We invited the twittersphere to tweet questions to Ryan Serhant using #AskRyanSerhant, and this is what emerged — with Ryan’s advice added.
1. @KaitlinWylie asks: Which home improvements yield the most ROI when selling a home? What negative and positive effects has “Million Dollar Listing New York” had on your career?
That’s a great question. The first and last thing people usually see in a home is the kitchen. Kitchens are big and expensive, and buyers always overestimate the cost of a kitchen renovation, whereas a seller can do the work for however much it will take to make it look right.
If the kitchen is renovated, that’s a weight lifted from any prospective buyer.
A lot of agents will say that bathroom renovations yield the highest ROI. But in my experience, people would rather pay more for a home with a renovated kitchen and a bathroom they can personalize on their own (two sinks, door for the toilet, bath or no bath, and so on).
It’s also far easier to get a kitchen right than to get a bathroom right. I’ve seen too many bathroom renovations that end up looking like they need … a renovation. That’s no fun and clearly a waste of the current owner’s money.
Regarding “Million Dollar Listing: New York,” people ask me this question all the time.
For the positive, it’s an international commercial that no agent in the world could ever afford to do on their own. Somewhere, in every country, someone is watching the show — right now — and they know me as “that real estate guy.” That’s an incredible calling card.
The show has also served as an invaluable marketing tool that only two other agents in New York (out of about 53,000) have to offer to clients.
For the negative, I can’t eat cookies in public or talk too loudly in restaurants or jaywalk. Otherwise, someone will see me and take a photo, post it on Instagram and tag me for my mom to see.
2. @Stone_EJ: Which is your best technique for prospecting to international buyers?
Funny enough, I’ve answered this question before in a speech I gave on Jan. 17, 2014, for Inman Connect. See highlights below:
1. Know your buyers — globally.
2. Know what the global wealthy are looking for.
3. Advertise to global buyers where they live.
4. Build a global network.
5. Know your properties.
6. Be prepared to compare global markets.
7. Watch the global ripple effect.
8. See the world through your buyers’ eyes.
9. When time and chance compel people to buy a home across the sea, increase your advertising.
10. Upgrade your most valuable property.
3. @Nelson_Usamah asks: What makes you different from every other real estate agent out there?
I have a TV show. That’s a joke — sort of. There are three things that separate me:
1. I have an indomitable endurance. When I moved to New York after college, I was an actor, and as an actor you get rejected 100 times a day.
That built up my thick skin, which allows me to lose 100 deals and give 100 listing pitches. I’d still get up the next day with a huge smile, look in the mirror, and say, “I’m the best real estate broker in the history of the universe. Ready, set, go!”
2. I know every property on the market. I do. Ask me. In this day and age, when a buyer can get every listing they could ever want on their phone while at work, (we) brokers have to separate ourselves by being a source of knowledge and information.
Know every property; know why properties are priced where they are; know why one block is better than another; read everything; educate yourself. It’s free with an Internet service provider subscription.
3. I work incredibly hard — as in my emails don’t stop, 24/7. I don’t believe in weekends or vacations. I love what I do, and I’m addicted to it. So, if you’re a seller, would you hire a broker who takes Saturdays off and two weeks in the summer, or a broker who sends you status updates at 4 a.m. on the Fourth of July?
A lot of people tell me that’s crazy, and I tell those people, “Great — so move out of the way. Real estate is a commissionable business, and the harder I work, the more money I make.”