Welcome to the premiere 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: 3/28/2012.
It's MDL Episode 4 and y'all are back for more. This week, watch our stars and, dare we say, heroes, as they try to make difficult clients happy, make difficult developers take their advice, and, most importantly, make deals happen.
Crisis 1: A Furry Friend From Down Under
Ryan is known to be a ladies man and an amazing broker, but did you know he is also a guitar player? A real triple threat! But his guitar playing is interrupted by a mysterious friend of a friend who is looking for an apartment in the "downtown area" and knows Ryan is the "king of downtown." While there are more than a few holes in that statement, let's suspend disbelief and play along. Ryan agrees to meet him in his domain, "Downtown," later. But when Ryan heads to Downtown, he finds that his new client lives in a giant Tribeca loft that looks like it was decorated by a Wall Street trader who still misses having a basement. And the trader happens to own a wallaby.
Ryan is shocked. How can he find a place for a wallaby owner? He's Ryan, that's how. He will figure it out. But first, let's try to wear it in a pouch like a Park Slope dad wearing a Baby Bjorn.
Go for the eyes, wallaby! The eyes! No eyes? Boo. Anyway, Ryan starts to show some listings to his new and odd client. They start off at the Caledonia, at a 3BR with outdoor space, which would be perfect for the fuzzy creature from Down Under. Except, bad news, they don't want him in there. Next! Ryan wants to try a listing of his own in the Financial District, because who would care about a weird pet down there, right?
The place is a penthouse triplex at TF Cornerstone's99 John Street, and Ryan is planning on a broker's open that he promises is going to be more like a big party then a stodgy work event. His client shows up, and not surprisingly, he doesn't really love the space. But Ryan tries to get him drunk to get him interested, and he agrees because bros love to party in the FiDi! The party is a hit. Even Scary Eddie is here!
But before Ryan can seal the deal, Fredrik shows up with his two assistants. We smell trouble, and it comes in the form of this joke.
Zing! You have to be impressed that Fredrik brought his own assistants to giggle at his yuks. Anyway, Ryan is convinced Fredrik is scheming against him to sabotage his deal and steal the listing. But the Fredrik we know and love wouldn't do that, right?
The party ends and Ryan is back playing guitar again and sings this great song.
Do we smell a Grammy? Ryan gets a call from his client who was actually so impressed by the party that he wants to offer $2.3 million and throw his own wallaby events there and hope they turn out as cool as that broker event. Impossible! Ryan tells him to go in at $2.38 million so it seems strong, even though it's a penthouse that has apparently been on the market for ever. Hmm...
Ryan can smell the two commissions, but what about the wallaby? Better do some power reading first while shirtless in bed to help meet our shirtless quota.
Good move, Ryan. Ryan goes to meet with the developer who loves the offer but isn't enamored of his furry friend from Australia and turns the deal down. Sad face! Ryan has marsupial murder on his mind. But before he goes 187 on the wallaby, Ryan tells the guy that it's either his pet or the apartment. Shocker?he chooses the pet, who he calls his best friend. But it looks like Ryan would too.
Crisis 2: How To Make Friends And Deals
Fresh off his big sale, Michael Lorber is feeling like the king of the world. And how do kings celebrate? By going bathing suit shopping, of course! So much for his personal tailor. His trunks are about $500 a pair, which is totes worth it. He can't even try bathing suits on without being uber creepy. See for yourself.
Meanwhile, Michael gets a call from none other than Zach Vella. Is Zach going to cheat on Fredrik with Michael? Maybe, because besides being the best developer downtown (according to Fredrik), Zach is also developing 949 Park Avenue and he thinks our hero is perfect for this glassy Upper East Side project. Page Harry Cipriani's?we smell a lunch meeting.
Michael and Zach get together for a tour of the space, which is another sliver building that sticks out in a sore thumb in the midst of all of those classic pre-war buildings. With a kitchen like this, doesn't this six-unit building just scream Williamsburg?
Zach tells Michael he needs him there 100 percent, which would be fine as long as Michael doesn't have those weekend plans! We know he won't have any dates. They agree on listing prices, but Zach wants something sold in the next six weeks. Michael decides to hold a brokers event at the sales office, and Pops shows up to supervise. Will there be cookies? No, but there will be Fredrik, who also works at Elliman and is Pops' favorite. Get in here for a hug!
Michael doesn't like Fredrik because he thinks he is too slick, but slick sells. Pops is obviously smitten with him.
Now Michael is working the room and is getting a lot of interest, but Fredrik also has some plans of his own, grabbing the sales director and letting him know that he is available to help. Michael is not pleased, but the developers are.
After his big party, Michael is working hard to move a unit and he says he can just sit back and wait for an offer. But there is a problem with this plan. No one is making an offer!
D'oh! Think, Michael. You already did a broker's open. You already bought a bathing suit. What else is there to do? Before he can think of anything, the developer calls to tell him he wants to meet. Michael has to say yes, but his face says that he should probably get some more arm pit Botox.
Sadly, we have to wait until next week to find out what happens. Just seven more days!
Crisis 3: Doing The Impossible Combo
Meanwhile, Fredrik is still at Zach's other project from last week and is about to kick off a private showing. He shows his clients a two-bedroom, but they tell him they need something that is at least four bedrooms and much bigger. Good thing Fredrik is wearing his biggest glasses to show them bigger units!
What about the penthouse? It has four bedrooms, but it's also $15 million. Happily for Fredrik, the clients don't care. This unit has 4,000 square feet of indoor and 4,000 square feet of outdoor space spread across four floors, but this still isn't big enough. These clients want to also take on the 7th floor to make a five-floor palace for them and their one son!! Fredrik almost craps his pants with joy.
They are going to meet with the architect and figure out how to do it. Is it possible? It would require a lot of changes to the design, building permits, and offering plan that the developers would have to do at a high cost. So Fredrik tells the clients he needs to go back with a number to get them interested in selling them the two combined units. Who knew spending $20 million could be so challenging? The clients tell Fredrik they don't care about the developer's costs and will pay $16 million for both units combined into one. Fredrik is a bit taken aback because they have already researched the comps (his secret weapon!) and are ready to walk unless the developer meets their price. Don't let them see you sweat, Freddie!
Never! Freddie sits down with the developer to go over the offer and plans. $16 million, all cash for about $500,000 worth of work. Will he take it? If the number is $17 million, he will. Fredrik goes back to the client and makes the offer but they don't go for it and offer $16.25 million. But great news! They settle at $16.75! Swedish meatball time!
· Official site: Million Dollar Listing NY [Bravo]
· Million Dollar Listing NY coverage [Curbed]