Bravo-lebrity and selling-savant Ryan Serhant was in Nashville to promote his book tour and he took time to chat with me.
Nikki: So tell me about the book!
Ryan: “Sell it Like Serhant,” which just came out. super excited. I’m bouncing all over the country, spreading the sales love. It’s a book I’ve been working on for about 10 years. It’s my first book. It’s everything that I’ve ever learned about selling. I started in NYC in 2008 the day Lehman Bros filed for bankruptcy, I came right from Colorado, my nice clothes were khaki pants and cowboy boots and I was completely a fish out of water in NYC, looking up at these buildings. I had my back up against the wall. I had no money. I had to teach myself how to sell real estate in a city full of all these little clicks and everyone who does things just with their friends. And I, as an outsider, had to figure it out. How I did that, and how I learned how to sell, how I learned how to put deals together how I learned how to negotiate, work with buyers and sellers and not just real estate but selling anything. Selling cars, selling insurance, I put it into this book. It’s anything you want to know about selling and putting into a sales career is in there.”
NB: You’re appealing to the ‘every man,’ not just real estate brokers in NYC. Is this book beneficial to people outside your industry?
RS: “Yeah, because there is no book that teaches you how to have a sales career. It’s not also just for people who want to have a career, but if you are in school and you want to have a side hustle selling things on EBay, this is a book for you. If you are in student debt and you want to figure out how to get out of it, and you’ve got something you can sell, like you’ve got stuff in your parents basement or something, this is the book for you, because it will teach you the mechanics of how to get to that next step, which a lot of people I talk to just don’t know. Kind of like myself, standing in New York, like alright, I want to be a real estate broker, what do I do now? Where do I meet people? How do I even talk to them? What do I say when they say they don’t want what I’m selling? What do you do? That’s what I wanted to help people with.”
NB: Can you sell me this parking lot?
RS: “I could, because you can park as many cars as you want. it’s actually extra wide here, which you might not notice about other parking lots because you can park double wides here maybe do some trailers up and down the front. I would take this over any others.”
NB: What is one thing people have to have, inherently, to be good at sales? The hustle?
RS: “The hustle has to be in your blood. If you don’t have the hustle if you don’t have the want, that’s something that no book is going to teach you. But everything else, I think is a teachable skill. If you don’t think you are a good sales person, I promise you, neither was I. It’s something that I had to learn. Anyone can do it.”
NB: I know you’ve never been to Nashville before, but you likely have your finger on the pulse of growing and changing cities, I’m sure you’ve heard Nashville is one of them. What advice do you have for people who want to get into the real estate game here?
RS: “I think Nashville is a great place to invest, I know a lot of people in New York who are now, because NY is so expensive and the market is so tough, are looking here for places to build. And possible places to move, one of my head of new development just moved here. Just because the job opportunities and the growth opportunities are pretty incredible. So I think there are a lot of things you can focus on, if you ant to get into real estate sales, find someone who is already good at it, and work underneath them. Just learn as much as you can for 2 years.
NB: Anything else?
RS: “It’s the greatest sales book in the history of the world, everyone should get it it will change your life.”
Serhant is one of the stars of “Million Dollar Listing, New York,” and his spin-off show, “Sell it Like Serhant,” both on Bravo.
Serhant told me he sees a lot of opportunity here, especially if you’re looking to tap into real estate. He suggests finding someone who is really good at selling real estate or really knowledgeable, and work under them for two years.