Million Dollar Listing New York by NotInStCyr
In the last episode, Fredrik had a $7 million difference of opinion with his client, Cheryl; Ryan wished he was more artless, and Luis had become a Red Bull addict.
Keeping in mind Ryan’s advice about holding meetings in a public place if you’re worried about getting whacked by your client, Fredrik talks with Cheryl at an outdoor café to discuss the lack of offers for her apartment in the Time-Warner Center. Incredibly, she tells Fredrik to raise the price to $42 million and calls him rude when he objects. He keeps his cool and asks her to reconsider keeping it at the current listing price of $34.975 million.
Ryan goes to see a large duplex penthouse on the upper west side of Manhattan (henceforth “UWS”). His appointment is with Regina, the seller’s personal assistant. During a tour of the apartment, she proves to be a tough cookie, when she remains impassive and unimpressed by Ryan’s usual bag of flirtatious tricks. Although the seller wants $6 million for the unit, Ryan tells her that $5.5 million is as high as he’s willing to go, because $1,500/sq. ft. is the usual price in this part of town. Regina reluctantly agrees to try it his way.
Remember when Luis helped Dr. and Mrs. Jones buy a vacation home in Puerto Rico a season or two ago? Now they want Luis to sell their 5-story, 7,500 sq. ft. family home in north Harlem, which has been empty for 5 years. They painstakingly restored this former crack house back to its original glory, and they’re adamant about not taking a penny less than $3.5 million. However, Luis knows that even though the brownstone is gorgeous, anything north of 147th St. doesn’t command the same kind of money as the rest of Manhattan.
In his lair at Douglas Elliman, Fredrik reviews his strategy to sell the Time-Warner apartment by focusing on the Asian market. He feels his plan is sound, because there are more millionaires in Asia than anywhere else in the world. Following the money, he tells his assistant to reach out to brokers in Beijing, Singapore and Shanghai, even though it’s still after hours there. His assistant clearly needs to buy some Rosetta Stone lessons to keep up with his Fredrik, because he’s totally flummoxed when he gets an answering machine message in Mandarin.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Luis and his assistant, Ronita, toss around ideas to market the Jones home. He thinks that it’s too far north, because 20 blocks might as well be 20 miles in Manhattan. Really, is that a rule of thumb in New York? I’ll have to remember to pack a bag and hire a Sherpa guide the next time I visit the Cloisters. Ronita talks about growing up in a small community, which gives Luis the idea of inviting brokers to a party that will showcase the neighborhood.
To sell the duplex, Ryan initially targets people interested in living on the UWS. In keeping with Ryan’s Rule (see above), he meets Regina in a restaurant to tell her that people are put off by the penthouse’s odd, labyrinth-like layout, which resulted when 2 units were combined. Regina remains impervious to the Serhant charm assault and even suggests that it may be time to get another broker. She can’t believe that there isn’t a family that wouldn’t jump at the chance to buy an unusually large apartment in such a desirable location. Ryan tries to soften up Regina by telling her that he has actually met a child. In fact, he dotes on his niece, who we later find out lives far away in Ohio. He promises to throw the most babytastic open house ever.
Fredrik consults with Helen, an expert on doing business in Asia. She tells him that he doesn’t have to wear a costume or change his appearance, but he has to learn to act less aggressively, because the Chinese don’t like to talk about business. How do you do business with someone who doesn’t like talking about business? Beats me, but Fredrik insists he will keep his high kick, telling Helen that “you can’t take that away from me!” I told you it was one of his superpowers. She also advises Fredrik to deemphasize the Time-Warner apartment’s north views, because it’s not good Feng Sui. This insider knowledge, Fredrik tells us, is his secret. That is, until he realizes that he’s on a reality show.
Ryan has pulled out all of the stops out to throw a family-friendly open house in the UWS duplex. It includes a Wiggles wannabe group playing bouncy music, balloons, face painting and other activities guaranteed to distract toddlers while Ryan shows their mommies around the apartment. This crowd likes the layout, which will confuse children and give their parents some respite until they’re finally tracked down. Ryan wisely demonstrates that when you close the bedroom door, there is absolute quiet. Not even the sound of the not-Wiggles playing downstairs penetrates this fortress of solitude.
While Ryan’s open house looks like a Chuck E. Cheese for rich people, Luis’ neighborhood party attracts far less people. Even a jazz combo can’t improve the saddest little open house ever. Apparently, few Manhattan brokers were willing to hitch their wagons and venture into the wilderness that is Harlem.
Before the next commercial break, we meet Ryan’s new assistant who is also named Ryan. Having 2 Ryans is causing too much confusion in the office, so Ryan1 meets with Ryan2 to discuss the situation. Ryan1 would prefer to call Ryan2 “Olivia”, the name of his previous assistant. Ryan2 smartly nips that in the bud and announces that everyone can just call him “RD”.
Ryan has to meet with Regina to relay an offer, and thinks she will be more approachable if he has a baby in tow. Since Uber Baby is not a service currently offered in Manhattan, he asks a co-worker if he can borrow her daughter. We next see Ryan introducing his “niece” to Regina in a park. Although she cracks a smile for the first time, she’s not receptive to an offer for $4.2 million and insists that he counter at $4.9 million. Ryan gets up from the park bench and awkwardly phones the buyer’s broker with one hand while holding the kid with the other. Unhappy with the counter bid, the broker yells and swears at Ryan, who sanctimoniously asks him to stop, because there is a child in his arms who can overhear. Unsurprisingly, the broker thinks that this is another one of Ryan’s lies and continues with his tirade. Eventually, everyone agrees to a price of $4.5 million in cash for the UWS duplex. I assume that Ryan returned the little girl to her mother and got his deposit back.
Fredrik is in his office trying to crack the tough nut that is the Time-Warner apartment. He tell us that he’s waited a long time to get a listing in this building, which is one of the most prestigious in the world. Then his assistant shows him a letter terminating Fredrik’s services sent by the seller’s attorney. Fredrik is devastated and begins to second guess his tactics and dealings with Cheryl. He says, “If I can’t get it done, then who am I?” You can tell Fredrik is not used to losing. He’s not sore about it, he just can’t understand the concept of not winning or getting what he wants if he works hard enough.
We learn that although the turnout for Luis’ open house was sparse, he managed to get offers for $3 million and $3.1 million. The Jones refuse to accept anything less than what they want and are willing to wait for the right buyer who will appreciate their beautiful home as much as they do. So the mansion in Harlem remains empty. I wonder if Dr. and Mrs. Jones are looking for a trustworthy, conscientious house sitter. Call me.
Fredrik is moping around the park having a crisis of confidence. The angels sing as Derek enters stage right and sits on the bench next to him. When Fredrik complains that he poured his soul into the Time-Warner deal, Derek asks him, “What’s the big deal?” This gets Fredrik off the ledge in his head and puts everything in perspective for him. I think that everyone needs someone who will set you right when you’re wrong or pull you out of the hole you find yourself in. I don’t have a Derek; I have a cat. Oh well. Derek then says that he’s given more thought to having a child and would like to talk about the next step in their relationship. Fredrik is incredulous and thinks that Derek is just saying this to cheer him up. Derek, being the paint dappled perfection that he is, says no, he’s just had more time to consider things. I couldn’t help but dab at my eyes with a corner of my sweatshirt when Fredrik starts crying into his silk tie. An adorable moppet, who is obviously a Bravo plant, comes up to both men and offers to share his toy. Fredrik and Derek kiss, and all is right with the world. Fredrik writes in his blog that when the previews of the episode aired, he was contacted by Cheryl, his former client. She asked him to take up the listing again, this time for $28 million. So Fredrik got the Time-Warner deal he always wanted, is starting a family with Derek and has learned what’s really important in life. Just like an afterschool special. Yeah, Baby — Milla is back! Or will be, as soon as she’s born.
We’ve watched Fredrik and Ryan go from being brash, bratty brokers to becoming better human beings. They not only rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions, they now deservedly have rich personal lives, as well. We’ll stay tuned to find out if Luis also mellows and matures. As soon as Ronita pries that can of Red Bull out of his hand.
“I don’t want to be human.” But I am. And I’m going to be a father!!!! I can finally talk about it. So here I am with Cheryl at Time Warner, today, 6 months after I was terminated from the listing. Yes TODAY! She called last week as she saw the trailers for the show and asked me to come back, adding me back on the listing which hasn’t sold, and gone from $35M to the reduced $28M with other brokers… Actually two great brokers, Gilliad and Elliot, but even greater with me back on… $28M was the price I advised her on the first time we met. Now, this was a very difficult episode for me, even to watch tonight, because as we were filming it I had to allow my self to completely lose on national television. Big time. Sometimes I hear people say our show is scripted, and it isn’t. Once and for all, it is real. You can say whatever you want about me, my eccentricities, quirkiness, faces and expressions, but I’m real. As you saw tonight. I sometimes wish the show was scripted, because God knows it would be easier to show up to a set with a script, instead to your own listing which you are publicly terminated from… but no one tells us what to do or say, and certainly as you understand I wouldn’t loose a $35M listing, nor a $1M+ commission if I had a choice… but I did, and I did hard. The producers told me to trust the process, to allow myself to fail because we all fail, so I did and grew from it. I’m actually thankful for the experience… Now, to have people you love like Derek helping you put things in perspective is what it’s all about. He asked me “what is the big deal?” Well, it isn’t a big deal at all compared to us having Milla. Not at all, and Milla will unfold this season I’m proud to say. Time Warner is back, I’m back, and although I feel I have dressed up in enough Asian silk kimonos for now, I am proud to never say anything bad about any clients because I try to see the good in them and their perspective too… and even when I lose them… I’m always hoping to have them come back to me like a boomerang. Like Cheryl, today, picking me up in her VERY big car and hiring me back again…
(from Fredriq’s Facebook)