It's Season 2 of Million Dollar Listing New York, where three amazing brokers, Fredrik Eklund, Luis Ortiz, and Ryan Serhant, show the world what it takes to sell high-priced New York City apartments. Check in each week for recaps by Eater New York's fearless nightlife editor Scott Solish. Episode air date: 5/29/2013.
Crisis 1: Cohabitation Nation
When we last left Ryan, he was basking in the glow of a dirty double and on the receiving end of a gift from a client in the form of a baby pig. Now he's adjusting to sharing his apartment with the squeaker and everything is not coming up porky. (But really, Ryan, is the flagrant bacon eating helpful?) At least he won't be so lonely when the next natural disaster hits, right?
After he's done playing swine dad, Ryan heads to midtown for another listing appointment at the Park Imperial, where he had oh so much success selling a penthouse earlier this year. Unlike the first deal, this unit has some pizazz!
Wow. Look at this view of One57 from the bedroom, probably for one-fifth of the price you would pay to look at the Park Imperial from inside One57.
The owner Patrick and his brother just finished a $1.5 million dollar renovation and now they want to unload it, with a few rules. No open houses, no unqualified buyers, and most importantly, no parties. That's half of Ryan's marketing strategy right there (sexual intrigue being the rest, natch). Ryan does convince him to let him bring in a photographer to get some pictures and a video, but the old timer nearly has a heart attack when before he signs off on Ryan's plan. Can't it just be like the old days, when a bank would cut a loan to any Tom, Dick, or Harry and close in an hour? You know, like way back in 2006?
Ryan is a little concerned about how high the sellers want to list the apartment, but he is able to use his soothing voice, dimples, and charm to bring the listing price down to $7.65 million, with the authority to throw in the furniture if he gets a fish on the hook.
Now you're talking. But with all of these rules, how can Ryan hope to actually get any traction? How about shooting a music video inside the apartment? But wait...isn't Pat completely against this? Isn't Ryan breaking all of the rules?! Of course! But he's Ryan. He's allowed to shoot a video, and no one ever said that video couldn't feature old Mary C and her 200-piece band. GOLD! Added bonus?Ryan is going to co-star! Why would Pat get mad at seeing this happening in his $8 million dollar apartment? No reason at all.
A few more questions: who is Mary C.? Why is she shooting a music video in 2013? Does anyone watch music videos? What was her backup plan in case Ryan never offered her this location?
It all seems pretty innocent until the other nine pieces of the band show up.
But hey, the finished product isn't that bad.
Ryan is nervous that this is going to blow up in his dimpled face. That seems like a pretty safe bet, and in fact, a friend of the seller's sends him a link to the video and he goes nuts. Ryan lost all plausible deniability by appearing in the video himself, and it looks like he'll lose the listing. But we have to wait until next week to find out.
Crisis 2: Showing Remorse And Showing Yourself!
When we last left Luis, he was dealing with the fallout from the great Photoshopping disaster that left potential customers outraged and his bosses even madder. Luis heads into Zod's evil lair to touch base and give an update on Downing Street. It's hard to make the new bosses any more angry, so Luis gives it to him straight.
An accepted offer on 27 Downing Street? Look out, cuz this guy is hot. Hot Sauce Hot! But now all Zod wants to know is what's next? Well, if you must know, Mr. Ortiz is trying to parlay his good fortune into a big listing of an entire building in Tribeca, 50 Lispenard. Luis heads to a meeting with the developer, a mysterious man named Jasmit. Let's take a look.
Luis is very excited by the opportunity, and you can tell by the number of times he rubs his hands together and sucks back whatever saliva he has in his mouth. Quite grating, rookie. Anyway, Jasmit wants to know why he should hire Luis when there are more qualified brokers out there, and so far, Luis is having trouble getting Jasmit to blink.
Maybe tell him about your brother's Photoshopping skills? No, but what he does tell him is that this will be his only priority and that he is hungry to make it happen. And it works, sort of, because Jasmit gives him one week to sell one unit. How many was that?
Oh right, one. If Luis can do that, he can get the other three listings. But he only has seven days to sell. It's like Brewster's Millions, set in Tribeca, except with a condo instead of a inherited fortune, and a Puerto Rican broker instead of an African-American comedian. But rather than talk movies, Luis needs to talk deals. So he convenes a meeting of every broker at Keller Williams for a pow wow to talk sales. Look at this dream team!
Look out, Elliman! But, hey, Luis really gets the company motivated. Just watch.
RUDY RUDY RUDY RUDY. Is it a little dusty in here? We would jump through a wall for this little bugger. But will it work? Luis gets a few great leads from his coworkers and sets up some showings right away. They are a bit unusual.
Besides using fake photos, Luis is also willing to do things like lick the bricks to get a deal. Here's a tip?try staging instead. It usually works. Unfortunately for Luis, his week is almost up and there don't seem to be any takers. Is he going to lose the whole project?
A week later, Luis sits down with Jasmit to go over his progress, and it's not pretty. Luis tells him that despite his growing love for the property, he has no deals. And worst of all, Jasmit tells him he is out of time. Luis prays for some good fortune,
but none is coming. It's over for Luis, great speeches, brick licking and all. Wah Wah. Let this be a lesson. Don't bite more than you can chew, and don't take on sales assignments that are set up for you to fail. And oh, more Jasmit, please. He's a star!
Crisis 3: Shake Yo' Booties!
It looks like our man Fredrik has a listing meeting at 46 Lispenard. What tells us that his bosses aren't worried that Fredrik will be posting doctored pictures of the project on the web? Fredrik is a bit surprised when the project's GM asks him to don a pair of protective booties before coming inside.
Can someone make us a professional print of that face? It belongs in the Met. Anyway, the conversion looks pretty stunning.
But here comes the shocker. The developer wants to sell all 11 units in just 3 months, a much faster than normal timeline (although considering they have been working on the project for seven years, maybe not so much). Fredrik's response is quite measured. The old Fredrik would probably just say yes and then figure out the details later. But post-Sandy Fredrik is much more discerning, taking his time to wade through the project and get to a point where he feels comfortable signing on. For example, pricing.
They finally settle on listing the units for $2.75 million each, giving Fredrik a chance to make a lot of Swedish meatballs if he can pull this one off.
Surprisingly, the person who may ruin Fredrik's plans is Jonathan, the GM, who shows up to the packed open house and demands that everyone puts on their booties. Seriously, guy? Someone's going to live in this apartment one day, and they won't be wearing booties.
Are you trying to sell these places or keep them clean? Fredrik should fire him! But despite the booty incident, the open house draws raves. To follow up, Fredrik schedules a series of 15-minute interviews with interested buyers' brokers to start slanging units. The first broker comes in with a lowball offer due to small bedrooms. Watch how the master plays this.
BOOM. You just got hit by the Swedish Express. Time to step aside and let the pros handle these units. Fredrik is juggling offers like a wizard, and dealing with all of the half-assed negotiation tactics that brokers learn their first day on the job, including one woman who said she looked at the comps in the building even though there aren't any comps in the building. Is she outsmarting Fredrik?
Does it look like it? The brokers get frustrated with his non-negotiation negotiations, but slowly they start to cave and sign deal sheets. There are about to be so many Swedish meatballs that we could make a six-foot sub. But when he goes to update the building owner, Fredrik gets nothing but grief.
Can you believe this guy? Fredrik delivers results, and the only thing the manager can deliver is some mouth breathing and no eye contact. It's not our hero's job to read your mind, it's his job to deliver the results you both agreed upon. Fredrik works so hard for perfection, but it's hard to deliver when the goal line keeps changing. Finally, they agree to accept the deals but take a break from selling and reconsider the pricing later, and now Fredrik can split his SIX SWEDISH MEATBALLS with his two dogs and fiance!
· Official site: Million Dollar Listing [Bravo]
· Million Dollar Listing New York coverage [Curbed NY]