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Million Dollar Listing S1E2: Turning on the Charm

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Welcome back to Curbed NY's recap of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing New York, where three young brokers, Fredrik Eklund, Michael Lorber and Ryan Serhant, show the world what it takes to sell high-priced New York apartments. Check in each week for recaps by Eater NY's fearless nightlife editor Scott Solish. Episode air date: 3/14/2012.

Don't call it a comeback, but we're back for MDL NY episode 2! This week our fearless brokers dive into the world of international relations for sales with foreigners, deal with sassy clients who aren't willing to listen, and get offers that blow them away. Oh, and did we mention we get a peek at their romantic lives as well?

Crisis 1: French clients and French kissing!
Ryan Serhant must be a bit down after last week's failure at 120 Riverside, so he decides to get up early and do some power stretching. Attention ladies: Beyond having a six pack and good complexion, Ryan also has a painting of himself and a pet snake. Total Package! Pay close attention because these features will come in handy later.
Now that he's stretched, Ryan is back at Adriana's high-end hoarder apartment at 120 Riverside Boulevard from last week. What? Doesn't real estate reality TV resolve itself in 45 minutes or less? Anyway, the place has been cleared out and it's a broker open house, but Adriana and her husband refuse to leave. There are a lot of these folks in this show so far. Since Ryan is showing an Asian couple's apartment, he decides to stock the place with sushi and sake, which seems a wee bit RAYCESS. Unfortunately, his plan to have the Benihana folks set up inside didn't work out.

Despite the sushi, the first broker tells Ryan that the apartment is way overpriced, and he better chop it to below $4 million. Ryan is devastated until he meets with some French buyers who start speaking in, well, French. Guess what? Ryan doesn't speak French, and now his mind is racing! Stop speaking in French before he explodes! He has a snake, people!!!

In the end, they like the space but hate the custom marble and other finishes. Time to talk to Adriana to let her know the place is overpriced by $500,000. Adriana tells Ryan that this is just a ploy to make his job easier and he should just work harder. Not cool, lady! Never insult a broker, especially one who hangs paintings of himself on the wall. Adriana eventually agrees and Ryan is on his way. Ryan calls the Frenchies back and lets them know the price has been cut before the official listing is altered, but they aren't too satisfied with the price chop. Ryan doesn't care and tells them he wants an offer by tomorrow or else.

Before he hears from the Frenchies, Ryan decides to have himself a first date with a trainer who uses every cheesy move in the book to let Ryan know she is up for reality TV sex, including ample rubbing of her chest.

Not surprisingly, he is OK with that, countering with his own dose of cheese when he asks if she "wants to come home and see his snake." Of course she does!!! Let's just get the bill out of her cleavage with our teeth and then we can go.

Now that he's had some love, Ryan meets up with the French brokers to hear what they are willing to offer. Hint: it ain't good. The French buyers offer $3.595 million, and Ryan decides to respond in French. Their faces say it all.

The negotiations get serious as Ryan says the offer is too low, and begs them to come up to get the deal done. They come back at $3.7 million and Ryan calls Adriana who agrees to counter at $3.85. The French buyers come back at $3.8, and Ryan begs them to split the $50,000 difference in their commission. It's a deal! Yay!

Crisis 2: Looking for Love In All The Wrong Places
Look who has his own personal tailor who also doubles as a stylist! Michael Lorber.

Are you shocked? A driver, a tailor, this guy has everything but the ability to sell apartments! Now that his manservant has dressed him, Michael is ready to take a call from Trevor, a developer who is close to finishing a new project at 1055 Park Avenue and wants to discuss the units with the Chosen One.

You know 1055 Park, the uber skinny all-glass tower that sticks out like a sore thumb on Park Avenue and was subject to multiple price chops and some messy lawsuits. Michael is perfect for this one! He has five co-listings in the building. Giddy up! Michael takes a tour with his co-broker to get a feel for the space and he is impressed by the staging, including a kid's bedroom that comes with its own movie projection screen dropping from the ceiling. That's normal.

Trevor tells Michael he needs the right traffic, but Michael is worried that he wants too much for the money. Amazingly, they listen to him and the place is going on the market for $6 million. Now he'll show them. Michael gets started with his first brokers open house and he brought cookies to celebrate the occasion. So cute! They must have taught him that in law school.

Not only that, he calls in his secret weapons: masseuses! But will there be a happy ending? All of the brokers are pleased with the layout and massages, but that doesn't equal a sale. Now that the cookies and brokers are gone, Michael decides to treat himself to a rub down, because hey, he's worth it!

Now that he is stress free, Michael also decides to head out on a date that his Dad arranged for him with an Elliman employee. Having a company chairman forceset up his son with a female employee for a date has to violate at least 7,000 laws, but this is New York real estate, baby! Michael is dressed to kill but it seems like he can't close the deal in real estate or love. How sad! Here's a tip: don't do this on a date.

Then Michael seals the deal by explaining that those teeth he has been picking all night are fake teeth, and is shocked that she didn't realize, saying "you thought my teeth were real?" Baba Booey! Then he takes out his credit card and asks for the bill before they are done eating. Smooth move! Hope you brought protection!

It's a good thing Michael didn't score because a buyer is coming to see his big listing. But Michael is annoyed with the amateur hour buyer's broker, who doesn't even appreciate that each unit is a giant glass peep show for everyone outside and that the windows don't open. Rookie! But big news: the buyer doesn't just want the unit, he wants the entire building! Michael is so excited his fake teeth almost pop right out, but his counterpart Alexa says that the guy wants it all or wants none of it.

But we insanely have to wait until next week to find out what happens on the call (hint: no deal). How cruel!

Crisis 3: How to Charm The Client Who Can't Be Charmed
Fresh off his Swedish double at the Visionaire, Fredrik is meeting up with some former clients who are now rying to get rid of their sick Soho loft at 84 Mercer. Fredrik knows how to win the listing, by bringing some dolls for the kiddies. Well played! The 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 4,500-square-foot loft is a real stunner except for the metal-filled kitchen, which Fredrik says is totally dated.

He's actually right, but he thinks that if they gut the kitchen, the place is worth $6 million easy. Unfortunately for Freddie, sellers Michael and Claudia say they aren't going anywhere for less than $7 million. In fact, they say their layout alone is worth more. Fredrik tells them that they should just take the $6 million, combine it with what he made for them the last time and go buy something else. Ruh roh! This sets Claudia off, and since Fredrik is desperate for the listing, he agrees to list it for $7 million if they get the new kitchen.

Claudia calls and tells Fredrik to list the apartment before the kitchen is in, so Fredrik has to go ahead and have an open house. The brokers confirm his deepest, darkest fears about the kitchen and the price. Fredrik feels validated because he is a market Svengali, but how can he tell Claudia? Before he has to, Fredrik hosts a leggy blonde buyer who says she doesn't care about a kitchen because she neither cooks nor cleans. Bam!

Fredrik gets an offer from Blondie for $6.2 million and lets Claudia know, but she wants $7 million or nothing and refuses even to counter. Fredrik refuses to accept his own seller's no and is determined to close the deal, so he goes to see her in person to convince her she is wrong. He is even wearing glasses to let her know this is serial. Super serial!

Fredrik tells her to cut the price or he's dropping the listing. Claudia chooses to keep the price at $7 million and cut Fredrik loose and the unit came off the market after just two weeks. No Swedish meatballs today.
· Official site: Million Dollar Listing NY [Bravo]
· Million Dollar Listing NY Coverage [Curbed]

1055 Park Avenue

1055 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10128