Ryan Serhant Team BK: Real Estate Powerhouse
On the day the Lehman Brothers filed for Bankruptcy in 2008, Ryan Serhant decided to take some advice from a friend, get his real estate license and rent apartments on Craig’s List in order to pay your own rent. It was either that, or move back home to Colorado. A decade later, Ryan is one of the biggest real estate brokers in New York City with his own TV show on BRAVO.
His partners Josh and Sara Golan founded Online Homes, a boutique real estate company in Brooklyn specializing in real estate sales, development, property management and rentals. In other words, they do it all. Together, the trio has become the most powerful real estate moguls in all of New York. But how did they come to be?
Ryan met Sara and Josh Golan when they hired him to sell one of their homes, which he did in just one week. Ryan says, “We got to know each other. They had a brokerage company called Online Homes and I mentioned that I just opened my office and looking for someone to run it. Why don’t I acquire your company and all of your agents and we can do this together? And that’s what we did.”
The key to a successful team? “Communication. Same secret to a successful relationship or successful marriage. Consistent communication and set expectations,” Ryan tells us. Sara agrees that communication is everything and one of the key factors between them.
Communication also helps the dynamic of the trio, according to Sara, who’s married to partner Josh. “I think it’s a great dynamic that we have. Working with Josh is an ongoing learning experience for me as he is extremely knowledgeable about the market. He is a very patient man and he keeps me grounded. There’s a level of respect between Ryan, Josh and myself.”
While they all agree that communication is key, they each have different drives, fears and inspirations. Ryan’s drive is fear of failure and competition. “The competition in New York is a blessing and a curse. It’s so fierce and so competitive that it can be unhealthy, but it’s also what keeps us going.” When I asked Sara what drives her, she responded with, “My drive is from the people that I work with and the relationships we are building. It’s not just about selling real estate, it’s about building relationships and genuinely caring about the business and the people that I work with.”
Ryan advises newcomers in the industry to do the opposite of what he did. He tells us one of the most important things you can do starting out in the real estate industry is to join a team. “I think that I would advise people to not do what I did, which is sit at a computer by myself posting ads for rentals on Craig’s List. I would work on a team and learn from them. I would take their information, listen to their phone calls, be part of a discussion and help them with their open houses. You know, be a part of the family.” It’s also important to know that real estate is not for everyone. Sara says, “You have to work really hard at it. You have to set realistic goals and you just have to keep learning about what’s happening in the market, emerging neighborhoods, the product you are selling and most importantly, listen effectively to the buyers and care about your client. Listening is an important trait to have.”
On how to be successful, Sara inspires us, “Success is not just measured by the amount of money you make, but by the network and relationships that you build and how you are able to live and really enjoy life. Be mindful of others and treat people well. Success comes from what you give of yourself to others. It’s really what you put out that you get back.”
As far as future plans, Josh, Sara and Ryan have a lot going on. Sara plans to continue growing the team and selling all of their listings, as well as expanding further into Brooklyn and possibly the surrounding areas as well. Ryan’s book Sell it Like Serhant comes out in September and can be pre-ordered at www.sellitlikeserhant.com. The book will focus on how to sell, how to earn more and how to become the ultimate sales machine. “You already have what it takes to succeed and this book is going to help you flip that switch from mediocre to amazing.” Ryan has a new show on BRAVO titled Sell it Like Serhant airing at 10pm on Wednesday nights. Throughout the show, we’ll see Ryan teaching other sales people how to sell anything, not necessarily real estate. After all, “If you can sell real estate you can sell anything.”