You might know NYC real estate mogul Ryan Serhant from his popular TV show on Bravo, best-selling books, or top-rated courses teaching people across the world how to achieve their real estate dreams. What you may not know is that Serhant is living proof of why it can pay off to not give up on a dream too soon.
Let's roll back the clock to a much younger, awkward, and slightly overweight Ryan Serhant on his family's working ranch in Colorado. Serhant was an outgoing and adventurous type, born with the physical DNA of NFL star Rob Gronkowski (Gronk) minus any talent or inclination for any sport whatsoever. And that's not for a lack of trying. His very supportive parents encouraged him to try every sport, but nothing seemed to stick. Then, when he was in high school, he wandered onto a theatrical stage. Voilà! The kid had found some potential and natural abilities at last in the arts!
After some years of training and gaining confidence, Serhant moved to NYC to pursue a full-time career in acting that predictably fell short of his expectations. On the advice of a friend, he turned to real estate as a way to make ends meet while also possibly not abandoning his original dreams. The acting thing never really panned out -- but it also kind of did in an indirect way. In a lesson of proximity -- i.e., putting yourself in the right place at the right time to find opportunities -- Serhant learned of a casting call of sorts through his industry connections about a new real estate TV show called Million Dollar Listing on Bravo.
The audition was a scene only rivaled by the season opener of The Bachelorette: Serhant showed up with hundreds of other well-dressed, perfumed, and coifed men groomed to the nine's hoping for a spot on the show. Digging deep from his theatrical past, and probably with a little bit of pent-up indignance from his past rejection notices, he crushed the audition with an irreverent and audacious performance. This hit the bull's-eye for the Bravo producers, and Serhant got a call back the next day. But this time, the competition was whittled down to just a handful of candidates. Finally, Serhant felt like victory was within his grasp.
The producers asked to follow him around to observe his day-to-day with the hope of getting the right optics to cast the right person in their reality docudrama. When the other candidates were kissing up or trying too hard to perform on camera, Serhant decided to flip the script. He played hard to get and told the producers that he was "super busy with actual work" and had to let them go so he could get on with business.
This was of course a bluff, since Serhant wasn't exactly crushing the game yet, but the producers fell head over heals for his no-nonsense approach and authentic NYC-style attitude for hustle and grind. Serhant got the job on Bravo and quickly grew his business and brand off the success and exposure to the tune of $4 billion in sales.
Flash forward a decade later, and despite having been in the right place at the right time with a little luck on his side, Serhant has since proved that he actually has the chops. You can easily find him sharing valuable knowledge and inspiration via entertaining social media posts, live streams, and occasional strolls through the streets of New York in a superhero costume.
During our time together, he imparted many lessons about how to be successful in whatever business you're in. Most important was his recommendation on being consistent with content: "If you make six videos and give up because you're not getting the views, that's like going to the gym six times and expecting huge biceps. It doesn't work that way."
Serhant has become a prolific creator of videos that tell stories, showcase his properties, and highlight business lessons. This production and output has allowed him to build his newest venture of starting his own brokerage and one-stop-shop media company that's also equipped to help other agents create their own branded content with a page from Serhant's playbook. I'm confident there's a lot to learn in this episode of Behind the Brand with Ryan Serhant: