Everything is coming up roses for Ryan Serhant these days.
This year, the Bravo celebrity celebrates a seventh season of Million Dollar Listing New York; a spinoff called Sell It Like a Serhant premiered; his book of the same name hits the shelves: and his podcast debuted on iHeartRadio. He describes the podcast as "a rags to riches focused show interviewing people that have built a business from the ground up."
Windy City Times: Where are you from, originally?
Ryan Serhant: I was born in Texas. My passion was in acting. I was terrible at sports. When I graduated college I went to New York City, but ran out of money. I got my real-estate license.
WCT: Did you have odd jobs?
RS: The oddest job I did was a hand model for a while. I held cell phones for AT&T for a long time, and watches, to pay the bills.
WCT: Was there money in that?
RS: It was $150 an hour. I would work 10 hours, so it was great for me.
WCT: Was it hard to conquer real estate?
RS: I didn't know anyone in New York and had no money. I only did it because a friend told me not to temp or be a waiter. With real estate, I could run around and make my own hours. I still thought acting was what I would do. I thought real estate was the better bet for longterm happiness. It took five years for it to turn over and work.
Million Dollar Listing played a role in that. We started shooting in 2010 and it came out with the first season in 2012. It didn't blow up my business. People don't call up a person they see on TV. It helped me in a room that I already had gotten in, but took me a while to get up on my feet.
WCT: Was it hard to get on the Bravo show?
RS: I went to an open casting call at the Hudson New York with 3,000 agents. It took nine months, then they cast us and we started that December.
WCT: Your new book is not a biography, but instead a sales book?
RS: It is my playbook. I didn't want to be another Bravo person writing a book. I wanted a sales guidebook for the people that work for me.
When I did Sell It Like Serhant for Bravo, I realized I could apply my real estate skills to selling anything. I put everything into a book, then fleshed it out with stories and humor. It is not my memoir, that's for sure.
WCT: Is selling a certain personality trait or can anyone learn?
RS: Anyone can learn it. There are some people that have the personality traits of a good sales person. I think anyone can learn because I didn't have the personality of a sales person. I was very shy and introverted. I had to build it on my own.
WCT: When I did sales for Windy City Times, it was hard to stay motivated sometimes. Any tips for that?
RS: I call it the four Ws in the book: the wall, win, why and work. The wall is your motivation. For me, it was running out of money in the summer of 2008. I never want to do that again. I am constantly afraid of that.
WCT: What would you tell people about reality shows?
RS: They are a lot more work than people think. It takes a lot of time. Million Dollar Listing shoots for nine months out of a year. They follow me for the majority of the year and I have been doing it for seven years. It is my life for better or worse!
WCT: Thoughts on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles?
RS: They are the tentpole. They started it. New York is a different beast with a different type of energy. I think there are people that like one versus the other.
WCT: What do you think of gay cast member Fredrick Eklund?
RS: He's great and has a big personality. We've gotten to know each other really well over the years. We are the O.G.'s of Million Dollar Listing. The third guy on the show has come and gone. We are a lot more alike than we ever anticipated or will admit.
We are both competitive and want to be the best. I think I am successful because of him and he is someone to push against.
WCT: How about another gay man involved with the show: Andy Cohen?
RS: He has always been a huge supporter and a big fan. He loves the show. We just did his radio show. He's the dad of Bravo and everyone treats him as such.
WCT: Have you heard from gay Bravo fans?
RS: Yes. They are awesome and really like my mustache!
For more on this million dollar seller's projects, visit RyanSerhant.com .