The Real Deal New York

Ryan Serhant’s WeChat deal at the Baccarat? Not really his

“Million Dollar Listing” star gets credit for Elliman agent's social media-driven sale
By Hiten Samtani | April 09, 2014 02:55PM

Ryan Serhant doesn’t seem content with the adulation and exposure he gets through “Million Dollar Listing New York.” Earlier this week, the Bravo star and Nest Seekers International broker got the credit for a trophy double-sale at the Baccarat Hotels & Residences that was conducted purely through social media. The deal got him shout-outs in New York Magazine, Fox Business and others. But it appears Serhant was not involved in the sale. Douglas Elliman says its broker, Emma Hao, did the deal.

“This was Douglas Elliman agent Emma Hao’s deal,” a spokesperson for Elliman said in a statement. “The Chinese buyers approached her on WeChat. Since she brought the buyer to contract, credit should be given to Emma.”

Serhant said in a statement that “my team and I have made many connections through social media that led to transactions. Emma Hao is a dear friend and ally and I was thrilled to advise her on the Baccarat deal. I never said that I was responsible for that transaction and to clarify, there is no doubt that Emma and Elliman deserve all of the credit.”

According to Hao, she woke up last month to a voice message on popular Chinese social network WeChat from a prominent entrepreneur she had met in China. The entrepreneur, whom Hao declined to name, said in the message that she was interested in buying an apartment in the building with the “famous crystal brand.” This was, of course, Starwood Capital’s Baccarat Hotels & Residences at 20 West 53rd Street, and Hao reached out to the building’s sales team at Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group to see if units were available.

Hao uploaded pictures of floor plans and renderings on WeChat, and once the buyer gave her the seal of approval, Hao set up a group on WeChat, in which she, the buyer, the buyer’s attorney, and the bankers ironed out the details of the deal. The buyer ended up purchasing two apartments: 39A, a three-bedroom unit on the 39th floor for $10.25 million, and 21B, a one-bedroom unit on the 21st floor for about $3 million. What was unusual about the deal was that the entire transaction was conducted through the social network – the buyer didn’t even visit New York before agreeing to make the multimillion dollar purchase.

Hao’s unique sale in one of Manhattan’s most talked-about buildings was, as expected, picked up by the media — except it was Serhant doing the talking. An article in New York magazine on Monday was titled “Bravo Broker Scores $13 Million Deal Using Only Social Media.” According to the article, Serhant said that he and his team made the deal happen after one of his team members received the WeChat message.

“A complete stranger who learned about us via social media and basically gave us $13 million and change to invest in something that’s not even been built yet in a city they’ve never even been to?” Serhant is quoted as saying in the New York article. “I don’t think [anyone else has done that].”

Serhant also shared the article on Twitter after it was published. On Tuesday, Serhant’s “Million Dollar Listing” co-stars Fredrik Eklund and Luis D. Ortiz made a Fox Business appearance on Tuesday in which they discussed the deal, which was credited as Serhant’s deal by the network.

Upon hearing that Serhant was credited with the deal, Hao told TRD that she felt “awful.”

“He’s a close friend of mine,” Hao said. “Now I’m really confused about what’s going on.”

In a later statement, however, Hao said that Serhant “is a very close friend and gave me great advice as I worked through the transactions, this Baccarat deal, we talked too.”

A spokesperson for Corcoran Sunshine wasn’t immediately available for comment.

  • alex

    this sneaky way of reporting deals is nothing new – seen it with many agents many times

    • Char4Dew

      still despicable, he could have told the reporter who really did the deal. with friends like that? hog of the media. he is getting the calls. PIG!

  • alex

    I meant taking credit for deals not done by the credit taker


    believe it or not Douglas Elliman are notorious in doing this, finally they get a taste of their own medicine. Again they are great for branding other than that there practices are dirty and they pay a lot of media to be placed in spot lights. Hence real deal always. lol you would think real deal owns DE

    • Charlotte Friedman

      I don’t agree with you. DE is definitely a million notches above.

      • forevermetal

        which is why they took Louis from Keller Williams after his shady behavior, right?

        • Char4Dew

          KW is no big deal, they leave like flies, Douglas Elliman has changed a lot and so did REBNY. This is not a license to rip off a friend or hog their business, Sertainly no reason to BS the Media.

    • forevermetal

      I just saw a post on Facebook where Dottie Herman names 432 Park Avenue as “Their” development.

  • yeah right


  • Charlotte Friedman

    When you look at where he works you can understand how ethics is not his game.

  • Charlotte Friedman

    Emma Hao, good Job, but he is not your friend, he is hugging your advertising and getting the calls, ditch him if you plan to do more business. other wise he will be on your tale.

  • I worked for DE and it was like being in fourth grade (no offense to the 8 years). The whole business is a cluster F*Ck and I’m looking forward to help it crumble via my National efforts via … #CRUSHiT

    • Frank

      Are you serious? National Efforts? LOL Your website looks like it was made by a 4th grader in 1996.

  • Surreal Estate

    I think they shot part of American History X in #4..

  • Gail Force

    What a douche.

  • Oouch

    “A complete stranger who learned about us via social media and basically
    gave us $13 million and change to invest in something that’s not even
    been built yet in a city they’ve never even been to?” Serhant is quoted
    as saying in the New York article. “I don’t think [anyone else has done
    that].” – Excuse me, but, long term, do you really expect us to look at this and say, “that was a good thing?” It might feel great being born in a bubble just yesterday kids, but, this type of viral market stupidity that runs counter to every concept of fiduciary diligence as the Beatles song says, “will getcha in the end.”

  • Sh!t My Tenants Say

    There is a douche like Ryan at almost every firm. MDL did a great job of casting pure stereotypes for this awful show. Most NYers know what $1MM really buys, and its not what these people are selling (pun)

  • Muse

    Great job EMMA HOA! Everyone (except Ryan, and possibly your mutual employers) knows that these sales are YOURS, and because of YOUR HARD WORK, and YOUR connections. While I think its sweet that you defend Ryan, and even call him a friend– PLEASE take my advice; let NEST SEEKERS KNOW it was “your sale, and yours alone, while you are happy to give Ryan credit for being a wonderful asset to team with.”
    He would stab his mother in the eye for credit for such a brilliant sale(s). He really would.
    Great job, and may uor career flourish!

  • Piero Robelli

    It’s the purest sociopathic behavior. Expect nothing more, nothing less, from the Nest Seeking agent.