswing in business.

Serhant told the Journal that the show helped move him from selling midrange condominiums five years ago to more than $200 million in sales so far this year. “All exposure is good exposure,” he told the Journal. [Hollywood Reporter] and [WSJ]Julie Strickland

  • jason

    nice how my comment was deleted – the “POWER” of the Corc!

  • Debra Hoffman

    Pam is absolutely right. I once did a showing with one of these guys and was shocked at how normal he was… albeit ignorant of the property. These shows also encourage buyers/sellers to act obnoxious and treat their brokers as less than servants.

    • BSdetector

      DO you need a tissue? just that something brown is hanging off your nose.

      • Debra Hoffman

        Don’t know what you are talking about as I don’t work for Corcoran. Just telling the truth.

  • Frank C

    Brokers are in fact servants. They serve the buyers to get s*hit done and in return get a fat commission check.

  • John Rebolledo

    It’s TV of course they are going to make drama or make it appear like there is drama . No Drama, No Ratings equals no show, that simple. I am out of DC and DC’s elite don’t want their business out on tv let alone be twisted to make it look like there is drama… unless it involves some stupid cupcakes.

  • elena

    i actually love the show and i don’t see nothing wrong with it. I am a licensed RE agent my self and this kind of exposure is great and it teaches us valuable lessons. Not only about RE but about professional business relationships. We all are human and want it or not drama will follow. Corc Group don’t want the competition ..that’s ALL.very simple.

    • steve

      Being a licensed real estate agent in NY means zero (no, it actually means less then zero) One in five NYS residences have at one time or another had a real estate licence. Knowing a profession is a different story. If you feel that you are getting valuable lessons from a show that in “reality” has nothing to do with the real estate industry in NYC

  • CorcoranMan

    Pam is a marketing genius, she knows two things. One, that by speaking out against these shows she will get wonderful free publicity, and two….Corcoran and all firms need to hide what they do… never to show the public what happens behind the curtain for 6%!

  • Flavio Reemer

    The lack of “skill-set” amongst these guys is appalling and an embarrassment to others in the industry. That Luis Ortiz kid probably got his license on the internet.

  • ralphpetrillo

    Just think in 2 weeks you can take a 75 hour class and have all the skill of almost the entire real estate industry when the market is hot.

    Individuals should try to sell their property on their own and hire actors behaving like moody real estate agents to show their property. Save the 5%. by paying an actor $ 3,000 .

  • jon

    I support wholeheartedly what Corcoran group leader Pam says about the show as do the classier firms in NYC. Elliman supports that fool of an agent Eklund?

    I guess they could care less since he makes a lot of money for them.

    His behavior is unacceptable in real estate and or any field and should have been fired for his unethical ways.

    Selling NYC is a far superior show to this crap of a reality show,

  • jon

    Mr. Eklund, We wonder if REBNY and if the Dept. of State are looking into your unethical ways on the show and in real life real estate???

  • Oouch

    The ‘reality shows’ are anything but. They are tightly scripted and essentially purvey an impression that this is a business founded in fraud and flagrant violations of real estate ethics, fair housing law, devoid of a single intelligent individual.

    There is no question that paramount to making television is making something that people will tune in to watch. But, is it good for brokers? The real estate industry in general? Absolutely not. Which is why Pam Leibman and Hall Wilke are leading a chorus of company heads taking on Million Dollar Listing and Selling New York.

    REBNY should have been the one to have drawn the line – and should be calling out flagrantly adolescent behavior such as bribing doormen to divert open house traffic, and other similar hype. But, REBNY is spineless and content to live with its hand in the pocket of every broker while serving the interests of the developers and real estate speculators over and above the welfare or incomes of any of the hard working brokers who are forced to pay it money but voiceless in electing the president for life of REBNY who serves for life apparently, along with his wife and a small circle.

    Greed feeds bubbles. Feeding the public the lies they want to believe about how brokers really behave simply sets up a lot of hard working ethical brokers to be tarred by the same brush that is colored by the brokers prostituting themselves and their clients in the service of these shows and the double edged sword of publicity at any cost or expense.

    • jon

      Elliman praises this behavior and just hired Luis Ortiz from KW.
      The other firms are right and have some class and ethics not allowing agents on the show.

  • Erika

    That lady Pam is just jealous wishing she was a part of the show.