Million Dollar Listing: New York [Bravo, Wednesdays, 10/9C] doesn’t have anyone forced to live with anyone else. There’s no forced competition – with or without battles, challenges or any other crazy thing dreamt up by the show’s creators. It’s just three ridiculously good looking land sharks selling real estate in the toughest market in North America.
Fredrik Eklund is a transplanted Swede whose philosophy is to work harder than anyone else – which means he also plays harder. He’s smart, charming and has a secret weapon for open houses. He’s also Managing Director for Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Michael Lorber is a rookie, technically. However, he has a couple of degrees, a huge rolodex and his family’s been in high end real estate forever – which doesn’t preclude his making a few rookie mistakes. Although he’s the Director of Business Development for Douglas Elliman Worldwide Consulting, we’re seeing his first forays into the actual selling of real estate.
Ryan Serhant is SVP, Managing Director for Nest Seekers International. He thrives on competition and challenges and is as smart, charming and hard working as they come. He’s also quick witted – which comes in handy when a client isn’t maybe really ready to make a sale easy. Thank the gods for the high-tech john in the master bathroom!
In the premiere, Fredrik gets unique opportunity. John has a luxury apartment in a The Visionaire, the greenest building in the country, but he wants to sell it towards buying an even better apartment in the same building. If Fredrik can sell his current apartment and broker a great deal on the new one, he will get double commissions for nowhere near double the work. The problem is that John is a real hardass in his approach, and seemingly inflexible on price.
Michael’s potential first sale comes about when his father puts him in touch with a building agent for a Tribeca building of expensive lofts. His challenge is that, if he sells the loft, he still has to split the commission with the building agent, but if the building agent sells, Michael gets nothing.
Ryan is commissioned to sell a luxury apartment that has one minor problem – the lady of the household has a panic room for her clothes [!] and in one bathroom, the tub is completely hidden by racks of shoes! Getting this place ready to show could become a nightmare – but Ryan takes a ‘rip the bandage off’ approach that is unique.
Sure, the three guys Million Dollar Listing NY aren’t the most relatable in terms of being average, down-to-earth fellas [Michael even puts it bluntly, ‘I like luxury. Who doesn’t’, but they are smart and personable and it’s actually fun to watch the wheels turn as they think their way through their [potential] commissions.
We don’t get a look at their private lives, so we’re not too busy thinking about them being the 1% to let it get in the way of their work. And seriously, these guys do work. Hard. They have to be persuasive without being oily; they have to be smart without seeming too intimidating, and they have to have terrific resolve.
Because Million Dollar Listing New York doesn’t create artificial drama, but instead relies on actual situations, it’s far more entertaining – and informative – than most reality shows. We can see the results of hard work and intelligence and, in one case, a shining example of ‘you snooze; you lose.’ There’s even a great final sequence that provides a bit of unexpected humor.
So, Million Dollar Listing New York gets full marks for reality and close to full marks for originality. It also scores for drama, humor [see: Fredrik’s secret weapon – there’s a song involved…] and actual entertainment.
I never thought I’d ever see this day!
Final Grade: A-
Photo courtesy Bravo