How Ryan Serhant Uses “Big Money Energy” To Make Millions

If you don’t feel amped up to accomplish your goals, you definitely will after this episode. Today we talk to real estate agent, entrepreneur, author, and Million Dollar Listing New York star, Ryan Serhant. You’ve probably seen Ryan selling ridiculously nice (and expensive) homes on TV, but today you’ll be the private audience to hear his backstory, his work ethic, and how he developed his big confidence.

Ryan moved to New York to become the next big star in theatre, but after seeing the financial position of those “successful” actors he looked up to, he made a pivot. Ryan got his real estate license and started listing apartments to pay his bills, but was given a golden opportunity when an foreign buyer specifically chose him to find her next multi-million dollar home in New York City. Ryan still remembers the lack of confidence he felt when he got the listing, and knew the only thing to do was educate himself and practice his pitch. Long story short, he helped the buyer find her dream home, and the rest is history.

You’ll hear Ryan talk about the importance of confidence, not only in this podcast, but in his new book Big Money Energy. Brandon and David both agree with Ryan on how important, and often undervalued, having confidence is. Not just confidence in your work, but confidence that you’ll be able to accomplish the most challenging tasks you set for yourself!

Brandon:
This is the Pyjama People Podcast, show 465

Ryan:
I am very, very focused on making sure that my future self doesn’t come back in time and kick my ass for not putting in the work today to make his life better because I don’t care about my life today. To be honest. I want to live it to the best of my ability, but it’s over today. I can’t change what I did yesterday. I did it already. I want to work and do as much as I can today for future me. So how can I be future me today?

Intro:
You’re listening to Pyjama People Radio, simplifying real estate for investors, large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing, without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

Brandon:
What’s going on everyone? It’s Brandon, the host of the Pyjama People Podcast here with my co host, Mr. David, the BRRRR-full man, Greene. You like that?

David:
That’s very nice. Very good.

Brandon:
BRRRR-full. I don’t know. People that have no idea you wrote a book called BRRRR have no idea what I’m talking about, but what’s up David Greene I’m excited to have you on the show today talking with a real estate agent. One of your kin, I guess you could say. Not literally kin.

David:
We don’t get to do that very often, but this is exciting. We get to talk to someone who’s at the top of his game, real estate broker like me. He’s on the East Coast. I’m on the West Coast. He’s on TV. I’m on a podcast. Potato, potato.

Brandon:
Pretty much the same thing. He’s written some books, you’ve written books. He’s got 25 million people that love him, whatever. We’ll get to that in a minute. David, I love you too.

David:
Thank you, Brandon. You’re worth 25 million to me.

Brandon:
I love Ryan Serhant. This show, we just got finished recording, it was phenomenal. I think you guys are going to love every second of it. You don’t have to be a real estate agent to care about this show. In fact, we don’t really talk much about brokerage or agent stuff. We just talk about general principles for success in any area, specifically a lot about energy. Now, you might be thinking like, “That’s lame. Why are they talking about energy?” Foo-foo stuff.

Brandon:
No, what I’m talking about is the way you portray yourself to the world around you and how that leads to so much success. We’re talking about a guy here who went from living out of some crappy apartment, eating rice and beans to making millions of dollars a month in his business, and you’re going to learn the exact characteristics and traits that took them there. So all that and more to come, but first, let’s get today’s quick tip.

Brandon:
Today’s quick tip is very simple. Ryan, our guest today, wrote a book called Big Money Energy and I would highly recommend checking it out. Now Ryan is the star of a TV show, actually several of them and you might be thinking, “Oh, TV show guy. I’m not going to read his book.” Read his book. It is phenomenal. I wish I would have read this book 20 years ago. This thing would have changed my life. I’m going to even give this to every college graduate.

Brandon:
I think it’s going to be my go-to graduation gift for kids because I wish everyone would read this book. So it’ll help you in every area of life. Check it out. That’s today’s quick tip. With that, we’re going to get on with today’s show. Hey, real quick note about today’s show, it’s important. Ryan, our guest is awesome, but he curses like a sailor. So just FYI, if you got kids with you in the car, you may want to throw some earmuffs on or listen to it a different time, but we’re warning you now here so that you don’t freak out later and be like, “They never told me.”

Brandon:
I’m telling you right now. So be warned, but again, you’re going to love this show. It’s phenomenal. So without further ado, David, anything you want to add before we get into the interview?

David:
No, Ryan crushes it. I’m just excited to bring him to the BP community.

Brandon:
Here we go. Let’s get to our interview with Ryan Serhant. From struggling actor to struggling real estate agent to figuring out a thing or two about what it really takes to succeed at life, to being the star of Million Dollar Listing New York. He’s done over $4 billion in sales now. He makes millions of dollars every single month. Recently helped sell the second most expensive house in American history. He’s an author, a family man and he’s shaken up the way brokerages are run. Ryan Serhant, welcome to the show, man.

Ryan:
Thank you so much for having me, man. This is awesome. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while.

Brandon:
Well, sweet. Well, let’s dig into this thing. So I devoured your book over the last couple of days. I have 4 million questions to ask you today, but we won’t get to them all but we got a few we’re dying to here. So first question, Big Money Energy. I want to know what the heck is Big Money Energy because this is the concept that actually I fell in love with.

Ryan:
I guess I got to take it back for a second.

Brandon:
Please.

Ryan:
Big Money Energy is my second book. My first book was called Sell it Like Serhant which was really my sales toolkit for the gig economy. For real estate agents, yes, but for anyone who’s in the business of sales, which is everyone. I put that together over the course of 10 years. I got into the real estate business the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, in 2008 and taught myself how to sell, how to rent apartments, how to build a sales career, how to follow up, how to structure my day, all of that, over the course of the next 10 years.

Ryan:
Everything that I learned, everything I knew about how to talk to people, how not to talk to people, how to communicate in general, and how to operate as an entrepreneur who has to wake up every day with no inventory other than what other people control, and go make a percentage off of that, I put into that first book.

Ryan:
But what I didn’t put into, it became very clear to me once I put it out, because a lot of people read it, and they said, “Listen, after reading your book, I know what to do. I know exactly how to build my career. I know how to sell, I know what to do, but I can’t. I’m freaking out. I’m 18 no one’s going to trust me. I have imposter syndrome. I’m in a new city. I tried to open my mouth, but my palms are sweaty, my stomach is in knots.”

Ryan:
So what I realized was, wait a minute. So Sell it Like Serhant, which then became a show on Bravo, which then became a large online sales course, which we have now and it’s been a big part of our business where we teach people how to sell all over the world, it is a toolkit, but the secret sauce is being able to have the confidence to use it. You can give anyone a toolkit and say, “Go build a house,” but if they don’t have the confidence to put up that house and make that foundation and do the carpentry and do the plumbing then they’re book smart, but they’re not street smart.

Ryan:
So Big Money Energy is really big magnetic energy. It’s all about how to adjust your mindset, so that you can start attracting success immediately and start becoming the person that you absolutely know that you can be. One of the big things for me when I got into this business was I’m not from New York City. I wasn’t born a real estate agent. The last thing I ever wanted to do in my life, was sell anything.

Ryan:
I came to New York City to do theater. I thought I was going to be doing Shakespeare on Broadway till the day I died. Turns out, you need to make money to live in New York City and they don’t teach you that in theater school. So I had to figure out how to pay my bills and I didn’t want to have a job that tied me down and wouldn’t let me audition. So that rolled out waiting tables, bartending and temp work and I didn’t want to go back to school.

Ryan:
A friend said, “Listen, get your real estate license. It’s the greatest thing in the world. You make your own hours, rent an apartment every month or so and you’ll pay your bills and do whatever else you want.” I just became addicted to the business. I became addicted to the limitless possibilities, but I didn’t have a suit and I saw all these people, these big brokers, bankers, developers, attorneys, they’d walk into a room or just walk down the street with that air of confidence that they knew what they were doing.

Ryan:
You know those people when you see them. You trust them and you haven’t even talked to them. I would do what that guy says. He clearly looks like he knows what he’s doing or she’s got her shit down. I don’t have that. I don’t have that. So I had to create it and that’s what Big Money Energy is all about. It’s how do you create the confidence that you know you’ll have in five years, but how do you do it today, so that you don’t waste time?

Ryan:
I wrote this book during quarantine. I didn’t really have an intention of writing a second book. I don’t have the time. I’m a full time real estate broker in New York City, but then COVID hit, and I had to go to New Hampshire with my baby, my wife and my asthmatic mother in law, because we thought New York City was going to shut down the bridges and tunnels, and it was going to be like Will Smith versus the world. Which is funny now, but at the time, that was very real.

Ryan:
I was like, “What do I do now?” All my deals are dying. A million people are leaving New York City. I guess I’ll write my second book and I’ll start a new business. So I left my brokerage and I started my real estate firm. I went out on my own and started in September last year and that brings me to you guys.

Brandon:
Can you walk us through that? I know we’re starting the end of your story and then I want to transition back in a minute, but what’s that like to like … What was going through your head mentally to quit … You’re a big agent, you were a huge agent at this other brokerage and then you leave that to go start your own thing on your own during a pandemic. Some people might call that crazy. What was going through your head at the time?

Ryan:
Everyone called it crazy. No one told me to do it. Because everyone much smarter than me was pulling back, was cutting jobs, furloughing people, cutting expenses, and I was about to drop a bomb on my life, and go and spend all of it. Listen, I’ve always lived by the idea that I’d rather regret the things I did than the things I never tried. I am very, very well aware that I’ve got one life to live. It’s the whole reason I got into real estate because I saw 50 and 60 year old actors in New York City, people that I was trying to be like, who were desperate to get represented by an agent, who were desperate for that big break and they’d been doing it for 30 years, they lived in the same apartment.

Ryan:
They had awful lives, as far as I could tell. Now, listen, they might have loved their life, and that’s fine but for me, that wasn’t living. I didn’t want that. So I wanted something better for myself. So screw it. Sure. Power of yes. I say yes to as many different opportunities as I can, even if they don’t seem like they are something that I should be doing, because you just never ever, ever know. You never know.

Ryan:
So quarantine hit. I was like, you know what? I haven’t left to start my own firm for two reasons over the years, and I’ve been at the same firm for 12 years, since I got into the business. One, what can I really bring to the table that’s different? How am I going to separate myself? Just because it’s me, I don’t want to go start my own firm to make more money, because that’s stupid. That’s never going to happen. Only you will spend more money.

Ryan:
The firm I’m at now spends all the money. I just make it, that’s fine. Two, it’s really hard to leave when you have $2 billion in active listings that are tied to your brokerage, 350 active listings, 500 million in contract and a team of 65. So how do I dismantle all that slowly, but surely, or I could leave, I would just have to leave it all on the table. Then a pandemic hits. Every active deal and listing dies on March 22, 2020. It was like D day for real estate in New York City.

Ryan:
Activity, it’s funny now because it’s April. So every week that happens now, in 2021, we get the market updates. You’re like, “Oh, activity is up 725% year over year,” and I’m like, “Because we died.” It’s now versus death. So I had a window of opportunity where it was incredibly scary, but a terrifying time to do anything that was around massive change but I didn’t think I was ever going to get another window like that to escape.

Ryan:
So we’ve just pulled the ripcord and bounced, and it was a freaky 2020. I actually have notes in my calendar when I was so stressed out in 2021. I put them into the future, just writing out like, “Hey, it’s June 12, 2020 right now. You feel like crying. You’re freaked out. Did it work out?” That’s coming up in June because I remember putting it in and yeah, it worked out.

Brandon:
Well, it ties the first two questions I have together and I know, David, I’m hogging the mic here today, but I’ll wrap up with this one is, in the book, you have a series of codes that you go through. Codes that maybe have guided your life or your success principles. The very first one, and I underlined it, circled it, love this thing. It says, “When you can’t change your circumstances, there’s one thing you can change, your energy.”

Brandon:
So I wanted to tie those two things together, the fact that COVID, hit the world melted down. In a lot of different areas, people struggled. So how did you apply that principle in terms of the pandemic? You changed your energy, you couldn’t change the pandemic or the world, but you changed your energy about it. How does that look?

Ryan:
I’ve talked about this in the past where mental health notwithstanding, most of us have the option every day. You get in the car, and you can look out the window on the right and you can choose cloudy skies, or you can look out the window on the left, and you can choose sunshine. It is up to you. I’ve been in lots of situations that are terrible and there are people who are acting like it’s terrible and then there are people who choose to find the sunshine.

Ryan:
For me, life has just always been too short to choose clouds and when it rains, it cannot rain all the time. So I always want to look for the best in a current given situation. So I couldn’t change the pandemic, but my energy going into it was nervous, afraid, terrified, on the couch, Netflix. What do I do? Pause, hold, wait. Because that’s what everyone else was doing. So we just followed the pack. Follow the pack, follow the pack. Let’s watch the news. What’s going to happen at five o’clock.

Ryan:
Or I could flip it. Or I could say, “What is exactly happening right now?” It’s the middle of the spring selling season. Everyone is forced to stay at home. This is about to be a multi trillion dollar PR campaign for the value of your home. I should take advantage of this time and get ahead while everyone else is streaming TV shows. While you’re watching Tiger King, I am going to start writing my business plan.

Ryan:
While you’re watching, whatever else is you’re watching, I’m going to start building out my org chart for the company that I’ve always wanted to build, but I’ve never had time. Guess what? The world just gave me time. So I’m going to shift my nervous, my scared, my very kind of still energy into excited energy, motivated energy. I’m going to take this time and actually put it to use.

Ryan:
It was like … Listen, and I write about it in the book, but when I got into the business, I was the type of person who I just wanted to do what was easy. I didn’t really want to be a broker. I had my license because I could rent a $4,000 a month apartment and make two grand and if I did that once a month, then I could have 29 to 30 days to myself. The problem is you do that and you’re like, “Oh, I can do that again. Oh, imagine if I did that every day. Holy shit. My life.”

Ryan:
But I would do rentals because New York City is 70% rental. So I would take the rental deals that came through and any sale client that would come through, I didn’t feel like I was the guy that could handle it. Again, I had that imposter syndrome. I was nervous about it. I didn’t know the difference between a condo, a co op, a townhouse, multifamily, you name it. I had no idea.

Ryan:
Then this woman from China reached out to me, named Zhang Xin, that you’ll remember if you went through the book, and she found me on Craigslist. She said she was looking to buy an apartment on behalf of her daughter who was not yet born, by the way and she wanted to come to Manhattan and she wanted me to advise on her purchase and her budget was a couple million dollars. I remember that day like it was yesterday because my energy in that moment was turn left, look at Ben or Mark, or Eddie and say, “Hey, I’ve got a sale client reaching out, can you guys take care of this?”

Ryan:
I don’t really do this. Knowing that it could make money if I could sell it, but that’s not the way that I do it and I feel uncomfortable. What am I going to do with a Chinese investor? Are you kidding me? But something came over me and I just said, “Yes, let’s do it. Condos are great. I sell a lot of them in the future. Let’s figure this out.” That’s what I did.

Ryan:
I completely shifted my energy. I went and got my first suit. I put a driver and car service for when she showed up on my credit card. I shifted the way I thought about everything and I went and I did exactly what I did when I was acting, which is if you go out on stage and you don’t know your lines, you freak out. You’re unprepared. What do you do? The actor’s nightmare.

Ryan:
As an agent, all I really have to do, what confidence really is, is just knowing my stuff. So I’m just going to go memorize everything the same way I did for last 23 years. I’m going to go up and down the west side where she wants to be. I’m going to memorize everything about every building, I’m going to memorize every coffee shop, every guy behind the bar. So in case she gets hungry there, I’m going to pull over the car and I’m going to go in there and be like, “Hey, Bob. Hey, latte, please. I’ve got a jet lagged pregnant lady in the backseat,” and I met Bob yesterday but Bob will seem like he’s known me forever.

Ryan:
I did that, I felt more calm and more sure of myself than I ever had before. All I had do was put in the work, took her around for two days, and did my first deal. Over $2 million with her and that day changed my life, because I changed my energy. That’s all I did. I didn’t change me. Nothing changed about me. I didn’t change anything other than my first impression. I wanted to wear a suit because she’s coming here from China, and I wanted to know my stuff.

Ryan:
I never wanted to say, um, I never wanted to say, uh, I never wanted to say like, I never wanted to say, huh and I want to present that image of confidence that I knew I would have in five years. I just want to have it right now and that’s what having big money energy is all about.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s so good. I don’t know why there’s not … As I was reading the book, I realized, I’ve never read a book on energy, like just that concept of the confidence and projecting out there. You go into some specific things. The clothes you wear, and the education that you prepared yourself with but I’m like, this is so important. Why are we not talking about this more often?

Brandon:
Everyone talks about, I can read 100 real estate books out there and go learn how to be a real estate agent or an investor, but at the end of the day, most people who do that … We all know this. Most people that come to you say they want to be an agent, they’re never going to be an agent. They just don’t … Whatever. Whether it’s confidence or whatever. What is that difference? What makes some people just like, I’m going to put on the energy. Is it fake it till you make it? Is that what we’re talking about here or what do you think that is?

Ryan:
I think people who fake it till they make it are the people who say they’re rich, but they live with their mom. They’re the people who will lie. They’ll say, “Oh, no, I sold that building, I sold those lists. I did that, that, that,” and they never have, and they can’t back it up. I never lied. If she had asked me, “Ryan, have you settled in this building?” I would have said no. But doesn’t mean anything, because I know everything about it. Haven’t sold in this one. That’s true, but she never did.

Ryan:
It’s amazing what questions people don’t ask you when you present yourself as someone who knows everything already. You could walk into a room and know everything about this investment, this house, this cap rate, and people are going to say, “He sounds like he’s done this before.” You might have just memorized it, and you have no idea.

Ryan:
That was a perfect concept for me to learn. So what I do that’s different than fake it to make it is, I’ve always been very clear on who I want to be in the future. Because I know I’m going to be that guy tomorrow before we know it. Listen, it’s April 2021. A year ago has already happened. How slow that time was moving. We couldn’t leave, we were stuck at home. It was insane and in our heads, we were like, this is going to be over two weeks. I wonder what life is going to be like next year? Oh, are we going to be on fire? What’s going to happen? And here we are.

Ryan:
I am very, very focused on making sure that my future self doesn’t come back in time and kick my ass for not putting in the work today to make his life better, because I don’t care about my life today. To be honest. I want to live it to the best of my ability but it’s over today. I can’t change what I did yesterday. I did it already. I want to work and do as much as I can today for future me.

Ryan:
So how can I be future me today? I actually write down on a piece of paper, because when you type with your thumbs, you don’t remember what you’re typing because there’s no muscle memory associated with it. So I write on a piece of paper with a thing called a pen. I write down all the time.

Brandon:
What? Is that a thing?

Ryan:
Yeah, exactly. I write down where I want to be in the future. So right now I’m on this kick of planning myself out three years in advance and I write it down and I put it in a piece of paper and I put it in my pocket and I carry it around with me. I forget that it’s there all the time and I’m like, patting around looking for my phone and then I feel I’m like, “Oh, right, that’s me in the future. It’s there.”

Ryan:
I swear to God Almighty, there is nothing better to motivate you to become the person you want to be than reminding yourself that that person exists already, every day and you already wrote a story, and he’s in your fucking pocket. So that’s what I did. I knew that one day, if I put my mind to it, I could take around a Chinese investor and sell her small condo on the Upper West Side.

Ryan:
People do much bigger things than that. I just didn’t have the confidence in myself to do it that day. So I’m going to project myself, to me three years from now, five years from now, who does this every day before breakfast, and I’m going to carry myself with the confidence of him. I’m going to project myself into the future and it worked. I do that now. I do that now. I put myself in situations, dude, I walk into rooms now virtually, with other CEOs.

Ryan:
I’m like, “I’m not a C. I’m a real estate broker who named a company after himself, and now you’re putting me in this,” but yes, absolutely. Dude, CEO, let’s go. I’m going to put myself out there because in five years, I know, I’ll have five years of this confidence built up. I don’t want to wait till I get to that guy. It’s best way I found to be able to propel myself forward.

David:
I think what I love about what you shared was that the difference between fake it till you make it and what you did was you took that effort to go memorize the stuff. You said, I don’t need to wait until I’ve sold the house to learn how the building works. I’ll just go learn it right now and I have the exact same information and therefore value to offer the client, whether I’ve sold the house or whether I didn’t.

David:
That’s definitely a trait I noticed in successful people that unsuccessful people tend to wait for someone to give them an opportunity. I just want to wait until life presents me with this knowledge. Whereas successful people like you say, “I’m going to go take it. I’m going to learn Bob’s name and I’m going to put myself in a position where it doesn’t matter where she wants to stop for coffee. I will look as if I know this area really, really well.”

David:
I don’t want us to gloss over that because that’s incredibly powerful. No matter what you want to be. You want to be in the army. You want to be a firefighter, whatever it is that you like to do. You start practicing right now what those people do. Something else that you mentioned in your book that I was a big fan of was that you control the narrative.

David:
I think that that’s incredibly important, especially when you’re new. People think that that’s for successful people, but it’s almost less important when you’re successful. Do you mind digging in and sharing how you do that and why you believe that that’s an important trait?

Ryan:
If you think about any relationship, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, husband, husband, broker client, any relationship. The one in the relationship who holds all the power is the one who cares the least. The one who cares the least is the one who controls the narrative, because they dictate which way the conversation gets to go, which way the situation gets to go.

Ryan:
So I’ve always been the one, I want to write my own story. So when it comes to doing deals, I know where this deal is going to end up before the deal starts. I know the purchase price. The final contract price, I know where we’re getting to. I’ll write it down sometimes and then I control the narrative on the way into that negotiation.

Ryan:
I know how I’m going to have to deal with this buyer. I know how I’m going to have to work with this seller or this seller’s agent, but I know where I’m getting to, because the narrative has already been written. I know where we’re going. Now, are we absolutely going to get there? I hope so. Because I’m controlling the narrative to get us there.

Ryan:
Might we get somewhere else? Yeah, of course, but who cares. I’m going into this conversation and to this negotiation with a plan, and things might come out of the blue. A deal I talk about in the book that revolves a lot around selective communication, is I was selling a house in Bridgehampton on the ocean for $40 million. I had to really control the buyer because he was buying it sight unseen and the seller was a complete lunatic. And changed his mind about everything up and down, left and right, crazy, crazy, crazy.

Ryan:
The seller came back, after we sent out the contract, and sent us an exclusion list. This was a $40 million deal that, by the way, included everything in the house. He was getting all the furniture. He didn’t want to think about anything. Just give me whatever is in the house and let’s just close this. Seller came back and said, “Okay, but I’m taking this, this, this, this, this, this, and this, and a blanket.”

Ryan:
I knew that if I don’t control this narrative, this deal is going to die. Chances are really, really high that it will die because my buyer is the kind of guy who’s like, “Hey, we had a deal. $40 million dollars, everything in the house. If you’re going to start nitpicking now, you’re going to nitpick all the way until closing, and then I’m going to show up and then things are going to be missing and it’ll be this and I won’t deal with you. I’ll go buy something else.”

Ryan:
I know, because I’m controlling the narrative, there’s nothing else to buy. This is what this guy wants. It’s the only one where everyone’s bedrooms are on the ocean and that’s really important to him, yada, yada, yada. So I go back to the seller and say, “Listen, I’m not bringing this to my buyer.” They said, “You have to. The deal, we’re killing it. The fiduciary responsibility, your license.”

Ryan:
I said, “You need to rethink this. You need to rethink the rider you just sent me. If I send this to my buyer, there is no deal. I don’t care how stupid you think some of this stuff is.” They went back and they took out everything except the fucking blanket. Mind boggling. In my mind, I’m like, if I’m the guy who fakes it till they make it, I don’t even tell my guy. I buy him a new blanket, I lie to him, whatever. Doesn’t matter. Let’s get the deal done, but that’s not really the way I do things.

Ryan:
So I went back to the seller, and I said, “You have to include this blanket. I don’t care that it’s a family heirloom. It’s not my fault that you mentioned it to me.” Now I’m a salesperson. Ignorance is money. So you didn’t have to tell me about the blanket, I would never would have known about it. I could have told my client. If he was like, “Hey, what about that blanket you showed me in that video one time?”

Ryan:
I said, “I don’t know. It’s probably in the closet. Let’s go look for it,” but now that you brought it up, now we have to fix it. I held firm and I said, “Listen, you keep your blanket, my guy keeps his $40 million, totally up to you.” They acquiesced and they gave us a blanket. We control the narrative, and we got that deal done. I find oftentimes that most deals actually can get done.

Ryan:
Most deals that die, that agents lose or that investors lose, are not lost because of the deal. They’re lost because you didn’t control the narrative, and you didn’t control the communication. You either let your personality do the talking. You let your own personal wants or desires do the talking. You either cared too much or you cared too little and you weren’t working for the deal. You were working for some other agenda that got in the way, like a damn blanket?

Brandon:
Did you ever find out what the blanket was? Like what made it so special to them?

Ryan:
Honestly, no. I asked, and I got some ridiculous rigamarole of an answer. I didn’t really care. I was like, “You told me about the blanket.” Anybody else would have just gone and taken it and then left, because we’re never going to remember. This house is like 15,000 square feet. You think we’re going to remember a towel? But you brought it up.

David:
This comes up all the time, when agents are negotiating deals, and the best ones will never let their clients know that they had to go through that because you’re protecting them from this garbage, but this is the difference between a good agent that can get you the deal and a poor one. I say this all the time is there’s a lot of people that are sales persons, or call themselves that, but they’re just order takers.

David:
They let their client tell them go do this, go to this, go to this and I’m bringing this up, because a lot of our listeners have fallen into this mentality where they’re going to tell their real estate agent, “You go write this offer, and you write it at this price and you tell them that if they don’t give me this, then I’m not doing it.”

David:
Then the agent goes and does exactly what they said and the seller responds with that same energy. Okay, you want to be a jerk, well, then I’m going to be a jerk and I’m going to dip my heels in over the fence board or over the blanket, and the deal falls apart, that would have meant half a million dollars over 10 years of time.

David:
What I’m getting at here is when you’re trying to figure out who do you want your agent to be, who’s going to represent you, you want somebody that can stand up to you. It’s actually good if they can do that, but they can do it with class and skill, and get you to recognize maybe where you’re being unreasonable.

David:
If you find a puppet, that same person that you can control like a puppet is going to get controlled by the other side or by the other seller. It’s not actually good and that’s why I love that you had the guts to come out and say, “This is an important skill to have in this business.”

Ryan:
We are in this business for a reason, and I don’t tell people that I’m your agent. I am your advisor. I’m your advisor on your investment. You can bark at your investment advisor at Morgan Stanley, and you can bark at me, but I know what’s better for you, and you should listen to me or you should work with somebody else. Listen, I have clients that bark at me all the time.

Ryan:
They tell me exactly what to do, when to do it. They yell, they hang up the phone. I’m dealing with one guy right now. Out of the corner of my eye, I got this one guy his screaming at me over email right now and how dare you, this, that, the other. It’s a $10.1 million deal. He’s a total Looney Tune, but I don’t work for him. I work for the deal. He can yell at my computer all day long.

Ryan:
I’m working for the deal. I know how this deal is getting done. I know how to work with him. I know how to handle him. I don’t take it personally. He’s got his own shit he’s got to work out afterwards. I’m going to laugh and smile all the way to the bank. So you can’t take it personally, man.

Ryan:
Everyone is crazy, even you but like you said, there are three types of salespeople. There’s the car salesman who pushes, pushes, pushes, pushes, pushes, and they don’t understand why people don’t like them and they understand why they only get one type of client. There’s the tour guide, who just takes orders, who’s the waiter, who just turns on lights for a living. Who’s like, “This is a kitchen, this is your bathroom. That’s the offer you want to make? Hey, Bob, here’s the offer we’re making,” bah, bah, bah, bah, bah.

Ryan:
Then you have the third, the one that can actually make a difference, make a dent and that’s the one who doesn’t work for the buyer or the seller. They work for the deal. I work for the deal all day, every day. You have to come prepared too. In January, when was it? Kind of middle of January, I met a person who was looking to rent an apartment on the Upper East Side. He had a big budget, and he had big range. 20 to $50,000 a month for an apartment.

Ryan:
I was talking to him and it was like, “Why are you renting in New York right now?” He said, “Well, the rental markets really down.” Yeah, I know that because everyone’s gone, but why are we renting an apartment? What do you do? Why don’t we look at purchasing? I just sold an apartment at One57 West 57, the first tower on Billionaire’s Row. The seller paid 34 million. I brought the buyer, he got it for 16. It’s the bloodiest deal done in New York City in like 20 years.

Ryan:
So 51% off for a high end condo. I was like, “Let’s go get something like that.” Listen, I represent you. On the sell side, I will tear apart any buyer who brings me that kind of offer. On the buy side, let’s go out and find blood. Then we started talking about a lot of things.

Ryan:
“Well, I don’t know if I want to be here long term.” “Okay. Well, what do you think.” He’s like, “Well, I don’t really need to be in New York City anymore.” I’m like, “So why are you looking to pay…” He’s like, “Well, we don’t know what we want do.” “What about Florida? Why don’t we look at Florida? How much do you pay in taxes? Let’s look at Florida.”

Ryan:
The governor, DeSantis, is the greatest salesperson I’ve ever seen. Talk about someone who looks at the United States like a business and says, “I’m going to make my state, my business the most attractive out of all you bitches.” Now he’s bringing in 1,000 permanent residents a day. I’m not from Florida. I just know this stuff because we do so much business there now.

Ryan:
I said, “What about Palm Beach? What about Miami? Let’s go take a look.” He’s like, “I’m not really a Florida guy, but send me some things.” I sent him some things. He liked the stuff in Palm Beach. Let’s go down and check it out. It’s Tuesday. “When do you want to go down?” “Thursday.” Great. Awesome. “You do Palm Beach, right?” Yes, I do now. I memorized the Palm Beach market on Wednesday night, took me like three hours. All the streets, all the intersections, the flight path over freaking Mar-a-Lago, all the restaurants, everything about Palm Beach Island, West Palm, North Palm, Seminole, everything.

Ryan:
Flew down with him on Thursday morning with my Upper East Side rental client, took him to wow house just to see what his reaction would be, that was asking $140 million and he bought it for 133. It is the most expensive house ever sold in Florida. Second most expensive single family home ever sold in the United States. It was about six weeks ago, and that’s big magnetic energy.

Ryan:
It’s about knowing your stuff. Had I not known my stuff, had I not controlled the narrative to really figure out what he wants, then I would have done … Listen, I would have done an Upper East Side rental deal, because that’s what he said he wanted.

Ryan:
That would have been fine. I could have done a $30,000 a month rental and that would be totally okay. Maybe he would have bought another time. Maybe. Probably not, though. Or I can control that narrative and get the deal to its maximum potential.

David:
I want to highlight, there’s a lot of people listening that may think, Well, you did something wrong, because he didn’t want that. Like as if Ryan’s the one that talked this person into buying that house. People that buy $133 million properties don’t need someone to tell them what they’re supposed to do. What Ryan did was you jumped in, and you helped him realize that what he actually wanted was this.

David:
He had objections in his own mind. Maybe he thought that the other deal was better, or he didn’t deserve to buy something that expensive, or he just didn’t realize what was out there, but your preparation and being able to highlight here’s all the benefits of living here as opposed to where you were, brought clarity in that person’s mind.

Ryan:
Listen, Steve Jobs, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. So that’s my job. Now, at the same time, he presented himself to me as somebody who needed to see options, and I knew that I wanted to just feel him out, see what’s going on in that head of his. There’s a lot of people too, where I’m not going to show you any options, because this person has a hard time ordering off a menu at dinner.

Ryan:
So if I give you too many options, you’re never going to make a decision. I’m only presenting you with a finite, limited list and we’re going to narrow it down because the process of purchasing is not a process of options. It’s a process of elimination. So I want to make that very clear, because I don’t work on salary. I have zero benefits. I work by the hour, and you don’t even have to pay me if you don’t buy.

Ryan:
I could work with you for 10 years for free. It’s great for you. So I want to make the best use of my time with every single person I’m with and I want to make sure they make the absolute best investments. I talked to a lot of agents in our course. Our sales course now has, I think, just about 7,000 members in 109 countries or something like that.

Ryan:
I talk to agents all the time that are in these very, very hot markets. New York City, by the way, not one of them. Everywhere else, the hottest seller’s market the world’s ever known. Houses being sold intraday hundreds of thousands of dollars over the asking price. People have too much money, credit’s too cheap, et cetera, et cetera.

Ryan:
I talk to them and they’re like, “Well, how do I differentiate myself? If sellers to put their house on the market by themselves, they don’t need me. Or if they could call up Opendoor and just sell it with a click of a button, but they don’t understand the fees. I can explain it.” Listen, your job is not to be a real estate agent. Your job is to guide and advise on a decision that the client was going to make anyway.

Ryan:
They’re just going to make it with you instead of the internet. They’re going to make it with you because the internet doesn’t talk back. The internet doesn’t have an opinion. Why do we watch the news? You can just go to Alexa, you can go to Google. Type, get the news, read it yourself, but the voice in your head isn’t nearly as enjoyable as that guy on the screen, because you’re getting his opinion and you’re getting his personality and it’s nice to hear what other people have to say. That’s just the way we are wired and that’s why we are always going to be needed. Real estate agents just get more and more and more powerful as the time goes on.

Brandon:
This comes back to the energy thing we talked about earlier. I’m never going to feel that way. Imagine watching the news and the guy is like, “So some people in some city and Florida, they died.” It’s the energy in anything you do. That’s what makes me want to listen to a real estate agent. So if you’re a lame agent or, again, if you’re an investor, if you’re a whatever you are, an insurance salesman, just having that confidence, that energy to say, “You know what? This is what we’re going to do.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s what we’re going to do.”

Brandon:
It’s amazing what people can get me to do just when they’re confident about it and nobody teaches this stuff. I feel like it’s so, I don’t know. Maybe people consider it sleazy. Like, oh, it’s the car salesman going to tell me to go buy a car I don’t need, but it’s not that. It’s just, there’s an air of confidence.

Ryan:
People will do anything if you just tell them to do it. We can take this conversation down an incredibly bad path and we probably shouldn’t, but people, especially men will do anything you tell them to do.

Brandon:
Have you ever heard of that study they did back in the day? I can’t remember, it was some psychological study where they made people, these scientists made people zap this other person, like electrocute another person to see how far they could push them. The scientists just kept saying like, “Oh, just give him a little more juice, give him a little more juice,” and the person’s clearly hurting another individual.

Brandon:
Now the whole thing was all fake, but it was designed to see how much, with just confidence and energy, you can … People were killing other people, just being told to do it. It’s insane what energy can do, both in a good and a bad way. Just real quick anecdote back in the beginning of the pandemic there was the whole world’s melting down and we represent a lot of landlords.

Brandon:
Thousands of landlords listen to our show and everyone’s freaking out. What do we do when tenants don’t pay rent? Like you said, I wanted to retract and say, “I don’t know what to do either. I’m freaked out too. I got hundreds and hundreds of tenants.’ What if they don’t pay rent? Instead I’m like, what if I just come at this with that energy. I didn’t have the cool phrase you got, but with confidence and say, “This is what we’re going to do.”

Brandon:
I made this YouTube video, like, “If tenants don’t pay rent, this is my plan. If they do with this, this is what I’m going to do. The government can help here. If they don’t, this is what I’m do.” It took me like an hour to think through what I would do and then I just put it out there. It’s like the third most popular video I ever put out on YouTube.

Brandon:
Millions of people now have credited that as like, oh, Brandon knew what he’s doing. I’ll say this, this is funny, but I shouldn’t say this, but I will. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea. I don’t want to say I made it up. It was informed, but it’s amazing how many people were like, “Oh, good. Brandon figured it out.”

Brandon:
I don’t know what I was doing. I just thought, well, let’s just pick something and go confidently into it. Do my research, and I think in life, just if you’re trying to attract private lenders to your deals, you’re trying to put together something, just being confident in moving forward in that difficult circumstance can take you so far.

Ryan:
We could do a whole separate podcast about raising money and attracting lenders and attracting investors. I would say honestly, when you raise money, it is, I don’t know. I’d say it’s like 30%, maybe sometimes 40% the deal. Everything else is about your ability and their confidence in your ability to execute that deal. Because there, it can be the greatest deal ever but if they’re not really confident in you, because you don’t have confidence in yourself, then there’s other places to put money.

Ryan:
So your ability to sell that dream and sell that story to raise money is why there are some landlords and developers who are just prolific. They are just amazing at walking into a room with that magnetic energy that attracts money and attract success, because they could be talking about the worst deal in the world, but the way they frame it, it’s only the worst deal in the world to everybody else, but to us, here’s why it’s unique and here’s why it’s interesting and here’s why you need to be in on it with me.

David:
I think what I love, Ryan about what you’re sharing is it’s not a false confidence. It’s basically saying, say yes to the challenge and then go figure out what the hell you got to do to be ready for it. That person’s challenged you to a fight, take it on and then go hit the weights and then go start training, as opposed to the slimy people that say, yeah, take the fight and then figure out a way to duck out at the very end or do something wrong.

David:
That when you commit to greatness, when you write down in a piece of paper, you keep in your pocket, here’s who I’m going to be and you actually write out that check, it creates a natural incentive in you to cut through the BS and your own excuses and to actually jump in there and become the person you need to be, which was really what was stopping you from having confidence in the first place, right?

David:
It’s almost like a brain hack that you’re sharing here that anyone could build genuine confidence. We’re not saying go sell people something that’s bad. We’re talking about the fact that you can highlight the elements of something that’s good that unconfident people won’t do. They’ll wait for the person they’re talking to. I guess the way I describe it to the agents on my team is quit letting the client give you your confidence.

David:
Oh, they like me? Now, I’m all puffed up and now I feel confident because the client likes me. You need to be inspiring that in them and I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone give such a clear, concise answer to this is as simple as it takes to build up that confidence. What do you think, Brandon?

Brandon:
I want to fire this at Ryan again, real quick here. It’s something you brought up in the book. I don’t want people to think that this is just like self-confidence for like, well, I’m amazing and I’m going to figure this all out. There’s a lot of self-awareness that has to go into confidence building. It’s something you talk about in the book about asking people you know, to be painfully real with you about your limitations and your problems. Can you talk about that?

Ryan:
I would say, one of the first steps you need to do, if you haven’t done it yet is to do something really, really, really uncomfortable, which is find a friend. Typically, it’s not a family member because they’re always going to be biased, and it’s not someone who works for you because they’re never going to be honest. It’s like a super honest friend and you ask them the following question.

Ryan:
You ask them, “Can you define me to myself without using my name as if you were describing me to someone else, if they were asking you, who you’re hanging out with right now.” I had a friend named Alex who I asked that to, I guess this is in 2009. I lived in Tribeca and he said, “The kid with a weird gray hair, who is pretty tall, funny sometimes, who walks around and staring at the ground.”

Ryan:
I was like, what? First of all, it’s just very odd to me that the first thing he talked about was my hair. Because it’s like the last thing I think about, but clearly people recognize me based on the fact that I’m younger and I have a full head of gray hair. So okay, fine. Maybe that’ll help me as a real estate agent and people will think I’m older. Boom. I’ll use that.

Ryan:
Tall. Okay. Fine. Kind of funny. That’s weird, but I look at the crowns when I walk. Dude, I had no idea. First, I thought he was lying because I thought he was like trying to come up with something. Turns out the next couple of days, I started noticing that I don’t make eye contact with people as I walk down the street, nor do I even look up.

Ryan:
I’m either choosing to look at my phone or I’m looking at the ground, and as I dug deep to try to figure it out, it’s like, why do I do this? Maybe am I tall? My neck. I’m like, I don’t even know. I realized that I was giving off this sheepish unconfident physical energy the minute I walked into a room without even opening up my mouth because when I was younger, I had really, really, really bad skin.

Ryan:
I had cystic acne and it made me so self-conscious, and I was so embarrassed by it that in high school through college, I hated looking at people as I was walking through the campus or down the street because I would see their eyes dart around my face and it would make me feel bad. So I would just keep my eyes on the ground or look at the phone or do something else.

Ryan:
So I didn’t have to have those confrontations with their eyes. That never left me. It became like muscle memory. I had to really figure out how to stand up with my shoulders back and walking down the streets like someone who gave a shit. It was like, hey, I deserve to be on this street too. What’s up? How are you? What’s going on? It’s like that one thing I didn’t even know I did, changed my life.

Ryan:
So I tell everybody like, if you were listening to this and you’re trying to figure out a way to do more or be better, if you actually want to make a difference, if you want to start leading a bigger life, and it’s not just about being a bigger life, it’s about leading the absolute greatest life you possibly can.

Ryan:
So you maximize that potential. You need to know what your perception is to other people. When I talk about building personal brand, which we talk about a lot, because I focused on brand a lot in building my career. Brand, if you reverse the math, brand is reputation. Reputation is perception. Perception is core conviction. What you believe in yourself is the perception that you put out there.

Ryan:
So if I’m nervous about the way I look and I walk with my eyes on the ground, the perception I’m putting out there is nice guy, kind of shy, kind of sheepish, not confident. That becomes my reputation as people who know me, which becomes my personal brand. So you have to break that. So find somebody that you can do a self audit with and make it be uncomfortable and you probably know, but maybe you don’t.

Ryan:
You might want to know that you’re the person with sweaty hands or bad breath or the person who talks too much, or the person who doesn’t let other people talk, or the one with the really weird laugh, or I don’t know, maybe there’s something you do that’s weird that you know is fine and you also have to be willing to roll with the punches. You have to say, “Okay, so I have gray hair. You don’t like it? I really don’t feel like dyeing my hair every day for the rest of my life. So I’m just going to own it.”

Ryan:
Yes. At that time, what was I? 24, 25, something like that. 25 with a full head of gray hair. Screw it. Great. People will think I’m much older. They’re not going to ask me about my confidence level because they’re going to assume I’ve been doing this for a long time. I just have a young face. So own that, but there are other things that you just need to be very, very well aware of. You need to be self aware. It’s the only way that you can change that energy and start moving forward.

Brandon:
That’s so good. That’s really, really good. Now I’m going to ask some of my buddies. I’ll ask David here later after the show, what my faults are here. I want to pull those out, but I know … How tall are you by the way, Ryan?

Ryan:
6’3.

Brandon:
So I’m like 6’5-ish. I always say I’m awkward. You’re like handsome, tall and then the next level up is awkward tall. So I’m like the awkward tall. So I get in a group of people. I naturally do the same thing. I-

Ryan:
You get down by them.

Brandon:
I spread my legs apart in crowds when I’m standing so I’m like three inches shorter.

Ryan:
My dad is 6’6 and he does the same thing.

David:
Brandon looks like one of those tire jacks on your car that you stick it under there and then you pump it up really high when he’s standing around people. Super spread out legs, and a really long torso.

Brandon:
That’s funny. Well, and then there’s the things that we think are insecurity, like your gray hair. At one point they may have been a little bit of insecurity for you, but in reality it’s actually benefited you so much. It’s interesting that I have a list, a little bit of a list my entire life. Now, a quarter million people listen to my podcast every week and I’m like, it’s the thing that made me so insecure when I was younger, the added character for some reason that I don’t know.

Brandon:
So that’s the difference between knowing … That’s that self-awareness. Is this a trait I need to fix or is this something that is benefiting me? Something’s going to actually improve me in life. So posture, that’s not improving me, but growing a beard, that’s character

Ryan:
Dude, listen, it’s what makes you memorable. How do you make yourself memorable? What is memorable about you and maybe it’s something that you hate about yourself, but like you said, that’s actually what makes you memorable and draws attention and brings you business. So own it. There’s a whole other part of the book that’s all about just owning your character traits and owning your flaws, which aren’t flaws at all.

Ryan:
They’re your own personal, unique strengths. Otherwise, you’re just like every body else and that’s how you blend into the crowd, which is not what we want to do.

Brandon:
It’s literally why I grew the beard. That sounds stupid to say, but back in the day I was like, I just look like every other tall, awkward white guy. So I was like, what can I do differently and I was like, what if I grew a long beard? So I literally did it, because I was like, I want to look a little bit more memorable. So I don’t know. Maybe that’s-

Ryan:
You will forever be in my memory, man.

Brandon:
Good. Forever. Actually, that’s a part of the book … We don’t need to dig into it, but one of the parts of the book that I really liked is you talked about … It was like when you meet somebody new and you’re networking, try to find something memorable about them. They’re a beekeeper, I think is the example used in there or the guy with a beard. I love that. That was phenomenal.

Ryan:
It’ll also help you with follow-up and it’ll help you remember them and it’s a unique trait. Most of the times, when you talk to somebody about what makes them memorable, they will think it’s an awkward, weird, funky, quirky trait, but if you’re positive about it, you are building that trust circle so much faster because you’re talking to them about something that they think about a lot.

Brandon:
Such a good point. David, what were you saying before I cut you off so rudely to talk about my beard?

David:
No, I liked that. He’s known as beardy Brandon. Tour beard has got a lot of people listening to you and now you help more people because they can find you. The only point I wanted to make is there’s a lot of people that will have fear when they hear this. I don’t want to ask people what they think about me. What if it hurts when I hear it? That’s a normal response. The problem is you’re already being hurt by those traits every single day. You just don’t know it. It’s the same part of you that says, “I don’t want to make a budget because I don’t want to see all the money that I’m losing.” You’re being negatively affected by these traits already. Knowing about them is empowering.

David:
That’s sort of the reward for the people like Ryan that are willing to jump into that space is that you start to get an advantage over all your competition.

Ryan:
Yeah, man, 1,000%.

Brandon:
Well, before we get out of here, I think it would be sad to miss a chance to ask you, one of the top real estate guys in the world, for those people here who want to be a real estate agent, what have you seen as some of the things that really help … The people who become successful agents, what do they have? What are they doing differently other than what we talked about today? What are they doing differently? What makes a good real estate agent and what should they be doing to try to improve?

Ryan:
There’s a lot of things, but a couple of different things are, well, one, we’ve talked about it a lot today. So I’ll talk about it for one second, but they have great energy and it doesn’t mean they’re like Jim Carey. Who they are, they have great energy as that person, even if they’re quiet. They’re energetically, quiet. They own the fact that they’re quiet, but they have great energy.

Ryan:
Two, they have enthusiasm for what they’re doing and what they’re selling. Whether they love the house or not, they’re enthusiastic about selling that house. I’ve told a lot of people this and people are like, “What? No.” I’m not obsessed with real estate. I’m in a townhouse in Tribeca right now. My office, it costs like $10 million. I got these exposed beams.

Ryan:
I don’t walk in here and I’m like, “Damn, look at these beams.” It’s a room to me. I’m wired differently, but I am enthusiastic about this house. People come through, they want to see our office. I walk them through our house model. The fact that we don’t have desks, the fact that we just have houses in every market.

Ryan:
I’m enthusiastic about what I do because I’m not really selling real estate. I’m selling enthusiasm. That’s what sales is. It’s a transfer of enthusiasm. The other thing that they have successful salespeople is they have the ability to empathize. So they can be happy when their client is happy, but they can also understand when their client is unhappy. I see a lot of unsuccessful agents who are one tone, and it’s almost like they do that as a defense mechanism, but they don’t know how to talk to their clients when deals go south.

Ryan:
They don’t also really know how to be excited with their clients when things are good, or when they get a deal done. They don’t know how to transfer that enthusiasm to actually lock in the deal. They just pass on the information like we were talking about before and then all of a sudden, the client’s like, “Well, they’re not excited because I’m not excited. So maybe this isn’t the deal for us.” “No, no, no, wait, wait, you should do it.”

Ryan:
Now all of a sudden you’re enthusiastic about your own commissions and then it’s all over. So that’s what I would say. We could talk about it forever, but discipline, being relentless and following up. My follow-up rules are the three Fs. Follow up, follow through, follow back. That is the secret to this business for me.

Ryan:
I do deals. The guy that bought that mansion for $40 million, I met him in 2012. I followed up with him every other week for seven years.

Brandon:
Wow.

Ryan:
He finally got back to me and said, “Hey, sorry, Ryan. I’ve been a little busy.” A couple of weeks later, he was finally ready because we think about this all the time. We’re like, oh, they’re not responding to me. Fuck them, but really, people have lives and kids and jobs and shit going on. They’re not as focused on real estate as you are, even if they told you they were in the moment. The same way when you go into a shoe store, you’re really excited about those shoes, but then you leave and you’re like, wow, I was excited because I was in the store. Now I’ve got to go to work.

Ryan:
The sales person isn’t like, “God damn it, Brandon. You were so excited about those Converse. How come you’re not calling me back?” I didn’t really need the shoes. Enthusiasm is really, really, really, really important. So that guy that I followed up with, I sold him a SoHo penthouse for 16 million. Next year, we did the beach house in Bridgehampton for 40 and then in December of, 2020, so four months ago I sold him the most expensive condo ever in Surfside in Miami Beach for $33 million.

Ryan:
So thank goodness I followed up with him, right and he knows every broker. He knows everybody, but I stayed persistent. Last but not least, man, at the end of the day in this business, whether you’re investing in real estate, you’re lending against real estate, you’re buying it, you’re selling it, you’re brokering it. Deals come, deals go.

Ryan:
You’re not judged by the deal you did today, or the deal you’re going to do tomorrow. You’re judged annually. What’d you do last year? Which means that if you take care of the work, the work will take care of you. You don’t live deal, by deal, by deal. You roll them off your shoulders. Take care of the work. The work will take care of you. You just put in that work, don’t focus on the money, focus on the work and the work has an amazing, amazing way of paying us back.

Brandon:
I definitely think that answer is one of the best answers I’ve ever heard for the whole what makes somebody successful in any area, whether it’s real estate agents or being an investor, or anything, it doesn’t matter. That was phenomenal. I think that should also let everyone know if they didn’t already realize that, it’s probably easy for you as somebody who’s been on TV, it’s probably easy for people to look at you and go, “Oh, he’s just a TV agent. He just does this for TV,” but clearly you are the best at what you do.

Brandon:
You are good at this, but I’m wondering how does that … This is a personal question because I was curious while I was reading the book, do you get a lot of flack because of the TV stuff from other agents and people in industry? “Oh, you’re the guy on the TV thing,” or is it like, “Oh, you’re the guy on the TV. Got thing, I want to work with you.” Is it a positive or a negative for you, having the celebrity attached to you?

Ryan:
With other agents? Listen, there is a small group of agents that are actually the ones who champion other people’s success and so they’re excited. They want to work with me. They want to use me to coalesce things all the time, especially in my core markets where I actively sell. In other markets, people are super excited about it, but more often than not, real estate agents are pretty inherently envious and jealous and a lot of them just think it’s bullshit or, oh, he only got successful because he went on TV and that made his whole career. He doesn’t work the way I do. I’m like, dude, you’re making these comments from your beach house. I’m in the office every day, all day.

Ryan:
I didn’t take a day off my first three years. No one called me from the TV show for years. When was the last time you watched TV and you picked up the phone? Did you call Kim Kardashian last time you watched that show? No, I don’t think so because they’re on TV. It’s weird. So it took years, like three years.

Ryan:
People would reach out after the show came out, but it was like, “Hey, I saw you on the show. Can you please sell my farm in Panama?” I’m like, “Well, maybe,” but it was more me saying, “Dude, someone just opened a door. I am going to run through it as fast as I can. I’m going to use this to open as many doors as I possibly can.”

Ryan:
I still cold email every day. I send cold email to billionaires every day. I send cold emails to their circle of trust every day. Touching base, introducing myself. “Here’s what I just do, would love to meet,” and the responses get better and better as time goes on. Then I follow up. I got an email filter that tracks every single email I send that does not get a response because I will follow up with you until you die.

Brandon:
Well, man, I have 4 million more questions, but I know we’ve got to respect your time today and get out of here soon. So let’s move to the last segment of the show. This we lovingly refer to as our … (singing).

Brandon:
The famous four are the same four questions we ask every guest, every week. We’re going to throw at you first question of the famous four. Is there a habit or trait you’re currently trying to develop in your own life? Anything you’re working on right now to improve?

Ryan:
I am working on so many things. I am working on being a CEO, man. I’m working on that. How do I handle employees? I used to have like five admins. Now I have 30 and as I go on, I’ll have more and more and more. Should I care about them? Do I not care? How do I do this? It’s weird. I’m trying to figure that out.

David:
This is not one of the questions, but I just want to selfishly ask you, do you have any insight you can share on what skills you’re recognizing you’re lacking because I’m in the same boat and it’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do in business, yet. As far as being a CEO.

Ryan:
I like clear, honest and brutal feedback. It is the only way that I will actually grow. When I was a little kid, I hated it but my dad, who is the strictest, most honest guy you will ever meet, would not lie to a fly. Pulled me off the baseball field in fifth grade in the middle of the game, because I’m playing right field and he told me, “This sport isn’t for you,” in front of everybody.

Ryan:
I appreciate when people tell me, “This is how I feel about the way you act. This is what you’re doing,” because we’re all in our own heads. I’m in my own head thinking about so many different things. I don’t know the way that I’m coming off sometimes or the way that I appear and I want to be aware of that.

Ryan:
So I just always ask for feedback. I love great, honest feedback and I love the idea that we can all change. The person you are today isn’t the person you have to be in a year. The person I am today is definitely not the person that came to New York and that’s not to say that I lost myself or that I’m different now. Fuck yes, I’m different.

Ryan:
I’m older, different, I have a job. My life is different and I want it to be so, and that’s totally okay. I’m actually more nervous for the friends I talked to where I’m like, “Man, you haven’t changed a day since 10th grade,” and they’re like, “Yeah, man, still doing me.” I’m like, wow, that sucks. I’m like, what do you do?

David:
Next question. Is there a business book that has made the biggest impact on you?

Ryan:
There are two, and they’re not my own. When I got into the business, I read a book called The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR. I’m a marketer. I’m a sales person, but I market and that book taught me what I needed to know about the power of publicity and the power of PR and the fact that people don’t trust advertising, but they trust editorial. They trust reporters. So that’s why you see now, 13 years later, I am in the news in some way, shape or form every day. In some way. My name is in the news somehow, some way, because I’m building that personal global trust.

Ryan:
That and Shoe Dog, randomly by Phil Knight about the founding of Nike. It’s just such a crazy story that just shows you anything is possible. Anything. It was just so cool. Like, Hey, they make these cameras in Japan. Those do well. People should run also on things from Japan. Let me figure that out. Fucking Nike, it’s crazy. It’s a brand we all know and people love that founder story.

Ryan:
Like Jobs. Jobs. Ray Kroc, founding McDonald’s. How did you build something so big? What’d you do and what kind of shit show was it? I want to know. What did you do? We’re looking for tips, we’re looking for tricks and what do we end up always finding, is man, they just went for blood and they just said yes to everything and they didn’t stop. They just didn’t stop and when they saw an opportunity, they went for it and then they pivoted and then this and then that. It was messy.

David:
Okay. What about some of your hobbies?

Ryan:
My hobbies. I work out every day. I love theater. I wish I could keep going to it except Cuomo shut it down. Movies, great TV shows, scripted series. It’s what I always wanted to do and I have a baby. Playing with Zena. I have a two year old daughter who’s a lunatic, and hanging out with her. Other than that, I really do love work. I love work. I love building. I love planning. I love executing. I love problem solving. I love the fact that the things that I can do will make a difference in my life tomorrow. Otherwise, I am just a chicken with his head cut off.

Brandon:
I got a four year old and an 18 month old. So I’m right there with you in the thick of it. Good times. All right. My last question of the day, what do you think and we’ve covered this at length today, so you don’t have to go too long on this one if you don’t want to but what separates … Ultimately, what separate successful people from those who give up, fail or never get started? If you have to boil that down.

Ryan:
You have to have a wall. What is that thing that your back is up against that is pushing you forward, and that’s why we hear that story all the time. It’s so cliche, but the person that became successful started with nine bucks. Like The Rock. His production company is Nine Bucks Productions. Came [inaudible 01:08:17] with nine bucks. Everyone said no, failed in football.

Ryan:
Everybody, every successful person started … Even me. I ran out of money in 2008. Debit card declined. It was, go home to Colorado or figure it out and had I not had that wall, honestly, I don’t know. Maybe I’d still be doing something else. I’d be too comfortable. Comfort is the killer of dreams. So you’ve got to find that wall and if you are lucky enough not to be broke, what is that wall?

Ryan:
Figure it out and actually think about it. What is that thing that you would hate to be doing and run away from it as fast as you possibly can towards success? Everyone else does not have those clear goals or clear ambitions. They have no wall and they and they just choose the easy way out, which is quitting or doing what everybody else does.

Brandon:
Phenomenal. Phenomenal. All right, David, get us out of here.

David:
Last question of the day. Where can people find out more about it

Ryan:
Everywhere. My brokerage is Serhant. S-E-R-H-A-N as in Nancy, T as in Thomas .com. Personal website for the course and books and speaking and all that stuff is ryanserhant.com. Sell it Like Serhant and Big Money Energy are the books. The vlog is on YouTube. My shows, Million Dollar Listing New York and Sell it Like Serhant are on Bravo. Season nine comes back on May 6th. I have social, @RyanSerhant everywhere. That’s it.

Brandon:
Well, man, this has been amazing.

Ryan:
Thanks for having me guys.

Brandon:
I’ll just recommend everybody. Honestly, everyone, this is one book that you definitely want to put in your list for 2021. Big Money Energy is fantastic. So nice job writing that one.

Ryan:
Let’s go.

Brandon:
Let’s go, man. Thank you very much. David, close up shop.

David:
Thank you, Ryan. This is David Greene for Brandon, the beard, Turner signing off.

Outro:
You’re listening to Pyjama People Radio, simplifying real estate for investors, large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

 

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