The “Million Dollar Listing” star said during Inman Connect Now that Americans need to proactively fight racism.

If you’d like to catch a video replay of this Connect Now session, and access the other 25+ hours of video content from Connect Now, tickets are still available. Click here to access.

High-profile real estate agent and reality TV star Ryan Serhant said Tuesday that he supports ongoing protests sparked by police brutality against Black Americans, adding that people need to proactively fight racism.

Serhant — who is best known as the star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing franchise — made the comments during an afternoon session of Inman Connect Now. All speakers attended the event virtually thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, and during the session sounds from a nearby protest could be heard coming from outside the window of Serhant’s Manhattan office.

Though much of Serhant’s comments addressed how agents could succeed during these difficult times, he also expressed solidarity with the protesters. He explained that he has recently been walking the streets of New York and talking to people in an effort to better understand experiences that he, as a white man, will never personally have.

“I think Black lives do matter and I think we need to stand with the Black community,” Serhant added. “We should have been doing this, and we should have been having these protests, years ago.”

Moderator Katie Kossev of Compass, left, with Ryan Serhant Tuesday. Credit: Inman

The demonstrations erupted last week after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on the neck of an unarmed Black man, ultimately killing him. Since then, protests and rioting have engulfed numerous cities across the country.

In Serhant’s case, he has become something of an expert in real estate social media over the years — he said Tuesday he now sells more houses with Instagram than with ads in the New York Times — but argued that tech platforms are also important parts of the push toward social justice.

“Racism isn’t new, it’s just being filmed,” he said, adding that social media users should actively engage with online platforms. “Social media is the newspaper of 100 years ago. It’s the news. It’s the way you get information out there.”

However, he was more critical of the “Blackout Tuesday” trend in which social media users post blank black images online in an effort to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The trend has come under fire from activists who say that it drowns out more important information, and Serhant said that people who want change need to do more than just post a hashtag.

“I think if you’re actually going to stand for something and actually going to try to affect change, you should do something,” he said, adding a moment later, “We should all be speaking out loud and helping each other and protecting each other.”

If you’d like to catch a video replay of this Connect Now session, and access the other 25+ hours of video content from Connect Now, tickets are still available. Click here to access.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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