The Real Deal New York

Ryan Serhant to join Urban Compass?

Leonard Steinberg seems to be courting "Million Dollar Listing" star -- but says talks were about co-listing the "Sky Garage" penthouse at 200 11th Ave.
By Hiten Samtani | June 19, 2014 01:02PM

Could “Million Dollar Listing New York” star Ryan Serhant be looking to leave Nest Seekers International to join Urban Compass? Leonard Steinberg, one of the city’s top-ranked brokers, made a shock move to the much-hyped startup from Douglas Elliman earlier this month, and has been wining and dining Serhant this week, as indicated by both brokers’ social media accounts.

On June 16, Steinberg took Serhant to what he billed as a “power breakfast.” Both brokers posted the photo on their Instagram accounts, and Urban Compass took the peculiar move of sharing Serhant’s photo on its company Facebook page, with the caption “coming soon.” Another top broker, Douglas Elliman’s Oren Alexander, speculated on Instagram that Steinberg was breaking bread with Serhant in order to woo him over. He commented on Steinberg’s post with just one word: #recruitment

On June 18, Steinberg put up another post on Instagram that showed his and Serhant’s name tags together on a dinner table. He tagged Urban Compass in the post and captioned it “the plot thickens.”

For his part, Steinberg categorically denied that Serhant was coming to Urban Compass, saying, “it’s just a funny rumor.” He insisted that this week’s meetings had been about  Serhant’s $23 million “Sky Garage” penthouse listing at Young Woo’s 200 Eleventh Avenue. The discussions had borne fruit, he said, and he confirmed he would now be co-listing the apartment. Steinberg brought the building to market in 2007.

A spokesperson for Serhant said that “Ryan and Leonard are friends. There is no truth to these rumors based on speculation. Ryan Serhant remains with Nest Seekers International.”

Representatives for Urban Compass declined to comment, and Eddie Shapiro, the founder and CEO of Nest Seekers, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Urban Compass has made clear its intent to recruit some of the city’s top talent, though many in the real estate industry still view its business model as somewhat cryptic and were flabbergasted by Steinberg’s decision to jump ship.