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

TRD New York /
Apr.April 09, 2014 02:55 PM

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.

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