Acting like a broker: Serhant’s silver screen business bump

The camera-loving agent heads to the movies for the networking opportunities

Oct.October 01, 2014 07:00 AM
At the Toronto Film Festival, from left: Ryan Serhant, Ben Stiller, fi lmmaker Noah Baumbach and Serhant’s fiance, Emilia Bechrakis

At the Toronto Film Festival, from left: Ryan Serhant, Ben Stiller, filmmaker Noah Baumbach and Serhant’s fiancee, Emilia Bechrakis

Could Nest Seekers International broker Ryan Serhant be Hollywood’s next big leading man?

That might be a bit of a stretch, but Serhant, who last month won praise for his role in indie filmmaker Noah Baumbach’s latest film, “While We’re Young,”said he would consider new acting roles — if they advance his real estate business.

If the reviews of his performance in Baumbach’s film are any indication, the opportunities could flood in. The Huffington Post crowed that Serhant — who plays an obtuse hedge funder opposite megastars like Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts and Amanda Seyfried — was the breakout star. And Film School Rejects, a popular movie and television blog, called his character, “delightfully dimwitted.”

In addition, Serhant, who stars in Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York,” and briefly portrayed a deranged biochemist on the soap opera “As the World Turns,” already has new on-screen appearances lined up. In the next few weeks, he said, he’ll make announcements about two new TV projects. He declined to provide specifics, but said they’re both good for his brokerage business.

Still, Serhant is not ready to start contacting casting agents, unless it’s about a listing. He insists he has no plans to leave real estate in pursuit of film stardom.

“People spend a long time trying to find a job that they like. I think I have just lucked out that I get to do something that I really, really love,” Serhant told The Real Deal.

During his five days of filming last winter, Serhant shot scenes from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m., then showed apartments all day. Between takes, he took advantage of the fact that cast and crew members recognized him from “Million Dollar Listing,” handing out business cards on set and talking property investments with Stiller.

And on the red carpet at the Toronto Film Festival, Serhant said he spent more time discussing that city’s real estate market than he did promoting the movie. He even tweeted about the scores of fans outside the premiere: “That’s 10,000 new clients — good thing I brought business cards.”

Being on set, he said, gave him access to Hollywood stars and producers, and an opportunity to score much sought-after listings that few brokers ever get.

And however much he enjoys the spotlight, Serhant knows that what he does is rooted in his role as a broker. “At the end of the day, if you take away the shows and all that stuff,” he said, “I make money when my clients are happy and they buy or sell property.”


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