In a bold move to start the new year, a SERHANT. representative pitched the brokerage’s training and coaching programs to BHS CEO Bess Freedman, although BHS already has its own in-house programs.

New markets require new approaches and tactics. Experts and industry leaders take the stage at Inman Connect New York in January to help navigate the market shift — and prepare for the next one. Meet the moment and join us. Register here

Ryan Serhant is known for making bold moves. But this time, the broker and CEO of SERHANT. may have overstepped his boundaries.

An unidentified salesperson at SERHANT. Ventures, the brokerage’s educational branch, sent Brown Harris Stevens CEO Bess Freedman a pitch last week for a “tailor-made” training program for the brokerage’s agents, which would include a sales playbook, performance coaching, a social media boot camp and mentorship from Ryan Serhant himself, according to emails The Real Deal obtained.

To be sure she understood the offer correctly, Freedman reportedly asked if the deal was to pay Serhant to train her brokerage’s agents, and the SERHANT. Ventures rep said, “It may seem unorthodox, but you’re understanding it correctly.”

Freedman apparently wasn’t going to let that stand.

“There is a fine line between being unorthodox and being a schmendrick,” she replied, employing a Yiddish word that means “fool.” “Thank you, but we are going to pass.”

The president of SERHANT. Ventures, Kyle Scott, told The Real Deal the offer was made in good faith.

“We don’t view the industry so much as a series of competitors as we do one large community,” Scott said. “We partner with broker/owners all around the world to help train their agents.”

BHS has its own in-house training, marketing and technology programs for agents, including BHSOne, its digital hub for agent design, marketing, education and more, and a recently unveiled metaverse and cryptocurrency training program launched in partnership with the Metaverse Institute.

Freedman told The Real Deal she maintains “incredible respect” for Serhant, but that she turned down his offer since BHS has already invested “so much money” in the company’s own marketing and technology.

She also felt that Serhant’s outreach was very targeted to her firm specifically.

“I asked other brokerages and he hadn’t asked any other firms,” Freedman told The Real Deal. “It seems like he reached out specifically only to BHS to poke a bees’ nest.”

Serhant told The Real Deal his training program already includes some BHS agents who joined of their own volition.

This is not the first time the two NYC-based CEOs have butted heads.

During a panel at The Real Deal’s New York City Showcase + Forum in May, Freedman, alongside Douglas Elliman CEO Scott Durkin, advocated for the old guard in real estate, emphasizing the importance of relationships, while Serhant said agent brands and marketing were the backbone of his business, and a way for agents to move into the future.

Serhant and Freedman then went on to debate the merits and pitfalls of real estate reality TV, with Freedman arguing that it cheapens the industry (and in particular, represents women in a demeaning way), while Serhant said the platform allowed the industry to connect with a wider audience and become more relevant.

“We’re looking towards the future and approaching our business strategically — that means with tech, content, entertainment, and education — and we are doing this because agent brands and properties need to live in a searchable, social, digital way to succeed and sell globally,” Serhant said in a statement emailed to Inman in May.

“This is what we know about media and culture,” he added, “and this is what we are applying to our business approach at SERHANT.”

Email Lillian Dickerson

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription
×