The Yield: Disrupters – Ryan Serhant

Key takeaways:

[1:32] How Ryan Serhant became a multi billion dollar real estate disrupter.  

[8:34] Serhant’s advice on how to succeed when others expect you to fail. 

[32:20] Industry areas that are ripe for destruction. 

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Ryan Serhant, CEO of SERHANT, is one of the biggest names in American real estate.  His real estate brand is among the world’s most followed with multi-million dollar deals, best selling books, and Serhant’s starring role in Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing.

“I think that legacy brands and traditional models got me here. I’m incredibly thankful, I wouldn’t have even been in the real estate business if it were not for the traditional model of selling real estate and being a real estate agent being a licensed associate realtor right and United States.” Serhant told The Yield: Disrupters.

He went on to add, “But I also really, really, really believe that what got you here won’t get you there, and if other firms don’t believe that or they’re too big to pivot then okay, that’s where innovation and new companies and entrepreneurs are at their best.” 

Serhant knows first hand how to pivot. As a self-proclaimed failed actor in New York City, Ryan earned his real estate license and eventually built the number one selling sales team in NYC with annual sales between one and two billion in residential real estate. When he realized the serious gap in sales training, he developed what would become a major disruption to the traditional real estate brokerage model. 

His goal was to utilize content, training, and commerce with an underlying tech platform to help agents and salespeople all over the world to build their brands and generate leads to sell more real estate from anywhere to anyone on any device. And even at the peak of the pandemic when it seemed that the masses were fleeing from New York City, The Big Apple, his idea, and his company, quickly took off. 

So what is the secret behind Serhant’s success?  “Do more, think less,” he advises.  Rather than worrying so much about the possibility of failure, Serhant says just dive in and see what happens.  Work hard and control what you can control.  While other people are Netflix and chilling, you can be working your way to success. This approach to success has worked well for Sehrant for 14 years and he says it can work for anyone who is willing to put in the real effort to make things happen.   “I just knew it was going to work and I’m also sometimes kind of ignorant that way. I do understand when they say ignorance is bliss. Like if I didn’t go headfirst with blinders on at all times, I wouldn’t get out of bed, I’d be too nervous,” he said.

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With the potential for 50% of Americans to have jobs tied to the gig economy by 2025, Serhant is building a business for the future.  He answers to himself as the boss, and every decision he makes has to meet the standards of himself today and the even more successful self he envisions for himself in the future. 

Here’s how Serhant says he balances the demands of the present with his vision of the future. He believes in having a clear vision, mission statements, and a measure of realistic expectations, “Anything is possible, as long as you stay realistic plus 10%,” he said.  In the podcast, Serhant reveals how he pushes himself and his team to grow every single day – and what the giant ‘B’ hanging on his office wall stands for. 

Despite entering a traditional industry, as a disrupter, Ryan is blazing a trail that is now being emulated by the legacy giants of real estate. With a virtual culture that brings traditionally lonely agents together and tech products that can be sold in any industry, he is working to change the future of the independent salesperson business. His vision for 2030 highlights areas of the industry that are poised for major change, especially the future ability to sell anything to anyone anywhere. 

Serhant says It’s a promising future, especially for those who are willing to put in the hard work now.  It’s one of the reasons Serhant is a Disrupter.

On The Yield – Disrupters podcast we sit down with industry leaders and disruptors to discuss how they’ve reimagined and changed their industries and the leadership skills necessary to create new business opportunities.  

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