Welcome to 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: 4/11/2012.
In this week's episode, our heroes have to deal with out of towners, venture to parts of the City that people would have never thought of, and try to salvage deals from the brink of collapse. How exciting!!
Crisis 1: How To Save A Sinking Ship
Michael is on a bit of a losing streak recently. It's not just because he sweats excessively, has fake teeth, got ripped off on bathing suits and can't find a woman, it's also because business isn't going well at 949 Park Avenue and things aren't working out well with his new partner in crime, Fredrik. So Michael arranges a meeting (shocker: it's not at Cipriani's) to try and work things out. Bad news: Fredrik doesn't care about wallpaper, Michael's feelings?or anything else, for that matter. What Fredrik cares about is selling units. And also not ever picking up a drink. Ever. See above.
Michael is fed up with this Swedish meatball and his high falutin' attitude and says enough is enough. With a hand signal!
Michael gives Fredrik the exclusive listing and duck walks out of the restaurant. Only Michael would give up a listing after a week or so because of a personality conflict, not realizing he could just mail it in and still collect 50 percent of Fredrik's hard work. So sad.
Not surprisingly, Fredrik doesn't care. He meets with Zach to discuss the problem. But because he's Fredrik and knows that Zach is going to take his side, he decides to roll in with an economy bag size of tortilla chips that he calls lunch.
That's lunch for a mariachi band, not one Swede. Anyway, Zach tells him he doesn't care who hurt whose feelings, just sell, sell! Fredrik has a big private showing lined up with some Hong Kong-based buyers who seem to be interested in the unit. A few days later, their broker calls to say she wants to meet in the building. This is a great sign. The only problem is that their all cash offer is almost $800,000 under the asking price. Is it already commission-cutting time? Not quite.
Handled like a pro. Zach tells Fredrik the offer sucks and Fredrik lets the broker know they don't have a deal and they aren't even going to counter. The broker goes to call her clients in Paris and see if they will come up. They do, offering $3.6 million, but Fredrik again tells her that its not going to cut it. He knows that they are willing to pay more. But he guessed wrong, and she walks out. Ruh roh. Is our hero going to lose a deal?
Not so fast. She comes back to the table and Fredrik lures her into an offer of $3.8 million, which happens to be exactly where Zach is willing to go. Fredrik manages to squeeze an extra $30,000 out her and then shows her how he likes to drink soda.
He did it again! Suck it Michael. Time to celebrate, Fredrik style.
But bad news, the buyers want to back out because they are hesitant about the giant windows that Fredrik thinks are the best feature of the building. He cancels the mani pedi and runs to try and salvage his deal. He comes up with a plan, sending the buyers' broker out on the street with a walkie talkie to test the windows. And guess what? You can't see in and the deal is saved! BOO YAH!!!!!
Crisis 2: How To Start Over Again
Now that he's back on his own, Michael is chasing a new listing in Chelsea, a neighborhood he obviously knows a ton about.
Maybe he should write a book. He shows up at everyone's favorite building, 100 Eleventh Avenue, and tries to wedge himself onto the established listing team, because who wouldn't want a winner like this on the project. Michael makes his pitch, promising to bring some of his infamous uptown clients to this wacky neighborhood. This snarl is his closing face.
Who wouldn't want to see those chompers in their office every day? I guess they would, because they throw him a unit and promise him 4 percent if he can land a buyer. Giddy up. Of course as soon as you get a new listing, you have to plan a brokers open house. But this isn't going to be Michael's standard cookie party. No sir. He's going straight downtown with this, including hiring a DJ that looks like she could be his mother.
That's our Michael. By the way, this building was over 50 percent sold when he got this listing. What broker hasn't seen it? A DJ isn't all he is pulling out either.
Oooh boy. That about sums up Michael Lorber. Anyway, the brokers come, they all seem impressed with the building and their host, and some of them start getting frisky.
Maybe it's so awkward because Michael has never gotten as close as this old coot has to getting a woman in bed. Anyway, he's got a private showing lined up with a French buyer's rep and tries to wow him by letting him know that the architect is French too. Genius. Meanwhile, Michael is sweating again.
Maybe stop wearing wool suits all the time. After the showing, Michael decides to play some computer backgammon and hope something happens with something in life. And it does, when the Frenchie calls in with a $2.5 million all-cash offer. But wait, the listing price is $3.5 million. Think, Michael. Think!
Think: how did you decide to put on that shirt? GAH! And think how to sell this apartment. He has an idea, but we won't find out until next week if it works.
Crisis 3: Dealing With Rubes Is Worse Than Not Dealing At All
Ryan is training hard with his boxing instructor, just because, when he gets a call from a man in Florida who is looking to move his family to NYC and needs a three-bedroom in the range of 2 to 3. That's million, people. He's coming into town in a few days and Ryan is going to show him around.
Ryan wants to start big by showing his new clients a unit at the Trump World Tower at the UN, but it also seems like he wants to show Mrs. New Client what he's made of and to tell Mr. New Client to go jump in the East River.
Right out there, buddy. That's where you should go so me and your wife can consummate this here condo. Dreams aside, the Mrs. loves the place but Mr. Florida isn't so keen on the floors or decorations and actually dares to tell the Trump listing agent what he really thinks.
She looks like she is in shock. It's probably not going to happen here. But Ryan thinks the problem isn't the apartment?it's the buyers. Of course. He won't give up that easy and takes them to a place on the Upper East Side that they seem to like until they find out that the sellers put $2 million of work into the apartment.
He ain't kidding you, lady. But anyway, they don't like it so it's on to the next one. The problem now is that the couple can't even agree on what they want. Ryan hopes the third one will be the charm, and takes them to a penthouse at the Isis building. Bad news: they hate the kitchen and say they have to gut the entire thing. Not a good start. Ryan shows them the main terrace, but even that doesn't do it for them because the rooftops make Mr. New Client feel claustrophobic. Try staring at an air shaft like the rest of us, buddy. They still can't agree on anything, and we won't find out until next week what happens. If these two buyers are even still speaking to each other then.
· Official site: Million Dollar Listing NY [Bravo]
· Million Dollar Listing NY coverage [Curbed]