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: 4/4/2012.
It's Million Dollar Listing Episode 5?High Five! This week our heroes test whether love and real estate mix and whether Scandinavian and Upper East Side cultures can come together for the purpose of selling condos.
Crisis 1: Making Sex Sell and Rent
Instead of kicking this week off with some topless admiration of pecs, we see a fully clothed Ryan practicing his old acting techniques. No wonder he was so damn successful on the small screen.
Before he gets too deep into character, he notices that he be blowin' up. So what's the dill? His faithful assistant Dina is outside his door, and girl is trying to bang the thing down. Has she finally succumbed to his charms and arrived to consummate this deal? Sadly, no. Ryan just needed some comps but never let the doorman know, and she was forced to wait downstairs?Ryan has told his doorman not to let random ladies up as a protective measure against ex paramours-turned-stalkers. Smoove.
He knows. Now it's listing time, and the place is a 3,600-square-foot duplex penthouse that has been meticulously renovated with amazing light. The client uses it more for a party pad than anything else, which explains why this sink is reinforced to withstand the weight of two people.
This is Ryan?of course he loves that. The place also has a giant roof deck with a hot tub and a Murphy bed for, well, you know. It's more a club than an apartment, and the owner Tom doesn't want to sell unless he gets $4,000 a square foot, which would be about $15 million for a giant one-bedroom. Ryan tells him that's probably a wee bit aggressive, but Tom doesn't care enough about selling it to take anything less. So instead, they decide to rent the place fully furnished for $25,000 a month and revisit the sale later. A rental? Snooze.
Even though it's just a rental, Ryan wants to go large with this rental by having a model party. Genius, right? Dina sure thinks so.
Ryan decides to book a hotel conference room for a little casting session for the party, going so far as to tell each model which room he can picture them inhabiting during the open house. Of course it's also a chance to use his man charms on them, including asking this one to "put your head in my lap."
Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy. Asking her out on a date afterward is even weirder, but whatever. He's Ryan, and they wind up going out and he then casts her in his big shoot. Not to judge, but these don't seem like the images that are going to rent this apartment.
Meanwhile, Ryan's creepiness completely turns his date off and she storms out in the middle of the shoot. Not a shock. He puts it all behind him and focuses on the open house. He thinks he may have the finance fish to take his sexy rental bait, but at a lowball offer of $20,000 a month. Will Tom go for it? After some back and forth, he gets the deal and an $8,000 commission, but somehow that sexy model shoot and casting must have cost him at least $2,000. Still, a deal is a deal.
Crisis 2: Can Two High Powered Brokers Learn To Make Nice?
Michael goes to meet Zach for a meeting 949 Park. Michael is nervous for his meeting (which probably means he is sweating profusely) and he is shocked to find Fredrik also waiting for him.
Michael is not happy. His big shot with a hot downtown developer has been dashed by the Swedish dynamo. Sadface.
Working with Fredrik and sharing a listing is for rookies, not Michael Lorber. But 50 percent commission off of Fredrik's deals is more than the 0 percent commission he would pull in from his non-existent deals, so he sucks it up. The new teammates have to meet at a restaurant to discuss the details of their new partnership, but first Michael regales Fredrik with some historical moments from his lifetime of sweating.
"See, my armpits get the most wet, so I get the Botox in here." Fredrik is just a wee bit freaked by this conversation.
Maybe he is questioning if there is any commission that could make this partnership worth it. But the two try to work out a strategy. Fredrik's first idea is getting rid of the wallpaper, but Michael isn't so sure.
Next thing that is up is how to get people interested. Fredrik thinks Mexican Broker Fiesta is the way to go, but Michael is worried that could come off as cheesy. Tough call. Fredrik also wants to spend an entire night calling brokers personally to come to the event, but Michael also isn't so sure about that. What, you have a hot date? HAHAHAHA. Also, let's look at the size difference here, just cuz.
Who's having the chicken nuggets? This isn't going well, but they agree to split the commissions 50/50, so that's something. Fredrik swoops in to full Mexican fiesta planning mode, but Michael refuses to even wear his sombrero because it doesn't cost a gazillion dollars like his swim trunks. Fredrik is into it, though.
Michael is also concerned that Fredrik left his name off the invite, but they start making their cold calls and then get ready for fiesta time. Fredrik recalls his own Swedish fiestas from his childhood.
That was awesome. Now it's party time and Fredrik is really bringing the Mexican energy he promised. But what will he do when Ryan shows up??? ZOMG, all three are together! Amazing.
It's what we've all been waiting for. Ryan needles Fredrik, Fredrik pokes Ryan, and Michael stays above the fray. But while Ryan and Freddie try to move units, Ryan is trying to poach brokers. How rude! But even ruder is how Fredrik undermines Michael in front of his own dad about the wallpaper. Instead of standing his ground, Michael decides to duck walk his way out of the party.