Ryan Serhant Teases 'Not Everyone Makes It to the Finale' of His New Netflix Series 'Owning Manhattan': 'It Was a Traumatic Rollercoaster'


Jun. 24 2024, Published 6:58 a.m. ET

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Though Ryan Serhant appeared on Million Dollar Listing for almost 10 years, he still wasn't prepared for what would happen while filming his new show, Owning Manhattan, the first and only Netflix reality real estate series focused on New York City, premiering on June 28.

"When I decided to start my own company in 2020, called SERHANT., I had a conversation with Bravo that was like, 'Million Dollar Listing is a show that follows real estate agents as they sell real estate and do open houses and run around the city. If you're not going to do that as much anymore and want to build your own company, that's fine, it's probably not the right format for our show. Million Dollar Listing then went on pause, and at that same exact time, I knew what I was doing in the city, and the company we were building was so unique. It made for even better TV than what I had done on Million Dollar Listing for all those years. We started putting together a presentation and took it to all the different networks and Netflix made the most sense. We got started in 2022 and shot through 2023," the 39-year-old exclusively tells OK! while talking about his new show.

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Source: Winnie Au/© 2024 Netflix, Inc.

Ryan Serhant's new show focuses on the agents at his company.

"Yes, there's incredible real estate on this show — the most insane real estate, crazier than anything we've ever put on Million Dollar Listing. We have wild townhouses, we have $250 million penthouses, but now it's my own company, they're my own agents — and not everybody makes it to the season finale," the reality star teases. "It's for viewers to look forward to — but my hair can't get any grayer! I don't think I knew exactly what I was signing up for — and ignorance is bliss in a way."

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The book author founded SERHANT. — "a content-to-commerce technology ecosystem revolutionizing the sales industry," per their website — in 2020, but he admits running a company is "hard," especially when it comes to managing a staff.

"This show is basically Million Dollar Listing but it's also Selling Sunset and basically Housewives," he quips. "It's like if Million Dollar Listing, Selling Sunset, Vanderpump Rules, Succession and Billions all had a baby."

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The show is all about New York City real estate.

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Though there are many shows revolving around real estate on television, Serhant, who shares daughter Zena with wife Emilia Bechrakis, promises viewers this one is worth the watch. "This is the only New York real estate show," he shares. "If you want to see what the lives of our top real estate agents, as well as the buyers and the sellers involved in doing some of the largest and most expensive real estate deals in the world are like in New York City, then this is your show. The format is also different. Reality TV fans are going to eat up this show and binge the whole thing because from the first moment of episode 1, it catches your eye."

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Though Serhant has been in front of the cameras over the years, the entrepreneur was hesitant when putting his company in the limelight. "My name is on the door now — if something good happens, it affects me, but if something bad happens, it really only affects me. There are nearly 800 people at this company. I had to think hard and long about the impact that anything we do publicly affects the brand, our agents, clients and employees who could choose to work anywhere. It's super scary!" he admits. "Netflix showed up with cameras and said, 'We're going to film the good, the bad, the ugly and the boring, and we're going to edit and we'll let you know how it goes!' We had people quit live — that never happened on Million Dollar Listing. I had to fire people live. I never had to do that on Bravo, ever. I haven't seen that before on any real estate show. People are ripping off their microphones. It was a lot."

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Source: courtesy of Netflix/© 2024 Netflix, Inc.

Ryan Serhant said people quit on live TV.

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Ultimately, the dad-of-one is "excited" for the show to release since he's been working on it for so long, but he's also 50 percent "terrified."

"I think it's great," he says, noting he's seen a sneak peek. "I think it's a traumatic rollercoaster. Our cast is really great. None of them had done this before, which can be really, really, scary, but they did a great job, and I think most of them will be happy."

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Even though Serhant had to let some people go, he notes the company still had "an incredible year as a business."

"We're in eight states now, we have studios, and then I have all my other stuff. I just released my third book. We do a lot of other things. April was our highest transaction month in the company — but also in my career," he reveals. "Which is amazing because there's a lot of pressure on our industry right now. Rates are high, the market is really, really tight, inventory is low."

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The series premieres on June 28.

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Of course, most reality shows can be scripted, but Serhant promises the drama isn't made up. "There's voiceover in the show, we break the fourth wall in the show, I talk to the camera, there are things in this show that we would have never been able to do on Bravo, which makes working with a network like Netflix so exciting," he gushes. "It was incredibly authentic. As we were shooting it, it felt like a real docuseries."

"There were some deals that were fun to follow, and we did some deals with major celebrities. But the hardest part was letting someone go on the show live. The cameras were there, but it was completely real and authentic," he adds. "It was probably the most exciting piece of television people will see in a long time because you'll feel the messiness. I knew it was going to happen, but we have strict guidelines here. You've got to be hardworking and a good person. No one wants to be in that position. It was scary — and the whole world gets to watch on June 28!"

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Owning Manhattan premieres on Netflix on June 28.


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