Closing Lessons From Real Estate Mogul Ryan Serhant


Dan Lok


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Hey luck is when opportunity meets preparation *Music playing* What are some the most important lessons you've learned when it comes to to closing because I think first of all New York City one of the most competitive real estate market in the world, right? Sure. You have so many agents so many brokers, right? And with you one of the greatest closers in New York City Like what are some of the things they've learned when it comes to sales from like not good in sales. Yeah, like a sales amateur to now right, a master Yeah I would say the the biggest tip that I can give to anybody and It's a question that gets asked to me all the time because people have a hard time with it. Like how do I close? How do I close...? how do I close...? But it's, if you think about it that way then it's automatically gonna be hard because you're thinking about it like something that happens at the end of a relationship or at the end of a transaction mmm I like that So for me what I tell everyone on my team, or what I try to tell everybody, is you you close first at the beginning Meaning you set expectations. So if you're a client, I'm gonna meet you and I want to show you houses. Yes I don't just skirt around the issue, kind of talk about things, go show you houses for two months, and then try to figure out how I'm gonna talk to you about making offers and doing that because you've now just set expectations this entire time for two months that you're just gonna go see houses mmm... and then it of course It's gonna be weird to try to quote-unquote close. Wait to the end. Right, to wait to the end So if you start the expectations early, right, which is the best part about sales compared to Yes. Right, but in sales you can start the expectation early if it's like, okay I'm, I am the greatest real estate agent in the history of the world, right? I saw more than anybody else This is how this process works just so you're aware. Let's eliminate a lot of options Let's narrow down the ten best options for you to buy now. We're gonna go see them over the next couple days And then we're gonna figure out which three we like the most and which one we're gonna make offers on. Sound good? Nothing is final. Nothing's forever like that's the way this process works And then you get to know them you hang out but at least the first thing you did was set up how the process works So you're not really closing them. You're just following the process and everybody is okay following a process You just can't do it Like like I said, like Dating. Like you can't sit down at a bar, tap someone on the shoulder and be like alright This is how this is gonna go Right? We're going to talk for 10 minutes, I'm gonna buy you a drink, you're gonna come home with me. Sounds good? That doesn't work that way. Your place or mine, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah No, no, no you wouldn't yeah, it would be very hard to close that way. That's right, thence from there So what you're saying is setting agenda setting, setting the expectation. Yeah set the process. And also qualify the prospect! Of course! Right, if it's a qualified prospect and from there... Yeah cause if they don't like it, or if they give you push back then you're not into it. They're maybe not ready. Yeah, or they say oh no no, yeah, or I wouldn't be ready to make offers So soon and uh this process takes six months, right? That's a conversation you want to have at the beginning and not at the end, which is oftentimes by closing For people who don't set expectations can be really really hard and so it's really really easy to do all you have to do is have a conversation because people Like what I tell people all the time and what I put in the book is like no one likes to be sold Right and another way to say that is no one likes to be closed. That's correct. So, no one likes to be sold. They want to make decisions. But people LOVE shopping with their friends. Correct. Like how often. Like there's malls everywhere. Retail! Everything like that! People love shopping. It makes them feel good and then they like doing it with their friends. Yes. So if you can make every client at least a short term friend and then instead of closing them you set those expectations So they understand the process of the relationship at the beginning, then it's just following doctor's orders Mmm...! That's it. And you just bring your expertise at helping them solving the problem Yeah... and you also For what it's worth... and sometimes I lose clients this way in the beginning and it's totally fine with me because they're clients that would not be closeable... They're not serious anyway. Yeah is you, you kinda lay down the law a little bit. Like if you want to work with me, let's do it I'm gonna find you the best deal possible I'm the best person to work with and this is how this process works like if you want for a home You're gonna buy one...with me. You don't wanna buy one then... you probably shouldn't shop. I can introduce you to another broker in New York City. There are 80,000 real estate agents. Oh wow... I'll introduce you to another one who, ah, is dead broke and really really excited to show you nice property Like go for it! Do you want to be a tour? Yeah, if you want someone to like be a tour guide for you Ah, but that's not me. Yes, got it got it. And I'm curious from there How did you transition into...landing on the show Million Dollar Listing? Oh man, like My... you know how they say luck is when opportunity meets preparation Yes. Like I 100% believe in that like I'm incredibly lucky to have gotten onto Million Dollar Listing It really was a shotgun to my career. What was life like before the show or life like after the show? It's tough to say because I don't really remember real estate so much before the show, like it was cause I got into the business at the end of 2008. I was, still, kind of acting/hand modeling for a year So to the end of 2009...and Million Dollar Listing casted in March of 2010. So I'd really only decided that... You know what? I'm gonna do real estate right at the end of 2009, early 2010. Three months later I went to the audition for Million Dollar Listing Uhm, with 3,000 real estate agents, at the Hudson Hotel in Times Square. And then they took... nine months to To cast it. Like, it's serious. Like they cut the three thousand I think it was down to like a thousand and then it was like a written application And then they cut that down to five hundred and then they took little small videos and then from the five hundred they cut it down to something else It finally got cut down to 16 and then the casting agents and all the producers came to New York and they followed each each of the 16 around for half a day Where I had to like sell myself hard for half a day, and then they chose the final four And they told us, you think real estate's hard? Talk about television production. I mean our listing, there's three people right, and so they said we're gonna film the entire first season of the show with four of you Oh one would not be used? One we would cut. Oh! Oh WOW So make sure you bring your A-Game. Wow. So like I lost 20 pounds from stress Like my boss was all over me and they would come to me and they'd say, you know Ryan, uhm, this is a really cool property. Ya know Fredric is uh filming with us later for something That's 20 million dollars more and he's got a Kardashian but it's okay do this. I'm sure you'll make the show *laughter* I'm like OMG! Thank you for the confidence booster, right? Thank you so much! But listen, It worked. Right because I would do my thing and then afterwards I'd be making phone calls, phone calls, phone calls cause I didn't want to get fired I didn't want to get cut from a real estate reality show and at the end then we, then I made it Uhm that's kind of how... And from there what happened to your career? Honestly, not as much as you would think. Really? It's not like an overnight thing I mean listen Million Dollar Listing happened for me because I, in my opinion, for me Right, like Fredric and Michael Lorber were already in the business for a long time Frederic is 10 years older than I am. Right? So I was like, I was in my mid - what was I? I was 25? I barely, I've been renting apartments in Koreatown. Like my biggest deal at that point had been like a tiny little sale and a co-op that I had to personally paint I think for like three hundred and sixty nine thousand dollars, uh but I sold myself hard And... You know I had to, you know, really really become the broker that I I knew that I could be as quickly as possible. And so the show didn't help me with anything. They don't make phone calls for me They don't call clients They don't do anything. What it forced me to do was pick up the phone and put myself in situations that I otherwise wouldn't have done, and do it on weekends and do it late at night So instead of going home It was like a metaphorical shotgun to the head, that you better be successful or we're gonna publicly embarrass you to 25 million people So it's not a real thing. It's not like someone gave me a handout or helped me It was this thing in my head that told me... I have to now be the greatest real estate agent that New York has ever seen or my life is gonna end. And like that, that fear of like death in my brain that like my back up against that wall is really what pushed me to be where I am today so we filmed the show starting at the end of 2010 The whole first season went through the middle of 2011. The show didn't come out till March of 2012 But then there's two extra years there where I'm trying to be the best real estate agent again. Show comes out... Nothing happens. Wow I guess I would expect show comes out, your phone will ring off the hook and say hey Ryan We want to buy from you, you know, I want you to list my property and things like that Yeah, yeah. You'd think so. Yeah, I would think that. No, no No, no I mean almost last time you like watch TV at night with you know with Jenny and then picked up the phone and called somebody you saw on TV? That's true. Right? That's true. Never happens. That's true. Because one, like So I do the show to get business and then the phone didn't ring and so I'm sitting there My boss is sitting there. We're all like, K show aired last night. Today's gonna be insane I talk about it in the book too- yeah, it's like this crazy day...we came in and then it was like by the end of the day. No one called No one cared. I bumped into one person on the street that day was like...hey you and that new. Are you the...? The guy? Yeah, you that guy...? Uh yeah, you're kind of funny and then walked away and I was like, oh great... *laughter* Wow...this, this is awesome... So really it was a matter of me, going around and telling everybody like being, being a shameless self-promoter because if no one promotes myself Then no one's gonna know about me So I have to scream it from a mountaintop right so all of my successes for better and for worse and of everything that I've ever done I have to put it out there myself. So then people know about it That's what YouTube is for, like, you know this better than anybody else, right? That's social media. That's email. That's direct mail That's using the phones. That's talking to people on the street, uhm, and kind of being your own biggest fan