WATCH: Ryan Serhant on his career trajectory, walking away from sellers & more

The star broker also dishes on the truth in reality TV

TRD New York /
Oct.October 26, 2017 09:00 AM

Ryan Serhant’s first day as a real estate broker was a momentous one. It was Sept. 15, 2008, the day that Lehman Brothers collapsed.

“Everyone was in the conference room, watching the world fall apart — but I had no money, so I was like ‘Aw man, tough day. What do I do next?’” he told The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani during a one-on-one interview. “My career kind of started from the bottom there. … I rose with everybody else as the market slowly came back, and I learned along the way.”

Serhant — a Nest Seekers International broker who took second place in TRD’s ranking of resale brokers earlier this year — said that while four years ago brokers wanted to be working with sellers and developers, they now need to be working with everyone.

“I live by the deal, through and through, and you’re only as good as your last deal,” he said, adding that he is increasingly walking away from sellers with unrealistic expectations.

“I walk away more now than I used to — I used to have that conversation of ‘Listen, we can try, but this is where the market is and if we don’t get there we’ll have to adjust,’” he said. “Now, because of StreetEasy, and because everyone is a genius and everyone has all the information necessary, we can’t just try anymore.”

Video produced by Jhila Farzaneh and Kerry Barger. Interview conducted by Hiten Samtani.

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