A day after the launch party of “Million Dollar Listing New York” star Ryan Serhant’s Hamptons brokerage (known as SERHANT. House Hamptons), 16 agents and brokers from across the country gathered for a day of interactive conversations and networking at Serhant’s own Hamptons abode.
Mastermind Hamptons, as the event was called, consisted of countless real estate-focused conversations and breakout sessions, along with brunch served by chef Jonathan Mecca on a vibrant tablescape designed by Social Studies. Serhant’s presentation was focused on breaking into the luxury real estate market, while his group discussion — alongside top SERHANT. agent Taylor Middleton, and fellow “Million Dollar Listing New York” star Tyler Whitman — provided insight about becoming a lifestyle-oriented broker.
One major focal point of the day was getting within arms reach of ideal clients. Essentially, go where they go, and the opportunities will follow.
For example, Serhant suggested: “Instead of dropping off your gowns at the dry cleaning next to your house, you’re gonna go out of your way and you’re gonna drop it off [where your ideal clients go], so that when you meet that client, you’ll both go to the same dry cleaner [and you can say] ‘Oh, she’s the best. She gets those red wine stains out better than anybody else.’ Now you have something in common that’s not just ‘You are rich. I like rich people.’ You have a real lifestyle thing in common.”
By the same token, Whitman has made millions in deals just through pursuing his passion of riding horses and meeting clients through that escapade. “It’s the only reason I have business in the Hamptons,” Whitman revealed.
Serhant has done the same by joining and staying at gyms and resorts, respectively, that are frequented by notoriously affluent people, “because then I can talk to people about having been there [and say] ‘Oh, I stayed there.’” One specific example is a family he met while spending Christmas in New Zealand some years ago, who later reached out to Serhant via email, inquiring about buying their son a New York City apartment. They ended up purchasing three apartments through Serhant, for a total of $9 million.
Both of these undertakings allowed Whitman and Serhant to make deals even when they weren’t technically working. That is to say that making connections with the people you want to be like and do business with is invaluable — and there is no one way to go about it.
For Middleton, internal healing and growing as a person — through affirmations and self-help books — has been monumental for her personal and professional life. After all, as Serhant himself mentioned during his own presentation, “most people have a hard time getting into a luxury market because [they] have imposter syndrome.”
Unsurprisingly, the aforementioned SERHANT. House Hamptons echoes the same sense of community and relationship fostering that Serhant himself is a major proponent of, proving that a brokerage’s design is key in its growth. It was “designed to be somewhere agents want to be,” said Serhant, in a press release. It’s not “a cube farm, but rather, a gathering space designed to inspire networking, collaboration, and a strong company culture, empowering everyone who visits to achieve success.”
As such, there are far more group-focused design elements to the offices than individualized spaces, like circular tables that encourage discussion, as opposed to secluded cubicles and desks meant for just one person. This coincides with a statement made by Serhant during his presentation, in which he advised attendees to never eat lunch alone at your place of work, because, after all, you’re going to eat your lunch anyway, so you might as well network and form connections with people while doing it. Making the most of every possible conversation is paramount, essentially.
Ask any of the 16 Mastermind attendees about this experience, and they will all say they learned invaluable pieces of information from Serhant — as well as Whitman and Middleton — that only top brokers implement throughout their careers.
One such attendee is Bilal Hazziez, a Kansas City-based real estate agent who also happens to be on “90 Day Fiancé.” Hazziez found that the biggest takeaway from this experience was “don’t work for money or for the deal; work for the relationship and building relationships” because, ultimately, real estate agents are in the “business of customer service and relationships.” So set yourself apart by being someone who “adds value, [is] relatable, [has] genuine relationships, [is] a giver [and] a humble hustler,” as well as someone who lives “in gratitude.”
And while being appreciative is critical, what you do with that feeling is what seemingly sets luxury brokers like Serhant apart from struggling brokers. Essentially, be grateful for what you have, but remember — in the words of Serhant himself — “it’s OK to want more for your life.”